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Sure, LaRue Kim Wisener gets a kick out of getting to play music for a living as a gentlemen’s club DJ. But he also understands the subtle touch it takes to not just DJ, but serve as maestro. 

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Perched in his DJ booth at The Pony Bama (Pony Club in Huntsville, Alabama), LaRue Wisener is indefatigable.

It doesn’t matter who saunters up to his establishment — be it a fresh-faced entertainer, the decades-long regular, or the antsy first-timer — Wisener’s chief aim is to make people feel comfortable.

Wisener’s vocation doesn’t end there. He has also taken it upon himself to manage the club’s social media presence as well as its rapport with other community establishments, like bars or the local comedy club.

“When I owned a club, my favorite DJ was the one who asked me about sales every chance he could,” says Wisener. “My job is to make my club money, that’s as limited a role as the individual makes it.”

ED spoke with Wisener about his start in the gentlemen’s club industry, working alongside enigmatic club chain owner Jerry Westlund, how gentlemen’s club DJs juggle myriad responsibilities and his current musical tastes. And don’t miss his personalized Spotify playlist, courtesy of StripJointsMusic.com!

ED:  When and where did you start working as an adult club DJ? What brought you into the industry initially, and what made you decide to stay once you got there?

WISENER: Originally I owned a gay nightclub when I went on a deployment with the Marine Corps. The manager stole my money and the club defaulted while I was gone. Shortly after, I randomly accept a position in Birmingham (Alabama) at The Furnace when a friend invited me and my best friend. I actually wasn’t sure about staying in this industry, until I met Zak (Philips) and Jerry. I felt more at home, and I appreciated the effort they put into the club.

ED: How hard is it, as a DJ, to play music to such a diverse crowd including locals and tourists (as well as the entertainers) and keep everyone happy? What’s your strategy when it comes to this juggling act?

Zak Philips, left, and LaRue Wisener at the 2017 EXPO

WISENER:  The first person I’m there to please is the owner and his direction toward a certain market, then the people in front of me, then the entertainers. As long as you take the time to get to know the owner’s vision, your clientele, and your entertainers, it’s easy. Initially, it’s about building trust, which has more to do with leadership skills than DJ skills. I show my ladies respect, I explain why I do things, I show them results and the entire leadership team shares the same vision.

The first person I’m there to please is the owner and his direction toward a certain market, then the people in front of me, then the entertainers. As long as you take the time to get to know the owner’s vision, your clientele, and your entertainers, it’s easy — LaRue Kim Wisener

ED: As you know, the Pony Club Memphis is hosting the EDI East in June (5-7). You came in to assist with the EDI East in 2017 in Indianapolis. What do you enjoy most about working with the industry’s top feature entertainers?

WISENER:  I love being around ambitious people, hearing their ideas, just learning something new about the whole hustle. I love seeing the showmanship and the individual promoting efforts and taking those ideas to inspire my team to be better. Every time Jerry books a feature I love seeing my girls push themselves harder after seeing the effort they put into shows.

ED:  What is your favorite music to play on a busy Saturday night at the club? Conversely, when you’re not in the club, what music do you prefer to listen to?

WISENER:  Heavy techno, dubstep and trap remixes of top 40 music, some originals, random sing-along anthem songs, lots of EDM trap, heavy rock from all eras, and the 90-100 BPM booty music. I personally love blues, indie rock, and lots of different EDM.

ED:  If you could see any concert or lineup of artists, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

WISENER:  The Beatles, I just love the Beatles. It’s the first music I can remember listening to, but also Led Zeppelin with John Bonham, because that motherfucker could heel/toe a single kick drum better than most metal drummers with two pedals.

 

 

Here’s more about LaRue Kim Wisener!

Where do you originally hail from:  Born in South Korea, raised in Huntsville

Current Club:  The Pony in Huntsville

Years employed at the club:  4

Years in the industry:  7

Favorite recording artist:  System of a Down, I used to scream their songs on road trips with my best friend, nothing can beat those memories.

Industry hero:  Jerry Westlund, he’s scaled a good bit since I’ve been there, yet he stays present and available to anyone in the company. He personally bailed me out of a bad situation, and I’ve seen him do a lot for other members of his team. You can tell he loves what he does.

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Favorite feature entertainer:  Lacey Rain; not only was she always easy to work with and congenial with my team, but she invests in her show.  She’s also willing to take time to help other entertainers be better, which I really admire.

Favorite DJ or industry pro:  Glen Procell (aka Dr. Rock), the man is a legend. Every time I’ve ever seen him, he’s always on. He is a show.

Favorite part of your work night:  The first conversation I have with everyone. That interaction sets the pace for everyone including myself for the rest of the night.

Pet working peeve:  Entertainers blaming sales on personal drama.  

Advice for fellow club DJs:  Have great relationships with the rest of the team; it takes a team to make an amazing experience.

Don’t miss LaRue Wisener’s personalized Spotify playlist here, courtesy of Bob Chiappardi and StripJointsMusic! 

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