Daniel Montoya may be an old-school industry veteran, but with Adult Club Motion Graphics, he’s established a new-school way for clubs, entertainers and businesses to utilize the power of video to promote themselves.
There are some that believe San Francisco offers the most diverse selection of gentlemen’s clubs anywhere in the U.S., from large, high-end venues to smaller, more quaint strip clubs, and everything in between. If you’re ever looking for a guide to the Bay-Area’s top clubs, Daniel Montoya is your man. Over the past 24 years, he’s worked as a DJ in every different type and size of club in San Francisco. And he’s also learned a thing or two along the way. Daniel has combined two decades of industry experience with his visual art design skills to create Adult Club Motion Graphics, a video design company that specializes in promotional videos for adult nightclubs (note: Daniel has also produced several videos for ED Publications, the Annual EXPO, the EDI contests and more).
We had the chance to ask Daniel about his lengthy career in the San Francisco gentlemen’s club community, as well as his favorite music to play in and out of the club. Don’t miss Daniel’s 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?
MONTOYA: I started work as a DJ/MC at The Embers in Sacramento, CA. It was a topless biker bar, just like the club in Roadhouse starring Patrick Swayze. It was shared by the Mongols and the Hells Angels at one time in its history. Fights broke out on the floor every night between the bikers. There was gun behind the bar and a baseball bat at the front door for the bouncers.
What brought me into this job was being a musician, initially. I was hitting the road with a lot of acts, and things were really going well, especially in Sacramento music, at that time. But this made it hard for me to keep a regular hours job, as I had to keep quitting so I could play more. My drummer’s girlfriend had an idea: “You can dj at the club I’m dancing naked at!” We all laughed and I said that was THE stupidest idea of all the ideas so far. I’m never gonna be the guy that introduces the stripper on the microphone! LFMAO. “Sierra coming to main stage.” Everyone laughed when I imitated the man on the mic.
She said, “Well, all we have in the daytime is a biker juke box. We want to dance to our own CDs. All you have to do is play our music on the system, and say our name as we come on stage. There is 20 of us and we’ll each give you $10.” And 20 years ago that was a lot of money! It’s good money now, but back then, $200 a day was winning the lottery.”
“I started work as a DJ/MC at The Embers in Sacramento, CA. It was a topless biker bar, just like the club in Roadhouse starring Patrick Swayze. It was shared by the Mongols and the Hells Angels at one time in its history. Fights broke out on the floor every night between the bikers. There was gun behind the bar and a baseball bat at the front door for the bouncers.” – Montoya
ED: Talk about Adult Club Motion Graphics. If I’m a club owner and I want to know what you can do for me and why it would help my club marketing, what would you tell me?
MONTOYA: Adult Club Motion Graphics specializes in two kinds of advertisement. Video creation for Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and other social media production, as well as in-house commercials for the TV screens inside the club. Though both are important, the in-house TV screen advertising is the one I consider the most powerful. The guests being able to see the drink and food specials, as well as dance specials and upcoming event promos.
ED: You’ve attended Expo previously on several occasions, and have also shot a great deal of video content for us. What is your favorite part of attending the Expo each year? What do you most look forward to?
MONTOYA: There are so many aspects of Expo that I truly love. From filming the opening night PANDA (Professional Adult Nightclub DJ Association) party, to the working with DJ Platypus on every conceivable production. My favorite part of last year’s Expo was filming our feature entertainers, and seeing their reaction to the footage. Being able to cut the video down and text it to their phones immediately, and see it posted all over social media that night is something that wasn’t possible only a short time ago. To be able to capture that and share it with them is something I look forward to every ED Publications event.
ED: What is/was your favorite music/songs 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 at home or in your car?
MONTOYA: These days I honestly play more hip-hop than anything else. I grew up in this industry with the idea that, in the early ’90s, playing rock and top 40 dance while excluding hip-hop was the way to attract an upscale clientele. In the early 2000s, it was all about playing EDM music, electronic high-energy dance. Once again, we were excluding hip-hop music, but were allowed to play house remixes of the latest hip-hop hits. I feel the idea of excluding hip-hop today is completely misguided. I also question whether the idea to exclude hip-hop was always misguided. Today, playing the hip-hop from the ’90s and especially the early 2000s is increasingly popular with the older crowd. As I hear the fullness of the production of this era of music, I really question whether playing the EDM version exclusively was really the right choice. The energy level of the original versions are tremendous all on their own.
Personally, this one-size-fits-all approach to music is the idea that needs to be left behind. Security starts at the door. Drawing the right audience starts with advertising and promoting.
As far as what I listen to in my spare time? The music I grew up on. Lots of Bebop, and lots of Tom Waits. Anything that doesn’t resemble work.
“I feel the idea of excluding hip-hop today is completely misguided. I also question whether the idea to exclude hip-hop was always misguided. Today, playing the hip-hop from the ’90s and especially the early 2000s is increasingly popular with the older crowd.” – Montoya
ED: If you could see any concert or lineup of artists, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
MONTOYA: I would want to see my late friend Chi Cheng of the Deftones play one last time. We shared the bass instrument together. We learned to play it together in Sacramento, CA. You never know when the last time you get to see somebody is gonna be.
Get to know more about Daniel Montoya!
Where do you hail from: I was born in Coachella back when it was all desert. I grew up in Los Angeles in the 70’s and 80s. We moved to Sacramento, CA in 1988 when I was 20 years old. Sacramento is what I consider my home town and favorite place to be from.
Where are you currently working: I’ve been employed by BSC MGMT in San Francisco for the last 14 years. The company I work for owns 10 clubs. I’ve worked in most all of them at one time or another.
How long have you worked in the strip club industry: 24 years in this business
Favorite recording artist: Jaco Pastorius
Industry hero: Joe Carouba, owner of Hustler Club San Francisco and other BSC Management clubs.
Favorite feature entertainer: Natasha Nova!
Favorite industry DJ: DJ John Beutler of the Gold Club Centerfolds Sacramento in the ’90s and early 2000s. The most on-fire MC I have ever heard to this day, anywhere.
Favorite part of your work day: Playing music!
Pet peeve at work: When a floor host or entertainer tells me “the whole story” before telling me what they need me to do! “DJ, one of girls is sitting with a foreign guy. He is wearing a gold watch. They all came in together…” Just tell me what you need me to do! “He wants to hear a 2Pac song” Thank you! That’s all I needed to know!
Advice for fellow club DJs: Always listen to your instincts. Be yourself, and ALWAYS know those instincts are speaking the truth. People around you will always prefer that you listen to their instincts instead. And sometimes you have to. But never stop trusting your own.