Originally aired April 2015 on BBOX Radio from Brooklyn, NY
Interview edited for length and clarity. Audio available upon request. All rights reserved.
R.J. Mitte's appearance at B.B. King's Time Square is all a part of Breaking Beats an event that plays on R.J.’s previous role on the hit show Breaking Bad . I had just five minutes to speak to R.J. so we had to make it count.
I entered his dressing room with my $9 Blue Moon in hand (B.B. King’s in Time Square, whoo!), my Walt Disney autograph book I bought as a small child open to a blank page, and my recorder at the ready. What I found was a visibly stoked R.J. Mitte. There was a huge grin across his face and he was surrounded by a green room full of people who came to see him mix.
To fill a room is a big deal for R.J. Growing up he was bullied and disregarded because of his disability. Nonetheless, it’s something that continues to drive him as he proves everyone who doubted him wrong.
Jesse Regis: How many of these people do you actually know?
RJ Mitte: I know everyone here actually! Except for that person, that person, that person, that person, that person, no , no, no. I know everyone actually. If you’re in the room with me, you usually know me. I don’t have strangers around because you have to protect yourself, you really do. People take advantage especially in this industry. If you have people that are not your friends they’re usually enemies. You got to be very careful and I’m lucky that I’m surrounded by friends. I’m lucky, man, I’m very lucky. I’ve always been lucky to surround myself with good people and everyone here that’s in this room with me cares.
JR: I want to ask you about your background. I know that you were bullied a lot growing up. How much of what you do is a big “fuck you” to all the people who have bullied you growing up?
RJM: Doing what I’m doing is just that. I’m lucky that I’ve always had people, even growing up, with the bullies and everything I’ve dealt with, I’ve always been able to collect a great friend base that’s always supported me and always stood up for me even amidst fear and doubt . They don’t doubt me to a fault, and that’s what we all need, and I’m lucky man.
JR: When you’re an actor you’ve giving life to someone else’s words. You’re performing someone else’s stuff. What’s it like to create your own stuff?
RJM: What I’m doing tonight is nothing of my creation. I’m mixing new sounds. The music I’ve selected, I’ve enjoyed. This is like a personal playlist mixed together. Lucky enough I’m going on at 1:15 in the morning, so I’m covered, man! They’re all going to be good and lit by the time I get out there, which is what I want! In a sense I’m still giving life to other people’s creations. And that’s what I try to do is play music that people don’t normally hear. A lot of my music isn’t what people would normally hear on the radio, it’s not what people are listening to constantly. It’s 4-5 pages into that list where you’re like, “Oh, this sounds great, but why is this on page 36 when it should be on page 3?” That’s what I tried to pull together and bring tonight. I hope that it all flows but it’s all personally good to me and if you don’t like it, you don’t like it, man, that’s not my problem. I love music. I love what music does to people. You play one five second beat of a song and you grab someone and you’re there and it’s nice, man.
JR: When you finished Breaking Bad did you ever thing you would end up in this position? Was this always a goal for you?
RJM: No, man! I never thought…wait where are we right now!? Wait, this looks like a green room!
JR: I have no idea where we are.
RJM: That sign says B.B. King’s! No, I couldn’t imagine. I would have never imagined seven months ago that I would be here today. I really wouldn’t. I’m lucky to have what I have and to be able to bring whatever I think I’m bringing. I’m very lucky. I could have never imagined that this is where I’d be today. I just keep moving forward.
JR: What’s that one big thing that keeps you getting up every morning? That makes you fly to New York to do a DJ set…what’s that one big thing?
RJM: My family is a big supporter. Everything I do is to support my family. That’s what it gets down to. That’s what it really gets down to. That, and giving a good product to people. I’m lucky that I have a medium and that people are coming to see my show. I just hope that people enjoy and enjoy what I’m able to bring to them. I enjoy coming to do this because this is a different kind of work for me.
JR: Are we ever going to see you back on TV?
RJM: Yeah, man! I’m auditioning like crazy. This is such a small part of what I am and what I do. This is another tool, another asset to bring to life and I’m lucky to have that.