Opening up ... Kate Waterhouse with Sam Ronson. Photo: Fiona Morris
US DJ Samantha Ronson was in Sydney this week to perform at Marquee at the Star on New Year's Eve. Ronson came to international fame during her relationship with the actor Lindsay Lohan but this topic was off limits when she sat down for a chat with Kate Waterhouse about her accidental career. Ronson was slightly prickly at first and not keen on having her photo taken. But the 35-year-old opened up and was refreshingly honest when it came to the subject of the rapper Chris Brown, who assaulted his pop-star girlfriend, Rihanna, in 2009.
How did you get into music?
My stepfather [Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones] had a home studio and people were always jamming and sometimes we would go on tour with them. [My brother] Mark was always super musical but I was kind of like ''whatever'', and then it kind of got to, ''Well, if you can't beat them, join them.''
What was your big break?
It was super accidental. I never wanted to be a DJ, really. I had a band but then I was at this club and their DJ didn't show up so my friend asked me to DJ and I've been doing it ever since.
What is a secret to a good night?
You have to play for the crowd. My job is to entertain, not to educate. There is nothing worse than when there is a DJ playing and you can see the crowd is not enjoying it. I get it that [DJs] want to play what they like, but you don't get paid to play what we want to hear.
Do you play music you dislike?
Yes, all the time. Most of the pop music right now, I don't like very much but it's not about me.
Which pop artist do you like?
Pink, Kanye … [but] I can't stand Chris Brown. I can't get the fact that he beat the living shit out of Rihanna and it's all cool because he can dance. There was no real apology on his part where you'd be like, ''Oh well, he's really paid his dues.'' He's just an angry bully and kind of a dick. It says a lot about pop culture.
Do you feel his fans have forgotten about it?
No, they haven't forgotten, it's like, ''Oh whatever, he can dance and he's pretty,'' … it drives me nuts that there is no accountability whatsoever, it's f---ing gnarly. Michael Jackson's career was destroyed over allegations - whether true or not, they were never proven - and he was Michael Jackson! [Jackson] wrote his shit, he was the King and this little punk clearly beats the living shit out of a girl and it's OK? … [Now] an entire generation of young girls are like, ''Oh, I guess this is OK because [Rihanna] is back with him,'' … and I can't even get onto that part of it. We have Bruno Mars, we don't need this little punk Chris Brown. Bruno Mars is the real deal, Chris Brown is a wannabe - Michael with a temper.
Are you constantly travelling the world?
When it rains it pours. I love my job [but] the only downside is the travel. I was talking to [swimmer] Michael [Phelps] and we were saying how we get to go to all these places but for him, he's like, ''I just see the swimming pool,'' and for me I see the DJ booth and then it's back on an aeroplane. I'd been in Sydney twice and never been here more than 24 hours. When I was here in June, my friend Joel [Madden] was doing [television show] The Voice so Nicole [Richie] took me to a bunch of cool places and I ended up staying for a week. It was nice to see the city and enjoy it.
Is everyone buddies in Hollywood, like the magazines make out?
No, but it's like high school [and] I'm the kid who is eating lunch in the bathroom. I have really bad social anxiety. That's why I'm a DJ, because I can be out but I hide in the DJ booth … I'm like the most awkward person.
What do you do for fun?
I watch a lot of TV, I love to play pool, I like to play Angry Birds and Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Retired! (Laughs) I'm writing a book but very slowly. I'm thinking about going back to school to get my teaching degree. I want to have a school one day. LA is great for what I do, but I don't think I'll stay in LA. I wouldn't want to have [my] kids grow up in LA; what a terrible place for kids to grow up. I would do New York or London.
Can I ask about your public relationship with Lindsay Lohan?
No way. That's such old news, it's been 400 years. I can't believe it's still being talked about.
WE WENT TO Marquee at the Star, Pyrmont.
WE DRANK Jack and Coke and vodka, lemon, lime and soda.
SAM WORE Aviator Nation top, Dior Homme jeans, Supra shoes.