Where are they now? Anabolic Frolic edition

Chris & Robin 2016

Here’s an update for those curious enough to look me up on this page. The year is 2016, over 20 years from when I embarked on my DJ career. Happy2bHardcore Chapter 1 would be released early 1997, and the first Hullabaloo rave would happen later that year. We wrapped up Hullabaloo in 2005, with a 10-year reunion party in 2007. My last DJ appearance was at WEMF 2008. I never officially retired as a DJ, but I’m a product of 90’s rave, and proud of it.

I was able to look at the writing on the wall during that time, and knew it was a good time to move on and wrap things up. I had had huge success, and felt like my mountain had been conquered and felt no desire to try and recapture past successes. Seems weird now with the big “EDM” resurgence, but I’m from a time before “EDM” was even a term, and I’m good with that.

I followed my passion of entrepreneurship, and have started multiple successful businesses since then. The skills I developed from my rave days I used for the rest of my life.

Today I use my business success to mentor and invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs. Ones hungry like I had once been, and hopefully with a bit of my guidance I can help them navigate their own success.

I reside in Toronto with my wife, Robin, and our 2 boys, Gavin & Connor. I’ve hung up my headphones, and for fun these days I’ve built a pinball arcade in my home. As someone who grew up in the 80s, it’s fun to be able to recreate a bit of my childhood. The illicit appeal of it being a “secret” and the hardcore light show is a tribute to my rave days. Visitors who know me from back then usually respond with a “Yeah, this seems about right from you”.

frolics-torontolife

I still get DJ inquiries, but I’m content with the past staying in the past. We accomplished great things, and I’m good with letting those memories live on as memories. I do appreciate the comments that I receive from people after all these years, it is very touching.

I do have one piece of unfinished business, and that is my long gestating memoirs of my rave days. That book is actually written and I hope to see it published as the definitive account of that era by someone who was in the middle of it.

Thanks for your interest in looking me up.

Keep smiling!

-Chris (Anabolic) Frolic

Reflections on my birthday

I just turned 38 years old. Not a big milestone birthday, spent quiet at home with my family. It did make me think about a past birthday however. Exactly 16 years ago on my 22nd birthday I moved into a new office I had rented to launch my Happy Hardcore record business.

I had been renting a room from a family to live previously, but they sold their house and I had to find a new place to live. I had started importing and selling happy hardcore vinyl out of my bedroom, and was so passionate about my music, I made a calculated gamble that I could make a real go of it. Worst-case-scenario I ended up being unsuccessful. I was young, had time to burn, so why not go for it.

The office was about 10 x 12 feet with no windows. I had a couch. That night, my birthday, I was alone in a pitch black room. I never felt so alone in my life.

I had a web page set up, and was the very first happy hardcore website ever indexed by Yahoo, which at the time was the dominant search engine. I started making contact with other aspiring happy hardcore DJs, and before long was selling vinyl to most of them. It was a very small business, but it did pay the rent, but I could not afford anything more than that. I lived in that office.

There was a shower in the building which I used, and once or twice a month I’d visit my aunt’s for the weekend to do laundry and recharge my batteries.

I spent my spare time making copies of my first widely distributed mixtape, called The Frolic Files. One at a time I would copy them, and bring boxes with me to every rave I attended and handed them out to anyone that looked like they were having fun.

I also started mailing them to record labels, and after being in my office for only a few weeks I got a call from Moonshine in Los Angeles. They were thinking of doing a happy hardcore compilation and I seemed like the right guy for them. Happy2bHardcore Chapter 1 was released a few months later.

Also a few weeks into my stay at the office I got a call from a promoter from a new Toronto rave company called Not The End. They got my tape. They wanted me to play at their first event. After playing at their party, and then getting deeply involved with them for their second event, planted the bug in me to promote my own parties if I wanted to see the music that I loved get the exposure it needed.

Hullabaloo had it’s first event 7 months after moving into my office. Happy2bHardcore chapter 2 came out around that time, and I started getting regular DJ bookings all over. From that point on it was like riding a rocket ship.

I guess as I look back at all this, none of that would have been possible without some sacrifice from myself. I decided to take a shot, and it worked out better than I could have ever imagined. It’s also a little overwhelming how much of a difference one guy can make if they set their mind on something. My advice to anyone reading this is to take their own shots. If it doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world. But you can never reach the stars if you never attempt it.

Old School Frolic vid

Found an oldschool video of me spinning in 1996. No one knew what happy hardcore was back then, but it all has to start somewhere!