DJ Matt Dumba is keeper of the aux cord in Wild locker room
- LOUIS — Any time the bass drops in the Wild locker room, resident disc jockey Matt Dumba should be required to pour one out for Devin Setoguchi.
After all, the man who teammates affectionately referred to simply as “Seto” throughout his NHL career was an OG DJ on Kellogg and West Seventh in St. Paul.
Nearly a decade ago, he was none too pleased with the outdated sound system in the locker room. It hadn’t been replaced since the Xcel Energy Center opened in 2000 and that was starting affect the pregame vibe.
“I remember Seto was like, ‘Screw it. I’ll pay for it,’ ” assistant equipment manager Rick Bronwell said. “He told me to go out and do some research and figure out the best option.
“There were a bunch of other guys that ended up putting in some money. It was definitely Seto’s baby, though. He wanted something better that would help fire the guys up.”
After scouring stores throughout the Twin Cities, Bronwell found a good deal at Audio Perfection in Richfield. He purchased four speakers, a center channel and, most importantly, a subwoofer.
“That was the key to the whole operation,” Bronwell said. “It just makes everything sound so much better.”
While different faces have skated in and out of the locker room since then, the sound system has remained a constant.
And the current roster is maximizing its potential with DJ defenseman Matt Dumba usually serving as the man in charge of the auxiliary cord.
“Yeah,” Dumba said with a smirk. “It’s usually me. I’m trying to get some more help. I need more guys to step up with their Apple Music login.”
It isn’t always Dumba, though, as pretty much anyone on the team can take control of the music if they feel like it.
That explains why just about anything or anybody — Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Tom Petty, Alanis Morissette, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean — could blare from the locker room.
Sometimes all in the same week.
“It always so random,” forward Marcus Foligno said. “There are some practice mornings it’ll be Matt Hendricks with some of his old-school rock or something like that. We get on him pretty quick about it.”
Never one to back down, Hendricks stood up for his taste in music, as outdated as it might be to some of the younger guys on the team.
“That’s the problem with a locker room,” Hendricks said. “You’ve got so many different genres of music to be played. It’s pretty much impossible to keep everyone happy. I’d say whoever is playing their music probably has the worst job on the team.”
Whether it’s a bass-heavy banger, a hipster acoustic riff or a timeless ballad, someone always has something to say about what’s playing at the time.
“You’re never going to keep everyone happy,” said goalie Devan Dubnyk, who sits right next to the receiver. “It doesn’t matter what kind of music is playing. There are always at least a few guys that aren’t going to be a fan.”
There are also a few guys who have lost their aux cord privileges.
“They know who they are,” Dumba said without mentioning names.
“We just make sure none of the rookies like Jordan Greenway touch it,” Foligno chimed in. “It’s pretty much fair game for everyone else.”
There are some unwritten rules, particularly on game days.
“On practice days, the boys can have whatever they want,” Dumba said. “On game days, they know it’s all me.”
Typically, the pregame routine starts when Dumba arrives at the rink around 4:30 p.m. He puts on his playlist, which serves as background noise for the next couple of hours until the team takes the ice for warmups.
“That’s all him,” Nino Niederreiter said. “That’s his time to shine.”
Still, Eric Staal made it clear that some of the veterans have some input.
“He has gotten some firm talking-to’s about what he can play and what he can’t play,” Staal said with a laugh. “He knows.”
It’s a huge playlist, and like any true DJ out there, Dumba constantly adds to it by mixing in a variety of songs that cater to everyone.
“You need to switch it up,” Dumba said. “It sucks when someone beats the (expletive) out of a song. That’s not good for anyone.”
It’s clear Dumba takes his job seriously, and it’s a good thing he does, because others would rather stay away from the aux cord altogether.
“It’s a tough job,” Dubnyk said. “I’ve learned it’s better to stay out of it. I don’t feel like having everyone complaining to me. He does a good job with it.”