All These Road lead to dancefloor mayhem! The boys are back in town
Interview : Dan Prince
Guys welcome back to DMCWORLD – where in the world are you right now?
“We’re in LA right now Dan, back in the studio.”
Another sumptuous piece of dancefloor courtesy of you guys comes in the form of the new track ‘All These Roads’. What was the intention with this song, what did you want to create – there is certainly a special energy with organic instruments…
“Yeah, we feel like dance music is extraordinarily saturated right now. There’s lots of music out there that’s cool for a club but there isn’t a lot of originality or feeling in a lot of it and we wanted to do something that was different and didn’t just sound like it was made with a couple of soft synths. We both play instruments (Sultan plays guitar and Ned plays piano), so we felt like the organic quality of those instruments would be an important way to bring more feeling into the music. Adding elements like trumpets and brass was also an influence of other styles of music that we like such as indie rock and folk music.”
Something interesting you said about this record recently…” we wanted to do something to set it apart from all of the synthetic music that is happening at the moment.” Do you think not enough producers are not making enough effort at the moment, a lot of people are calling it the year of bandwagon music…?
“Electronic music definitely hit a wave of popularity in the US that made a lot of people jump on the bandwagon, but thankfully that’s starting to fade a bit and there are tons of people who genuinely got interested in electronic music just a few years ago and are still loving it which is a great thing because they bring a lot of new enthusiasm and energy. The same can be said for producers: Because there’s so many young kids making this music, it’s bringing a fresh energy to the game and that’s keeping everyone on their toes. At the same time, it’s important for producers to remember what makes a good, timeless song: good chords, good vocal melodies, arrangements, etc not just cool sounds and big drops. I think the producers who understand that the best are the ones rising to the top.”
The new track that is coming out on Parametric Records and has already received massive support from Tiesto and David Guetta features Zella Day and Sam Martin. Why were these two artists perfect for the track?
“We loved the concept of having a male and female duet on this record, because so much of the indie/folk music we listen to has that combination (Arcade Fire, Of Monsters and Men, etc). Sam is a great writer and he wrote the original concept for the song so when he sings it you really believe him. And Zella is just incredible. She’s going to be a huge star. When she came on the song, it just took things to a different level. And we think the combination of the two of them is really what makes the song work.”
To celebrate the release you are offering the prize of a trip to New York City on November 27th to see you perform at the famous Webster Hall, flights and fancy hotels all thrown in. This week in the media certain superstars were named and shamed about upsetting their fans at ‘meets and greets’ – surely now more than ever it’s important to keep your fans close, right??
“Yes absolutely. For us, it’s so much fun to meet our fans and see what everyone is like in person. Social media is great for interacting but there’s nothing like shaking someone’s hand or giving them a hug and seeing the excitement in their eyes. And of course we want them to see what a big show looks like from our perspective, so we’re really happy about this contest.”
*(Check out their personal message alerting fans to share their journeys with #AllTheseRoads & #OnTheRoadTo on their social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine) for a chance to win a trip to New York City)
What is the current top 10 you are spinning…
“Check it here…
You smashed the XS Nightclub in Las Vegas last weekend. I interviewed Paul Oakenfold this month and he claimed that Sin City will always be about the party and never about a knowledgeable clubbing crowd. Thoughts on that?
“Vegas is changing really fast. It definitely will always be a party place and in the last few years it has established itself as a place for serious dance music lovers- with clubs like XS, the LIght and Hakkasan and the kinds of DJ’s that are there, it can’t not be. But at the same time, it’s still a place where people who never have been to see a DJ and don’t know anything about dance music will come out and party next to hardcore EDM fans. So when you DJ there you have to understand that and be able to please everyone. It would be cool to see some smaller places open up as well that really cater to those hardcore fans and help compliment the super-clubs. That would also allow other kinds of music like deep and tech house and more underground music to have a proper place there.”
ADE must seem like a million miles away, but boy did you guys have fun! We were in the crowd at Ziggodome where you rocked it with Calvin Harris and Tiesto. What were your highlights of the week?
“We had such a great time that night. The crowd was totally up for it and Tiesto came into our dressing room to say what’s up when we finished and said he listened to our whole set. It’s always cool to know that guys like that still takes the time to check out their friends and people that they’ve supported over the years. Also, Heineken made bottles with all of our names on it which was awesome. The other main highlight of the week was meeting Nile Rodgers. He’s such a hero of ours- he really is responsible for so much great music, both because he made it and because he was sampled in some form or another, and hearing him talk and just getting to kick it for a minute was a total high.”
How would you compare ADE with Miami Conference week, sure the sun doesn’t shine and there are no girls in bikinis…but ADE is certainly growing into a serious contender…
“They’re both great but they’re kind of like apples and oranges. ADE is really a conference. Most of the attendees are managers, agents, label owners, etc. The DJ’s are really there for a few parties and the crowd is mostly local or European. It’s an amazing time to get business done and it’s one of our favorite festivals because Amsterdam is a great city and everyone there is cool and very mellow. The conference in Miami is pretty much the opposite. I don’t think any business gets done, but everyone just parties and has a great time. Fans come from all over the world and Ultra and the other parties are insane. They’re both great experiences for very different reasons.”
You hooked up with Nile Rogers over there. What was that experience like and what is your favourite Nile Rogers penned record of all time?
“It really was so cool. We don’t get star struck too often, but we were both a little speechless. He was really down to earth and easy to talk to. His vibe was just super cool, which isn’t a surprise because he’s made so much great music with so many different people that you can tell he’s just a cool dude. Our favorite NIle Rogers tune is probably Let’s Dance by David Bowie, but also Diana Ross “I’m Coming Out” because it’s a classic of the 70’s/early 80’s and was sampled to make another hit “Mo Money, Mo Problems” by Biggie which is a classic for our generation. Anyone who can write one song that becomes a classic in two generations is pretty genius in our book.”
TomorrowWorld looked a blast – where else have been some of the stand out shows for you this summer?
“Echostage in Washington DC with Benny Benassi was a great show. But our favorite club show of the year had to be New City Gas in Montreal. It’s easily one of the best clubs in the world and we debuted our “Plus” production there, which we’re going to do in a few select cities over the next year. It’s a custom built show that our manager Alex K dreamed up based on our vision of what our “plus” logo is about. Sultan and I come from very different places and we think the plus symbol is so simple and powerful. To us it’s about coming together to become part of something bigger, which is one of the best qualities that an EDM show has- this feeling that you are part of something huge- and we love the idea that you would walk in and see that right away. So for us to start to make that a reality in Montreal, where we lived for so many years, was incredible.”
Loved the photo on you ‘perhaps’ leaving a floater for Tiesto in his portaloo earlier this year – what is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a festival?
“DJ Premier from the legendary NYC hip hop group Gangstar actually introduced us at EDC NY this year. It was funny because we were just talking about how cool it was that the classic song “Roaches” sampled Gangstar and became a house hit and then we walk onstage and he’s there with a big smile on his face. The set is on our Soundcloud so you can actually hear him do it!”
Anthem of the summer?
“No Good” our tune with Fedde Le Grand.”
Do you two ever argue about music?
“All the time. We just had a debate as to who was better- Janet Jackson or Mariah Carey. We won’t tell you who liked who though!”
Who is the best new producer/DJ you have seen in 2013?
“Paris & Simo, John Dish, & Dean Cohen.”
What would you say has been the biggest development/advancement of the North American scene in 2013?
“Probably just the expansion of the festival circuit. It’s huge now. Every city has at least one or two major festivals and those are probably responsible for getting the most amount of new fans for EDM.”
Ned, I remember you talking about your 9 year old nephew texting you asking you about MIDI, it took him an hour to fathom it. Has modern technology made it too easy to make music in 2013?
“Making music in 2013 is definitely easier but I think making great music is as hard as it’s ever been! Just because you can easily make a beat on a laptop using free software, doesn’t make it good. And just because a producer uses new technology to make a great track, doesn’t mean it’s the technology that makes it good. I’m sure a guy like Avicii would have been making hits 20 years ago, but with hardware and really, really big studio. The talent is what makes great music, not the technology.”
What is the 1 record you wish you’d have made?
“Two Months off by Underworld.”
What is on a Sultan and Ned Shepard rider these days?
“Jameson and 1942. And water.”
And finally, what is coming out next from you guys studio wise?
“We’ve just done a remix/collaboration for one of our favorite indie bands “The Boxer Rebellion”. It’s very melodic and beautiful so we’re excited for people to hear that.”
ALL THESE ROADS is available now on PARAMETRIC Records Worldwide!