[TMN Exclusive Interview] Talking Music, Performance and Brotherhood with The Bots

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The Bots
All I Really Want

With every generation comes a new wave of artists who, while often influenced by their predecessors, push music forward reflecting the collective consciousness of their time. Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei, 21 and 17 respectively, are certainly representatives of this emerging class but, considering how long the duo has been making music as The Bots, they’ve got a solid head start on most of their peers. The LA-bred brothers recorded their first album nearly 6 years ago and have been rocking the festival circuit, starting with appearances on Warped Tour, ever since.

Musically, The Bots brand of rock is certainly a product of some of the great musicians of the past ranging from punk’s roots to contemporary icons in the genre. In fact, they’ve seemingly followed a chronological trajectory of the genre, fusing styles and injecting their unique twist along the way. In mastering the craft of those that came before them, The Bots have truly found their artistic identity and are poised to make an impact with their forthcoming album, Pink Palms, which will be released on October 14th via Fader Label.

We had a chance to catch up with the promising band at this year’s Outside Lands finding the brothers, as we expected, to exude an aura of youthful creativity. Check the conversation below, stream the first single from Pink Palms above and, if you’re digging it, grab the track on iTunes as well.

TMN: When did you first start listening to music and what was the first artist that you really got into?

Mikaiah: Our parents showed us a lot of good oldies and reggae growing up. I was listening to a lot of MTV stuff so that was, at the time, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne, Green Day

Anaiah: Do you even know a Backstreet Boys album?

Mikaiah: No, but that’s what I listened to!

Anaiah: I liked a lot of Reggae and Punk Rock music.

Mikaiah: Commercial radio and stuff like that was what I was into, but then I grew up. After the punk thing, I was like, okay, this is real cool music. I started weeding through all the other types of music and figuring out what I really liked. As I grew a bit older, I realized I shouldn’t be so worried about what people think if I like Madonna or whatever. I listen to everything now, but back then it was a lot of Reggae and Oldies. When we came to a certain age, our father introduced more 80s hard core. It was a lot of Black Flag. Also, Rock ’n Roll like Ramones and, everything more classic, like Led Zeppelin and ACDC—it was punk and then all the rock bands. That’s when we found out what we really like. We like rock music. Anaiah listens to a bunch of stuff, I listen to a bunch of stuff. We share music and that’s how we keep things interesting in the band itself when writing. Continue reading

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Keys N Krates on their new EP, their influences, and Ligers [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

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Keys N Krates
Are We Faded

TMN: Hey Guys! Thank you for taking some time to sit down with us today. First off, let’s talk about the EP, which is due out September 23rd. What can people come to expect from Every Nite?

Matisse: Weird rap beats that are emotional but still warrant a dance party. Pitched up vocals, morphed samples, synths, bangin rap drums.

TMN: Following up on that, is this EP more of a concept piece, or a collection of songs? Do you envision people listening from song one to the finish, or shuffling it up a bit?

Flo: Yes definitely! We set out to make a sort of mini-album that has some interludes and is a good listen all the way through as opposed to just some cool tracks thrown together. The whole thing is meant to capture the vibe of the night. With regards to how ppl listen to it, we know that’s sort of out of our control, but we hope ppl take it in as the entire ep.

TMN: You just released the first single, “Are We Faded,” which is an absolutely monstrous tune, which focuses highly on a beautiful combination of melodic synths, future bass, and expert vocal sampling. Where did the inspiration come from on this particular song?

Tune: We wanted to make something bangin and beautiful sounding at the same time. We also wanted it to sound optimistic and summer-ish, as the rest of the ep is quite a bit darker. We definitely took some influence from guys like Nadus, Cashmere Cat, Lido, Waveracer and Minnesota on this one cause those guys are all so great with pad synths and emotional chords.

TMN: You guys flexed your musical muscle with a diverse blend of styles in this EP. How did that come to be? Did you intentionally set out to cover different styles music, or did it just flow naturally in the production?
Continue reading

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TMN Unveils the Mystery Behind Zola Blood [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

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Zola Blood
Meridian

A few weeks back, we knocked on Zola Blood’s virtual door, in hopes of shedding some light on this previously mysterious group. With little information out there, many were inquiring about who was behind this chart-topping hit, “Grace,” which climbed its way up the Hype Machine charts. With droves of music enthusiasts enamored and eager to learn more, we’re overwhelmingly excited to be the ones who get to deliver.

TMN: Hey man/guys/ladies and gentleman. Sorry for the generic intro there, but we’re not really quite sure who we’re talking to! Usually we have some research to base our interviews off of, so forgive us if these questions are a little basic!

ZB: Haha, no worries that’s how we like them.

There’s four of us. Matt (vocals/guitar), Ed (Synth), Sam (drums) and Rob (guitar).

TMN: Let’s kick things off by talking to us about how you got into what the world has come to know as Zola Blood. How did you guys come to be?

Zola Blood was born in October last year, after a few months sharing dodgy iPhone recordings between the four of us. We found a little box studio out in Hackney Wick and have been writing, recording and procrastinating out there ever since.

TMN: Where did the name stem from? Any hidden references we should know about?

Continue reading

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Crizzly talks Crunkstep, Pandas, His DIY Approach [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

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TMN: Mr Marshall! Thank you so much for taking some time to chat with us today! We’ve been fans for a long-ass time, and it’s great to finally speak with you.

Crizzly: For sure!

TMN: Let’s kick things off by talking about your signature sound, Crunkstep. How did you come to start making this unique blend of heavy bass, hip hop flair, and razor sharp synths?

Crizzly: Well, I’m from a small, country town, right outside of San Antonio. Everyone listens to country a little bit, but everyone in my high school jammed hip hop. We used to listen to that stuff back in 2000. So, I guess that’s how it influenced my music. Dubstep started getting big at the same time that I started producing, so I guess I just kind of combined the two together – stuff that I grew up on and stuff that I liked in the moment.

TMN: While you have your definitive sound, we definitely pick up other influences, especially Flux Pavillion, with the way you use the combination of high pitched synths with your basslines. Talk to us about some of the people that have helped mold you as an artist.

Crizzly: I remember my first year of college, I skipped one of my classes and drove five hours up to Dallas to go see Rusko. He opened with “Sweet Shop” by Doctor P, and that was my favorite track at the time. That track totally moved me. I wanted to make stuff like that. That was the moment I wanted to make loud noises (laughs).

Continue reading

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Flosstradamus talk about Lollapalooza, Deep Dish Pizza & The Matrix [TMN Exclusive Interview]

FLOSSTRADAMUS FEAT. ELKKA
REBOUND

Very few artists can ever truly be called visionaries, but Flosstradamus are just that. Over two years since they released their remix of Major Lazer‘s “Original Don,” the duo have established themselves as luminaries of the trap genre, playing a pivotal role in bringing the genre to the forefront of the electronic and hip-hop music scenes. Though they’ve had plenty of naysayers along the way, the group have helped prove that not only is trap music not just a fad, but it’s an integral part of the future of music. The two have paved the way for countless of our favorite artists here at TMN, inspiring a whole generation of artists along the way. Their latest single, “Rebound,” showcases the pair’s passion for creativity, while also demonstrating their versatility and ability to adapt to a constantly shifting musical landscape. All that really means is that Flosstradamus should continue being a power in the scene for years to come.

We caught up with Josh and Curt at this year’s Lollapalooza and found out what they had to say about the trap genre, their plans for the future, and their festival experiences among other things.

TMN: First of all, how does it feel to be playing Lollapalooza, especially two years after you were banned from performing in the city of Chicago? Has it been kind of like a homecoming for you?

Josh: Oh dude, it’s awesome man. This is our hometown, so hometown crowd, especially after being banned and getting kicked off of Mad Decent Block Party here and all that, so it means a lot for us. It’s Curt’s birthday today–there’s a lot of special things coming together. This is the fourth time we’ve played Lollapalooza, all of our family and friends are here, it’s just perfect man. It’s just perfect.

TMN: That’s awesome man. How does it compare to other festivals you’ve played at this year? Just as you mentioned, it’s Curt’s birthday, it’s a homecoming, so this one must be more meaningful to you.

Curt: This one was definitely more surreal than a lot of them, but we’ve been doing a lot of the Mad Decent Block Parties throughout the summer and those have been great. We’re always touring with all of our friends, like Diplo, Dillon Francis, Riff Raff, all those dudes.

TMN: So it’s really just like a huge party for you guys.

Curt: Yeah, it’s just good. It’s like a fun little road trip with our friends, so those have been really good, but I mean nothing can beat this. This is Lolla. It’s hard to even explain.

TMN: Exactly, you’ve got the city of Chicago, urban atmosphere…

Curt: Yeah, looking at the skyline from the stage was crazy.

Josh: Dude, that’s so dope with the skyline. That’s a great view.

TMN:  One thing we wanted to mention, it’s amazing to see just how much trap has expanded in the last few years, to the point that we now even have subgenres of trap. As true pioneers of the genre yourselves, what are your thoughts on how it’s evolved so far, and where do you see it heading into the future? What ways do you think you can push that expansion?

Continue reading

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Portugal. The Man Talk Charity, Danger Mouse, & Taco Bell [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

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Portugal. The Man
Evil Friends

Portugal. The Man have managed to stay busy and successful these past 10 years with seven studio albums and five EPs. The four-piece band has played sets at big-name festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo, and will continue their performance streak with a multi-city tour through the US with Grouplove.

On Tuesday, Aug. 12, Portugal. The Man returned to San Francisco for the first stop of their tour: a special benefit show for StubHub’s Next Stage Concert Series. All ticket sales for the show will go to three Oakland schools through The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which helps fund music programs in underserved schools.

After their soundcheck, Portugal. The Man held a meet and greet with the opening act, a band from one of the Oakland schools. When the high schoolers left to play a soundcheck of their own, bassist Zach Carothers and keyboardist Kyle O’Quin talked to us about working with Danger Mouse, their Sumatran Tiger project, and Taco Bell.

TMN: Tell us about Alaska.

Zach: That’s where I’m from and where John and I met, and it was a huge inspiration to be up there. Obviously the natural beauty and isolation is really attractive, but the thing it lacks is direct influence. There’s not a huge art scene up there, not a huge music scene. So when we moved down to Portland, where we lived now, we got flooded with all this amazing underground media. We were going to shows every night for $3, seeing these little bands. It really inspired us to get out there and go for it. We decided to go on tour and we haven’t really stopped.

TMN: Nice, do you go back often and play a show there?

Zach: Yeah, at least once a year. At least. We try to go back twice, but it all kind of depends what the schedule is like. We always go back up for Christmas, so we play a show around then.

Continue reading

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Get To Know: 1DAFUL [TMN Exclusive Interview]

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Production and DJ duo 1DAFUL have just dropped their explosive electro anthem “This Is Life” via Australian dance label VELCRO. The pair – David A and MC TB1 bring a heightened level of passion and energy to their tracks, previously highlighted in their remix of Rae Sremmurd’s “No Flex Zone.” “This Is Life” is progressive and elevated, packed with dynamic synths, grinding bass and impassioned vocals. We spoke to 1DAFUL to hear more about their music making and taking their sound worldwide.

TMN: A big fuss about EDM is that DJs “just push buttons”, but don’t actually do any work on stage. Judging from your live shows, you clearly put on quite a performance full of energy and fun, that I think everyone needs to experience at least once in their lives. Tell us more about what goes on behind the scenes, any rituals beforehand?

First of all, thanks for the love! I think we come from a school of thought that we are “button pushers”, but you need to know how to push those buttons well, and know what they’re going to trigger to make a crowd go wild. We put a lot of time and effort into deciding what the people want to hear – lots of 1DAFUL mashups, and tracks that will make people lose their minds. We always decide our first track about 5 minutes before we go o n and don’t play the same set but pride ourselves on reading a crowd rather than playing a pre-made set. No pre-show rituals but we have some fun things that we always do during a show, that crowds have started picking up on.

TMN: What’s a day in the life of 1DAFUL?

It depends on the weather! We have a great group of friends; we’re really a family unit. It often consists of us sitting in or around a pool, hanging out, working on our laptops or phones, working out, and chilling. Then depending on the day, it often ends with with a gig and an after party. We love going to new cities and meeting new people, and partying with them in their surroundings.

TMN: Name your top 5 acts right now.

Steve Aoki
Carnage
DVBBS
MAKJ
Adventure Club

TMN: What was the concept behind your latest remix of “No Flex Zone”?

Well, we’re absolutely in love with Melbourne Bounce and we love to spin it. We’re also obsessed with “No Flex Zone”, us and our friends always have that “song of the month” that we just love to vibe out to. NFZ is so good, so we had to do it!

TMN: Have you played any US shows? If so, how do you see the difference in crowd as opposed to Montreal?

We have played a few in the US, and to be honest, we all have something in common; A love for EDM and the classics. All those huge festivals are a testament to everyone worldwide coming together and partying in the same crazy way. We’re also super excited to be playing our first festival, Mystik Sanctuary in OKC, September 5-7. That’s really gonna be our inaugural festival/US gig and we can’t wait!

TMN: Lastly, any plugs to include? Now’s the time!

Hahah, I guess we started with the plug for Mystik Sanctuary in the last question, so come there and party with us and Krewella, Bassnectar and more. We’ve got our debut single “This Is Life” out now and lots of originals to follow. Some cool collaborations are in the works and they’re definitely gonna be fun! Also, we’d be silly to not say follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud and our website: 1DAFUL.com. We always give away free music and exclusive stuff to our website subscribers.

Pick up a copy of “This Is Life” here. 

 

 

1DAFUL
This Is Life
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