Zeds Dead, the Toronto-based electronic dance music producing and DJ duo of Zack Rapp-Rovan (a.k.a. Hooks) and Dylan Mamid (DC), have had a busy summer. They dropped their EP "The Living Dead" in July (which we were proud to premiere here on RedBullUSA.com) and have since played Lollapalooza in Chicago and headlined the Mad Decent Block Party tour.
Friday, they'll be performing in New York City at the Electric Zoo after party with 12th Planet before jetting off to Europe. We caught up with the rising stars at the Los Angeles stop for the Mad Decent Block Party, where we chopped it up before their set.
So you guys are headlining here. Saw you at Lollapallooza and you guys crushed it.
Hooks: Thanks. Yeah, it’s crazy to me.
Hooks: We literally went from no one caring a couple of years ago to these huge crowds. It’s a whole lifestyle change.
Your touring schedule takes you around the world, yet you have no label, no albums and have only been releasing music officially since 2009, mostly for free. How did you end up creating such a demand?
DC: It’s the model for today. Blogs, YouTube and shit. If you hit it at the right time and you got the right sound, the machine works itself.
Hooks: I don’t think anyone’s going to buy your music in the beginning. It’s a big deal for Radiohead to give away their music for free, but for us we just wanted to get it out there.
Well, now that you've spoiled your fans with so much free music, when you do release your first album, do you think you’ll have a problem convincing them to buy it?
Hooks: We say get it however you can. If you can support do, if you can’t I don’t want to stop you from listening to it.
DC: Pirate it, buy it, whatever.
Hooks: [Laughs] We prefer that you buy it, just for the record.
DC: I’m sorry, buy it. If things are really hard, pirate it. None of you rich kids better be pirating my shit. I will be checking Instagram.
Y'all are known for an eclectic live set that mixes moombahton, hip-hop, reggae and rock elements but definitely with a dubstep base. So I ask you, as far as cultural relevance, is dubstep disco or hip hop?
DC: Hmm. Hip-hop, but certain brands of it are disco. Nothing's done, like everything it will come in waves.
Hooks: In the past year, I have seen dubstep’s influence everywhere: in commercials, on TV shows... It's a lot more mainstream now, it’s a word that everybody knows. But at the same time a lot of the stuff isn’t actually dubstep; people call it that because it has a crazy noise in it. People just want to put a label on music because it’s easier to reference that way.
DC: Like there’s all sorts of electro-house that just has hard noises in it, and so many people are like, “That’s a dubstep track,” and it’s not. There’s all this back and forth on the Internet about what’s real dubstep. In the end, call it whatever you want, it’s all just music.
Speaking of electro-house, I was at Lollapalooza and on the program I saw y'all but I also saw Zedd, who does mainly electro-house, and honestly I got a bit confused. Do you know Zedd and do you hate on him for having such a similar name?
DC: We know Zedd, and no we don’t hate him. He’s a solid dude.
Hooks: Zedd’s our homey.
"We are really digging the Adam F, Redman stuff -- that track "Shut The Lights Off." He can just flow on anything."
Damn guys, I was trying to start an Internet beef that would have benefited us all, work with me damn it! As genres, hip-hop and dubstep mesh really well, [like] Rusko just released that collab he did with Cypress Hill. As far as hip-hop artists, who do you feel would flow the best on your tracks?
DC: Actually, a lot of the stuff we have been working on lately that no one’s heard, it’s a lot more on the hip-hop tip.
Hooks: We are really digging the Adam F, Redman stuff -- that track "Shut The Lights Off." He can just flow on anything.
DC: Redman, Busta Rhymes, would fucking kill any flow, any tempo. Obviously would love to do a track with either of those two.
- Premiere! 'The Living Dead' by Zeds Dead
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