1) You two were best friends in high school; what inspired you guys to begin producing music together?
We actually were both on the track and field team during our senior year of high school, and one day during warm-ups, we suddenly came up with the idea that we should make music together. We knew we both had experience making music and had different strengths in different areas, so we thought we'd be a good team. A lot of what inspired us comes from going out and seeing bands or DJs performing live and sharing what they've created with everyone. That's basically our ultimate goal-- to be able to make music that we can show people and that people will be excited to hear.
2) Though you attend different universities, how do you manage to keep making music despite the physical distance?
It's definitely tough, but we try to make it work as best we can. Over the breaks and during summer, we try to work together in person as much as possible because that's obviously the easiest and most efficient way to work. During school, even though we're in completely different parts of the country, we are still in constant contact every single day through texts and e-mails and video chats where we screen-share so we can work together. We send drafts back and forth all the time, so we always know exactly what's going on and what we need to do.
3) How can you tell if two songs will mesh together? Is it just a gut feeling, or is there a process behind it? (i.e. “Again and Again” and “All-Star” or “Stacy’s Mom” and “Mode”)
For making mash-ups and bootlegs, it's a bit of both: it definitely involves a gut feeling, but there is a process behind it. Whenever we come across a song where we think, "Hmm, the instrumental version of this song would sound cool with different vocals…" (or vice versa), we look at what the key and the tempo of that song are and try to match it up with something that it is compatible. The goal for any mash-up or bootleg is to use familiar pieces of music in new and creative ways, so that's always the underlying motivation when we're trying to combine songs. It's the same thing for a bunch of the beats and remixes that we've produced, where we try to use creative samples in interesting ways-- we've used everything from Death Cab for Cutie to Coldplay to Ellie Goulding.
4) Are there any special tracks/projects you’re working on that you’d like to speak about?
We are actually really excited to share this preview with you and all of the KnackForTracks readers. All of the tracks that we've released so far as The Two Friends have either been hip-hop songs with beats produced by us, mashups/bootlegs, or chillstep remixes. But now we want to show you all a new side to us that's completely different than anything we've released before. It's been really fun creating these original compositions and diving into this new style, especially having the chance to work with extremely talented singers for the vocal versions of these songs. We have a bunch of similar projects in the works, so expect to hear a lot of new music in the near future. We hope you enjoy!
5) You’ve produced about a dozen tracks so far, which one has been your favorite thus far?
Our favorites so far are probably "Hangover" by Trey Palms, a track we produced, mixed, and mastered a while ago, and our remix of "Best of Me" by Carousel, especially the remastered version we literally just finished (you can listen to it here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX6YG2hhjxs). We picked "Hangover" because it really just has an extremely mellow, laid-back feel, and Trey Palms did a great job rapping and singing about something relatable to many fellow college students. He puts a cool spin on it though, turning a hangover into an opportunity to just sit outside and relax. And we picked "Best of Me" probably because we got some really cool synth sounds that really melt together. It has an eerie euphoria to it that many listeners really appreciated. It's definitely not your typical dubstep track, but it isn't a normal chillstep track either. It's pretty unique and definitely something we will be playing in sets in the future.
6) Where do you see yourselves 5 years from now, with regards to your music and life in general?
The great thing about this is that we're incredibly close friends, and in five years we will still be incredibly close friends. So even if we don't ever "make it big," we know that we'll always keep making music because it's what we're passionate about and we always have fun when we work together. Our hopes are that we eventually do a lot of live performances, and we're actually in the process of planning a few small things for this summer.
7) What would be your advice to other high school kids with a knack for producing who are looking to progress to the next level with their music?
We know everyone always says this, but that's because it's true, and it's that practice makes perfect. We're not saying that we're even close to perfect, but in order to improve and see clear progress, you just gotta keep diving into it and becoming completely familiar with whatever software you're using, playing around with new techniques and styles, mimicking certain aspects from other songs, and just constantly, constantly learning. As nice as it would be if everything happened smoothly and quickly, the reality is that it's a pretty slow and often frustrating process when you're a producer and want to get your music out there and gain fans. Just be as patient, optimistic, and actively involved as possible.