Hailing from Toronto, bass aficionados Zack (a.k.a. Hooks) and Dylan (DC), known better together as Zeds Dead have made a name for themselves over the past few years. They linked up back in 2005 and in the summer of 2007, they released a hip hop album entitled Fresh Beetz. Then 2009 rolls around and they duo launches Zeds Dead. Soon after they began playing out at weekly underground parties that they called BassMentality. What started as a production duo making hip hop beats soon spiraled into a future making dubstep, drum and bass electro, and many other genres in between. They’ve played decks across the world, unleashed some serious remixes and originals, and just the other week dropped their follow up EP Hot Sauce on the super fresh Mad Decent label. Not the type to be defined by any one sound or style, this production duo are a force to be reckoned with. Check out our Earmilk interview.
EARMILK: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to do this for the Earmilk kids. Let’s start off with the new Hot Sauce EP. Why did you decide on an all-instrumental EP this time around?
Zeds Dead: It just seemed right. I don’t know… that’s such a tough question to answer.
EM: What is your work process like? Where do you find inspiration?
ZD: There’s no formula really. I usually just mess around until I stumble upon something I like. Sometimes an idea just pops into my head and I rush to jot it down very simply and then elaborate on it later. I listen to a lot of music so it naturally influences my music in one way or another.
EM: When and why did you two decide to link up?
ZD: We linked up in 2005 I think. We were always sending beats to each other and critiquing them. We had very similar taste in music so it just seemed right to join forces.
EM: Why do you work well together and why did this collaboration work better than pursuing solo projects?
ZD: It’s good to have somebody else to keep things in check. If two people agree a song is good it’s more likely it is than if only one. It also creates an interesting variety of music coming out of Zeds Dead because sometimes our heads are in different places.
EM: Hooks, I know you did graffiti in the garage of DC’s house the first time you met, what did you end up making?
ZD: I used to write “REAL” so I did a wildstyle piece that said that. It was one of my first real commissioned pieces. We lost a lot brain cells in that garage during the creation of that one.
EM: In your own words, how would you describe your sound?
ZD: It balances on the line that separates chill listening music and dancefloor bangers.
EM: What kind of music influenced you growing up? I can imagine it’s all over the place. Any particular songs or albums on repeat?
ZD: Very all over the place. I was really into the Beatles as a kid. Also gotta shout out the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack and the Dangerous Minds soundtrack (which featured “Gangsta’s Paradise”), both were tapes I listened to all the time when I was like 7 or 8.
EM: Linking up with Omar Linx (as well as Mavado) was a pretty big move for the collaboration of urban music and electronic music, where do you think the future of fusing these two concepts lies?
ZD: It’s already there. The musics have fused, although I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone rap well over a 4-4 house beat. It’s always cheesy but it’s there.
EM: Can we expect another collaboration project with Omar Linx?
LH: Most definitely.
EM: Can you tell us if there any upcoming collaboration projects in the works for 2013?
ZD: Lots of people. We’re working on a tune right now with Bassnectar to name one.
EM: Looking back on 2012, what was your best memory? Anything you were particularly thankful for?
ZD: Day of the Dead in LA was incredibly epic. We rocked out with 30,000 people!
EM: Best and worst part about touring?
ZD: Best part is getting to travel and see so many places and meet people that dig your music all over the world. Worst part is being tired all the time. And airports, the daily waiting in lines and so-forth.
EM: Any life mottos?
ZD: No not really. Just don’t be a jerk.
EM: When’s the last time you laughed really hard?
ZD: Just a few minutes ago, but it was to a really inside joke that would be just impossible to explain.
EM: If you weren’t making music what could we find you doing?
ZD: Probably struggling to be a graphic designer while working at a Best Buy or something.
EM: Biggest vice?
ZD: Eating really unhealthy all the time.
EM: Any musical guilty pleasures?
ZD: “Call Me Maybe”.
EM: Best piece of advice ever received?
ZD: Be yourself.
EM: Celebrity crush?
ZD: Sophia Vergara.
EM: One item you can’t live without?
EM: Any New Years resolutions?
ZD: Nah, didn’t make any.
EM: Lastly, any parting words for our readers?
ZD: Ummm, thanks for reading! You’re all awesome. :)