As most of you may know by now, Toronto's own production duo Zeds Dead (comprised of DC and Hooks) recently announced the Altered States tour (on Tuesday) that they are headlining. We found out that Paper Diamond, Green Lantern, and Branchez will be playing alongside the Canadian heavy hitters, stressing the element of variation between sets that both DC and Hooks value so heavily. The two are known for remixing artists such as Marina and the Diamonds, T.E.E.D, The Prodigy, and Bon Iver. Zeds Dead challenge themselves with genres from all over the map.
"By Your Side" is their newest single, released for free download this Wednesday. It's a killer track (yet an oldie, as I soon found out), emphasizing their everlasting goal to depict emotion through bass-heavy growls and minimal vocal samples. We love them for it. Signed with Mad Decent, Zeds Dead continue to broaden their fan base, extending to interface on a transnational level. I was lucky enough to chat with DC and Hooks about their newest single and what us concert-goers should expect in attendance of the massive Altered States 2013 tour. From what I can tell, it's going to be a wild, grimey ride. Buckle up, Zeds Heads.
EARMILK: We heard about the Altered States tour announcement and how you plan to "alter our state of consciousness." How do you plan on doing this?
Hooks: The idea is that the music changes throughout the night. All the people we chose have different styles from us, and each other. We’re trying to get really cool visuals to entertain those senses as well. The key is variety, to constantly change the audience’s mood.
EM: "By Your Side" seems to tip its hat to some of your older tracks, such as "White Satin". How did you approach such a track?
DC: You're totally right about that, actually. Many people don't know this but the track is actually super old.
Hooks: We made the majority of it about three years ago. It was a track we always loved, but it quickly became a white whale. There was an aspect of it that just didn’t seem to flow with both of us. Recently we just put our minds to finishing it, and here it is.
EM: How is it that the classic Zeds Dead sound that we all know and love always seems to depict a journey?
Hooks: We take people for a ride in our sets. We kind of go all over the map with genres that we use, which facilitates dips and climaxes. From one song to the next, your mood can really change with the alterations in key. We want to alter your reality, and we hope our music has the power to do that.
DC: By doing all of that in our sets, we can mess with your perception.
Hooks: We’re also playing a lot of shows in the states…. (laughs). See what I did there?
EM: What advice might you give to anyone and everyone that shows up at one of your tour dates?
DC: Don’t wear too many layers. Bring a lot of water.
Hooks: Think of it like a workout, I guess. There’s time to cool off and there’s time to go hard.
EM: How can we differentiate between the Living Dead tour and the Altered States tour?
Hooks: It’s just us this time, with the Living Dead tour we had Omar Linx come along with us on the road. That was more about performing songs live.
DC: The Living Dead Tour was more of a hip-hop/dubstep oriented show. This time around, it's just a straight up DJ set from Hooks and I, plus all the different support. We’re switching it up. We think it’s important to do so.
EM: And with these different supporting acts (Paper Diamond, Green Lantern, and Branchez), why did you end up choosing these three?
Hooks: We played with them all before and we really just dig the way that the night goes in terms of energy and the styles of music that get played. Like I was saying, it’s all about variety. If all four acts are similar, each set gets tired really quickly. Each person doesn’t get to shine on their own.
EM: What does Zeds Dead like to achieve not only in your live sets, but in your tracks themselves?
DC: There’s a lot of hip-hop influence on our sound, like you can probably hear in the drums. Through this inspiration, we try to create head-nodding rhythms.
HOOKS: We play shit we like. I don’t know. The emotion comes out when you’re making art, and this is our artform. We strive to create a nostalgic feeling, so our music attempts to bring you back to your childhood or someplace that you might not have grown up in.
DC: There’s a lot that goes into the Zeds Dead sound.