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- Posted on Feb 23rd 2010 8:00PM by Patrick Shea
This March, Nadastrom brings their deep and infectious tracks to the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Dave and Matt sat down with Spinner to talk about their current dance and punk recordings, their love for J Dilla and Jameson, the 'Governator's' smoking habits, and what it means to be Yeti.
First of all, I just saw your video for 'Save Us.' That's a lot of muscle.
Dave: You know what, it was actually a fan video. We were in Barcelona, we had some days off, and we were just hanging out working in the studio. The guy actually sent it to us on Twitter--this guy Ben Solomon from Illinois. He did it as a project for his school. We were in Barcelona, just wasted watching ninja movies, and his movie came on and our minds just exploded. It was just hilarious. Nothing gels so well as Arnold [Schwarzenegger] smoking a joint right in the middle of our breakdown.
How did you guys meet?
Matt: Through a friend of ours that we've both known for years now. We sorta chatted and traded music and mixes. Then Dave had an opportunity to throw a party in DC on Wednesdays. It was pretty short lived, but around that time we traded ideas for music, and our first official release came out around that time.
Describe your sound.
Dave: Man, we're club kids at heart, and we love making dance records. But our background is all over the place. Matt's produced house and techno. I was coming up in the rave, punk, hardcore scene for years. With our sound, it's club music with the energy and aggressiveness of Baltimore club music and punk. As far as the quality of our tracks, that's what we pull for the drum and bass, the techno music. It's gotta have that funky groove for people to get down to--some of that sleaze to keep people sweating.
Are you in the studio right now?
Dave: We just finished a punk/hardcore mixtape with DJ Stereofaith. It's a hardcore/punk mix. We're calling it 'Salad Days.' It's a collaborative effort--it'll be released by Commonwealth, this store that's supported by the Neptunes. We're gonna put it on blast at SXSW.
You've remixed everyone from Kanye West to Shiny Toy Guns to Tittsworth. What song do you dream about remixing?
Matt: We definitely have one that we just discussed this weekend, it's actually a very obscure Fugazi record that I'm about to get my hands on. There's also some vocalists--I kinda want to get my hands on Feist's vocals. Such great stuff.
For those of us who can't guess, how did you come with your band name?
Dave: Man. It was definitely not the first thing that we were gonna do. You know, obviously it's a partnership and wanting to reflect both our names as individual producers and artists. By the way, Nada is not my last name, it's a nickname I got from this punk band I was in called De Nada. The sad part is, a lot of people will kind of miss that. But the sadder part is when people call us 'Nada Storm.' And sometimes it's our friends.
What's your biggest vice?
Matt: Oh, yeah. Coffee and Jameson. Sometimes together. It used to be gin, but we're trying to lay off that. We try to balance.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Matt: I'm actually not too mad at a couple Dashboard Confessional songs. Whew. There it is.
Dave: Ugh. That was a good one, Matt. I mean, I was gonna say Coldplay, but you kinda took the cake on that s--- [laughs].
What's the craziest thing you've ever seen in a club?
Dave: Brawls are always the craziest, most impressive things that have happened. We played Laredo, Texas on New Year's, and halfway through the set a guy took a champagne bottle to the head. We look up and half the club is fighting, and half the club is still dancing. And we're like, "Do we keep playing? Yeah, we keep playing." And then the owners go, "Stop the music!" So people are fighting, and we're playing perverted vocals underneath to try and lighten the mood.
What are your musical influences?
Dave: One person we both like is J Dilla. We both were really into him and we didn't know it. At the very end of a set one night I dropped one of his songs and Matt just started screaming.
Matt: The idea of just kinda flipping things in an unconventional way is just how we always love to approach records. And it's just getting weirder and weirder [laughs].
Dave, you were a resident DJ at the legendary party Taxlo. Where would you want to be a resident now?
Dave: It's a no-brainer. My place is just about to be opened in DC--the U Street Music Hall. Having a venue like that in your backyard, to me it's--I could play there every f---ing night if I was given the chance. No frills, no bulls---, just all about the music and all about the people getting down. At the end of spring, beginning of summer, we're gonna have a residency there on a certain night.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Dave: Oh man, this is the same as what's gonna kill us I guess. Austin is pretty rowdy, man.
Matt: This is my second year down there; I'm still getting adapted to it. [SXSW] is so rock and roll, which is what I really love about it. It has a little more of that edge to it. I need a coolie for my beer can. Gotta keep it cold, man. I mean, last year we literally lost our shirts at SXSW, so we're probably gonna come correct with some Nadastrom shirts.
Dave: Bibs for the barbecue. Plenty of barbecue. Lots of napkins.
Matt: Ah, no napkins.
You describe Nadastrom as 'Yeti.' How can I be Yeti?
Matt: You gotta see Yeti to know Yeti [laughs]. Yeah.
Dave: That's the whole mystery behind it, you know? Does Yeti really exist? Once you witness it, it may change your life, and you'll have a better understanding of what's going on. You gotta see it to believe it.
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