Elektro Exclusive: Interview With LOUDPVCK
When the sun begins to set and the hot-summer air becomes a bit cooler, the PLUR family comes out to play. The neon shirts, kandi, gloves and camelbacks were all out on Wednesday night at the Highline Ballroom for trap duo LOUDPVCK. In midst of the usual and expected smoke clouds and flashing lights, bodies were rolling, dropping, popping and twerking. The “hug the speaker” bass infiltrated the souls of everyone at this sold out show, and to no surprise this duo made everyone follow their lead and “turn up”! The ravers waited for LOUDPVCK while losing all control of their muscles during the opening sets: DJ Theory and Branchez. Walking through the party-animal infested venue was mission impossible, but luckily Elektro steered clear of the animal house and got backstage with the duo also known as Kenny Beats and Ryan Marks. From how they plan a set to who they’d like to blaze one with, LOUDPVCK dished it all.
How does it feel to be performing in NYC again and as the main act at that?!
(K) This is huge. In high school I came to a ton of shows at the Highline with all my friends. It would be this big thing sophomore/junior year. Everyone would get tickets to some jam band or whatever it was, and we would all come here, so to be on the other side of that is insane.
(R) Even for me, I’m not from NYC but I’ve been deejaying for a while all over the place. I’ve played here about a year ago right now, honestly, and it was only 15 people, and now we’re about to sell this show out.
Speaking of NYC, which venue is your favorite here?
(K) I haven’t performed at too many of my favorite venues yet, but this one is definitely up there. I’d say my favorite venue is Webster Hall just because of the crowd, and they have a weekly thing; kids go there weekly.
Do you like performing in Cali or New York better?
(R) I like performing everywhere, I like performing where the kids get crazy, you know? And then, sometimes we go places that you would never expect the kids to have so much energy and be so aware of the music, but they are. I definitely think both New York and LA are two incredible groups to play for.
Where do you think your crowd has been the craziest?
(K) CANADA is crazy, as a whole. We’ve played in Edmonton, we’ve played in Vancouver, Toronto we’ve played in a bunch of places. We’re about to go to to Kelowna and play a festival there. Every show for the most part has gone OFF in Canada. And even the shows that weren’t as sizeable of crowds, the energy those 200-500 kids gave were crazier than some of the bigger shows we’ve played.
How do you put together a live show, what goes into it? Is it planned differently for each night, or do you have to feel the crowd first to know what to do?
(R) We always plan our sets.
(K) It’s kind of guess and check though. We do get to cities and we’re like this is way more of a rap vibe, or this is way more EDM. When we get to like Edmonton, we know the more house-type stuff is going to hit kids harder. When we go to Atlanta, we know rap records might do the trick. We definitely pre-conceive an idea about what we want to do, and then from there we just dial it in together.
(R) Our biggest thing with sets is what gets the kids up.
How do you guys go about making a song? How do you know, when it’s ready to be put out there?
(K) That’s crazy (laughter). Well, we both kind of had our own format for how we made music before we were LOUDPVCK. As we made the first 10-20 songs, I think we both started to get a real knack for each other’s style...Now it’s like we finish each other’s sentences...We’re like two heads on one shoulder.
(R) WE KNOW when it’s done. We always know when it’s done. Our songs have a lot of shit in them. There’s a lot of simplicity in the EDM and Trap sub-genre, not to say that our stuff isn’t dumb simple in a lot of aspects sometimes, but all the extra space we just try to fill with every idea that we can do. We just do the ideas until we don’t have anymore, and then we look at the whole picture and go “maybe that’s a little too much.”
(K) It’s a good problem to have though.
Now, when you guys first met at Berklee were you planning on becoming a duo, did you know LOUDPVCK would come out of it?
(K) Not at all. I don’t think that we even considered any of that, we were both doing our thing. [Ryan] was producing, I was producing and we went to school together. We smoked mad weed; we played all the shit we both made. He would give me mad advice on my beats and I would give him mad advice on his beats, but we were never like let’s sit down and make 10 songs. It kind of happened over time.
You guys incorporate so much in your music from Big KRIT to Disclosure. How do you guys come up with mixes like that?
(K) Dude, it’s like the mixes we want to hear, that’s basically how we think about it. If we both really love it and we know kids won’t get it, we’re not going to force it on them. We try to play records that you might not get in a set, but we still want the kids to hear.
(R) When we approach a mix, we have these songs we want to play and I know kind of the songs we want to play. I always tell people it’s like putting a puzzle together and getting the pieces in the right place. You know all the pieces are going to fit somewhere, it’s just getting it in the right order.
Since you guys are extremely hip-hop influenced, what would you say is your favorite artist and/or song in the game right now?
(K) Right now, I’ve been listening to A LOT of King Louie from Chicago; I’m very into him. We both listen to a lot of Travis Scott, since his project just came out.
(R) I mean, the classics! Like, I LOVE Juicy J always. Some of our favorite rap period, not just right now, is Pharell and Timbaland’s production. Really going back, we listen to “Hell Hath No Fury” by Clipse ALL the time still. Anything that’s just crazy drums, crazy sounds, sounds great and is super hard is what we are into right now.
It seems as if everyone is getting into this trap takeover, but not too many people understand the history of it. How do you guys feel about this new style of music?
(K) It’s weird. Now, we can look back on it retrospectively; we’ve been doing this project for a year. We’ve been making “trap”/”edm-trap” for a year now. I think it has definitely found a niche, you know what I mean? I don’t see it going anywhere too fast. It’s definitely got a place and a fan base where kids want that at the festivals, and they want that at the shows. But, I think a lot of it is really over saturated with a really basic concept of what five or six kids did a year ago that got watered down...Right now I feel there’s less than 10 kids who are really consistently putting out “trap shit” that’s really dope.
(R) I just think making stuff that comes from you and not just listening to something and trying to copy it is important. Every producer is guilty of that at one point or another, you know? You do it subconsciously sometimes; there’s so much of that going on...That’s kind of a bummer, but it also means that it’s entering the mainstream...that says something for the strength of the sound alone because it sounds good in clubs and kids fuck with it. And that’s great, but I definitely think the more you can put things into perspective and get things in a historical context, the more important dance music becomes.
One last question that is actually a fan question: What 5 people would you like to smoke with that you have never smoked with before (dead or alive)?
(K) Bob saget
(R) Larry David. I don’t know if he smokes weed, but Larry, if you’re out there, I want to give you a fat fu**ing dab bro!
(K) Amanda Bynes. She threw a bong out the window, SHE TURNS UP!
(K & R) Tiesto. If you read this bro, let’s blaze!