Zed’s Dead are some of the latest artists to ride the gigantic Dubstep wave that’s been crashing across North America and the UK over the last couple years. The genre, sometimes called Bass Music, has found a rabidly active following that extends through many different demographics. A quick scroll through You Tube yields a peak into how this phenomenon leads to unpredictable live shows centered on visceral electronic musical offerings.
Alex Fish caught up with Zed's Dead in the midst of their massive 65 date tour across North America. The Graveyard tour features large events in markets like Las Vegas peppered with smaller dates in cities like Missoula, Montana. There is perhaps no form of electronica at the moment that is experiencing such a wide reaching embrace stateside; and its still growing. Love it or hate it, you’d be foolish to discount the power of this fast emerging musical movement.
How did you guys first start working together? We used to make hip-hop beats under the name Mass Productions and eventually released an instrumental album called Fresh Beets. As our tastes in music started to change we began making more electronic sounding stuff until eventually we decided to launch Zeds Dead around June 2009.
What are your musical backgrounds with regards to formal musical training? We both played a bit of guitar and piano before getting into production but not much at all in the way of formal training.
At what point was it clear that Zed’s Dead was something that you could make a viable career from? Since about last summer when we started touring. We did our first real tour in the UK that summer, I think that inspired us to quit whatever joe jobs we had up until then.
What did you guys do before becoming a successful electronic act? We both were in university for a while and working joe jobs like telemarketing and bagging groceries.
Where are you finding the most love for Zed’s Dead right now in the world? With so many stops on your American Tour it seems the states are loving your sound. Feeling the love everywhere. North America in particularly loving the sound right now. Its crazy how many places we go in the states and people actually show up.
It seems dubstep is working symbiotically with hip hop in a way similar to the way drum and bass did a while back, what do you think has made this partnership more widely accepted and commercially viable? A lot of hip hop heads can identify with dubstep because the beat is slow whereas drum and bass is much faster than they're are used to. Its got that head nodding rhythm, also there’s a rebellious aggressive aspect to it which appeals to people from all across the musical spectrum. I think the internet has a lot to do with it, the speed at which a bedroom producer can blow up by using youtube, facebook, soundcloud ect. is crazy. There's all these kids who want to hear alternative stuff and now their getting it thrown at them so quickly and at such high rates that its almost not alternative anymore.
How did you guys link up with Omar Linx, he’s featured in a bunch of your tracks? When I first heard Omar I was instantly intrigued, we used to work with tons of local rappers in Toronto but a lot weren't really serious about it. Omar takes it seriously and he’s consistently topping himself, which inspires me to do bigger and better things with him. I’m really excited about the new stuff were working on.
Do you have any exciting collaborations on the horizon? There's a lot of things in the works but I don't really like to talk about projects before they're in the final stages. That being said we have been working on an EP with Omar Linx that we’re really excited about.
Coffeebreak has had over 112,000 downloads, it’s cool track and also seems a bit chilled out compared to some of your other output, what do you think has led to its popularity? Maybe people are getting a bit tired of all the filth... or at least needed a coffee break from it.
Since you’ve gained so much success so fast, and are travelling so much, have you honed the skill of making it through airports and train stations with ease? If there was an Olympic event for following procedures I think we would place.
Have you “discovered” any notable talents from the local shows you’ve played? Gotta shout out The Living Experience, Sub Antix, Killagrahm, Rob Goblin, to name a few.
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