Q&A: Zeds Dead

Zeds Dead Press Photo 2015

Fresh from uploading their naughty free download co-lab with Megalodon Wit Dem, Zeds Dead take time to answer a few questions and discuss the most important aspects of electronic music; like cat noises, crappy WIFI, super powers and bank robbing.

Currently in the midst of another show-stacked summer, judging by their final answer they’ve got some big sounds up their collective sleeve. Then again, when haven’t Zeds Dead got some pretty big sounds lined up?

Read on to see where DC and Hooks are at and find out why you should never sing Uptown Funk within the vicinity of Hooks. But first, Wit Me…

Hello DC, hello Hooks… Where in the world are you reading these questions and what have we interrupted?

DC: Currently in NYC, on a high floor with a view of Manhattan…  I feel like Batman… you interrupted my brooding.

Hooks: I’m in Chicago right now. We’re playing Spring Awakening festival tomorrow. Usually at this time of day I answer emails so this isn’t really interrupting anything. Actually scratch that, I’m robbing a bank at the moment.

How was your European tour? Let’s have some highlights please…  

Hooks: Nothing really crazy to report on this one. We’ve just been using any spare time we have on the road to work on new music.

DC: Had a night off in Amsterdam; one of my favourite places and good for easing mid-tour tension. Also ate some pretty bomb food in Rome, but other than that, mostly grinding and traveling.

Please list three things that rock about Europe….

Hooks: I love the history there. Everywhere you go has a very detailed history especially in places like Rome, which I went to for my first time on this trip.  As far as electronic music goes, there is so much talent and forward-thinking ideas coming out of Europe. BBC, for instance, really is amazing in that it pushes lots of new sounds and not just the same old pop crap we have across the pond. We need better radio. The coffee in Europe is almost always really on point, too.

DC: I concur.

Now please tell us three things that maybe don’t rock quite as much. Possibly even stuff that sucks…

Hooks: Well it goes without saying I guess, but not being able to speak other languages can suck. I need to learn another language. By far the worst thing is the WIFI, though. It’s like going back in time to 1999 with the internet in hotels.

DC: Yeah it’s tough to get work done while traveling in Europe because of the internet lol. It probably sounds trivial to complain about it when you’re in these epicentres of culture but it’s part of our job. WIFI is the new drugs.

Tell you what sucks? The fact you didn’t come to the UK on this tour… What the dickens was up with that?

Hooks: I was asking the same question!

DC: We gotta get back soon, we love the UK. First place we ever really toured outside of Canada.

What’s your favourite thing about the UK anyway? 

Hooks: Probably the music. So many amazing music scenes and bands come out of the UK.  Also the chocolate is better there than in Canada.

So we’re chatting right now because of Wit Me… Skanky sickness and free to boot. How did the Megalodon hook up come about?

Hooks: We’ve just always loved his tunes and been playing them in our sets for ages so we thought we’d see what we could make together. We wanted to make a heavy head nodding sort of tune and I think we got it.

There’s a really nice loose live-sounding groove about the drums and bassline on the chorus. Were real instruments played during the making of it?

Hooks: That’s cool if it has that vibe. We’re always trying to make our music not sound so ‘electronic’ by sampling breaks and real instruments. In this one there wasn’t any live playing but if you think it sounds like it that’s good.

Do you play any instruments?

Hooks: We both play guitar and piano at very basic levels.

If you could suddenly gain the power to play any instrument really really well, what would it be?

Hooks: Probably guitar because you can just take it with you and play it anywhere and really turn up a campfire haha.

DC: Piano, just because its applications are so far reaching, especially in production. Guitar a very close second.

Actually, if you could suddenly gain any super power, what would it be and why? 

Hooks: Teleportation. Anything to not have to deal with airports.

DC: I gotta agree on that one.

Let’s spare a moment’s thought for Collapse 2.0…. What’s the different between a 2.0 version and a remix of yourselves? 

Hooks: No difference in this case.

DC: Yeah it’s not like we were trying to say this is an improved version of the song. We like them both for different reasons.

The video is pretty captivating… Tell us about the brains behind that?

Hooks: We just thought it would be cool to make a video that was more visually entertaining and ambiguous than a regular story. The beauty of it is that you can interpret it any way you like.

If you could hurl a pot of black on anyone who would it be and why?

Hooks: Anyone singing Uptown Funk. Okay, you’re not going to believe this, but as soon as I wrote that answer, a commercial came on playing Uptown Funk. I kid you not! That was insane.

DC: People that walk in front of you when you’re clearly standing in a line. It’s a thin line between that and absolute chaos and anarchy.

You recruited some awesome talents for the Somewhere Else remix EP… Anyone you couldn’t get on there but really wanted to?

Hooks: Not really. We were just stoked to get all the great producers doing remixes on there that we did

If you could go back in time and remix the shit out of any of your past works, what would it be and why?

Hooks: Because we’ve done the Coffee Break show on Thump I’ve thought about remixing our song Coffee Break a few times. There’s kind of a cult following around that song amongst our fans.

DC: I’d remix our remix of Nina Simone’s – Dont Let Me Be Misunderstood. Again and again and again and never be satisfied.

How much money would we have to raise on kickstarter for a Zeds Dead remix of Darude – Sandstorm?  

Hooks: Too much haha.

Maddest kickstarter I’ve ever seen was for Run The Jewels to remix their album with cat noises… What album, in your opinion, would really benefit from a cat noise fix up?

Hooks: Well we already did our song Ratchet with cat noises. You can hear it on our Soundcloud.

True! I think we’ve pretty much covered everything… Any final shouts on forthcoming releases and activities?

Hooks: You’ll know very soon what we have in the works!