Notorious trap dons LOUDPVCK are gearing up for an epic journey, hitting the road for the North America Bassrush takeover with world-class buds 12th Planet and Kove. The pair are putting in hard work, prepping their first EP and crafting insane remixes along the way. Bassrush chats with Kenny Beats and Ryan Marks of LOUDPVCK before things really start heating up this summer.
What led to your team-up as LOUDPVCK?
Kenny: Ryan and I had already been best homies for three years before we ever sat down to make a song together. We met in college and shared all the stuff we listened to and produced nonstop. We both had very distinct styles and hardly even made the same genre most times, but really had a mutual respect for each other’s work. By the time Ryan came back to visit me senior year, both of our tastes slowly started to mesh together and we decided to just go for it!
Ryan: We heard records gaining steam that sounded like a mesh of things Kenny and I were doing individually, so we decided to collaborate and see if what came out sounded artistically and commercially viable, and most importantly, authentic.
What would you say your musical roots are, dance music-wise?
Kenny: I grew up playing guitar and drums; half the time I would only listen to rock and jazz—stuff that I could play to—and the other half was what I heard from friends or on the radio. Until I started trying to produce music on a computer, the only dance stuff I was interested [in] would be one-off songs that people put me on too: Junior Senior, Justice or Girl Talk. Once I got involved in production, it made me want to try to listen to everything and opened me up to so many new sub-genres and artists I would have never heard on dance radio. I’m still doing my best now to do my homework on early EDM stuff that I missed. (Laughs)
Ryan: Excluding disco, the first dance music I ever listened to was Discovery by Daft Punk and † by Justice, all that French shit. I was in middle school when those records came out and they sounded so different and amazing to me. It was like ear candy; those were the roots. Then I went to EDC and the sets were unlike anything I’d ever seen before. That was the watershed moment for me, I was transfixed and I’ve never looked back.
We are so excited to have you on board for the North America Bassrush takeover! Do you like to pre-plan what you’re going to play or do you feel out the vibe?
Ryan: We’re really excited as well. Yes, unless it’s a pool party or something we pre-plan everything. We use CDJs with USBs; in other words we perform without the assistance of a laptop. It’s important for us to go through our set each night beforehand and set cue points that we would otherwise be able to do in real time on a laptop. It’s really just like a roadmap so we know when to start and stop songs and when to shift the tempo for maximum effect. We love improvisational DJing as well, but unless you’re incredibly technically proficient and know your tunes backwards and forwards, it’s very hard to perform as seamless of a set on the fly as it is if you plan things ahead of time.
Tell us what it was like recording 12PVCK, the Bassrush Takeover Mix between yourselves and 12th Planet?
Kenny: Jon (12th Planet) has been a homie since literally the first days of LOUDPVCK, and we all live within a block of each other. It honestly just felt like we were chilling. (Laughs) Ryan would go up and do a couple transitions, Jon would make an edit or two, and I’d add some effects or automation. We all have a similar workflow and taste, which made it a lot of fun. Perfect warm up for some back-to-backs on tour!
Are you successful with getting tunes done on the road?
Ryan: We’ve only ever started and finished one song on the road and that was “Wylin,” which we did on our last North American tour with Paper Diamond. We’re really good at forming ideas and sketches on a laptop, but we inevitably have to take those ideas into our studio in Los Angeles with a more powerful computer and sound system to flesh them out. On our upcoming EP, two of the songs are over 150 tracks of audio in Ableton Live; it’s hard to process that on any laptop.
Festival favorites like yourselves have such high energy sets. How do you get yourself psyched up to perform in front of thousands of people if, say, you just woke up from a nap or are jet lagged?
Kenny: Listening to music works for me. Usually some ignorant rap shit will get me in the mood to go buck. As soon as I walk out and see the kids, it’s over!
Ryan: Red Bull and vodka.
Speaking of festivals, you guys just slayed Coachella. Did you get a chance to catch any other acts?
Kenny: I saw so many sick acts but I’d have to say Duke Dumont took it home for me. I shed a single tear in the VIP.
Ryan: Thank you! Yes, I saw Steely Dan and they were amazing.
With the excitement of EDC in the air, do you have any tips for first-time attendees or even veteran Headliners?
Ryan: We love EDC. Best festival in the world, end of story. There’s nothing like it; you don’t need tips, just go in with an open mind and have fun. And don’t bring expensive sunglasses!
Kenny: Don't hit the hotel buffet before the festival shuttle.
Share with Bassrush your dream artists’ rider.
Kenny: One wise old man to make guacamole in one of those big old stone bowls before every show.
Ryan: I would like an unlimited iTunes gift card, please. Seriously though, how sick would that be?
By Amanda Ross