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The Nocturnal Times Exclusive Interview: Two Friends

Mark Mancino

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Two Friends gives us the scoop on their latest releases, including a remix of The Killers “Mr. Brightside”

 

Hailing from Los Angeles, Matt Halper and Eli Sones, better known as Two Friends have experienced a whirlwind of a year. Exploding onto the scene with numerous catchy single releases, the duo has announced the release of their debut EP. Check this space for details on the upcoming EP as soon as they’re revealed.

 

Matt and Eli also left an impression among the EDM community with their popular 2016 single releases on Armada Trice, “Overdose” with Exit Friendzone feat. Natalola, and “Forever” feat. Ktpearl. “Forever,” which is included in rotation on SiriusXM, has reached nearly two million plays on SoundCloud — and a remix EP with variations of the track from Two Can, Vanze, Aylen, and more. Seeing support from some of the biggest names in the game, such as The Chainsmokers, Tiësto, and Don Diablo, among others, Two Friends have only given us a glimpse of what’s to come.

 

The guys recently took a risk with a remix of the popular “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, which proved to be more than successful. Their new interpretation of “Mr. Brightside” kept a vast majority of the original elements in tact; offering a modern-day twist. We sat down with Eli and Matt of Two Friends to discuss their killers of The Killers “Mr. Brightside,” their new EP, 2016 single releases, and where they see themselves five years from now in this Nocturnal Times exclusive interview.

 

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The Nocturnal Times: How and when did you first begin exploring dance music? 

Two Friends: I would say towards the end of high school. I think the Sahara Tent at Coachella was what really did it for us. Some of our friends and relatives had been slowly introducing us to electronic music, but it wasn’t until we were in that tent going crazy while some of the all-time greats were performing that we really had those ‘wow’ moments. And then right before we went off to college is when we finally decide to buy some software and dive into production ourselves.

 

 

The Nocturnal Times: Did your hometown influence your decision to pursue a career in electronic music? 

Two Friends: We both grew up in Los Angeles, and that’s where we are based now, and I think whether consciously or subconsciously, it has. I’ll put it this way- if we weren’t from LA, we’d have moved here by now. There are so many producers and singers and writers based here, and in our own experience at least, it’s been such a collaborative community rather than competitive. On more of the musical side of things, there’s definitely a lot of visual imagery on our upcoming EP that’s inspired by LA and growing up here.

 

 

The Nocturnal Times: Who were some of your earliest inspirations? What do you recall about some of your first DJ gigs?

Two Friends: There are so many inspirations, since we really do draw inspiration from all sorts of genres, not solely electronic music. And there are also certain things about each of the inspirations- sometimes it’s their songwriting, other times their chord progressions, or their melodies, or their sound design etc. Some of the names on that long list include: Galantis, Don Diablo, Audien, Porter Robinson, Death Cab For Cutie, Panic At The Disco, Goo Goo Dolls, Eminem… In terms of our first DJ gigs, oh boy, we cringe just thinking about some of them haha. I remember one time we won a contest and we got put on a lineup at a place in Texas. We showed up and the guy before us was playing to an audience of zero. When we went on after him, our audience was one…. the guy who had just finished. But it just goes to show you what hard work and dedication and a vision can do!

 

 

The Nocturnal Times: You recently released your remix of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” which we’re a big fan of. What made you decide to remix this classic tune? 

Two Friends: That’s one of those songs where every time you hear it, not only do you want to sing along the whole time, but it takes you back to a time in your life or a place or a feeling. We thought it would be fun to bring that song back and put our own twist on it, and based off the reaction so far, it seems like we made a good call. That’s been such a fun one to play out recently.

 

 

The Nocturnal Times: Do you treat your remixes differently than your productions? Is your creative process in the studio any different? 

Two Friends: The biggest difference is the time. Just cuz writing, recording, and editing vocals is such a long and delicate process, and with a remix, you’re working with a vocal already. So that also can affect our creative process a little bit. With original productions, sometimes we’ll start with just a chord progression, and we’ll start writing a vocal topline over it before we really start to produce it out at all. Other times it’ll be the opposite, and we’ll have an almost-full instrumental draft, and wait until then to start writing & recording vocals.

 

 

The Nocturnal Times: What can you share with The Nocturnal Times about your debut EP on Spinnin Records? 

Two Friends: We cannot wait to share this EP with everyone. The songs on the EP span the map, but all go back to Two Friends- our goal has always been that listeners will capture that Two Friends spark, no matter the genre or tempo of a song. We didn’t want to keep holding on to these songs and playing the waiting game, so we thought an EP would be the perfect and special way to share what we’ve been working so long and hard on.

 

 

The Nocturnal Times: There’s still a real buzz around your single “Forever;” how did this track come to be and what can you share with us about your studio sessions? 

Two Friends: That was one that actually started a long time ago— I think it was originally written like 3 years ago. It was totally done in terms of the writing, but we just wanted to wait a couple of years to produce it until we felt like our production skill matched our creativity and our vision. So, last year we produced it. It took us a while to get it out there, but we’re supper happy with how it all came together. ktpearl, the singer, was actually in our grade in high school and she’s awesome.

 

 

The Nocturnal Times: Do you prefer DJing to producing or feel the two go hand-in-hand? 

Two Friends: Just in terms of time, we spend about 98% of our time producing. We’re holed up in our basement every day that we aren’t traveling for shows, working on new music. And one of the many reasons we do that is so that we can put ourselves in a position to DJ at cool venues and events— since DJing is basically the medium through which producers are able to share their music in a live setting, rather than just posting them online. Even though it can sometimes get super stressful, we love both.

 

 

The Nocturnal Times: Who are a few of your dream collaborators? 

Two Friends: Probably some of those people we mentioned in the question about inspirations. Some would obviously be collaborating on the production, others would be vocal features, but any of those would be a dream come true.

 

 

The Nocturnal Times: Where do you see yourselves five years from now?

Two Friends: Hopefully still doing what we love, still holed up in our basement working on new music, but with a much more lengthy catalogue of hit songs and awesome shows on our resumé.

 

 

Keep up with Two Friends by following them on Facebook and Twitter.

Mark is the Founder & CEO of The Nocturnal Times. As an electronic music veteran, Mark has more than a decade of industry experience. The definition of a true music aficionado, Mark’s passion is prevalent through each of the projects he chooses to pursue. He acquired his Masters in Business Administration in Global Leadership and Brand Marketing and has since founded a full-service artist relations & creative agency. 

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