Zeds Dead stands out as one of the main artists who seem to always push music production to new levels while they continue to advance their sound and style. The production duo of Dylan aka DC and Zach aka Hooks never sought out to change electronic music or create a movement, they just wanted to make music they loved. Over the years their dedication to their craft has formed a coalition of like minded fans who support them with the same amount of devotion that they put into their music. By fusing early hip-hop influences with their passion for music production they continue to create music that truly has their unique Zeds Dead flavour.
When did you guys first realize you could team up and start producing music together?
DC: After we met we realized we had similar taste in music and we were both starting to get into production at the same time. Zach was the only one I knew who was into the whole production thing like I was and we realized that we make the same kind of stuff and we’re both huge hip-hop fans so maybe should team up and pool our music together. So thats when we started our first project, Mass Productions.
Hooks: Yeah, when we first started hanging out, Dylan had this garage that people would hang out in and listen to music and stuff. He got me to do graffiti inside on the wall and it was actually one of the first pieces I had painted. I was there, like, every day that week working on it. Thats when we started really hanging out and realized we had the same taste in music.
Zeds Dead really has come a long way from that garage, now you are major headliners at festivals. What’s it like seeing Zeds Dead at the top of the festival lineup?
DC: Its incredible and its something that I had never expected. I thought that making music, being in the music industry, and being a producer, I thought that I would be making music for other artists. I just thought I’d be a studio guy if I had ever really made it in the music business but, we get to be the guys in front of our music and it has definitely been unexpected.
Zach: Its crazy to play these main stages where we’re petty much the only guys that play bass music. A lot of the others artists are playing very big vocal tunes and house music, solely, and we’re playing some dubstep, drum and bass and some hip hop stuff. Its amazing to get that chance to put that many people on to a variety of music. Dropping music for 60,000 people is insane because these are tracks that we’ve made in our houses and when we get to see all these people listening and dancing, and some knowing the words, its a very surreal experience being up there having that many people looking at you.
Where did the name Zeds Dead come from? Was it influenced in anyway from Pulp Fiction?
Zach: We got our name because my name is Zack and his name is Dylan, and it’s more of a reference to our initials. We had a brainstorming session: “Zack, Dylan… Z, D, D, Z… Zed, Dead, Zeds Dead,” and it kind of just rolled off the tongue.
What did you guys do before who you are now? How did you meet each other?
Zach: We knew each other forever. We did a lot of collaborations with rappers; we dropped a couple of raps ourselves. We used to have a band named Mass and we had tons of beats. We did that till about a year and a half ago.
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.
Dylan: I’d remix our remix of Nina Simone’s – Dont Let Me Be Misunderstood. Again and again and again and never be satisfied.
You recruited some awesome talents for the Somewhere Else remix EP… Anyone you couldn’t get on there but really wanted to?
Dylan: Not really. We were just stoked to get all the great producers doing remixes on there that we did.
Do you play any instruments?
Zach: We both play guitar and piano at very basic levels.
Top three things you each love about touring?
Finding cool food spots
Exploring different cities
Top three things we miss while on the road?
Being in the studio
What is the most embarrassing thing thats happened on tour?
Dylan: We had a crazy f*cking show in Montreal. We did an encore thing and we hyped the whole crowd up. As I say, “Anyone want to hear more Zeds Dead? Let’s do this!” I look at Zack and the computers crash. And then I was like “f*ck!” in front of 800 crazy people. Our manager got on the microphone and hyped up the crowd while we restarted everything until we dropped our last track.
Zach: Yeah it’s like being left hanging on a high five or something. “You guys ready?!”…and then nothing.
A female fan comes running up to you, Dylan, after a set and whispers in your ear. If she turned you on, what did she say?
“Let’s eat cheesburgers and listen to hip hop”
And if she turned you off?
“Play some Dubstep.”
A male fan comes running up to you, Zach, after a set and whispers in your ear. What did he say either way?
Why do I get the whispering dude?
Any words of wisdom for aspiring DJ’s and music producers out there looking to make a name for themselves and crush the industry as much as Zeds Dead is?
Utilize the internet.