DJs From Mars is an Italian based electronic duo composed of Max Aqualuce and Luca Ventafunk. They’re known for their widely popular mashups and electro house productions. After producing a few songs under different aliases, the two teamed up and formed DJs From Mars in 2003. Recognized by the famous cardboard boxes worn on their head while performing, the superstar duo has performed all over the world. Although extremely popular for their mashups and electro, their exact sound can’t be pin pointed to one exact genre. Just another reason to get on board with DJs From Mars and their unique sound.
Tell me a little bit about your helmets, what exactly are they? Is your goal to remain anonymous?
“The “boxheads” are our trademark, our second face. Yes, we started using them to remain anonymous, and in the same time to give the people something to look at during the shows: we try to use something different than the usual “hands in the air” dj look. Plus, it gives us the chance to hang around in the clubs without being noticed.”
What originally got you both into producing music?
“We loved music since we were young kids, one of us was a guitar player in a hardcore punk band and a hip-hop beat maker, the other one was a techno/trance dj, since we were like 12/13 years old we were in love with music. We were vinyl hunters too, and we followed every kind of genre: from heavy metal to hip hop, from techno to reggae, and so on….we loved the early 90’s when electronic music was evolving into something new, not only for the club but also for pure listening pleasure.
The Bristol Trip-Hop scene, the Drum’n’Bass tracks, the Hip Hop G-Funk era…Daft Punk and Chemical Brothers…those were the years when we realized electronic music was something more than a 4/4 kick. Getting into producing was the natural evolution of loving it, we started in the 90’s with the first (awful) experiments, and then everything happened very naturally. The first releases, the first labels, failure and success with different projects throughout the years, everything were leading to where we are today!”
How can you compare the scene in Italy to the US?
“We love playing in US because it looks like people have a bigger musical culture here. We can play old songs from Depeche Mode, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deep Purple or The Queen, and everyone sings along to them. In Italy and Europe in general, people in the club is more into “club culture” so they probably prefer a 4/4 loop for hours. The American crowd is more used to listen to actual “songs” in the clubs, probably because of the big influence of Hip Hop, and since we play songs during our sets, we love to play to a crowd that is ready to sing!”
Tell me a little bit about this world tour, will you be debuting new music?
“Yes, sure we’re always producing, for example at the moment we are writing this interview from our hotel in Las Vegas and right after the interview we’ll open our Cubase and go on with some new tracks we’re working on at the moment. Since we mainly play bootlegs and remixes, it’s very important to update and refresh our sets constantly. We need to play the biggest track of the moment, and we need to play our own edit, so we need to create it! Our brand new one is Justin Timberlake’s “Cant’ Stop The Feeling” but we cannot tell you which sample we used for the instrumental yet.”
How would you currently describe your sound?
“We like to call it “Alien Electro” or “Bastard Pop” because it’s the mixture of contaminated pop and rock songs from the past and from today, with the add of our own bass and beats and drops. The good thing is that we don’t have limits, we can use Drake’s voice and a trap instrumental and next one can be a Linkin Park mashup with a Deadmau5 sample and a dubstep drop.
We like to surprise the crowd during our sets and to do so, we need to surprise ourselves while creating the remixes when something is making us go “What the hell did we just do!!???”, then we know it’s the right direction.”
Do you have any future collaborations planned?
“Yes we have an upcoming release on Deorro’s label Pandafunk with an Italian producer, Luca Testa, he’s very young and talented. Then we also have some other tracks under construction but they’re still top secret projects.”
What is your favorite moment as an artists so far?
“We love to play festivals but also clubs are cool, it’s good to see how people reacts and in festivals sometimes it’s impossible. Some of our favorite moments include: opening for Tiesto in Atlantic City, when we entered the DjMag Top100 chart, and when we went to South Africa to shoot a video for a Gillette’s advertising campaign. Giorgio Moroder (one of our favorite artists ever) just followed us on Twitter…totally unexpected!! We’re super happy about this.”
If you could go b2b with any artist, who would it be?
“There are so many artists we love that we cannot even name them all. We’d love to do a collab with Eminem, Daft Punk, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Bjork…but being realistic, we really don’t know what to say. There are so many talented artists out there that we cannot choose just a name.”
What has been your favorite place to perform at? Is there anywhere else you really want to perform?
“We’re so happy because our passion brought us performing basically everywhere in the world, it’s something that makes us so proud and forces us every day to do our best in what we’re doing. We traveled to places that we would never go to if it wasn’t for our job, like Australia, China, Brazil, India, and so much more. Every place we go is a new lesson to learn, a new dimension, a new planet to discover.
So far, our favorite country to perform is Spain because the crowd goes insanely crazy over there. It’s one country where people really want to have fun, no matter the weather, the venue, the crowd, they just jump and scream and rave all the time. Also, we love to play at Bootie, a special mashup party in San Francisco and LA, where every dj can play only mashups, that’s perfect for us! Then we love playing in our own country of course, in Italy, where after some years of working our way up, we’re now recognized as good djs and it’s always a pleasure to make it in your own home.”
Who are you favorite electronic acts at the moment?
“Too many to mentions, let’s try just a few, Zedd, Diplo, Flume, YellowClaw, Bluetech, Chocolate Puma, Curbi, Madeon, and the list goes on and on.”
Anything you want to say to your fans?
“Yeah, hope to see you soon around the globe! Enjoy music and have fun.”