Rising from the dynamic Croatian House scene, production and DJ Duo PEZNT are a breath of fresh air to the dance music community – be its Defected Records, Strictly Rhythm or Dirtybird, the list of respected labels they have worked with is growing by the month. PEZNT’s music and their sets have lit up dance floors from the US to Asia. With wide ranging support from Claude Von Stroke; Groove Armada; Roger Sanchez; Danny Howard; Josh Butler; Todd Terry; De La Swing and Sam Divine, PEZNT have momentum heading into 2019. If you like your House with a bit of fun, your Tech with a smile, listen here for a taste of PEZNT.
How did your music career get started in earnest?
Tom: I started working on a local radio at age 14 but before that, I was totally obsessed with electronic music, DJing and trying to get myself on a radio station. My first gig I played was primary school during break when I was 11 years old. First record I played was ACDC – Back in Black but at 45rpm so I guess you can imagine how it all began.
Mark: As a kid, I was influenced by my older brother who was at the time producing drum & bass and all day long I would have listened to him making beats. It did not take me long to get a pair of turntables, my grandma bought the for me :). I had my first serious gig at 15 and with production, I started not so long ago, at age 24-25.
Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?
We are from Croatia, Zagreb and basically all our influences are coming from US/UK/German funk, disco, electronic (house, techno) music.
How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?
Never! Even when it was super hard, music was something that kept us going.
What was one piece of equipment that helped define your sound early on?
Mac, Minimoog, Roland Juno and funky bass guitar
When you were getting started, which artists did you try to emulate (both musically and careerwise)?
Tom: I love too many artists in a different genre from jazz, funk to electronic music, but Laurent Garnier is one of my role models. Also, I was huge fan of The Prodigy as kid.
Mark: I was and still am a huge fan of Daft Punk and Depeche Mode. As a DJ and producer then Deep Dish, I was a huge fan of that sound back in the days
When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on track?
We meet in a studio and immediately all issues are gone.
Where and when are you at your most content/happiest?
Tom: Huge BBQ fan, and I love my smoker I imported from USA so preparing food makes me super happy, same as eating and just like making and performing music. But the happiest place is definitely on the stage where we are surrounded with people that love our music.
Mark: On the stag the first time we drop our new track and crowd gets wild.
Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?
Tom: I’m diagnosed as huge collector of horror/scifi memorabilia’s (John Carpenter, Evil Dead, Dario Argento etc). Also, I love buying tons of viny that I would probably never play ha-ha.
Mark: I love basketball, I used to play and I still enjoy and play streetball from time to time. I am also huge L.A. fan (not new one Lebron era) so I watch NBA regularly, which can be a pain in the ass in Europe due to differences in time zones
Being masters of your craft, what are some of the biggest mistakes you see up and coming producers/DJ’s make? Any tips for beginners?
Expecting that everything will happen overnight. We spent 25 years in the game and now we finally see a breakthrough coming. Our advice is to follow your heart and never ever give up. Hard, but also smart work always pays off. Learn how to deal with constructive criticism without being offended and find the way how to use it to be better in making music. When we started there were basically only printed manuals. Now everything is online. Embrace that and don’t forget to enjoy.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
We start with the groove and than we build the main part of the of track. After we are happy with it (or we don’t get bored after listening for 5 hours to the same loop) we do the rest. The day after the track is finished, we check the track with fresh ears and if we still feel it, we work on fixing things (if there is anything to fix), arrangement and a final mixdown. Later we test everything in the club and based on crowd reaction we decide if we are sending this music to labels or throwing it in the trash bin.
What 3 songs do each of you currently have on heavy rotation?
1. Shiba San – Moskito
2. 2 Players – IF You Really Want Someone
3. PEZNT ft Born I Music – Breakfast (Jesse Perez Mix)