We took some time to sit down with Joe Burchard and Matthew Reyer of Black/Tuesday to discuss their place in the music industry as we close in on being less than two weeks away from the 2016 Cloak & Dagger Music Festival on October 15th here in Denver, Colorado. We had a very interesting conversation with the boys and their ability to pull off the triple threat.
Now, it’s 2016 and we’re not Beliebers, so I’m not talking about their ability to sing, dance, and act, though I can confirm that they’re both wonderful dancers. No, we’re talking about the ability to DJ/produce, run a successful clothing brand by the same name, and just recently kick off an all-vinyl record label with international distribution. It was difficult to get both of the boys together as Joe currently resides in Texas and Matthew has a very full schedule of his own here in Denver. Suffice it to say, these are two of the hardest working people in the industry right now. Joe will be making his way back to Denver to join his partner for what will certainly be an explosive set of techno to help kick off a stacked lineup of artists including Justin Martin, Audion, MK, Agents of Time, Golf Clap, Honey Dijon and more.
Colorado Culture: Let’s start at the beginning. Was it the clothing line, the DJ duo, or just kind of the all encompassing idea (of Black/Tuesday) with the record label and everything as well?
Joe Burchard: So, for about a year leading up to the music side of things, Reyer was running the clothing line and he was trying to figure things out and making some mistakes and learning from them. Things like getting the wrong fabrics and then sourcing the right ones later, so he was kind of feeling it out and just getting it off the ground. So Brennen (Bryarly/Founder of TheHundred) booked Reyer for a show. At this point, I didn’t even know Reyer very well at all. I’d see him out at parties, but we weren’t even friends really. So he booked Reyer for a show and he was having some sort of crisis that day, so Brennen hit me up and asked if I wanted to play and I was like “damn right! Yeah, that sounds good.” So I was talking with Reyer and I was like “you should just go back to back with me. You might as well just do the show. There’s no reason not to.” So he agreed to play it with me. It was for Doorly (https://www.facebook.com/doorlydj) and we played for a few hours - it was a pretty long set. I just remember Doorly coming up after and saying “man, you guys really killed it! That was awesome! How long have you guys been DJing together?” and we were like “Man, like a few hours or so”
CC & JB: (laughing)
JB: So, after that, I think it was maybe a couple weeks later and Brennen was looking for artists for (the first) Cloak & Dagger and he reached out to both of us and said “do you guys want to play Cloak & Dagger?” and we both agreed to it. Brennen was on a super strict timeline for getting the promo and marketing materials together with all the artwork for the festival. So, he asked us what our name was and I was busy throughout the day so I didn’t see the message. It got to the point where Reyer was just like “Put down Black/Tuesday and we’ll just go under that name.” So it kind of all came together serendipitously. So I figured, if Reyer’s killing it with the fashion side of things, I have to provide some value.
CC & JB: (laughing)
JB: So I was like, yea we should really start up a label and Reyer was on board and we started finding some cool artists, so we kind of just ran with that idea and that’s kind of where we’re at now.
CC: Reyer, tell us about the fashion line.
Matthew Reyer: Black Tuesday is essentially an elevated basics brand focused on minimal aesthetic, super comfortable fabrics and premium fits. Having our own production allows us to create unique collaborations with artists that align with the brand while keeping the product super comfortable and aligned with our core values. (www.blacktuesday.us)
CC: So, I know you guys have a mix series on Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/blacktuesdayus). Talk to me about that.
JB: So about five or six months ago we kinda slowed down on that. We were really going hard into it for a while, but Soundcloud started getting super strict with their mixes and their licensing rights and stuff so we kinda put the brakes on that to see what the landscape was looking like going forward. We didn’t want to put a bunch of time and effort into a platform that either dies out or kicks us off so we have to start over again, but we’re gonna start that back up in a month or so.
CC: So, are you guys still moving forward with the record label?
JB: Yes, we’re pushing forward with it. We have a handful of releases coming out but we don’t have set release dates yet. We’re currently waiting to hear back from the pressing plant for firm ship dates. They’re a little backed up, so we’re about seven weeks out. It should be out right in time for Christmas. We also have a cool P&D deal with Prime Direct Distribution out of the UK, so we’re really stoked about that. We have four releases lined up right now so we’re gonna do a release every two or three months.
CC: Do you guys have any Black/Tuesday stuff coming out?
JB: So we just wrapped up 5 or 6 releases that we’ve been working on and what not. We’re super critical of ourselves and the sound we’re trying to curate so we’re trying to figure out the proper labels to approach. You should see good things coming out of the BT camp in 2017. We’re also working on a handful of collaborative tracks with our good friend Ross Kiser from Need & Necessity. So there’s a couple different projects in the works that we’re stoked about.
JB: I also had probably five or six tracks that we’re basically done that just needed a little bit of tweaking but I lost all the project files when my computer got stolen. So I’m kind of disenchanted by those because they’re not perfect and there’s nothing I can do to fix them, but we’re working on it, we’ll have another couple releases out by next year for sure.
CC: So you’re flying back from Texas for Cloak & Dagger, are you getting any shows down there in Texas?
JB: So I hooked up with a really cool crew down here called Movement Collective, and they put on this party series called Gruv. They just had their last one for a couple months last weekend that I went to. All the guys were super on board with us. All three guys who run that are A&R for some pretty cool Berlin based labels so we’re probably gonna get some sets down here within the next few months.
CC: That’s awesome. Would Reyer fly down there and play with you?
JB: Yeah I think so. He better.
CC: Cloak & Dagger is only one day this year, yeah?
JB: Yes, and I think it’s the best lineup they’ve had so far. It’s much more refined and focused. Last year there were a lot of trap artists, and bass house, and it was kind of all over the map. This year I’m very stoked that it’s very techno and house oriented for the most part.
CC: They cut out Bar Standard as well so it’s just Vinyl and City Hall so there will be a lot less running around and crossing the street this year.
JB: Yeah I think that’s gonna add to the communal vibe this year which will help for packing out sets.
CC: Is there anything else you’d like to add? Influences for you guys?
JB: So I think the sound that we’re pushing for, and the sound of our label is the current minimal (techno) style in Romania. I really think that’s the next big thing when it comes to music and it’s a sound we are very passionate about. I mean, if you look at Europe, the Romanian guys like A:RPIA:R (Raresh, Petre, Inspirescu, Rhadoo), Christi Cons & Vlad Caia (SIT), Ricardo Villalobos, Premiesku (Livio & Roby & George G), Barac, Melodie, Nu Zau, etc. They’re really blowing up right now and they’re becoming kind of the new kind of Hot Creations type sound over there. I think a lot of the Hot Creations kinda stuff has gotten kinda saturated and there’s a lot of people trying to do the same thing and I think this is a really nice change of pace. So, how I got into that sound was two New Years’ ago, I was out in New York and I was looking at all the different parties and it was like Damian Lazarus playing one and Maceo Plex was playing one and stuff like that and I reached out to my buddy that had been living in Bushwick, New York and I was like “which one should I get tickets for?” He said “a:rpia:r for sure” which is put on by the Resolute boys and Black Market. I was like “a:rpia:r? What the fuck is that? I don’t wanna see some random dudes.”
CC & JB: (laughing)
JB: But he said “no, trust me, you’ll love it”. So I went there and as far as music goes, it was the best party I’ve ever been to. They ended up playing for like eighteen hours straight and then took a five or six hour break, then played for ten more hours.
Colorado Culture: So it was a group of people just going back to back?
JB: Yeah, so a:rpia:r is three dudes. They’re like the godfathers of that sound. Well, I guess (Ricardo) Villalobos is, but Raresh is Villalobos’ apprentice. So they’ve been really pushing the sound and playing together for like twenty years, but they’ve just started to get recognition internationally probably in the last five to ten years. The Resolute guys in New York have been really pushing this sound and I think it’s kind of opening up the U.S. market to that sound. There’s been a lot of other party groups that have gotten together within the last few years like Un_Mute/Osmosis Audio (Miami), SPORTS (Miami), P.U.N.C.H.I.S. (Denver), Beyond. (Denver), Parang (NY), Movement Collective (Austin), Techno Club (New Orleans), Rhythm Rapport (LA) and throwing a lot of really cool parties in the U.S. with that sound and it’s a lot of really cool people that have been in the scene for a very long time. So, we’re just really trying to get that whole vibe going and it’s one of those things where if you heard the music on its own, like if you heard one of the tracks that I really like from the Romanian sound, you would think the song sucks. When you put it in the setting of a fifteen hour set when you layer it on top of two other tracks, it’s really cool. So that’s kind of the sound that I’ve been really into lately. Not the parties where it’s like opener for two hours, headliner for two hours and then you go home. I want it where the headliners are playing until like two days from now.
JB: That’s really what we’re trying to get together. Those multi day, really extended set parties. It’s just a question of whether or not-
CC: Whether or not we’re ready for it here?
JB: Yeah, exactly. If people are willing to not get wasted by 1 o’ clock.
CC: Well thanks for everything, and we’ll see you a couple weeks at Cloak & Dagger!
JB: Thank you.
Make sure to catch Black / Tuesday at this year’s Cloak & Dagger Festival on October 15th.
Find Black / Tuesday here: https://www.facebook.com/blacktuesdayus
Find Cloak & Dagger event and ticket info here: http://www.cndmusicfest.com/