Going up on a Tuesday? Jantsen and Dirt Monkey are! Before their Tuesday night set at hometown Fox Theater, I had the opportunity to talk to these two Boulderites and ask them about their views on EDM and more! Check out the interview below:
Less than a week ago you released your track ‘Massive’ on your joint record label Kairos, how did this tune originally come about?
Dirt Monkey: It started as a song that I had started with Notixx when we were playing some shows together. We were sitting in a coffee shop in like Wisconsin or somewhere and we just kind of had it going. Then got Jantsen in on it and he added a bunch of stuff that kind of completed it and he also added that second drop.
Jantsen: Yeah you guys had the first drop going on and then I added on some vocals and some melodies and then the second drop-- which is kind of like my little signature Rusko-y sound.
Are your guys’ creative processes similar in most aspects? If not, how do you bridge that gap?
Jantsen: I think that our processes are different and that's why it kind of works. [Looks to Patrick / Dirt Monkey] Like, you're really good at starting a track and finishing it from beginning to end. I mean, I don’t know how you start tracks but I always have to have all of my elements there before I even start a drop. I have to have my melodies and my vocals and something that is just really catchy before I can start that drop. So usually when we work on a tune I'll start something with a solid concept and then he'll add a drop and we'll get it sequenced out and just get it going. I definitely take my time with a lot of stuff/my ideas but I really like doing that--just developing that kind of concept before I develop the actual song.
Dirt Monkey: Yeah I usually have a harder time sitting there and coming up with the perfect catchy thing. I think the thing that I excel at is kind of finishing stuff and just getting it done, so I think that's where we kind of come together with our creative styles. It's like yin and yang.
It’s a really broad question, but how did you two originally meet?
Jantsen: So his old girlfriend used to book me for shows. He would end up playing the shows as well and I think that's how we originally met. Then you [looks at Patrick] started making dubstep and we just started making tracks together.
What was the first “musical moment” that you two had together?
Dirt Monkey: I had that weekly at the B-side in the front room and I booked him [Jantsen] to play at that, so it was like 2009 or something like that.
Who is one artist that you both would love to collaborate with (together)?
Both in unison: Rusko!! Definitely Rusko. *laughs*
Jantsen: Yeah, I think just because he influenced both of us pretty heavily.
You both have been involved in the electronic music scene for at least a solid 10 years now, correct?
What are your opinions on the evolution of it, and where do you think it’ll be headed within the next ten years?
Jantsen: Ten years? That's a long time! I think it'll definitely go back into the underground. I think right now it's reaching a pinnacle and just blowing up beyond imagination. It's totally infiltrated the mainstream which is great and cool but it's almost a little too much--it's almost killing a lot of creativity and is just oversaturated. Everyone is kind of making the same kind of sounds which is cool but at the same time I think that that's making people hungry for something that is a little bit different. /// Which is going to drive back to the underground which is great because that's where I started from and I think that's the breeding ground for originality, ya know? I think it’ll definitely dive back down pretty deep and it already has.
Dirt Monkey: Yeah I think it has already! I think we're in the time right now where we hit that apex of popularity as far as dubstep and all that goes and then it kind of sunk back down and it's hopping back up in different genres. A lot of people are really into the riddim stuff that's just really simple and heavy---
Jantsen: Well even the stuff like Calvin Harris, ya know? Just hearing that super trancy electro house on the radio. Or even like Jack U and stuff that you hear on the radio---which is cool but---. They'll have songs like that song with Justin Bieber on the radio but they still push the underground scene as well in a lot of ways, so that's really cool. [It’s that?] connection between the underground and the pop world.
How about Colorado’s music scene, what is your guys’ take on it?
Dirt Monkey: I think it’s very strong [in terms of] people being into national and world acts but i think it's different than the scene in LA where like they--well I feel like over there they really value their locals and stand behind them and are really all about it.
So you don't think that our locals do?
Dirt Monkey: I don't think that Colorado does as much. I think they do with certain people like Pretty Lights and stuff like that and I think there are a select core group of people who do support smaller Colorado artists' but just based on friends that I have that live in different places and the support they get and how long I've been here (I'm just speaking for me personally) but for how long I've been here comparing those things those are a pretty big difference. I mean I don’t know, what do you think about being a local in Colorado Jantsen?
Jantsen: I mean there's a strong scene here, it's one of the best in the country you know? For example you have people at Sub.mission who really support their locals but I guess it's kind of a niche scene though and it just depends on the type of music you're doing. If you're doing dubstep or deep dubstep then there's definitely a big solid support for that. The local scene here is one of the best in the country besides LA.
So I thought that it’d be fun to do a couple ‘Colorado’ questions since you both are more than familiar with the state. So for starters, how long have you both lived here?
Dirt Monkey: 10 years for me!
Jantsen: *Starts counting* Hmmm I've been here for about 24 years.
If you had to choose between a night in Denver or a night in Boulder, which would you pick?
Jantsen: It really just depends on what I'm feeling at the moment! Boulder is my home like I can be like homeless and be anywhere and just feel like completely at home and totally comfortable and I wouldn’t really feel like that in Denver. So there's definitely a lot of nostalgia here and just a lot of comfort being in Boulder. If I wanted to on a good summer night and just grab my bike and get drunk in Boulder that's like an amazing epic night for me. But if I wanted to go out to a show and rage hard with my friends then Denver probably.
Dirt Monkey: Boulder.
Just hands down Boulder??
Dirt Monkey: *Laughs* Yes.
What is one favorite ‘Colorado pastime’ of yours?
Jantsen: For me just hiking or bike riding on the path.
Where is your favorite Colorado spot to eat?
Jantsen: I live in Lakewood now and I think that all of the best food in Colorado is on Federal.
Dirt Monkey: *Pauses thinking* Oh! Sherpas.
Jantsen: --Sherpas in Boulder, BUT Federal has the best Vietnamese and Mexican food out of anywhere I've been to in Colorado, hands down.
Do you have a specific Federal favorite?
Jantsen: Pho Duy for Vietnamese food and for Mexican food this little place called Tarasco's. It's just this local little place but best Mexican food for sure. And Santiago’s too for green chili! They have the best green chili probably.
In your opinion, what is the best thing that Colorado has to offer?
Dirt Monkey: The f*cking best powder in the country too! I grew up in Northern California and I used to ski and snowboard there and it was like cement snow. Colorado just has amazing snow and amazing climbing.
That actually leads to my next and final question! What is your favorite ski/snowboarding resort here in Colorado?
Dirt Monkey: A-Basin.
Why so? Because it's more local?
Dirt Monkey: Yeah and it's just steep! It's steeper than all of the other ones and it doesn't have as much of a resort-y feel to it--it's not like you're going to Vail where there's a bunch of people from out of town. Yeah I think I like it because of that, there's just not a lot of people from out of town are coming through there. I also really like Copper! Copper is cool.
How about you Jantsen?
I used to snowboard when I was younger but I haven't been in maybe 10 years!