August 30, 2010

The Sun Interviews: Super Mash Bros.

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Sun: Why did you decide to form a mashup band?Nick Fenmore: A friend of ours dared us to make mashups. It sounds like the kookiest story ever, but literally that’s what happened. We were driving around one day and he just said “I don’t think you can do that man.” We were listening to Girl Talk or something, and I just said, “Alright, let’s try it.” So we threw a party for like a hundred friends, put it on the internet and now people actually like us.Sun: You guys are originally from LA, so what’s the party scene out there that you were dealing with?NF: When I started DJing, I was in high school, and the LA scene for parties is just kind of like whoever has an awesome backyard just throws a huge party and its just people walking around. So I got my DJing start on tennis courts and backyards.Sun: When you started doing mashups, how did you decide which songs to include?NF: For us, I think the most important thing when we choose songs is that it’s really recognizable. We want all of our songs to have the effect on people like, “oh shit, it’s that song!”Ethan Dawes: We try and emulate the feeling where Leo and Rose are on the ship, and it’s really cheesy, but you love it.Sun: When you pick a song, how do you find a song to mash it with?NF: It usually always starts with a rap or with an instrumental, and its usually something that’s like “shit this really hits, we gotta sample this,” and from there on out it’s more about looking at tempos and keys. It’s seeing if we can make an instrumental out of little piece of music, a lot of times we don’t have that much material to work with.Sun: Do you guys have any music theory background?NF: I was studying classical music for all of junior high and high school. Composition and that whole thing, I was a big nerd.ED: I banged around on a drum set for a while.Sun: Do you see what you’re doing as legal?ED: Yeah, totally.NF: I mean, within the vein of DJing, no DJ goes out to a club and plays only their music, original music. So for us it’s the same concept, but in a much more exponential form.ED: If we were selling the music, it would be totally illegal, but we don’t. We’re not profiting directly off the distribution of recorded tracks, just the performance.Sun: What’s the difference between a performance at a college and a city gig?ED: Colleges are more fun.NF: Colleges are so much more fun. ED: Its awesome. We’re super fortunate to be able to travel around and do something we enjoy.Sun: Do you have a favorite gig or a favorite venue?NF: Back home we play the Roxy on Sunset, that’s kind of like our go to spot after we drop an album or get back from a long trip — they’re always fun.ED: We played on Lake Michigan at Northwestern in Chicago. We played right on the edge, with a few thousand kids, and we played just as the sun was setting. We were opening for Nelly, which was funny.Sun: A lot of the songs reference popular culture and party scenes. Do you consider yourself a party band?ED: Party band is pretty appropriate. I mean, this is nothing you play for like flowers to grow or when a baby is in the womb. Maybe that’s how you make frat kids. That’s how frat guys are born.NF: We aren’t in a frat, but all of our homies are, and we kind of live vicariously through all the frats we visit and play. We’re glad to be the entertainers.ED: During the day, if we were in the same coffee shop as a frat guy, we would not be talking, but once the sun sets and the booze comes out, we’re having a hell of a time. We just bro out.Sun: If you could be a character from Super Smash Bros, who would you be?NF: I always play with Ness, the kid with the yo-yo. He’s a champion. That and I was always the kid with the yo-yo in like fifth Grade.ED: Jigglypuff.

Original Author: Peter Jacobs