Mashup kings Super Mash Bros went from college dorm sensations to playing Ultra and Electric Zoo seemingly overnight. Find out more about how they balanced college and music and the methods to their mashups in our exclusive interview with the trio.
Super Mash Bros - Livin' the Dream (I'm On a Float)
LessThan3: It says on your bio that you both are full time college students. How close are you to finishing?
Dick: Nick & Ethan are done. I am still a full time college student.
LessThan3: Was it hard to manage going to school fulltime and DJing?
Dick: Yeah, it’s extremely hard. We would have shows every weekend and my last two months of school I’d have finals and still have shows every weekend. It was kind of gnarly!
LessThan3: You guys played at some of the biggest festivals this year, including Ultra and Electric Zoo. How does it feel to do that?
Dick: It was wild! We are honored and so happy to be a part of it. I love going to music festivals, but I was always in the crowd so it’s so cool looking from the other vantage point.
LessThan3: Is there something you would like to tell your fans on how you make your music? As mashup artists you guys are very unique in that aspect.
Nick: I started off DJing where I literally just got up there and decided what I was going to play on the fly and just mix it together. For every 20 seconds of a mashup we make we probably have at least an hour of work behind it. So much editing and so much mixing and matching! We almost treat every mashup as our own individual song in a sense. There is really so much work behind it–there are no shortcuts.
LessThan3: Is there any software that you use?
Dick: We use Ableton Live when we produce. It’s probably the best software in the market to make a mashup. Girl Talk would tell you differently but I think he is wrong. With all due respect!
LessThan3: Have you guys spoken a lot with Girl Talk?
Nick: I met him once while he was playing a show in my friend’s backyard when I was in high school. Ethan actually interviewed him then when he was like fifteen years old for a magazine that he would write called Veritas Empire.
LessThan3: How did all three of you guys combine forces?
Nick: We have known each other since high school. We met and started DJing together, but we didn’t really intend to become mashup DJs– it kind of just happened to us. We put our album up for people to download and somehow 20,000 people downloaded it over the summer. We were pretty shocked!
LessThan3: Have you guys ever experimented in producing original tracks?
Nick: Yes, we have! I produce my own music. It’s definitely a place where we want to go as Super Mash Bros in the future. Producing something for a rapper or singer would be a lot of fun! On our new album we experiment a lot with writing our own synths, basslines, and drums, so it’s a lot more than just two samples going at it with each other.
LessThan3: Ten years from now where do you guys want to see each other?
Dick: On a yacht, sleeping, maybe doing the Macarena with some honeys!
LessThan3: What advice would you give to a young producer trying to make it?
Nick: All you need is a keyboard, a computer, and your bedroom. Put it on the Internet and let the music spread like wildfire! Give it to your friends and tell them to bring it to their colleges. That’s how we got started, and now we’re playing Ultra and Electric Zoo!
LessThan3: How do you guys feel about the current situation with labels and the music industry?
Nick: The whole music industry is dysfunctional, but we don’t have to deal with it. We don’t sell our music; we just give it out, so we haven’t run into any issues with the labels. We are fortunate in that regard, but if we ever had someone telling us they didn’t want us using their music, we would understand. I feel that a lot of people are probably really happy that someone is listening to their music right now even if it has Lil Wayne in the background. Free publicity for them, right?
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Dick: Going Out West by Tom Waits.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.