I had never worn earplugs at a show before being on stage with Tim and Jurre at Create Nightclub. Their signature crunching synths and beefy groans will have you aimlessly searching on the floor for your face halfway into their set. High octane tracks such as Thomas Newson’s “Pallaroid” set a torrid pace, while classic originals “Dear New York” and “Funky Shit” jabbed hard enough to cause an avalanche.
Guns don’t spill bullets and Firebeatz doesn’t simply “release” tracks, they impel the electro-house genre with experimental and heavy sounds. It’s what happens when dubstep, house, and drum and bass go mano-a-mano. The undeniable flare in their production method has enabled them to successfully reinvent tracks such as Justin Tiimberlake’s “Suite and Tie” or Calvin Harris’ “Thinking About You” without losing sight of the original.
The Suprima Staff got a chance to chat with these two party animals before they took the decks in Los Angeles. Check out the exclusive interview below:
Suprima: We got a chance to talk to the Sick Individuals a while back and they discussed how meeting at music school and having a background in music training has helped them tremendously as DJs/Producers. We understand that you two met at music school as well. Would you agree that being students of music and having that background has helped propel you to your current status?
Firebeatz: We studied for 4 years, but actually only did like 1 ½. After 1 ½ years we already made our own productions and started DJing and producing a lot, so we didn’t really go to school a lot after that, but we had to ask ourselves, “are we going to quit or are we going to proceed.” We decided that if we quit now, we wouldn’t have a degree and would have spent a lot of money for nothing. So we finished. In terms of producing, I think we learned a lot ourselves, but the basics and the business side of things we definitely learned in school.
Suprima: From listening to hits of yours such as “Gangster” and “Wicked,” you seem to enjoy using Hip-Hop undertones in your productions. From the voice clips to actual song titling, talk a little about how the genre has influenced your style as DJs & Producers.
Firebeatz: It’s really a part of my background (Tim). I used to be a skateboarder, and that’s kind of infused with that culture. Also Drum & Bass and Jungle. That’s where we get a lot of our samples and voice clips. That’s how I started making music, the music was sampling. And then I started working with Jurre and we started making House. My part in that is bringing in the samples, and it’s actually become the Firebeatz sound: integrating different sounds and genres.
Suprima: There’s also an undeniable fascination that you guys have with the city of New York, given your classic, “Dear New York” and another track, “Where Brooklyn At?” Obviously NYC is the Mecca of Hip-Hop, but it’s also one of the frontiers for House music. Talk a bit about what this fascination entails.
Firebeatz: We just love New York! The United States in general, but especially New York.
Suprima: Now you’re going to make Dear LA next, right?
Firebeatz: Yes, of course!
Suprima: So you’ve remixed tracks for artists such as Pitbull and Flo Rida in the past, and no disrespect to those guys, because we actually like some of their tracks, but it’s no secret that they’re considered by many to be generic EDM artists who leech off the genre’s popularity. As widely respected producers, what inspires you about these tracks and enables you to approach them so confidently?
Firebeatz: We just try to make a club banger. Also, that’s what they ask us for sometimes. We too like to listen to that kind of music. You can say it’s commercial, but the hook lines in that stuff are often really good.
Suprima: Speaking of remixes, you of course did a really big remix for Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie”. We think you and Dillon Francis definitely have the best renditions. Tell us about how your remix came about.
Firebeatz: We love the original, and are big Jay Z fans, of course. We actually got asked by Justin Timberlake’s management to do the remix and were honored. It’s a really slow tempo track, so it was difficult having to tune it and find something that works, but it ended up being really good.
Suprima: The drop on that song sounds quite similar to “Dear New York” and “Gangster.” But tweaked just enough. Talk about how you two go about walking the line of having a signature sound, but making sure that it’s not overkill?
Firebeatz: Basically we always try to go in the studio and make new sounds. Our A&R and other people have actually told us that we make too many different sounding tracks, so sometimes we focus on the same kind of sound, such as with what you’re talking about. Especially with remixes, usually they want you to make a remix with a certain sound in mind.
Suprima: You guys didn’t always make club bangers, and when we went back to listen to some of your earlier stuff, we found a lot of really good, really funky club tracks. Walk us through your transition in style alongside the constantly evolving sounds of House music.
Firebeatz: Well at first, like a lot of the Dutch DJs, we started playing Tech-House. For us, it was really natural because we started playing at parties and since we always wanted to play our own stuff, we produced groovier sounding tracks. From there, yeah, the genre evolved so for us the evolution was natural.
Suprima: One of the tracks we really enjoyed when listening was, “Just One More Time Baby” with Chocolate Puma. You’ve worked with those guys a lot, including on your more recent track, “Sausage Fest.” How was it working with them back then and how was the process different now that things have evolved?
Firebeatz: As far as House music is concerned, the Chocolate Puma guys are like Godfathers. When we were young, it was like a dream to work with them, and to see us now as more equals, it is really cool. We’re definitely going to do another studio session with them. Like every year we want a Chocolate Puma and Firebeatz collaboration because it’s so much fun in the studio. It’s always really sample based, so we’re just fucking around doing crazy stuff.
Suprima: Can you give us any insight on upcoming remixes, originals, collaborations, etc. to look forward to as we start rolling through 2014?
Firebeatz: We’re doing a track with Tiesto for his album. We have a collaboration with Sander Van Doorn, one with Martin Garrix, and one with DubVision which is going to be a really big one. We also have a bunch of new originals that will be coming out on Spinnin’ Records.
Thanks again Tim & Jurre for an awesome interview. Make sure to check out Firebeatz on Soundcloud and stay tuned for the new releases that you heard about here first.