A couple things fans will notice about dubstep duo YOOKiE very quickly from the below Q&A: they’re brothers who love their mom and Skrillex, and they got jokes. While this relatively new pair of producers seem to have a good handle on why they write music the way that do and are heavily into the more esoteric points of sound design, they also are already well-versed in an important lesson of the music industry that it takes some artists years to learn: they don’t take themselves too seriously. Or seriously at all, for that matter.
YOOKiE have had a pretty good year: they released hugely popular collab with Black Tiger Sex Machine called “Lions,” as well as a remix for Dillon Francis’ “Need You.” They’ve also toured quite a bit and are continuing to do so. They just released a collab track with Wooli on Firepower and are now planning for 2018…and making more jokes along the way.
How did you guys meet and start working together?
Chris: I came out of my mom’s womb, and my brother was there, and now we’re spending the rest of our life together!
Your style seems to be a bit all over the board and you clearly take your influence from a lot of different places. Who are some of your biggest influences?
Anthony: Skrillex and our mom. But really, we soak up inspiration from a whole lot of people/places… kind of like a sponge. We like people who embrace randomness and aren’t afraid to put weird-ass sounds in a tune and blast it at thousands of people and see what happens. Ultimately though, Skrillex is God.
Your Soundcloud bio seems to say that you have strong opinions about sound design as a sort of philosophical concept or universal truth, especially when it comes to bass music. Can you elaborate on that at all?
Anthony: Music is auditory architecture in our minds. The building blocks of which are the vibrational frequencies that emit from every conceivable thing. As with any very physically stimulating music, the human reaction is instinctive to our tunes and we love watching the crowd release themselves so energetically to our music. It’s crazy to be a part of! There’s simply something in the frequencies that guides people to a certain level of euphoria, and we like to build on that. We all crave release and bass music is the epitome of that release for us.
Lots of collabs lately. What do you enjoy about working with other artists?
Christopher: It’s cool hearing two different types of sound fuse into one sound.
Anthony: Yeah that’s the thing, sometimes I’ll have this idea that I think is pretty flushed out and then I’ll send it to someone else and they’ll have all these ideas that I’d never even think of. It’s pretty cool. You can work on one thing for so long and feel like you’ve beaten it with all you’ve got, but someone else comes in with an entirely new point of view and the project spirals off again in to something even more awesome.
How did “Genocide” come together with Kompany? What was the goal when you put that together?
Anthony: We wanted to make a political statement, trying to spread awareness, because if you reverse the song it’s actually a peace speech by Martin Luther King Jr. just pitched down 7 octaves.
Christopher: And Kompany is really dope and we like him and his music. But for real, we’d been swapping tunes for a while and decided our ideas would click in the studio. We all had a similar vision for an upcoming tune, so it made sense we combined forces. Something impactful, dangerous and that would just straight up blow people away at all the shows we had over the last few months. It worked.
Anthony: Shout out Kompany, and Happy belated birthday.
The Black Tiger Sex Machine track just came out this week; how did you come to work with them?
Christopher: They have a bi-weekly mix showcase called Kannibalen Radio where they host the hottest up and coming producers and they do a 45 mix. About a year and a half ago, Lektrique, who chooses who does it, asked us to do it, so we did it and they really liked it, Julien said he listened to it like 5 times the day he heard it.
Anthony: They then asked us to do a remix, so we did one. Then played some shows together, hung out with them a bunch at various festivals and shows. They’re the coolest dudes ever. So we ended up doing a track together. It turned out beautifully. That’s one of my favorite ones we’ve ever made. It reminds me of a movie scene or something.
Christopher: Yeah it’s really epic.
“Lions” seems a lot more serious and emotive than some of your other work this year, and BTSM is generally pretty serious (despite their hats). How did you all combine styles to get this finished product?
Anthony: Our styles just really meshed together really really well, so it just kind of worked out naturally. It packs a good punch like you’d expect from any YOOKiE or BTSM tune, plus it’s got that growly sub bass element which made it really come alive.
Do you guys have the same hair on purpose for the promo shots?
Anthony: We actually have a weird condition where we were born like this, and it doesn’t ever change. Exactly like this. Even if you try to cut it off, you can’t. You can’t cut, penetrate, or separate the hair.
Christopher: Yeah, our hair will never change color, it will never fade, even when we’re gone for hundreds and hundreds of years. It will look exactly like it does on my head right now.
Anything coming up that you’re excited about?
Christopher: We got a bunch of shows coming up, a lot of music coming out and we’re really excited about our track “Voodoo” with our boy Wooli on Firepower Records. Super stoked on that one. We’re going to Australia as well. Lots of good stuff.
Anthony: Yeah that’s going to be lit as fuck.
Check out YOOKiE’s Soundcloud for more tunes, current and future.