Bonding with new people over cervezas is routine for tourists on vacation in Mexico. Only in the case of former trance producers, Jonney and Oren [who are too laidback for last names], a chance introduction whilst on tour South of the border turned out to be far more than beachside brews and fleeting banter.
The DJ duo explains their first meeting was a siesta wakeup call, from which “it didn’t take long to form a bond around the music we loved and more importantly what we wanted to achieve in life.” Thus, Lets Be Friends was born and primed to embark upon a prospering electronic music partnership.
Based out of the UK, LBF has already opened for Knife Party and played Brixton Academy in London, releasing 12 original productions and remixes, and landing twice on Beatport’s Number One spot in their first year as a duo. And these Friends are just getting warmed up.
Describe your live act?
Jonney: “Selfless and interactive; funny but true. Most of the music is not about playing LBF tracks, or even playing the newest Beatport releases. [The live show features] just a ton of tracks everyone knows and can scream along to - over 100 now actually, in a 60 minute set. We rework or remix all the stuff beforehand so it's still mashed, but just more interactive that way. I love new music, but it's nothing without the contrast with the old.”
Oren: “Pandemonium! Fast and furious.”
What about your sound? Can you define it?
O: “Over the top. I will never say ‘phat.’”
J: “I suppose it’s trying to be a bit spontaneous and juvenile, but well-produced and overly professional at the same time. It's hard to answer a question like that without sounding pretentious. But that’s it as far as 'sound' goes. I think Oren nailed it.”
Explain your process in the studio?
O: “To have fun and learn something new. It's always fun to try and take it to a different level.”
J: “I am gonna get boring now. We work a lot around using the phase of waves to position sounds in a mix, leaving fundamental ideas pretty raw and waveforms as pure as possible. Almost all the new kicks, toms, bass/sub act to generate life in the track, so when it all hits the master it just takes a very small amount of limiting to hold the last ideas together. In other words, no magic plugin!”
How'd you learn to DJ and produce beats?
J: “I always loved DJing. I have been into it since I was about 12. When I was a kid my dad had a trance record label and I guess that was what got the ball rolling. I was actually given my first computer by another artist that got a new one and it had all his plugins on it, even Logic 4.”
O: “We were always influenced by the magic of good music and brilliant ideas. Bands like The Prodigy, Radiohead and many others drove us to want to know more. We produced electronic music like hard house and trance, and slowly grew into the 4x4 scene and experiences from our own trial and errors.”
What can we expect from Lets Be Friends the rest of 2014?
J: “Wow, so much! More contrast I suppose, and more vocals, which means more 'attitude' and 'culture' to balance things out. Personally, I am very excited. Now we have a fan base, we can steer this ship to the fun zone.”
If you could have one superhero power what would it be?
J: “Mind control, no contest.”
O: “I always wanted to be a jumper (not the wooly kind). I would give everything to be able to jump back and forward in time.”
What can you not leave home without?
J: “Having to update about a million social pages.”
O: “Kisses and hugs for my pooches, my dogs, R2 and D2; and my iPhone.”
What song always makes you cry?
J: “Almost anything from Ke$ha.”
O: “None, sorry.”
Who is your dream girl?
O: Katy Perry
J: She [dream girl] has not been located yet. She needs to be dynamite in bed, worse at cooking than me so I feel I am a good cook, very understanding of our ridiculous studio schedule and just good looking enough to impress, but not enough that I need to be concerned.
O: “Don't really have one, but I’ll go with vodka.”
J: “What? Oren's favorite is lemonade. He is always drinking it. I can believe he did not say it. WTF?”