Breathe Carolina’s latest project, ‘Dead: The Album’, was released late in 2019. Their first studio album in five years and their first since their departure from Fearless Records, ‘Dead: The Album’ strays towards a new sound weaving together elements of various strands of EDM and leaning heavily into pop and R&B. After five years without a studio album, this latest venture marked a turning point for the duo who were set to take 2020 by storm. One can only expect 2021 to fulfil their ambitions.
As well as putting out a whole bunch of ace tracks this year, including stand out singles 'Too Good' and 'Get Away', 2019 has been all about Breath Carolina working on their new album 'DEADTHEALBUM’, which drops mid-November. “It is a huge deal for us with our label partners Atlantic, Big Beat and Spinnin',” Tommy tells DJ Mag. “David is singing on all of the songs, so it is a really big showcase of us, our work, and what we can do.”
The energy-enhanced Denver duo, who currently reside in LA, have been working super-hard on getting their fifth album ready to drop in mid-November. And they're raring to go on a 2020 tour to promote it. “We're consistently creating new and exciting content for our fans around the world,” they say.
On our question of gender balance Breathe Carolina also point out that their weekly podcast allows them to talk to all different genders and people about the industry that they're a part of. It's something they take seriously and a position that they value highly. “The information that person may hold to help a younger listener understand the workings behind the scenes is invaluable.”
Do you submit your DJ set lists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“We think people need to realise that artists are human too, and some are more sensitive than most — it’s what makes us artists in the first place. Having people online harshly bashing artists for taking a break, or having to cancel a show due to illness or whatever, can be a huge part.”
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“Personally, we are just trying to show support and encourage everyone. We are seeing more and more women at festivals and shows and it’s amazing.”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
“We have been trying to carpool more to meetings and the studio and such, taking one car instead of two. We are both also very adamant about recycling in our homes. Every little bit counts.”
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
Tommy: “My BMX bike.” David: “Skateboard.”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Tommy: “I don’t have one, but I feel super-guilty every time I eat pasta... but I love it.” David: “Binge-watching Friends.”
From: Bochum, Germany
DJ style: “House/big room house.”
Best known for: “Bringing the punk rock energy to the rave.”
Fave tune of 2018: Tommy: “MK ‘17’.” David: “Jauz ‘In The Zone feat. Example’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: Tommy: “Rezz.” David: “San Holo.”
Combining punk rock roots with dance music’s urgency and rhythm, Breathe Carolina have been a big deal in America since 2009 when their MySpace page racked up over 30 million plays. The Denver duo have been there, done that and got the tour T-shirt since then, having released four albums, six EPs and hitting mainstream success with their 2011 single ‘Blackout’ which charted in the UK, Canada and America.
More recently, they’ve upped the electronic ante, signing to Spinnin’ in 2015, collaborating with a string of EDM A-list names, including Bassjackers, Streex and Dropgun, and even reworking the timeless SNAP! classic ‘Rhythm Is A Dancer’ into a prime-time festival banger.
And while most DJs can rely on a cavalcade of CO2 cannons, big tunes and the occasional mic shout-out to amp up their show, Breathe Carolina’s live music background mean their sets are a riot of vocals and frontman theatrics, making them one of the must-see EDM live acts this year.
Words: ANDY BUCHAN