It seems like helmets are popping up more and more in the EDM scene, but before there was Marshmello, Barely Alive, and even Deadmau5 there was DJs From Mars. DJs From Mars could possibly be the best DJ's in the world at EDM mashups. This italian duo doesn't just do mashups either, they release bangers. Their latest release “Harlem” is one of the most danceable tracks i've heard in a long time.
We got the chance to interview the masked duo as well as get our own EXCLUSIVE Megamix from the superstars themselves. Check out the megamix and interview below!
INTERVIEW (Me = Bold, DJ's From Mars = Italics)
How did you guys meet?
We met loooooong time ago in the same studio in our hometown Turin (Italy).
We were working in the same studio as producers, but we started focusing on the Djs From Mars project only in 2010 (after several projects and collaborations with no relevant highlights)…So we struggled long time to make a living out of music and finally we managed to make it work! We’re happy cause we know it’s very difficult, especially today, but since we achieved some results after many years of failure, we think that the most important thing, if you love what you do, is: never give up!
What's the story around the masks/name?
When we decided to focus only on this project, we decided to take care of the whole thing: not only music but we wanted to create a world behind the name. So we decided to wear this boxheads to be different from any other dj (back then, it was not so usual), and to choose a name that’s not just about music: it’s like saying, hey, look here, we come from another planet! It immediately caught people’s attention, when we started the first small shows in our hometown, we were literally unknown, but people wanted to take pictures and stood in front of the dj booth to see “what are these guys doing?”
It definitely worked out great for us, we are now the “djs with boxheads” not just 2 ordinary djs. Being different is crucial today! Then in the last years, djing with a mask became not so unusual anymore but…hey thats’ in the next question!
Speaking of masks, what do you guys think of the new trend with more and more “masked” DJ's?
Yeah as we were saying 1 minute ago before the coffee break, it was very unusual when we started performing with those boxes, it was even before Deadmau5 came out with his mau5head….Now it’s kind of a trend, we can’t say if it’s good or not, the only thing we can say for sure is that, if you have a cool mask but you’re not a good producer/dj/performer, the mask will not be the reason of your success.
Deadmau5 has a mask, and he’s a great musician. Marshmello has a mask, he has great songs and he’s super good in using social media and his shows are great. The Bloody Beetroots has a mask, and his new album is fire! There’s 1000 masked djs but you only remember the ones with some really good “content” beside the outfit.
Thanks for the mix! What goes into making a mix like this, and what are some songs in this mix that stand out to you?
Thank you for having us mixing it! We have a weekly radio show but since this one was a special edition, we tried to mix the best songs we loved in the last couple of years.
Of course we’re currently focused on our new single “HARLEM” (just released on EGO/POLYDOR) which is a bit of a change of direction for us, it’s more radio friendly, and happier than our usual style which is more dark and chainsaw oriented 😊 Maybe is because we’re happy in the last months, so we came out with this happy track!
The second track is a megamashup of 50 songs in 4 minutes called “The History of Electronic Dance Music”, where we tried to mix together little bits and cuts of all the club tracks that we loved in all these years, from Daft Punk to Chemical Brothers, to Kraftwerk, to Benny Benassi, and so on! It’s already been played by Tiesto so we’re very happy with this one.
Last one we’d like to mention is our Phat Ass Drop track, it’s 5 years old now but we think it’s more than perfect also today…it’s a joke about how to produce a club track and…well yeah, just check it out and it will explain itself 😊
You guys are known for your crazy mash-ups. Do you have any method to the madness on choosing the mashups?
Not at all! We just try to use what we like, we listen to every kind of music you can imagine, we love hip hop, reggae, hard rock, even classical music, any kind of electronic music too, so we’re big music consumers, and that is a good influence when it comes to produce: so we just start with something we like, we add something else, until the match is perfect and unexpected, then we add our alien beats, and finally we go to a club and test it and re-work until it sounds perfect! The most important thing is: a good mashup has to be weird! No one will be surprised if you mix 2 songs in the same key and at the same tempo…better listen to a Metallica Vs Lady Gaga mashup! That’s what mashups are supposed to be: weird!
What are some things you guys like to do in spare time when not making music?
Actually, spare time is very short in the last years. We’re touring every weekend, and when we come back home on Monday, we’re immediately in studio in the morning. Then it’s Friday and we’re on a plane again! So actually everything we do is music-related, production or shows, and this takes almost all of our time…and in our spare time, we still listen to music! We need to be updated and since we cannot listen to new music when we produce or when we deejay, we need to do it while travelling or at night!
Beside of that, in spare time we love simple things, dinners with friends and families, movies, good food, collecting vinyls and sometimes holidays!
What does the winter have in store for you?
Well we just released the new single “HARLEM” and it’s going great, we already have supports by David Guetta, Oliver Heldens, Don Diablo just to name a few…
Plus, it’s already on every radio station in Italy, and we’re also checking about the International airplay in the next days. So, it was a bit different for us, we’re not releasing too many official tracks usually, but since we have great feedbacks on this one, we’re going to work in this new direction in the next months….so, expect something unexpected!
Since our mix is called “the recipe”, here's some food questions:
Favorite home-cooked meal?
HA! Easy one, we’re Italians, we love pasta! And pizza! And seafood! And….(the list can go on forever)
Favorite Junk Food?
Well, eating always on the road, on the plane, in the airport, got us a bit tired of junk food, so when we can. we try to eat healthy….but sometimes we have problems with buffets: when we are in some hotels with buffet breakfast, we try to finish everything we see in the room until they kick us out!
Whose the better cook of you 2?
Photo Credit: Jani Kormu