We’re a little late due a small lack of communication, but I’m proud to present our new artists of the month: Team Banzai!
Because we over at ilictronix like variety above all else, these guys are actually our very first “non-exclusive-house producing” artists of the month. And now I’m at it, Team Banzai is the first duo we ever interviewed… Double exclusive guys, you’ve got to love one of those.
I only recently got introduced to Team Banzai when I was checking out the Nightcall remix contest by Kavinsky, but apparently these guys are pretty well known across the web. So why don’t we kick things off with the track that got me into their work.
Kavinsky – Nightcall (TEAM BANZAI Remix) [click to download]
And now I’m giving the word to our artists to explain to you who they are and what they do.
Hi, we are TEAM BANZAI.
We are a collaboration between two guys, Andy and Charlie, who have known each other since 6th grade. We started producing together on a serious level about 1 year ago, but each of us has our own musical background.
The name TEAM BANZAI comes from our 1985 racing jackets that were made for the cast and crew of the film "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension". It was more by chance that we got the name TEAM BANZAI rather than one we chose.
COMMENCE DOUBLE INTERVIEW:
Describe your music in 3 words.
Genre Bending Dance
How did you guys meet up and which one off you really wanted the collaboration?
Andy: We have known each other since middle school, so like age 11, but did not start producing together until we were about 17. When I started DJing and getting really into electronic music, we would joke around about one day making an electro supergroup called Funk-o-Tron 3000 composing of me, Charlie, and another Andy. That idea snowballed between Charlie and I more and more as we started to learn how to produce. After I moved back to America about a year and a half ago, we had enough skills combined to start releasing tracks.
Charlie: I started fooling around with Reason and Ableton when I was about 17 and learned a lot about production from Andy in high school. I only recently (in the past year or so) became obsessed with producing in Ableton.
How does your collaboration work, do you work on a song separately and show each other the finished work for feedback? Or is it a little bit more complex…
It usually is our own songs that we give each other pointers on or we sit down and actually work on small bits and chunks of each other’s tracks. Doing it this way keeps things fresh in my opinion. When we start work on our album it will be much more a team effort.
What do you guys think is the biggest forte of working as a team? And what talent does each of you bring to the table?
Andy: You get creative criticism, a person who you can nerd out with on music stuff, and two is always better than one. I started to DJ when I was 12, dabbling with the early DJ software. Then progressing from vinyl to cdj, minidisk, serrato, and Ableton. When we perform I am the one who does most of the mixing. Charlie is a producer extraordinaire. His skill in playing bass and emulating music styles is ridiculously good. He brings the funk to the group.
Tell us something about your equipment… What are you guys packing?
Our production tricks are secret, but we use Ableton as our main DAW with a slew of VSTs and good, clean, samples.
In terms of Djing, we now use a Jazzmutant Lemur with our own DJ template (for any readers who own a lemur, you can download the template we use for free at Jazzmutants website), an Akai MPD24, a Macbook running Ableton, A Presonus firebox/pod/studiotube and either a Denon DNX-100 dj mixer or whatever is at the club. We always have some CDJs on hand in case things go haywire.
Who was your biggest inspiration when you grew up?
Andy: In terms of music, Daft Punk. I listened to all of their albums over and over and still to this day they are my favorites.
Charlie: Everything from classic rock to hip hop to old school funk has influenced me to this day, I like it all. And of course, guys like Justice and Daft Punk got me interested in electro and filter house. I also owe some credit to my dad who got me interested in playing the electric bass when I was 13 and took me to a ton of concerts (such as Steely Dan and Steve Miller Band).
Why did you remix the power rangers? Which one of you is the culprit?
Andy: That would be me. I have been a Power Rangers fan since I was a little kid, and after finding a full length copy of the original track by THE MIGHTY RAW, I just had to do a dancey version. I really just wanted to see if I could, and to have a punchy in your face power rangers to listen to myself.
When doing research on whether or not a good remix had been done already, I had found that all were happy hardcore covers or remixes. Charlie and I actually have 2 different versions of the shows theme. Mine is the one we have hosted, Charlies was much more an electro spacey remix. Sadly the source for that was corrupt and had missing parts so we decided to scrap that one.
If you had to choose: Country Guitar sample or Latin sax sample… and why?
Andy: Latin Sax. It has flavor and energy usually, and you can distort, morph, throw it into a sampler and mess with it a bunch.
Charlie: Country Guitar – I like the acoustic guitar sounds a lot.
Ever got sexually aroused by a song? Which one?
Andy: Any Barry White.
Charlie: Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye.
What was the first album you ever bought?
Andy: Weird Al Yankovic – Bad Hair Day
Charlie: The Jimmy Hendrix Experience
If you had a “one use only time machine”, what would you change in the history of music?
Andy & Charlie: John Lennon not being killed.
Which artist should we check right about now and fall in love with in your opinion?
Andy: Right now I have been listening to a lot of Melee Beats. He is out of Cali and is a really good house producer.
What are the plans for the future of Team Banzai?
Right now we are recording an album for our buddies ¡Partíbánd! and hope to be done with that soon, so we can begin our own record. The goal is to have that finished by mid 2011.
Anything else you want to say to our readers?
Never stop partying.
Now onto the fun part, la musique:
I tried to put together a nice variety of original works and remixes.
TEAM BANZAI – Funky Fresh [click to download]
TEAM BANZAI - D.T.M. [click to download]
TEAM BANZAI – Samurai Sax [click to download]
Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc. (TEAM BANZAI Redo) [click to download]
Ron Wasserman – Go Go Power Rangers (TEAM BANZAI's More Metal Remix) [click to download]
Boys Noize – Battery Pt.2 (TEAM BANZAI Remix) [click to download]
Make sure to check out TEAM BANZAI’s SoundCloud, because these guys make tracks like trailer trash makes babies. And you can always find more information about them in our Artist Of The Month widget on the right.
Enjoy, Mr. Brown