Photo of LOUDPVCK at Create Nightclub
Interview conducted by James Dutta on July 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA.
Over the past three years, LOUDPVCK has made a huge name for themselves in both the Trap genre and overall within the dance music scene. When Ryan Marks and Kenny Beats (aka Kenneth Blume) met each other, it was clear from the beginning that something incredible would come about from it. Instantly meshing well together, the two began working on music and LOUDPVCK was born. From there, they have been booked on countless festivals, headlined numerous shows, and have amassed millions of plays on their songs. Extremely passionate and hands-on with their music, it is clear to see how these guys went from bedroom producers to selling out shows.
Before playing a phenomenal set at Create Nightclub later that night, LOUDPVCK sat down with Techibeats and spoke about what makes them a cohesive and involved duo, their success with SOUNDPVCKS, and finally their upcoming EP, “Botany.” Read about it below!
Techibeats: Thank you guys so much for doing this interview with Techibeats, appreciate it!
LOUDPVCK: Of course! We love Techibeats.
Techibeats: What are your guys’ names and where are you both from?
Ryan: I’m Ryan; I’m originally from Los Angeles, California.
Kenny: I’m Kenny; I was born and raised in Connecticut.
Techibeats: For people that don’t know, how did LOUDPVCK come together?
Kenny: We went to school at Berklee College of Music together and Ryan was a year above me and he was one of the first people I met when I got to school. We both traded a lot of songs, listened to a lot of music together, hung out a bunch while we were in school together, but it wasn’t until after Ryan had already left and went back to LA, that we started actually making music. The first three songs we ever made together, we put online and that was LOUDPVCK.
Techibeats: Got it. How does your guys’ music production process work being a duo?
Kenny: Yeah. We’re both usually fucking around when we have spare time, alone. If someone comes across a sound that will work really well for some LOUDPVCK shit, we propose it to the other guy. As soon as you get a good reaction that’s when you know. Every song – you can trace it back to an idea that one of us started.
Techibeats: Do you guys capitalize off each other’s strengths?
Ryan: Yeah, for sure we do. Kenny is from a more Hip-Hop background and I’m from a more dance and pop background, so we definitely have our strengths. The more we’ve done this; we have started doing everything pretty much the other person does.
Kenny: The more you work together it becomes symbiotic. When we first started, it was really cool because everything the other guy would do you’d be like, “oh shit! I didn’t know that at all,” but now we’re three years into it and I go to say something to Ryan and he’s already doing it in the computer or visa-versa. We talk a lot before we start projects. We discuss what we’re going for with each song, a lot. There’s always a common goal in mind, so we’re working together with the same batch of tools.
Ryan: And I think that producing and performing is the best way to get better at it and we’re both so much better at it then we were when we started this. We do play off each other’s strengths and our overall sound has gotten so much better since when we were back in the dorm room trying to emulate other artists.
Techibeats: A lot of times duos are often criticized by a lot of people. People will say “oh, it’s just one guy doing everything” or “this guy doesn’t do enough compared to this guy” etc. Have you guys ever been criticized like that?
Kenny: I don’t know if we have because we’ve shown proof. Come to any show. Ask any act that’s ever been in the studio with us. We both do everything and we’ve made it a point since day one. We’re both on the Twitter, we both do everything in our songs, we both DJ, and we both get on the mic. We don’t leave room for debate. There’s a want for both of us to share and that’s what LOUDPVCK is. We’re both heavy-handed and both desire to have a piece of everything.
Techibeats: That’s good! That keeps things straight and keeps you guys from fighting for the most part.
Kenny: No we definitely do! You have to fight it out. Us keeping it 1000 percent with each other keeps our duo the strongest. The focus at the end of the day is “how do we continue making bangers and killin’ it.” We never let anything get in front of that. We sometimes have two-hour talks with that goal in mind. We’re privileged to have this job and opportunity.
Ryan: Without naming specific artists, they get those reputations for a reason – because they are not doing something that their fans believe they should be doing. There are a lot of people like that and there are a lot of people who are celebrities beyond being an artist now, especially with electronic music. Artistry has gone a little bit by the wayside, for a lot of people. Not for everybody, though. That’s why we are very serious about our artistic integrity. We will never put out anything produced even partially by anyone else, unless it’s a collab because what’s the fucking point in that, you know?! It’s like having another guy play the World Series for you and saying you won the World Series.
Techibeats: That’s a good way to put it.
Kenny: It’s a sport. Look at Ryan and me after any show we have ever played – I’m drenched, we’re both drenched. We go out and work. We definitely go out there and put on a show, but we are not performers, we are musicians. We go out there to give you a musical experience and play our work for you.
Techibeats: Okay, excellent! So, going next – SOUNDPVCKS. How did that idea come about for you guys and how has the success been behind that?
Kenny: It’s been great…..I mean, we’re sound nerds. The first day me and Ryan ever met we traded sounds. Fact. We’ve always been about having this collection of stuff to use for our songs that just makes it more fun when you’re producing. We’ve built relationships with other guys off of trading sounds and we wanted to figure out a way that we could do that with our fans. There’s no more hidden stuff. It’s like, you guys want to make the kind of songs we’re making – here’s how we did it, here are the tools, now you do it.
Ryan: Same reason we started making music. It’s like, we bought sample packs in the past and such and now it’s like, I would love to make one with what I would like to buy. Not 10 out of the 100 sounds being good, what if all 100 were good. I think with anything creative, people get to that point. It’s a little bit arrogant, but you’re like “if I made this, it would be better,” you know? There’s great sample packs out there, but for its stylistic purposes, SOUNDPVCKS is the strongest.
Techibeats: Well, it’s received a lot of positive feedback so props to you guys as well!
Kenny: The other producer homies have been really great about sharing it and using it in their songs and giving us feedback. It’s done great and we’ve sold hundreds of PVCKS – it’s gone across the world. Regardless, we take every piece feedback – every tweet, every comment for the next PVCK and the next. We really want to turn this into something that stands alone without the LOUDPVCK name. SOUNDPVCKS is going to be something that Ryan and I run, but that has nothing to do with our music. We’re going to bring all other types of artists on board. It’s something we’re very passionate about and giving back to the community of kids who are like us, making beats.
Ryan: We get Tweets and comments all the time – “how do you do this?” “how did this bass sound like this?” You can go through and answer those with very specific EQ notches – which we have before. Whether these kids will be able to build a song off of that, I don’t know. If you just give them the 808 and tell them to drop it in Ableton, that’s what we want. We want it to be that easy.
Kenny: We aren’t scared to share. We’re constantly coming up with new sounds, new drums, new drops. Some producers will cling to their certain sound and refuse to give it away; we aren’t like that. With us, there’s full transparency. There are no more questions about how your favorite producer made your favorite song. And we’re going to try to do that for a bunch of other producers through our site.
Techibeats: That’s good! That’s super accessible. You guys are always touring it seems. How has it been playing shows like EDC LV and having shows like Nocturnal and the Tesla tour with Flux Pavilion upcoming?
Ryan: It’s so fun, man! We’re so used to it at this point. When I started producing, I heard all of these guys saying you have to DJ in order to become a better producer. I never really understood that, initially, until we became DJs/producers. Your songs are what you primarily play in your set and you gauge the crowd’s reaction to it.
Kenny: There’s not a more honest indicator than that. Go play your song for 1000 kids…..then you’ll know.
Techibeats: You gotta get your stuff out to the public in that way. You guys did a huge collab with Gladiator, “GLADPVCK,” will anyone see that again? Or any other artist?
Kenny: GLADPVCK is part of a series. There’s GLADPVCK, there’s 12THPVCK, there’s DEADPVCK, there’s LUNOEPVCK. It’s part of a series. I can’t speak specifically if we’re going to collab with someone, past or present, again. But we’re going to be doing a shit ton of collabs next year. GLADPVCK set it off. Those are our best homies, they’re doing their thing and we’re doing our thing, we’re both in completely different headspaces at this point. They’re doing a TON of dope shit. I’m super fucking proud of Gladiator.
Ryan: There are SO many artists we want to collab with as well! If you think about the huge pantheon that we interact with, there’s so many people. Like being able to collab with Zed’s Dead and 12th Planet – to think we would be collaborating with these huge Dubstep guys, we would of never thought that 6 months ago. It didn’t even happen stylistically, it’s like “we like hanging out with each other, let’s make a song.” The songs also turned out to not be really vindictive of either of our styles. It’s pretty unique. We’re not going to write off any future collabs with anybody, but we definitely want to collab with any many people as possible.
Techibeats: Speaking of your collab, you guys just dropped a massive song, “Flies” with Zed’s Dead on Mad Decent today (Friday, July 17th) and that’s receiving a lot of acclaim. How do you guys feel about that?
Kenny: We feel great about that!
Ryan: We’re stoked.
Kenny: We used to listen to Zed’s Dead in college at my tiny ass apartment and today we have a song coming out with them on Mad Decent. It’s crazy. Ryan put me on to them a long time ago and I was like “holy shit these dudes are amazing.” Listened to them for years and years and years and now, today we have a song with them. We’re bedroom producers, we’re huge fans of these guys and now we get to make music all together. There’s nothing better than that.
Techibeats: Everything coming full circle.
Ryan: Mad Decent too! Shout out Mad Decent for putting out a LOUDPVCK song!
Kenny: We’ve been trying to do something with them forever. So I’m super psyched it can be something this dope.
Techibeats: You guys have an EP releasing at the end of the month, “Botany.” What can we expect from that?
Ryan: Go in without any expectations, dude!
Kenny: Expect to go hammer. Botany is something we’ve worked on for a long time. We have a Travis Barker feature, Curtis Williams feature, an AC Slater remix.
Ryan: We’ve got lots of sounds on there. I don’t know how to describe it.
Kenny: We’re psyched to put our first precedent, real LOUDPVCK original EP. The last time we put out more than one LOUDPVCK song, it was like the first 6 months of LOUDPVCK.
Techibeats: Got it! Anything else you guys want to add?
Kenny: Shout out to Techibeats for having us! New single comes out next week, “Lit” featuring Curtis Williams and our EP is out at the end of the month. You guys are the best.
Techibeats: Thank you!