First of all, we at The Dankles would like to thank Caligula for the opportunity to talk with us. Caligula, from Miami, has a distinct sound that melts faces and brings in the groupies, and this is hard to find in this over saturated music world, they are taking dubstep and whatever else they fuck with to the next level for good reasons. We have stayed on top of just about everything Caligula has done since the inception of The Dankles, now it’s time to figure what this Miami duo is all about and their plans for 2012. Caligula and the Overthrow was nice enough to give us the exclusive download to their new remix “Dead To Me”!!
TD: Give us your names, ages, and where you are from, and how you got your start producing music under the name Caligula.
OT : Obi “Damaged Goods” Tawil, age 27, born and raised in Miami Florida
ML : Mikey Larson, age 26, born in San Jose Costa Rica, grew up in Ann Arbor Michigan, currently residing in the 305.
We were introduced by our manager Sam Baum in 2010 and immediately went in the studio. One of our first tunes under the Caligula name was our remix of “Steppin’ Up” by MIA which won the Hard Fest/Red Bull Remix contest. Its been nonstop ever since.
TD: Who are some of your influences within the electronic music scene?
ML: Rustie, Joker, Rusko, Caspa, Skrillex, 12th Planet, Drop The Lime, Nadastrom, Worthy, Claude Von Stroke. It’s great because we have had the opportunity to play and work with a lot of them. Continuously inspiring.
OT: Skream , Benga, Flux Pavillion, Kill the Noise, Timeline
TD: And besides electronic music what do you guys tend to listen to?
ML: Trap Rap, Hood-step, Hyphy, Elevator Muzak. Some moombahton.
OT: Really ignorant hip-hop.
TD: Outside of producing/playing shows what other activities do you like to participate in?
OT: I am an acclaimed dessert critic and arcade claw master.
ML: I pretty much stay in the studio, but when I do break out I like to get in my other lab: the kitchen!
TD: Favorite pre-show meal and drink?
OT: I like to mentally prepare by taking hot bubble baths while listening to Juicy J mixtapes.
ML: Peach Ciroc x Peach Qream
TD: What’s it like to live/make music in a big city like Miami that is so engulfed in the music scene.
ML: In a lot of ways, its like living inside a never ending music festival. The world’s biggest DJs and most talented producers are constantly coming through, not to mention the ULTRA/WMC festivities in March. The opportunities are pretty much endless and we have developed a lot of relationships that were made possible by our geography.
OT: Warm weather, women, and 24 hour clubs help foster creativity.
TD: You’ve opened for big names in dubstep like Borgore, Nero, and Zeds Dead to name a few. What is your favorite or most memorable show you’ve ever played?
OT: When we opened for Nero at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale. That crowd was insane and we really connected with their energy. Pretty much turned into a riot.
ML: Closing for 12th Planet and Skrillex at Grand Central in Miami was intense. Some DJs might be scared to follow those guys but we fucking smashed it. They both were up there raging with us for a while!
TD: On a lighter note, are groupies really as cool as they seem?
OT: Mostly entertaining, sometimes scary. But we love all our fans and appreciate the love and enthusiasm!
ML: Yes, but ALWAYS do 2 things. Have a good exit strategy and some cash to cover the cab in the morning. Always got to get back to the studio!
TD: I’ve always wondered, while playing a show do you ever find yourself mid-set desperately needing to use the bathroom?
OT: Its actually my biggest fear next to aliens.
ML: Why do you think we are a duo?! To avoid any trouble like that!
TD: In such a dense, and some would say over saturated dubstep/EDM scene, how do you feel you set yourself apart from other producers?
ML: We set ourselves apart by ripping our live shows with over the top theatrics and energy, and backing it up by working constantly to make huge tunes and remixes.
OT: We try not to think about what other people are doing too much and just stay focused on making stuff we think is rad.
TD: You’ve remixed artists like Chris Brown, Katy Perry, an official Swedish House Mafia remix and the boss of Miami, Rick Ross. What do you look for in a song when you consider remixing it?
OT: We really don’t look for anything specifically to be honest. Most of the time we never even listen to the original, we just work off the acapella. Finding that sample or vocal that just jumps out at you, has that special melody or inflection, and then working from there.
TD: If you had a choice to open/play with any artist, who would it be and why?
ML and OT: We’ve been really lucky and had the chance to play alongside many of the best already, but would still like to get on with Knife Party or Chemical Brothers.
TD: Favorite track or remix at the moment?
ML: Tobago – Jonas Rathsman
OT: Elevate – Gemini
TD: Everyone likes to know the technical side of production, what do you use to produce and what equipment do you use live?
ML: Logic with tons of plugins, SSL Super Analogue compression and EQ, Access Virus C, quirky movie samples, recording sound bites, talented singers or rappers, muppets.
TD: A hot topic right now is how bro-step is affecting the scene overall, what is your take on the issue?
OT: We try to make musical tunes, not only tracks that are going to melt people’s faces off. People aren’t only listening to music at huge shows, and even live there has to be a balance in your sets.
ML: It helps to go into production by not staying too genre specific. The mind set should be like adding “post” to all your genre thoughts. Post-dubstep, post electro, etc so that you don’t feel confined to a certain BPM or set of sounds and have the freedom to explore new ideas.
TD: A lot of us are wondering if you’re going to be gracing us with your presence in Colorado this year?
OT: We would love to! Venues and promoters should email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately! Go! Do it!
ML: We have some much love for Colorado, with our homie and labelmate Timeline out there. We’re actually working on an EP with him right now! Dude is a genius.
TD: Any big plans for 2012?
ML: We want to release at least 2 EPs on some big labels and a ton of original tracks, and hopefully we’re going to be playing at SXSW and ULTRA in March.
OT: Continuing to expand our sound and evolve as producers in general. This year you will hear some unexpected stuff from us that will get the attention of new listeners but that our current fans will still love. There’s just so many different styles of electronic music out there we want to give the Caligula treatment!
TD: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, any last words or shout outs?
ML and OT: Your blog is fucking awesome and you guys have always supported us which means alot. Shout out to Troy “Poolside” Kurtz, Tamara Sky, Heroes x Villains, Spinstyles, Atrasolis, Timeline, Caleb, Lex, Sam, James, Cobra Corps, and the whole Overthrow fam in ATL, MIA, and LA. Thanks to all the fans and the haters! You both keep us motivated!