Interviewed by: Bryan
It’s not everyday that you have the pleasure of interviewing two artists that you can call friends. I’ve personally known Derek and Rick of Team Bayside High since their inception a few years ago and have seen them rise to become a mighty powerhouse in bass music. After many months of scheduling and planning, we were finally able to come together to talk about the past, present and future of Team Bayside High. Enjoy mes Amis
TD: Give us your names, ages and where you are from.
R: Rick C, 26, and from St. Louis.
DB: Derek B, 30, and from Miami.
TD: Who are some of your influences within the music scene growing up?
D: A lot of random stuff; at first hip-hop (Warren G, Nate Dogg) watched a lot of YO MTV Raps before and after school. My older brother got me into metal. So bands like Pantera, Metallica and Slayer entered the fold.
R: I collected tapes well into the days when CDs were popular just because they were cheaper. I recently raided a box and found some Skid Row, Guns and Roses, Snoop and Slipknot. Just a bunch of random sh*t really.
TD: How did Team Bayside High come to be?
R: We came together to start throwing a weekly indie-rock dance party called Rehab which allowed us to control the music format. Overtime we developed a crowd, and people wanted to book us outside of that party and needed a name for the flyers. So instead of putting our names down we came up with Team Bayside High.
TD: What kind of music did you play when you first started? Did you have a mission at the beginning?
R: At the beginning we played a lot of party jams…a lot of indie-rock, some disco-house. We were all over the place (laughs).
D: Whatever would make people have a good time. That was one thing people have always liked about us. We could be put in a certain situation and be able to read the crowd and vibe. Say it called for an indie-electric set or a hip-hop set, we could play that. Just a lot of fun stuff really.
TD: You started DJing at the weekly Wicker Park party called “Rehab” that soon became one of the best dance parties Chicago (and the US) had ever seen. The party hosted names like Flosstradamus, Midnight Conspiracy and Kraddy. Has Rehab shaped who you’ve become?
D: We made a lot of really good friends out of it you know? We wouldn’t be as close with artists like Willy Joy, the Flosstradamus guys, Darkwave Demons, The Hood Internet. We all were friends in the scene. It definitely helped us in other situations; one thing we know how to do is feel out a crowd and go into a show to have a good time. Being in a party club for 5 years straight makes you learn how to read people’s facial expressions all the way down to being able to sense if you aren’t playing the right music.
TD: What ultimately led to Rehab being no more?
R: We just really didn’t have time for it. We’d be in the studio or out of town playing shows. When running a weekly party it’s a lot of work and it consumes your time completely; if your not given it the attention it needs then it can slip thru the cracks. Especially when there are so many other promoters and parties in a city like Chicago. If you aren’t on your game 24/7 then you’re just going to go by the wayside.
D: That’s why we decided to set it off in a good way. We didn’t want it to go to sh*t so we decided to just end it. Luckily, we were able to have a proper final goodbye because enough people said that they wanted to have one last shot at going. And the last Rehab party was packed to the brim! It was a great feeling to see the impact that it had in the community, and if we went out like a chump it wouldn’t be fun to remember our time there in that way.
TD: When did Djing and producing transition from being just a hobby to a full time job? Was there a specific instance when this hit you?
R: Since we put out our first EP “LoudPack” on Teenage Riot. That was about this time last year. So that’s when we officially decided to make a push and focus more of our time on making music. Now we are as serious as ever doing what we do!
TD: How would you describe your sound to new fans?
R: Its always been an ever-evolving thing with us, because we always listen to new tracks and try to incorporate it into our music. Right now, it’s heavier hip-hop beats, but we also fuse certain aspects from moombahton, house, electro, trap and put it all together. We just try to do something that’s a little familiar yet off-kilter with its own style.
TD: You were added onto Teenage Riot’s record label last year. The label boasts the likes of MSTRKRFT, Bird Peterson, NADASTROM and more. How did that come about?
D: We were booked in Chicago to do an event at The Mid and open for MSTRKFT; it was the week before JFK (of MSTRKRFT) started following us on Twitter, and we were pretty stoked about. While we were playing, he literally came up to us and said he loved our tunes and that he was going to sign us. Beyond stocked! After the show we met up with him and partied at The Mid with a bottle of whiskey until they kicked us out. We kept in contact and he came by our studio a year ago to check out the tune for the first release, and we also worked with him on some things. He is such a good dude, as well as Bird Peterson and the rest of the crew over at Teenage Riot.
TD: Has anyone over at TR taken you under their wing and helped you reach where you are today?
R: Jesse’s definitely been there for guidance and good advice, which has been really cool. He isn’t one to say “Hey, let me do sh*t for you,” ya know? He understands the real aspect of the grind and putting in your dues. Bird Peterson as well, he has always been down in a big way to help us and rides for us.
TD: Who are your major influences musically now a days?
TD: You recently put out a boatload of remixes ranging from Pantera, The Postal Service and C & C Music Factory. Do you have a process when you pick a song you want to take a touch to?
R: Not really. It’s more if we can think of an idea and then hit the studio for the next few hours to knock out something. Usually by the end of the day we’ll know if it’s complete crap or if we think it could be a cool track.
D: We just try to think of tunes that we really like and come up with ways we could make them more fun and add something sweet to it. I mean no one expected us to put together a Pantera remix right after C&C Music Factory, but we like both those artists and it made sense for us to work it out.
TD: If you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive who would it be?
R: Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix.
TD: Aside from making music, what else can Team Bayside High be caught doing?
R: Sitting on a patio somewhere getting lunch and day drinking in Wicker Park.
D: Day drinking and hanging. We are pretty chill dudes; we stay in the studio most of the time and look pale as sh*t due to not being outside (laughs). People tell us that its 70 degree’s out and want us to hang, but all we do is crack a window in the studio and keep working. Once we decided to treat creating music like a full-time job; we’ve been in that mentality all the time. Plus smoking a lot of weed.
TD: Everyone likes to know the technical side of production, what do you use to produce and what equipment do you use live?
R: We use Logic and a lot of plugins (sylenth, nexus, massive) to name a few for synths. Live we use Serato; a pair of CDJs or a pair of Technics.
TD: What would you say is your goal ultimately when sharing new music with the world?
R: We hope they ultimately enjoy it and possibly learn something from what they listened to. Just positive vibes really. Maybe another producer might find some inspiration from us and allows them think about music in a different way.
D: It’s cool that we meet people that tell us that they love our music and are super pumped on it. Whether they listen to us while working out or just chillin; it’s just rad that we have that type of affect on someone. Or people that send us them freestyling over a beat of our. That’s just cool that they would take time out to do that.
TD: Most memorable night of Rehab at Debonair?
R: When Kid Cudi performed was a wild night. The “Day N Night” remix had been out for a month and was just blowing up. We couldn’t even find promo material for it on the Internet (laughs). We had to hit up his manager who only sent us a 35 second video reels of the chorus. We also had Screech there for a full night, though nothing crazy happened. He did end up taking a picture with ever-single person that night. He was that down.
D: A few good ones for sure. The night Talib Kweli walked in at the same time as Simian Mobile Disco was pretty cool. Also when GZA showed up at the Lollapalooza afterparty. There is one night we walked up and people were telling us a bunch of comedians were outside. Lone behold, it was Aziz Ansari and he was so humble and declined our offers to get him a table. He even paid cover! All he wanted to do was just hang out and get a drink. That’s something I’ll always remember about Rehab; everyone wanted to come in and just chill, and it brought together a bunch of random people. And it never was a big deal.
TD: Who are some up and coming DJ’s from the Chicago area that you’ve taken note of?
R: Some of the Push Beats dudes like Cos who does some cool stuff. Vaporize as well and Ignatraxx.
D: Owen Bones for sure. He’s a really nice guy and his production is coming along fast. There are a lot of people putting out cool stuff from the Chicago area. It’s weird though, because sometimes Chicago doesn’t take notice, just take a look at Flosstradamus, Krewella, Willy Joy. At first they would play blasé shows here and now its full on Congress Theater with either one of them playing there. The Hood Internet for a really long time would sell out shows in other cities and just play at The Hideout locally. Chicago is just a weird city like that. There are times when I find artists on SoundCloud and see that they’re from Chicago, but they aren’t booking shows yet. They’re are great producers.
TD: Unfortunately we live in a world where haters are everywhere and rumors/misinformation can be spread almost at random. What’s the biggest misconception you think people have about you?
R: We don’t really deal with too much hate besides on ourselves. There are always haters on tracks and stuff, but we don’t really get involved in drama. The one thing that we definitely learned from throwing weekly parties is dealing with drama and situations like that for 5 years. Now that we have taken on to making music more seriously, we’ve stayed away from that since this is our profession. We just don’t want to deal with any bullsh*t.
TD: Any big plans for 2013?
D: Releasing a bunch of new music within the next few months; we plan to start unveiling material closer to festival season. Playing, Summer Camp, Spring Awakening, Infrasound thus far as well as a Cinco De Mayo pool party in Las Vegas. Just keep busy touring and playing more shows throughout the year. We feel like we are in a really good place, and we are stoked on the music we are putting out.
TD: What was the first album you ever purchased?
R: Warrant – Cherry Pie.
D: Aerosmith – Pump, which I purchased with allowance money.
TD: Last bad trend in the music industry?
D: My not really a “trend,” but it relates to music. The most bizarre thing is when you see a certain DJ at a club and you see people have bottle service with sparklers coming out of the top come to their table. Like come on; can you be any cheesier? But I do feel like everyone has realized that it’s bad because I haven’t seen it as much now.
TD: Last time you were inspired?
R: I went and saw C2C play at Metro a few weeks ago and that was pretty inspiring. There was some awesome turntable tablism going on.
D: Anytime you go to a quality show and you see a great vibe is kinda inspiring. When we went to see Gent & Jawns recently we saw a great set, and them playing music that we love. It can make you want to go play a set somewhere or go into the studio and make some good music.
TD: If you could put together a show with any 5 artists, who would you have play and where would it be?
R: A show at Red Rocks Amphitheater involving The Chronic Tour with Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Cyprus Hill. Daft Punk would curate the stage.
TD: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Do you guys have any last shout outs you’d like to make?
D: Shout out Teenage Riot Records for being our boys, and all our fans that enjoy our music and come out to see us play. Shout out to The Dankles and all the blogs that have supported us!