Botnek Talks Steve Aoki, Chart-Topping Remixes and Future Plans in Exclusive Interview

After quietly developing their style of electro house, tech house and afrobeat for several years, Montreal producing duo Erick and Gordon, otherwise known as Botnek, have accumulated quite the buzz around their name lately. From releasing hugely successful remixes of tracks by The Chainsmokers and Martin Garrix, to creating booming original collaborations with Snails and 3lau, these Canadian boys have made some serious headway in the dance music game. Along with these huge career benchmarks, Botnek also managed to win Dim Mak Records‘ remix competition for Felix Cartal’s “Skeleton” before subsequently signing with the label, releasing their latest EP “Sriracha & Beer”, and touring with the likes of Steve Aoki and Kill the Noise. In a short amount of time, Botnek has managed to accumulate a boast-worthy musical resume for themselves under a style that is uniquely their own.

Two essential and noteworthy moments regarding Botnek’s growth as a duo has to be attributed to the wild success of their “Animals” and “#Selfie” remixes. Not only did both of these remixes attract the attention of EDM fans across the globe, but of Martin Garrix and The Chainsmokers themselves. When asked whether or not they expected to receive the support they did from the tracks’ original artists, Gordon replied:

“No absolutely not, ‘Animals’ in particular because we weren’t even going to finish it. We did it as a one little edit for Tomorrowworld last year. We played it and Erick filmed it just like whatever and put in on Facebook”…“and that day Martin Garrix followed us on Twitter and hit us up and asked what it was, and we were like ‘it’s not even done, it’s not even a thing, it’s like 40 seconds long’”…”It was Justin 3lau that told us to finish it… I was like not even gonna”… “and he said to finish it and then I sent it to Martin Garrix and he started playing it a lot”

When discussing the story behind their Chainsmokers’ “#Selfie” remix, Gordon confessed:

“They approached us to do it, and we trolled them and we were like ‘there’s no way they’ll let us do this’ but The Chainsmokers guys loved it. They were done with ‘#Selfie’ at that point and just like were so happy that we just told the selfie person to shut up”… “Way better than we expected, someone tweeted us and told us that we were number 1 on beatport and I was like ‘shut the f**k up” 

After establishing some serious street credentials with some of today’s biggest EDM names due to their knack for remixing, Botnek started embarking on a number of collaborations, most notably so, their track, “Vikings” with 3lau. Although Erick of Botnek was credited with creating the initial drop for the track, the collaboration was truly a team effort. Gordon commented:

“It was fun, it was super organic how it came together. We were just chillin in my apartment in Montreal and Erick started the idea and was like ‘look at this crazy thing’ and I was like ‘what is thiiiiis?’”… “We put the ideas together and they worked. We’d get together every time he (3lau) was in town, and the last end of it we were finishing it in like Australia over Skype in the sound studio over there. It was such a fu**ing difference in time, it’d be like 8 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, it was wicked. That was the first of our collab phase”

Erick humorously added…

“Which is funny because we were doing a lot of remixes, and now we’re doing a lot of collabs. Then all originals, and that’s when we go downhill…when we release our originals”

After winning Dim Mak’s remix contest for Felix Cartal’s single “Skeleton”, Botnek began their relationship with Steve Aoki‘s label. Once the boys were welcomed into the Dim Mak family, they began working closely with Aoki, which allowed them to gather priceless tips on DJing and stage presence. Erick and Gordon admitted to looking up to the label boss as an inspiration and mentor. Gordon confessed:

“he’s a good mentor though, he knows the industry really well, he gives us some tips from time to time and takes us under his wings and puts us on festivals and brings us on tour and helps me wash my hair…just kidding, he’s never washed my hair”

He continued to elaborate on the specifics of Aoki’s reaches as a mentor and demonstrated the success of his influences with a hilarious anecdote from being on tour:

“We learned a lot touring with him, because his shows have so much energy and, gimmicky or whatever you want to call it, he really gets the crowd f**king excited. We’re not going to start throwing cakes, but like stage presence stuff. He helps us learn how to work the crowd and stuff, because in the beginning we were really quiet and we just DJed and sat there, so it worked for our like frontman-ness”…”Oh my god, we’ve just been doing wild things on stage. One night in Las Vegas there was a loaf of bread in the backstage and I came out with the bread and had the f**king bread and everyone was like ‘YEAAH!’ and I was like ‘ALRIGHT’ and threw a slices and I everyone was like ‘give me the bread’ and was tearing it apart and I was like ‘this is amazing!’ ‘everyone gets sliced bread!’”

After being informed of all their latest successes in both the producing and touring spheres, the future is looking quite bright for this Canadian duo. Erick and Gordon intend to keep the music ball rolling with their latest deadmau5 remix as well as an upcoming remix of a new unreleased Steve Aoki and Flux Pavilion collaboration. Along with these remixes, Botnek has started more collaborations with artists Snails, Chris Lake and Flatdisk. The boys told us what we should expect from them in the future:

Gordon joked:

“We’re going to retire actually”… “Yeah we’re done”…”No we have a lot of sh*t, I’m excited. I don’t know what’s after this”

Erick added:

“Whatever gets finished”… “We have a million songs with Snails that will probably get finish eventually”

Botnek has not only successfully created an energetic and highly distinguishable sound around their name, but has also managed to accumulate a large amount of success and attention in a short amount of time. Although the boys of Botnek have a lot to congratulate and give themselves credit for, it seems that a portion of their success has truly been a group effort between them and the various artists they’ve collaborated with. Their ability to transform and repackage other artists’ songs into new and interesting creations as well as blend their signature sound incredibly well with others artists’ styles shows that Botnek is shaping up to be a multi-dimensions and dynamic force to be reckoned with. From getting first hand pointers from Steve Aoki, to receiving an extensive amount of positive feedback from electronic music heavy hitters like Martin Garrix and The Chainsmokers, Botnek has been given not only the tools, but the opportunity to pursue their promising music making career.