[Exclusive Interview] SLANDER Discusses New Music, Inspirations & More

 

SLANDER, the American DJ duo consisting of Derek Andersen and Scott Land were kind enough to take a moment out of their extremely busy schedules to sit down with us for an exclusive interview.

There are no words to thank them for sharing their insight on what new tracks are in the works and the stories behind each piece, who their musical inspirations are, what is the craziest thing that they have asked for on their rider, the ultimate reason why they are continuing to produce, among much more!

Check out their incredible answers as well as their awesome shout-out clip below:

We're hanging with SLANDER at Ever After Music Fest in Canada this weekend. What are you up to?

Posted by EDMTunes on Sunday, June 10, 2018

 

1You just released a slower single called ‘Slow Motion‘ and also have an Above & Beyond remix out now. Give us the story on those and tell us what else you guys have coming up.

The ‘Slow Motion‘ song with Bret James [goes a little something like this]: – Bret was one of my roommates when I lived with NGHTMRE, Scott, the guy who sings ‘Love Again‘ [Wavz], and Jay Lewis. The house was right next to Icon Collective, which is the music school that we all went to. It was five music producers all living together in one house. I remember, I always wanted to do something with Bret, and he wanted to do something with us, and we were waiting for the right track to come around. I remember, one night he pulled me aside, and played me the first part of the song – this was 2 years ago. Right when I heard it, I was like this is the one! Then we had to work on it. A year and a half went by and he finally hit me up again and asked to finish it. He came over and we finished the rest of the song. It’s a really cool vibe – when you listen to the first 30 seconds, it kind of takes you right into another world. The track is different than what our fans are used to, and we are so happy that it’s finally out on Monstercat.

The Above & Beyond remix [‘Always‘] has always been my dream because they are one of my favorite artists. We used to go to shows and we considered ourselves trance heads before we became DJs. Above & Beyond were one of my favorite groups, and still is – especially because I have had so many memorable moments with my friends at their shows. We did an unofficial remix for them, about 2 years ago, and that was our first heaven-trap sound that separated us from the rest. It’s so incredible to see it come full circle! So now it’s 2, or 3, years later, and they reached out to us to ask us to remix that track on their new album. So I listened to the entire thing, and picked the vocal that I really liked – fun fact, on the song, I recorded my own vocals on top of it! I’ve never done that. There was something inside me telling me to do it, and it was a really unique experience since I had only done that a couple of times on my own before. The drop is a little similar to our ‘I Fall Apart‘ remix – I wanted to keep that style, but do it a little differently. We are really thankful that they asked us, since they are so picky with who they choose to remix their tracks. It’s a big honor for us.

We also have our new original for this summer dropping soon called ‘So Long‘ on Monstercat. It’s really emotional, and a little difficult to put into words. However, it is really catchy, and unique. As a SLANDER original, it’s the most radio friendly track to come out so far.

2What about the industry inspires you to want to keep making music and performing as a career?

The inspiration, for us, is that we started as ravers; it’s the main reason why we started to DJ. For example, we were going to EDC when it was being held at the Colosseum. One of my favorite shows that we ever went to was a Trance Around the World 350 at the Hollywood Palladium, and it was Above and Beyond’s live radio that they did. This was one of our biggest inspirations as to why we like to incorporate more emotional elements into our original tracks. Ultimately, for us, being up on stage, and being able to give back that same feelings that we felt when we were hardcore ravers is truly was inspired us, and gives us the motivation to keep doing what we are doing. Without our fans, we would not be where we are now. We were fans that turned into DJs, and there’s a strong connection there – which is why we like to walk around in the crowd, like at EDC Las Vegas. It’s important to us to reconnect with our fans, in many ways.

3What’s the weirdest thing that you’ve ever requested on your rider, and what was the story behind it?

We’re pretty low key on the rider, however, sometimes we get them to bring us video games set ups so that we can play before a set. When we can, we like to play a lot of Nintendo 64 – which is hilarious because that system is much older than a lot of our fans that win the meet and greets. We love to teach them though! That was the gaming system of our generation, and that’s why we like to bring it back. We usually have Mario Kart on backup, just in case they truly can’t play. We don’t have any other crazy items. A lot of the time we don’t even end up drinking the alcohol on our rider – we get our friends to drink it instead.

4You seem to have formed some incredible relationships throughout your career. How do you balance time with your family and friends while you’re touring the globe?

That’s part of the job that you need to figure out. You need to keep in mind the amount of time that you’re going to spend working on music, doing shows, and spending time with your loved-ones. It is tricky since we don’t have weekends – and most people are off at that time. We try our best to invite our parents out to our shows, or meet up with them during the week – so yeah, we try to make it all work! We’ve been DJing for 8 years now, and have been touring for 4, so things seem to come together when they can. We try to bring our friends along to the big shows, like EDC and Holy Ship! to celebrate our accomplishments. So we get the best of both worlds.

5What do you think about people comparing your Gud Vibrations trio with NGHTMRE to Swedish House Mafia? Does the comparison fit?

I think it could be similar in a way. Our style of music is different, however, the concept of the trio and us doing our own thing…I digress, it’s too much of an honor for people to even give us, in my opinion. Above & Beyond and Swedish House Mafia are two of the best groups; they’re straight up Gods to us – it’s crazy for people to even mention our names in the same sentence.

6Speaking of Gud Vibrations, how would you describe the difference between seeing a SLANDER set vs a Gud Vibrations set?

Gud Vibrations set is just full-on the entire time and you hear a lot of Tyler’s music. We also free style back to back with Tyler, which is a lot of fun, and he’s usually the one that comes up with the structure. Our set is about 80% full-on, and 20% our melodic original music, and us trying to make you feel something besides the typical party/headbanger vibes. We usually have the same structure to our own set since we are a duo and do not want to be arguing on stage trying to figure things out. For the fans, we think the best part of the Gud Vibrations set is the fact that they don’t know what’s going to happen next, especially because we don’t even know – free styling is a blast!

Photo: Peter Don