2ToneDisco on Their Chiptune Sounds, Crazy Performances, and Reasons for Moving to L.A.
So what sorta stuff do you do during gigs? We've heard that you supposedly "go all out" while performing.
Campbell: Yeah, currently we do a little more than an average duo. We actually both are constantly doing something. Most people trade the headphones off and mix one after the other. Omni actually uses the remix unit and samples and throws effects, kind of remixes the tracks while I mix on two CD-Js. Currently, we are working also getting an analog synth to throw into the mix. Our goal is to make VIP [variance in production] versions of certain tracks and have Omni perform the parts live on the synth. We want to push it a little more and have more a live performance, still without having a laptop on stage.
Are you mixing live at gigs or just dropping pre-recorded tracks?
Campbell: Well, we are mixing live, not to the measure of individual drum tracks, but we mix it up quite a bit. We have the live samples from the remix unit and we are constantly sampling drums from one CD-J and looping them in. It's like a mash-up live set.
What are each of you doing?
Campbell: I'll be mixing tracks on the CD-Js and Omni will be using the remix unit for live effects and dropping sample loops and one shots.
It seems like such a complex operation. How do you guys keep it all together?
Campbell: I think we both have an understanding of music and working in a unit so at first it was a little trial and error, but now it kind of clicks.
Do you ever collide with each other during a set?
Campbell: I don't think we have. There has been a few times where Omni unplugs something or I bump a cable, but that's more of the small space we have to perform in sometimes. It's surprising how small DJ booths can get.
Is that an "oh shit" kind of a moment?
Yeah. I mean Omni unplugged the entire power strip during a massive build once. You could feel the energy just drop and I'm freaking out trying to replug everything [back in], but in the end we just laughed it off. Stuff happens. Just gotta keep moving forward.
What's the craziest shit you guys have seen at a gig?
Campbell: Well, some girl stole Omni's burrito on stage this past New Years. That was more funny than crazy. Or the Wednesday we just played in Oklahoma City called Robotic. It was the most insane gig we have ever seen for a Wednesday especially.
Campbell: Well, we drive up to this venue they have the show in, which is a meat deli restaurant during the day. And we walk into this dance area and they have the most insane setup you have ever seen. Full Funktion-One sounds, lasers, lights, like what you would see in a Vegas club. And we are just chilling by 11 the place is packed. People shaking the metal barriers and going insane. People raging so much they had little care for their own well being, falling over and just jumping all over the place. And we are sitting there looking at each other like, "This is a Wednesday?"
So y'all are in essence making the music that's coming out of the PA?
Campbell: I wouldn't say as much as a band makes music, but a lot more than just pushing play.
What's your reaction to people who think that's what most DJs are about?
Campbell: I think they don't understand it. I can tell you most people who you think are sellouts or just hit play at some point they worked hard in one area or another to get there. It's not easy. It's accessible, but not easy.
Have you ever played "Catnip" for a cat? If so, what was the reaction?
Campbell: Neither of us owns a cat. But some of the comments on it stated their cat curled up on the keyboard and other said their cat came in the room to check things. But yeah, we have to do that someday. Maybe on stage and we will let the cat play on the C D-Js like Keyboard Cat.
Should more EDM artists use chiptune music?
Campbell: I feel like they are starting to. But yea, I think it would be a nice change of pace, especially since chiptunes are actually incredibly musical. I feel like a lot of EDM lacks that element. Like progressions and chords, it feels like a ton of music in EDM right now is super loopy.