WMC 2010: Backstage Q&A with Passion Pit and Pirate Stereo at Safe House on Friday

PirateStereoSAFEHOUSE.jpg
Pirate Stereo, doin' the do.
Another Winter Music Conference in the books, party people. And if you're reading this, it means you survived, which is commendable in and of itself. One always comes out the other side a little worse for wear, but satisfied. This year was no different.

Friday we passed by Bayfront Park to check out Ultra for awhile, and as expected, it was a muddy madhouse. Arriving at the press tent just after 7 p.m., we missed Passion Pit's performance, which we'd been looking forward to. But luckily, we were also on the list for WMC Safe House at Kukaramakara, a kick-ass event following the main event where two of the guys from the Mass-based band on a breakout year were scheduled to throw down a DJ set as part of Pirate Stereo's release party for their new three song EP, Thrive of the Thrill. In case you're not yet acquainted with Pirate Stereo, they're another act you'd do well to watch. The two DJs, who linked up in Berklee, have been quickly establishing a fan base, not only here in the 305 at places like White Room, but from Beantown to Mexico City, and point in between.
   
Shortly after arriving, we actually got an unexpected, but very welcome offer to talk to Ayad Al Adhamy (synths) and Jeff Appruzzese (bass) of Passion Pit, and Eyal Agai of Pirate Stereo. It was unpredicted, and took place off in a utility room behind the stage, with my Blackberry doing double duty as digi recorder. But somehow that just seemed apropos to the WMC vibe. Read the Q&A after the jump.


New Times: (to Ayad and Jeff) How's what you're doing tonight different from what you did with the band at Ultra, and different from what fans will see when you guys come to town in April for the gig at the Fillmore?

Ayad: I can answer that really easily. [In April] We're going to be using our own equipment. At Ultra we didn't have any of our own gear 'cuz it got shipped to the UK and isn't arriving for another two weeks.

Jeff: Basically, someone fucked up and it was supposed to go on the plane, but instead it's in the middle of the Atlantic. So we had to gather up borrowed stuff, stuff we had in the basement and put together a whole other rig. It was kinda haphazard. Our monitor engineer got stuck in immigration, walked onstage during our set. It was hectic, it's a show that would've been awesome in a tiny club, like, rock and roll, shit falling off stage. When we come back it'll be slick and smooth, we'll have our stuff and it'll sound awesome.

And what we're doing tonight is just DJing some tracks that we like to listen to and dance to, and just like press play and mix in some stuff. And maybe do some remixes of bands we like.

Ayad: Maybe!

How are you guys enjoying WMC? Have you gotten to take any of it in, or did you just get here?

Ayad: Last night.

Jeff: Yeah, and we have a flight that leaves at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Oh wow. In and out.

Ayad: That's life when you're touring.

Jeff: Yep. Go to New York, pack up our stuff, get on the tour bus. Go all the way to Coachella and do it up. Life goes on.

So tell me a bit about doing this event, which is something different.

Jeff: Oh, awesome. Eyal is one of my best friends. I've known him for ages and he invited us to do a DJ set at their EP release.

Eyal: It was all very informal. It was like, "hey, you're gonna be in Miami from WMC? Wanna come do a DJ set?"

Jeff: Yeah, and it was awesome, because I've been hanging out with this guy for years now, and then we finally get to do something musical together. And so his EP is coming out today, so we're out here to support.

(To Eyal) Talk to us about the EP release.

Eyal: So my partner Isaac [is the production whiz behind Pirate Stereo. He's been looked in a studio for like three months, trying to get this out in time. And we got the mastering and the tracks, literally in our hands today at 3pm. It's going out tomorrow on PirateStereo.com, and we're giving it away for free. It's got two originals of our and a remix that our labelmate Santiago Caballero did. He's just like the best tech DJ in my opinion, he's amazing. We're signing him to PS Records as well. 

And this party should be amazing. We're close to Ultra, WMC, we're all friends, these guys in the last two years have blown up, and it's been amazing to see them rise. And I'm really happy that all this time later we can work in this type of situation. And at the end of the day, we're just having fun. We've got drinks in our hands [laughs and cheers all around], we're having a good time and it's just casual.

Couldn't ask for a better coming out party for the EP.

Eyal: We got very lucky. The fact that they [Passion Pit] were here for Ultra, and the fact that we're really just across the street. It really made it work. It's cool when you can have your EP release. But it's also cool when you can have a main attraction people will really respond to. And I think Passion Pit is the best act for that.

Jeff: Well, you're legit DJs and we're just...

Ayad: We've been told we're the best non-DJ DJs.

Jeff: Yeah, we've figured it out. This is the craft of just mixing 10 to 15 percent of tracks like 85 percent doing this motion, gesticulating with your hand.

Eyal: Do the Tiesto move!

Ayad: Yeah, if you're dancing, you look like you know what you're doing. 
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