HoH: Could you guys give our Philadelphia readers a general background on how you two first met and began the “Two Friends” collaborative project? I understand the two of you are high school buddies.
Eli: So we actually met in middle school, I think in Mr. Casteneres’ history class. We became best friends in the same friend group. Fast forward six years and we are seniors in high school and about to graduate- we kinda were just like ‘uh you love music, I love music, wanna make music together?’
Matt: Eli had been doing mashups for a couple years and I always had played guitar and was like the worst one in our school choir.
Eli: We split up for college but made music a priority. From freshman year on, we took it progressively more seriously and began gaining momentum. The hype feels like its been pretty exponential recently! Super exciting.
HoH: So you guys just passed 1 million SoundCloud plays for your track “Forever” featuring KTPearl. I understand this isn’t your first time passing a million plays either. What’s that continued growth and success feel like at this point in your careers. I take it the two of you won’t be working your day jobs anymore (THANK GOD).
Luckily we graduated college last spring so we kind of jumped right into it since we had a bunch of momentum coming out of college and skipped the day job thing completely. Working hard every moment to keep it that way. It’s always humbling to see millions of people enjoy our music, pretty surreal actually. We definitely don’t take it for granted, and we try to make sure that each new release keeps everyone eager for more. The reaction to ‘Forever’ has been awesome. It’s been really cool watching it evolve from playing it while it was unreleased and people just vibing, to playing it now and everyone singing along. We have another single coming out in a little over a month…
HoH: Speaking of… What were your day jobs before you two got into this line of work? I’m sure our readers can all relate to your humbled beginnings at the daily grind.
For most of our Two Friends journey so far, our ‘day jobs’ were doing essays and problem sets in college. They were definitely a buzz-kill when we wanted to work on music (which was always haha). We had to figure out how to best balance our time, and even then would release music about 1/3 as frequently as now. In our early years of college, during the summers we’d have music-related summer internships. But halfway through, we solely worked on music during the summers and went all-out for it.
HoH: I grew up on Armada music and today I see all these subsidiary labels branching off of the original Armada Music brand name. I gave notice to “Forever” releasing under Armada Music labelTrice. How would you best describe your music and how it fits into Armada’s vision of Trice.
Armada has definitely been one of the names in dance music that we have always aspired to, so it was super exciting when they loved Forever as much as we did. For a while we always tried to think really hard about what we were producing. Recently, however, we have just been doing whatever we want. A rule of thumb in a lot of the upcoming stuff is simply ‘do what sounds good.’ Fewer and fewer people care about genres. A few of the upcoming releases have fit into the Trice brand really well, so our next single will be with Armada as well (shhhh).
HoH: What is “Soul House” all about?
Soul House is what we’ve been coining a lot of the stuff we’ve released within the last year. Lots of live instruments, whether it is guitar, sax, drums, and more, as well as lots of fun/emotional piano melodies. ‘Forever’ was actually the first song we worked on with this vibe in mind, but it just took a while to get out so a bunch of remixes passed it in release order. Lots more soul house coming, as well as some totally different stuff from us. More than excited to share.
HoH: We understand the two of you made a couple appearances down at Miami Music week. Could you tell us a bit about your trip and how that went? Where did you guys end up playing? Feel free to share any funny stories or romances along the way. I’ll reward brownie points for whoever throws the other guy under the bus first.
Matt: It was my first time in Miami and it was pretty surreal. You’d be doing your thing at a party and then casually one of your production gods would be standing right next to you. Had to control the fan-boy in myself so many times. It was a great place to meet people and also finally say hello to producers, managers, and other music people that you’ve been in touch with for years online. I definitely paid more attention to all these producers I’ve looked up to than girls haha. I think the highlight was the gyro place on Collins (the main street) that basically was filled with five of your favorite DJs at anytime- bomb kebab too.
Eli: Matt made love to a kebab.
HoH: On April 22nd Two Friends will be playing at Philly’s Coda. How many visits have you guys made to Philadelphia before (business or pleasure)?
Matt: Ummm I definitely visited Penn when I was looking at colleges. Besides that I think I am a Philly-virgin. Definitely was a real virgin during that visit too.
Eli: This is our first time performing in Philly and we are beyond excited. Have heard amazing things about the dance music scene, and we’re excited to explore the city too.
HoH: On April 23rd Two Friends will be playing a private party in Las Vegas. I’m envisioning something super exotic. Way over the top. Way out of me league. Can you confirm it’s private event beyond Worlds we’ll ever know? And if it’s just Uncle Pete’s backyard BBQ that’s okay too.
If we tell you, we’d have to kill you… maybe we’ll give some clues though. Here they are: Armadillo, prime numbers between 1 and 20, and Jello (sugar-free). Good luck.
HoH: What’s in the pipeline for the remainder of 2016? Your tour schedule shows your guys will be on the road till at least the til end of June, but with more dates being added. Are you guys still finding time to work on some music?
We’re still getting into the flow of tour-life, but it has been super super fun and rewarding. We definitely find ourselves grinding extra hard during the week to make moves on new music, and there is so much new music on the way. We’re becoming faster producers with more and more experience too which definitely has helped. Still have trouble producing on planes or hotels though haha. We have a bunch of originals in the pipeline, as well as a few dope remixes for so far for Vicetone, Audien, and more. We’re so excited to visit all these new cities and play the new stuff for everyone!
HoH: Riddle me this. If you go to the movies and you are paying, is it cheaper to take one friend to the movies twice or two friends to the movies at the same time?
Math would suggest that I should probably take two friends once so I only pay for three people total instead of four (myself and a friend twice). With that said, we highly recommend inviting all the homies and making it a party.
Photos by Erik Voake
Photo by Erik Voake