Fresh out of college, these Two Friends have taken up full time jobs making bangers. I caught with the up & comers from LA, Matt & Eli on their success so far & what they have on tap for 2016.
Q: You guys are in the middle of an “Instagram Takeover” of the Armada Music account, & you’re clearly having what appears to be one the best days ever.
Matt: It has been a busy, but fun, awesome day.
Q: How many songs are you working on right now?
Eli: You don’t even wanna know. I’ll put it this way: every original song we start we put a number to it. 79 is the highest one & we’ve put out about 5 original songs ever, so that means there’s 84 ideas we’re working on.
Matt: Lot of remixes too. Lot of stuff in the pipeline.
Q: When you’re working on so many tracks is there a decision process like “we should put this out first,” or, is it just whatever gets done first?
Matt: It’s a combination of things. When it’s all said & done and you’ve got like 3 originals to release sometimes you have to think ‘what’s going to be in now?’ & what’s not going to be in next year. Ideally, we try to release the songs we love the most. I think we’re starting to go through that where there’s a lot of music & you have to make decisions on what you want to get out there.
Q: I want to know more about you two. Did you guys meet in school, or did you use some DJ version of Tinder?
Eli: Actually, Matt & I both grew up in Los Angeles & went to middle school & high school together. We met in 7th grade & became best friends right away, & it wasn’t until the very end of high school that we started thinking about working on music together. Matt has a really strong background in guitar & he sang in the choir & took music theory classes – While I was getting into mash-ups & DJing so it was kind of a weird time for us to join up ’cause right after that we split up for college. I went to Vanderbilt in Tennessee & Matt was up at Stanford. We just graduated this past spring, so for the first four years the biggest chunk of Two Friends was long distance. Since we graduated, we’re back here in LA doing Two Friends full-time & it’s been really exciting.
Matt: But every year in college we got more traction. We never took ourselves seriously like Freshman year, but then you get on radio, some blogs pick you up & slowly, but surely little victories add up then you look back where you came from & it’s like, ‘wow, look where we came from.’
Eli: We owe it to ourselves to keep it going. It’s so fun, why not? And now it’s sort of viable as an actual career path so we’ve got to do this. We’ll regret it for the rest of the lives if we don’t.
Q: Have you had to convince your families that you’re making the right decision? Fresh out of good colleges with degrees and now you’re making music full time.
Matt: It’s kind of been a running joke like getting super relevant degrees, but we kind of convinced them through like I was saying ‘little victories’ here & there. Like, these kids know what they’re doing, kind of…
Eli: Both our families have been super supportive. They’re really excited for us & they come to some of our shows. Most summers in between years of college we didn’t get typical summer jobs. We’d be doing this full time in the studio. We got in the right work flow & I think through that they saw we knew what we were doing. They saw it as a career, not just a hobby.
Q: One of the first Two Friends tracks I heard was your Blink-182 remix of “I Miss You”. Was it tough to get the rights to release that?
Eli: It was pretty easy. It’s a funny story about how it happened, actually. It was right after I graduated college & I was making a road trip home to LA from Tennessee. I was in the car all day & the original version of “I Miss You” came on & it brought back so many memories & nostalgia, so I texted Matt right away saying, ‘It could be cool if we do a throwback remix of a Blink-182 song.’ & he wrote back asking, ‘which song?’ & I said ‘I Miss You,’ & I guess he didn’t see that text for a while so his response was just, ‘I miss you, too.’ Then it was like, ‘oh, wait, no. Let’s actually do this for real.’
Matt: In terms of permissions, luckily, Blink-182, the company that manages us, manages them also & they’re on a break so nothing’s really happening on their side so we were in the clear.
Q: When you release something like that, a remix of a song that has such a legacy, were you nervous about the response? Did you read the comments?
Matt: Totally. We’re always self-conscious about it because a song like that – a Blink-182 remix is either going to be absolutely hated on, or loved. People are going to be passionate one way, or another. We were a little concerned. We tried to get a lot of feedback. The feedback was all over the place, honestly. Not everyone loved it, but we were like, ‘we have to put this out there.’ & it seems like people really dug it.
Eli: That one’s been awesome to see because a lot of bigger DJ’s have been playing it all throughout their tours. We’ve been at a couple shows, or even nightclubs & it comes on. It’s always really special.
Matt: Snapchats and everything. It’s cool.
Q: Do you have a favorite meme at the moment?
Matt: That’s an awesome question. Me, personally, I don’t scavenge for memes, but they find their way to me all the time. ‘Damn Daniel’ is the hot thing at the moment, but there’s a lot of Bernie Sanders memes. It’s kind of hard to describe a meme in words.
Eli: The Damn Daniel thing, I don’t understand how the hell that blew up, but I’m not complaining ’cause I love it.
Q: Do you have any favorite producers at the moment?
Matt: I would say, over the last year, it changes like every week, but some of the guys we’ve really looked up to, or become friends with & love their style – Audien, Galantis, Mako, Don Diablo’s killin’ it.
Q: In 2016 do you think you’ll end up on festivals with those DJs?
Eli: That’s the goal. That’s what we’re working towards every day. In general, we’re going to be on the road more this year. It’s exciting for us. 2016 is the first year of us doing this full-time. More original music, more remixes, more touring, more collaborations. We’ll keep doing our big booty mixes, our friendly sessions podcasts. Basically, doing everything we can to take Two Friends to the next level.
Q: Tell me about the latest original track, “Forever” featuring KT Pearl.
Matt: This one in particular was a little weird. The song was originally written like 3 years ago. Totally done in terms of the writing, but we just wanted to wait a couple of years to produce it until we felt like our production skill matched our creativity and our vision. So, last year we produced it. It took us a while to get it out there, but we’re supper happy with it. KT Pearl, she was actually in our grade in high school & she’s awesome.
Eli: That’s just the start. We keyed in on that one as the first of this string of originals that are going to be coming out this year on to next year. That’s just the start of a ton of original music.
Q: Are we getting an EP, an album, or just a bunch of single releases?
Matt: It looks like single releases for now, but definitely something down the line. Maybe an EP release on a label. We want to do something like that so we can get more music out there versus singles every two months or whatever.
Thank you guys for joining me, get back to your Instagram takeover.
Matt: Thank you so much, Dallas.
Listen to “Forever”