bill bodkin interviews the hot electro house dj unit The Disco Fries …
They say dance is a universal language, and in the current scene, no one is more fluent than The Disco Fries — DJs Danny “Danger” Boselovic and Nick “Piklz” Ditri. The two Jersey-based turntablists have gone from roommates in college to producing some of the hottest dance remixes to even producing a single for reality TV’s hottest star, The Situation.
B&B’s Bill Bodkin recently caught up with this busy outfit to talk about the world of house music, world tours, No. 1 hits and the greasy yet delectable meal they’re named after …
B&B: How did you come together?
Danger: Nick and I were roommates in the dorms our first year at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Nick came from more of a hip-hop production background and I was into the indie-rock kinda thing, so initially we didn’t collaborate on much at all. By our third or fourth year, we had both gotten more into the dance music thing, and it just took off from there.
B&B:Where did The Disco Fries’ name come from?
Danger: One of the first times I came up to Jersey from Virginia to work on a mix with Nick, we stopped in at a diner for some eats. We don’t have diners in Virginia, so it was rough having all of those options presented at once. I decided to get stuff I had never tried before, and that included something called Disco Fries. [laughs] They were pretty gross, but a few weeks later when we realized we needed a name for the projects we were getting to release, Nick suggested “Disco Fries,” and it stuck.
B&B: Where’s your favorite place to order the greasy delicacy that you’re named after?
Danger: [laughs] Well, I’ve only had it twice in my life, so can’t really say I’ve got a favorite place. Oddly enough, one of the times was in Hong Kong, but they were pretty different from what we tried in Jersey. I’d kinda just recommend staying away from them in general. [laughs]
B&B:Talk about the licensing company that you guys had in college. Did that help your career out?
Piklz: It definitely did — it helped get a grasp of the non-creative side of the industry. Through the licensing side of our company, we have been able to connect with music supervisors, major labels and corporations that normally are a bit harder to reach out to.
B&B:You guy get commissioned to do remixes for major artists, for those unfamiliar to the DJ scene, how do you get jobs like this?
Piklz: It can happen a variety of ways, and we’ve seen a progression over the past few years since we started. At first, it was us going out hunting down contacts, labels, artists and really grinding out to get remix work, which to some extent doesn’t end until you have a massive hit or your discography is so extensive that the labels just know where to go. So we still have to do a bit of that leg work, but now a number of artists who we’ve worked with have become familiar with our work through our past projects and really wanted to get our sound on their record.
B&B:You’re described as an “electro house” outfit. Fill us in on what this genre is all about.
Danger: We try moving around a bit within genres, doing some progressive house, electro, b-more, etc. But electro house is basically the type of dance music you hear on the radio now. David Guetta [The Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Taio Cruz] produces “electro house” with a mainstream touch, so it works in the Top 40 market.
B&B: Where do you guys spin on the regular?
Piklz: This was our thirrd Asia tour, and we played in everywhere from Shanghai to Hong Kong, and it really seems to be even more incredible every time we land over there. We have played a number of venues down the East coast in Boston, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, but are really doing a push to expand our United States calendar for 2011.
B&B: How is it DJ-ing as a duo? We usually see DJs working solo. How does working together add to a show? Are there any difficulties?
Danger: We’re always working on improving our show, but we have a setup that works well for us. Nick predominantly handles the traditional DJing aspects, while I have an additional setup to play drums, samples, synths, etc., on top of what Nick has going on. With that we add a bit of a live performance aspect to the show that keeps it interesting and flexible.
B&B: In your bio, it says you were featured in record pools. Can you explain what a record pool is?
Piklz: Back in the day, you’d subscribe to a record pool and be sent physical vinyl, but now that it’s a digital world, record pools like DJCity.com are places where DJs can pay a subscription fee and download all of the latest, exclusive releases from the labels and independent artists. You’ll often see releases straight from the studio, sometimes even six to 12 months before the official record release on the pool sites, so really it’s our major resource of getting the DJs our music before anyone else gets it so they can break it in the clubs.
B&B:How did you end up working with AV8 Records?
Piklz: When we first started as a duo, we were doing remixing and party breaks, so we submitted some material to AV8 and jumped on board right away. AV8 is known for their presence in the DJ world with party-breaks and remixes usually coined with the classic Fatman Scoop hype, so it was a great launching pad for what we were putting together as a group.
B&B: Speaking of “The Voice Of The Club,” what have you collaborated on him with?
Piklz: We met Scoop after making records with AV8, and we’ve been his main producer/engineer team ever since. We’ve worked with him on a number of remixes and original records from “Boom Boom Pow” to “Love Is Gone” and a bunch of original work that you’ll hear in the next few months.
B&B:You just did a tour of South East Asia — how did this come about?
Piklz: Most of our bookings have been a direct result of being involved in the record pool community and working with every DJ we possibly can. We’ve been to Asia three times now, and every event is linked in some way to a DJ who we have connected with through sending our tracks, us spinning their tracks or just a mutual appreciation for what we all have going on. In today’s world, it’s very easy to be a global artist, and we’ve made it our goal to reach out to anyone and everyone possible.
B&B: How is the club scene there different from the U.S.?
Piklz: The people actually go out to listen to the music. It’s a novel idea.
B&B: Far East Movement’s “G6” hit No. 1 on iTunes. Talk about the experience of having a No. 1 single.
Piklz: Being connected to a single like that is not only an honor for us, but it’s just mind-blowing. You have to understand, we’re two kids from the suburbs and we both have home studios, so to watch a record go from creation in your house to the top of every major chart and be a massive success is just mind-blowing. Aside from that, the guys in Far East Movement have been nothing short of the most humble, helpful people we’ve met in the industry, so being a part of their project was an all-around great experience.
B&B: What’s on the horizon for The Disco Fries?
Danger: We got lots of stuff in the works now, and you can expect to see plenty more remixes in the coming months. As of right now, we’ve finished up work on some for Flo Rida, Clinton Sparks, Eva Simmons, and Hyper Crush, to name a few. We’ve also been developing material as artists with the hope of release an EP showcasing our original work sometime in 2011.
B&B: Where can people catch you regularly live?
Piklz: We do spot dates globally, so the best place to catch us live is on UStream via our website, DiscoFriesMusic.com.
B&B:You’re on Hit Mix at 5 on the Jersey Shore radio station B98.5 in Neptune, N.J. How is it producing a weekly radio gig and when can you be heard on the station?
Piklz: Before I answer this, I need to shout out our homie DJ Prime for bringing us on every Saturday night from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. You’ll hear our mix at some point during that time period.
B&B:Speaking of DJ Prime, you’re a part of his Blue Monster Talent Group — a group featuring top-notch DJs from the East Coast. Why did you join this group and what can we expect from it?
Piklz: Blue Monster was a great fit for us, being that we’ve been working with Prime for a while now on project collaborations and the radio mixshows. In addition, the talent roster at Blue Monster is incredible.Guys like Riddler, Mike West and Menson are some very talented dudes and you need to be on the look out for them.
This interview is part of the B&B’s Blue Monster Talent interview series. This series will feature DJs, musicians, artists and businesses affiliated with The Blue Monster Talent Group. Blue Monster Talent is a collection of some of the most respected DJs, producers, radio personalities, performers and bands from all over the country. They can be found locally in New Jersey as a part of B98.5’s Hit Mix at 5 — spinning the craziest remixes, beats and mash-ups anywhere on the radio dial. The company is run by the former hardest-working DJ in Ocean County, and now the hardest-working DJ in the business, DJ Prime. You check out our piece on Prime here. For more information on BMT’s roster, remixes or for bookings, head over to their website.