The Dirty Tees have been a NSK favourite for a while now so when they agreed to sit down and do an interview with us we jumped at the chance. With thumping remixes and interesting projects, Ryan and Grant have made a name for themselves in the music industry. These guys are real down to earth and passionate about what they do and it really shows off in their work. The Dirty Tees let us pick their brain from about the music industry, working in California and how they came up with their unique name. The NSK team is super excited to share this interview with you guys so enjoy!
NSK: Why are you Not Some Kid?
Hit the Jump for the full interview!
NSK: Hey guys, welcome to the NSK Hot Seat. Give us a quick breakdown of who the Dirty Tees are. How did you guys come up with the name?
Ryan: We met in our sophomore year of high school in 2006. Both of us avidly produced music (this was before the days of bedroom producers) so it was kind of cool to meet someone else who produced music too. We were best friends all throughout high school and went on to university together. Both of us went to The University of Western Ontario and were there for 2 years before music took over.
Grant: The name is a funny story actually! During our first year at Western, we had a pretty rowdy room in residence with some awesome roommates and we often got up to some really stupid shit on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Eventually, Tuesdays and Thursdays turned into what we started calling “Dirty Tees,”. When we were procrastinating for exams and making beats we thought “damn, we should start putting out music and calling ourselves The Dirty Tees”. The rest is history.
NSK: You went from studying at Western to pursuing your dreams in California, who are the most important people who helped you get where you are today?
Ryan: There have definitely been a lot of people along the way who have helped us out. I wouldn’t say there’s one most important person because every person who has helped us has helped us reach the next step. There’s almost too many to count… but we’ll take this opportunity to shout out to some of those people!
- From the beginning, our roommates Chad Newman and Matt Page were an asset with helping us obnoxiously share our music and supporting us in our early days
- We owe a lot to our friends who went to high school with. Having a network of friends to help share your music in the early stages is huge. We try to kick it with the boys a lot when we’re home!
- Our parents of course; being enormously supportive of our decision to peruse our dreams in California!
- Our girlfriends… We are both in long distance relationships with our girlfriends back in Canada. So a lot has to be said for girls who would put up with our lifestyle choice.
- Our first manager Zlad who gave us the confidence we needed early on in the game before California was even in the picture.
NSK: What you got you interested in being a part of the growing EDM culture or do you just like making amzing music?
Ryan: We really got in to EDM in our senior year of high school. That was around when electro was getting quite large. So we partied to guys like Justice, The Bloody Beetroots, Crookers, Boys Noize, and Lifelike EDM blew up shortly after that and our sound kind of grew with it.
NSK: I’m sure California has its perks but what do you miss about Canada?
Grant: California is great but there is really no place like home. I would literally do anything most days to walk up the street and grab a large black coffee from Tim Hortons. I also miss the seasons, the boys, the lifestyle and of course my girlfriend!
Ryan: I also miss the seasons. Friends and family as well obviously. The calmness of things too, Canada is way less busy and there isn’t constant traffic.
NSK: The NSK team loves to party but we want to know what your favourite move to bust out on stage or while you’re out on the town.
Grant: We got pretty big in to Tektonik over 2009, 2010. I would battle people at Jacks and Jim Bobs quite frequently (For those who don’t know what we’re talking about click Here)
NSK: Every summer there are a couple songs that are just too damn catchy. This year we had Flo-Rida’s “Whistle” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call me Maybe”. Which one do you like/hate more.
Ryan: Well our buddy Dave Glass actually wrote Flo Rida’s “Blow My Whistle,” so we have a bit of a soft spot for that one!
NSK: Living out in California must have given you the opportunity to meet some really interesting people so who is the coolest person you’ve met?
Grant: In all honesty, probably the coolest person we’ve ever met is Natasha Bedingfield . There’s something really cool about someone who is so secure and content with who they are and what they’re all about. My theory is that people who have achieved great success in the arts understand what it takes to get noticed so they’re less likely to judge or be bitter towards aspiring artists. They can be genuinely happy for other people’s accomplishments and to me that is the most gratifying feeling so I do my best to emulate it.
NSK: Your remixes use a lot of tracks that I’ve never heard of before but in no time I love both the original and your remix. Can you explain your workflow when you decide to start a remix or an original track? Has it changed since you guys first start producing tracks?
Ryan: When we started making our very remixes, the songs we chose had to have a specific criteria: they had to be indie, the artist had to be big but not too big, and the final product had to be completely different than the original. However, our current selection process has definitely changed from the beginning. We’ve taken a lot of time over the last year or so to focus on perfecting our skills as producers. It’s very important for our current remixes and new productions that we force ourselves outside of our comfort zone in some way
Grant: Exactly… Whether it be producing tracks at a different tempo, remixing things like Frank Sinatra’s “Winter Wonderland” or even sampling Christopher Walken’s vocals in a Drum & Bass influenced Progressive House track, we think it’s important to constantly think outside the box.
NSK: Everyone is probably wondering what your best gig or festival you’ve played but we want to know what the worst thing that’s happened at a gig you were playing.
Ryan: We played a club in Waterloo, Ontario and the promoters double booked a bunch of DJs, so it was super busy and crowded behind the booth. We had just finished our set and we were making the transition between the next DJ and my backpack was on the ground under the booth, so I grabbed it and accidentally unplugged the mixer or something. In turn, the whole club went silent so people started booing and yelling at the other DJ and I don’t think anyone knew it was me! (Shhh!)
NSK: If we got a chance to look at your iTunes, what sort of music would we find on there? Anything embarrassing that you wouldn’t anyone to see?
Grant: There wouldn’t be anything too embarrassing. Maybe some tunes that our girlfriends have put in there. But you really shouldn’t be embarrassed about any kind of music that you enjoy listening too. Everyone likes their own thing and people should respect that.
Ryan: Yeah, so what if I have a little Justin Bieber on my Iphone! But we listen to a lot of alternative music. Really we have everything from house music, to classical music in our iTunes.
NSK: Speaking of your music tastes, who are some artists you want to meet or even work with?
Grant: We would love to work with a few Alternative bands: Passion Pit, Imagine Dragons, Switchfoot, U2, Radiohead. Just to name a few.
Ryan: We have had the honor of working with one of our favorite artist / singer, writer Todd Clark from ‘Pilot Speed’ (Check out his Facebook page Here) They have been our favorite band since High School. Todd is such an amazing talent and we are really thankful to be working with him. He wrote ‘End Of The World’ (Which is must listen so click Here to check it out)
NSK: Hypothetically, if NSK gave you tickets to see either Creed or Nickelback who would you go see? And no, you can’t sell the tickets.
Grant: That’s a good one! I would probably see Nickelback, just because there would be more things to make fun of.
Ryan: Yeah, it seems like Nickelback has some great pyrotechnics. So I would just go for the explosions.
NSK: The Dirty Tees are always coming out with interesting and cool projects. From your project with Charlie Anderson, remixing Winter Wonderland, putting together a tutorial series to even playing around with some acoustic stuff, its all stuff that is unique. So whats next for The Dirty Tees?
Ryan: Yeah thanks! We like to challenge ourselves as producers. It’s important to think outside of the box and think of some fresh, never-been-done-before ideas. You will find that when you step outside of your comfort zone, you will produce some of your most creative work. So we like to do that from time to time! The projects that push our creative limits are always the projects that are best received.
Grant: We just released an original track that samples Christopher Walken from that famous SNL skit, ‘More Cowbell’. From sampling vocals, to pushing our sound into a Drum & Bass style track. If you listen closely, you can hear some elements from our ‘Mr. Quiche’ remix in there!
NSK: Music festivals are popping up left and right but what are some events or festivals that you guys want to play at.
Grant: Other than the big ones: EDC, Tomorrowland, Ultra. We would love to play Veld in Toronto. It would be amazing to play in front of a home crowd and I’m sure the energy would be unreal.
Ryan: Unfortunately, we didn’t get to make it out there this year. Hopefully next year!
NSK: Why are The Dirty Tees Not Some Kid?