Before heading to their BeachGlow: Concerts For Charity performance the following day, we got a chance to sit down with Two Friends at Lavo NY. Since starting their career together in high school they've reached milestones such as over one million streams in one month for their remixes of Audien's 'Something Better' and Vicetone's 'Bright Side'. Their proudest original release "Forever" reached 1.5 million streams in just four months.
Oscar: We're so excited to see your show, is this your first time performing here at Lavo in New York City?
Eli: Actually we were here a couple of months ago I think. Yeah, we played here in April. They asked us back and it was really fun in April so I'm excited for tonight.
Oscar: You've also performed at Webster Hall I believe.
Eli: Webster Hall, that was a while ago. Probably a year and a half ago or something like that. New York is one those places where we have so much family and friends here, no matter what we know they're all going to come and support us which is awesome. Tonight there's going to be a ton of our friends over there, it's going to be fun.
Oscar: What kind of variation can we expect from your Lavo set versus your Beach Glow performance tomorrow?
Eli: I think every venue is a little bit different, this is definitely more of a nightclub vibe. Our own music and our own remixes we'll play a lot of, but you have to keep the audience in mind, like Beach Glow tomorrow can definitely get a little more weird. It's not a nightclub, people dancing on the beach. We have so many playlists, massive playlists, with different vibes then we kind of improvise and picking tunes that we know, if we have a night club playlist there might be 300 songs in there that will work. Then we see what people are reacting to and try to mix and match songs of that playlist. I think it's fun. It's fun seeing different crowds. The nightclubs are fun, but then it's fun to do a pool party where it's a little more relaxed and a little more upbeat. Then you go do a venue where it actually feels more like a show, not just a nightclub. I think they're all different but they're all fun. It's good having a variety.
Oscar: What track are you most looking forward to playing tonight?
Eli: We have our upcoming single. It's called Overdose and it's coming out very soon. We haven't played it very much, probably like 1 or 2 times so far. It's always fun playing new stuff and seeing what people think and even better if they get really into it. That makes us feel super confident.
Oscar: How did you guys come up with the name Two Friends?
Eli: Matt and I actually go way back. We became best friends when we were 12 years old. The name, it was funny, it's one of those things where we spent so much time coming up with the name before we even did anything about music. We were like, "Let's make music together. What's the first step? We need a name." We went through all these ideas, then almost jokingly we're like, "Eh, we're just two friends, let's just do that." That's kind of fun, that's the essence of who we are. We stuck with it.
Oscar: Play any instruments as children?
Matt: Eli used to play in band, middle school, the clarinet.
Eli: Clarinet in middle school.
Matt: My dad made me start playing guitar when I was like super young. Two Friends really made me stay with it. Then I was in choir, the worst one. Can't sing at all. Mostly in terms of live instruments we use guitar.
Oscar: Is there any vocalists you guys are looking forward to maybe working with in the future?
Matt: We definitely have dream vocalists. A lot of the bands we grew up listening to. People like that, some of my favorite bands are like Deathcab for Cutie & Panic! At The Disco. So many people like that, their lead vocalist would be so cool to collab with.
Eli: You don't really hear that over dance music a lot.
Matt: Not much.
Eli: You could make some really cool stuff.
Matt: Yeah, that would be the dream. Not all of them love to work in dance music, but ...
Eli: Dance music is fun because if you're in a band you don't really have featured vocalists. You might do a few collaborations here and there but we're in a position where, we have a list that we keep. Anytime we hear a cool voice we write down the name. We can work with anyone from any style, from any part of the world. Do it remotely even and get all these really cool collaborations. There's really not many barriers if you want to collaborate with someone.
Oscar: You remixed some Blink 182, like them?
Matt: I mean that would be the dream. If they would sing on one of our songs. That would be so cool.
Oscar: Have you gone to many festivals ?
Eli: We grew up going to Coachella. We've never played there but we went. Between the two of us we've been like 15 times but tomorrow's Beach Glow music festival will be a fun one and we're coming back to the East Coast in a couple of months for Adventure at the Park festival.
Matt: We basically grew up on Coachella.
Matt: Outside Lands.
Matt: Yeah, I've never been to Bonnaroo but I really want to. It looks awesome.
Oscar: What artists inspired you as you guys grew up together?
Matt: I think in the beginning, we were trying to copy, not copy but get the Avicii sound. We would look up to them. As we've got more and more experienced it's that guy, or that guy, or I like this part of this guy's song. All over the place.
Eli: A lot of pieces, you like one thing about this guy and another thing about this guy. You draw from all of those and blend it into something that sounds incredible.
Oscar: Do you guys differ in opinion on any artists at all?
Eli: I think now we're a little more similar. We're on the same page usually. When we were growing up, could not have been more different. I was really into hip hop. Did not really listen to much else.
Matt: I liked classic rock bands.
Eli: Slowly got introduced to electronic music, probably before you a little bit.
Matt: Yeah, you introduced me to it. Now we listen to that stuff and all this new stuff too.
Oscar: What track are proudest of?
Matt: I'm going to say some of the upcoming stuff and our last original Forever.
Eli: The originals definitely always feel a little better, because you were there from step one, the whole thing. Versus being handed a vocal. To see that whole process through, have the idea, you write it, you start producing it, you go through all these phases.
Matt: Produce it five times.
Eli: Then you finally are able to get it out there and people really like it, they start to sing along at shows. It really comes full circle.
Oscar: What's your next project?
Matt: Our next single is soon, in the next month or so, it's called Overdose and it's cool. We're really proud of that one, that one took a long time too. Started well over 2 years ago.
Oscar: Did it take that long to produce?
Eli: Oh yeah. Well it's not like we're working on the same song every single day, non stop.
Matt: It'll be like, you make version 1. Then a month later, "Nah, I don't like it." Version 2. Then like 3 months later, it involves into this new song, something original.
Oscar: As you started to tour around North America, was there an opporutnity to continute your education?
Eli: Yeah, I did 1 semester overseas studying business and psychology.
Matt: I did product design. It's kind of like mechanical engineering, like design, business and stuff. It's cool.
Oscar: Does it come in handy a little bit?
Matt: Maybe a little bit, but not really.
Eli: I think it was one of those things where like, to be honest, we did not think we would be doing this full time from the get go. It was a gradual process where after our freshman year of college, like, "Yeah, it's going pretty well." After sophomore year it's like, "Let's work a little harder." Then after junior year it's like, "We're close." And senior, we're doing it. We never really wanted to just drop everything.
Matt: It's good we have that, now we have music too.
Oscar: Have you gotten to perform outside the United States since touring?
Matt: A couple.
Eli: A few in Canada & Mexico. When I was in Denmark, I did a semester abroad at Denmark, I did a couple of things there.
Matt: Hopefully eventually Europe, Asia, & South America.
Oscar: What do you think of Red Rocks.
Eli: I think that would be awesome. We were just in Denver and people were telling us about it.
Matt: It looked amazing.
Oscar: We 're looking forward to your set, thanks for taking the time to chat.