Nocturnal 2017 truly was a Wonderland. This Wonderland was two colorful unforgettable nights filled with 45,000 headliners and four beautiful new stages—it's no surprise, in its 22nd edition, it is North America's longest-running dance music festival.
This year an emerging act, Two Owls, took Nocturnal by storm. They wowed headliners with their heavy hitting bass music day one and enchanted them with a second performance at the Corona Electric Stage day two.
This duo has a lot in store for us, from a new track comng out this Friday, September 22nd, called “Waking up the dead” featuring Elle Vee(the track got premiered on Night Owl Radio, Pasquale opened Night Owl radio with it, Alice in Wonderland also played it on her Apple Music radio show), to performing at the main stage again at Escape and a tour in the works for 2018. Get to know your newest favorite addition to your festival schedule.
Karen: What does your creative process look like?
Scotty: Essentially it's whatever vibe we're feeling. So for me, for example, I'm really impressionable on what music I'm currently listening to. So whatever I listen to I end up making that when I start writing music. And as far as the creative process goes, Andrew and I will send ideas back and forth to each other, like project files and stuff like that. And I'll either start working on something and then send it to Andrew and he'll flip it, or visa versa; Andrew will send it over to me and I'll flip it on its head. But we've gotten to know each others styles really well to the point where Andrew can pretty much put together an entire track without much of my input and then send it over to me and I'll love everything about it and visa versa. I can pretty much write an entire song without much of his input cause I know exactly what he's gonna want in it. And then we send it over to him and he only needs to do minimal adjustments and then we're both satisfied on the end result of the track.
Karen: What music did you grow up listening to?
Scotty: We grew up listening to different shit. I was more into, if you play a Lil Wayne mixtape like "The Drought is Over Pt. 3" I'll sing every fucking lyric to the song. Same with "No Ceilings." And then Andrew was more into Pop-Punk and Heavy Metal.
Andrew: When I was a young kid, my parents are young, they had me when they were teenagers, I grew up listening to NWA ... even oldies, too. I'm Mexican, so family parties all oldies or whatever. But then when I started listening to the kind of music I wanted to listen to I started getting into Post-Hardcore music, like Underoath, or Chiodos or stuff like that.And then, probably around 2016, that's when I got into Dubstep and I never went back since.
Scotty: Yeah. And then, as for me, when it comes to Electronic music or EDM, I was really into Tiësto in 2007, and then I got into Benny Benassi. Tiësto was a little more progressive and trance, and Benassi was, at the time, a little more hard. I was actually into it before the term 'EDM' was even a thing, before Dubstep was even a thing.
Andrew: I came in like 2006, 2007, Rusko, Banga, Caspa, UK Dubstep, and I think, when we started working on music together I think, we're so different, but I think it helps us find our sound because we have to mash ourselves together.
Scotty: Best of both worlds, essentially.
Karen: When did music become more than a hobby for you?
Andrew: When we started to be able to afford to live off of it. I mean it's still a hobby to me, I still do it for fun. But it's become something that we can lead a sustainable life off of, somewhat now.
Karen: You guys are doing a lot of shows right now.
Andrew: We're doing a lot of festivals right now. We're going to do a club tour next year. Early next year, 2018. We're really being patient right now.I think it's always gonna be a hobby for me.
Scotty: Yeah, it always should be looked at more of a hobby than anything, only because there's such a tiny minority of people who actually do make it in the music industry, a lot of people do end up failing. So it really should be viewed as more of a hobby.
Andrew: I don't know, when I think of a hobby, I think of something you do for fun, and I think when you stop having fun doing what you're doing, it's not even worth doing anymore.
Scotty: Yeah. Right now, we're at an artist compound at nocturnal wonderland, we're looking around and it's all of our friends, literally, just around this whole compound. How can you not have fun? This industry is all about having fun, it's a fun industry, you go out and party. We're all with our friends having a good time, everyone's coming up together, which is something really cool to witness. We go to all these greenrooms at festivals, and more and more times are we realizing that everyone in the greenroom is our friend. So it's very cool.
Andrew: Yeah, it's weird because we were fans first, we saw these other artists coming up, it's almost like groups of artists have come up together.
Scotty: Almost like a brotherhood.
Andrew: I look up to that group before us so much, and now we're playing these festivals and everyone that's billed, we're friends first before music or anything.
Scotty: It's hard to describe, it's really a fascinating thing to witness, it's one of the most gratifying things, too, when you're just looking around and everyone is successful doing their thing at this festival but they're also all your actual friends.
Andrew: I think that's the best part about dance music, too, is the community. Especially as far as producers go.
Scotty: It's very small.
Andrew: It's a very small community. But as far as the people that we fuck with, sorry I said fuck, but the people that we fuck with, we all like to help each other and I think that's the best part.
Scotty: Yeah, exactly. We're all finding each others tunes out, supporting each others mixes, supporting each others songs, coming over to each others sets, bringing all our friends up on stage. At the end of the day, fans become actual fan of the community, of groups of people rather than fans of any particular song in general.
Karen: How long have you guys been DJing?
Andrew: I've been DJing five years.
Scotty: I started DJing in 2007, when I was not necessarily a DJ in clubs or anything like that, I was just using a turntable, then I got a little CD player that played like two CDs at once that I was able to mix.
Karen: Do you have any non-EDM inspirations or artists you look up to?
Andrew: About a year or two ago dubstep especially started getting super stale, and it's not anymore though because everyone's gotten super melodic with things, that's what we're trying to do now. We still make heavy music, but also, you need a really dope melody, a good chord progression to keep it memorable. I still listen to a lot of older music that I grew up listening to for inspiration, for ideas or whatever. I listen to Underoath like every day.
Scotty: I think that, for me, I'm definitely influenced by almost everything not EDM. Especially beyond music. I'm influenced by movies and stuff like that just as much as I am influenced by anything in EDM.
Karen: What's your favorite movie then?
Scotty: My favorite movie, and I'll probably trigger a lot of people by saying this, I just saw recently, it's called 'How to be a Man.' [Laughs.] Yeah. Andrew is a movie buff. He's a major movie buff.
Andrew: Music. I get inspired by the music. Our work ethic, my biggest inspiration for my work ethic would be my dad for sure. He's just the biggest hustler I know.
Scotty: And then also, I wouldn't say it's not EDM, but I'm really obsessed with Jon Hopkins. Search Jon Hopkins on YouTube and listen to his albums, every single album is amazing. I wake up, I listen to at least one of his albums every single day. Yeah. I love Jon Hopkins. I love Tycho, I love Animal Collective, really like Postal Service. Postal Service is amazing. Mike Snow.
Karen: How did you guys meet?
Scotty: We met through a blog that we both worked at.
Karen: Cool. What blog was it?
Scotty: It was blogged named Trap Style. So Andrew ran the SoundCloud and I ran the social media, like Twitter and Facebook.
Karen: What makes Nocturnal different from other festivals?
Andrew: I don't think it's Nocturnal is just Insomniac in general, they're the greatest promoters in the world, for sure, 100%.
Scotty: Yeah. Insomniac does the best festivals ever. So clean, and smooth, a great positive vibes, great experience. We're super grateful that Insomniac and Pasquale gave us the opportunity to try the main stage here. We had a great crowd, it was a lot of fun, and I think that this specific venue, Glen Helen Amphitheater, is a very magical place.
Andrew: I used to ride dirt bikes here when I was 12.
Scotty: So the layout that they have right now, there's a stage at the very top of this one hill, so when you're standing at the bottom of the hill, you can't even see that there's a stage there, you kind of just see some lights shooting out, and it really looks like a volcano is erupting. As you walk further up the hill you start seeing more of the stage, and it's this really cool, crafted stage design. As you get up to the top of the hill it's a sea of people, bumping and vibing and grooving. It's really cool. And you turn around from the top of the hill you can see the entire rest of the layout of the venue. You see the other stages. I would say this venue is my favorite venue that I've played at.
Karen: Awesome. So how would you describe your fans?
Andrew: The best.
Scotty: Our fans are like an ode to dance music itself. Our fans are really awesome. We actually only have seven fans. But they're great.
Andrew: The one thing I say about our fanbase is that we like to make whatever the fuck we want, and I really love that our fanbase is down for whatever the fuck we want to make.
Scotty: Yeah. Actually I was walking around Nocturnal last night and I got stopped by so many people that were just like, "You guys were Two Owls, you guys threw the fuck down, we loved your set," and I was like, "Oh, thanks, you guys add us to your schedule?" Because Insomniac has this app, a Nocturnal Wonderland app you can add us to your schedule, every single one of them had us added to their schedule, so it was really cool to see that.
Karen: Any collaboration you'd like to see happen?
Scotty: Collaborations in general are so fucking cool. I would for us to be able to collaborate with someone that could really crack open and participate in the ideas that we are able to share with them. As far as friends go, we'd be down to collaborate with our friends Away, or Eliminate, or Company, who we do have something down the pipeline with.
Andrew: Bigger guys I would love to collaborate with is Adventure Club, Zed's Dead, Illenium, Dillon Francis would be sick as fuck.
Karen: So what can we expect from you next?
Scotty: Keep an eye on us for the next twelve months, we're going to be doing some major things.
Andrew: Yeah, we have a really big single coming out on September 22nd, it's called "Waking up the Dead" with the singer Elle Vee, she's fucking amazing. The track got premiered on Night Owl Radio, Pasquale opened Night Owl radio with it, Alice in Wonderland played it on her Apple Music radio show, 100% going to be our biggest track so far. "Waking up the Dead." Featuring Elle Vee.