On February 8th, a prophetic flag will be staked atop the mountain of EDM. It marks the release of a much-awaited EP out on Dim Mak, and the beginnings of a dancefloor onslaught that will be signed and sealed by a far-reaching PeaceTreaty.
Little should my opinion color your perception. Their sound does this on its own, needless of the praises I have sung for months. However, my advice: [BUY] this album, and survive the battle long enough to put your own signature on the treaty live and in person. Catch these cats act live out in LA for their release party tomorrow at Avalon.
Sam Hiller, from PeaceTreaty, joined me as I asked after their future and direction, what to look out for on the forthcoming album, and insights into the lives of those achieving their dream. Insightful and honest, continue scanning to discover Sam’s responses.
Oh wait! A morsel for your eardrums to chew on while you read. Is Dada on Dim Mak too? Teamwork. Put on your bulletproof headphones, drops are deadly.
SoundLogik: First, I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with us. With the forthcoming album things must be hectic. Respect.
For those that may not know, who is PeaceTreaty and what robotic transmission conceived and birthed the trio?
PeaceTreaty: PeaceTreaty is Josh Anaya, Angelo Patino-Patroni, and myself Sam Hiller. Josh and I had been friends for a while in the local DJ circuit, and had always kind of chatted and talked about getting together on the production side of things. This was just after he got PeaceTreaty going with a remix and an original out on Beatport. Angelo and Josh actually went to high school together, and Angelo is a really really talented musician, who added a nice element of musicality that wasn’t their before. It’s nice that there’s no huge burden resting on any one person’s shoulders.
SL: ‘Dynamic trio’ doesn’t have the same ring to it, how do you make it work? Do each of you have specific roles to fill? What about live shows?
PeaceTreaty: Josh is definitely the master engineer of the whole thing, he does the arrangements and masters. It was his project from the beginning so he maintains control. Angelo is the musical master; he could play circles around us. If we need a good chord progression we look to him. I’m kind of the anchor in the live shows, and I do that on Ableton. Josh is also on Ableton and does effects, adds live samples, acapellas, and drums. Angelo is on a 3rd computer running Logic and playing live synths over the top. So all the tracks are coming off of my computer and they’re adding to them and enhancing them. The first time we debuted that live set was in September at the Avalon, with a great response.
SL: Anyone have any weird quirks, or pet peeves. Something weird like he HAS to eat a chocolate bar or listen to ‘lowrider’ before every show?
PeaceTreaty: Our biggest thing would be our mascot, Josh’s pug Ziggy Carlos Marley who we keep in the studio. If Josh gets his way I know that he would want to bring Ziggy along on the road.
SL: To me, your sound is like a robot mud wrestling party, raunchy, fearless, a little dirty, but undeniably pure unadulterated fun. How would you describe it? What makes it so unique?
PeaceTreaty: Our sound has changed a lot in the last year. I think at first people could hear the influence of our own spin on dutch house. But, dutch house got played out really quickly and we got kind of bored with it so we started creating our own sound. It really started shifting over the summer with the Kickdrum and G-tronic remixes which were real turning points and the first songs that Angelo worked on with us. They were dirty electro, but big room. We’re definitely going for the big room, epic house dominating the landscape. If there’s one phrase we like to use to describe it even though it’s not a real term it’s ‘geeker house’. One track in particular that you can kind of see that is the Swanky Tunes remix, which is a good example of where our sound is going. [The original] is a big room, big house track that we kept for the choruses, and the parts that we added are just purely grimy electro.
SL: Do you see a trend? Are some genres making kids do the Mad Hatter’s futterwhacking jig more than others?
PeaceTreaty: Most of our shows have been in Socal, some in Norcal and some abroad in Australia. The trend I’ve seen is people are very accepting of any type of EDM right now. As long as it’s good music kids will dance to it. People are becoming less discerning with their preferences, it’s not so much “I like trance” or “dubstep,” but are more accepting of all styles. Before when dance music was still underground there were more sub micro scenes. A dub scene, or a trance scene that didn’t mix that much, but now it’s blown up to the point that these scenes have kind of merged.
SL: As for trends, how do you foresee the progression of EDM. With Afrojack producing for the Black Eyed Peas, Rusko in the studio with Britney Spears, where are things going?
PeaceTreaty: We’ve already seen that happening a ton. It’s not just artists from EDM producing for others, but pop producers are now learning. This is a direct result of how EDM has crossed over to the mainstream. We can thank Crookers Day n Night for the first crossover, as well as David Guetta’s Sexy Bitch that was played all over the radio. Now, tracks on the top 40 charts all have house backgrounds. There may be people in the EDM scene who don’t like that, and hate to hear top 40 songs, but personally I think it’s great. In virtually every other country in the world dance music is mainstream.
SL: How about rave-culture and what it does for EDM? Do you plan to play any large festivals in the near future?
PeaceTreaty: That’s a good question which we’ve been dealing with severely in socal. I think the rave culture in general is great. Although since its roots in the early 90s, rave culture has gone astray a little bit. Anyone who has been to a massive knows it’s not rare to see kids sitting with their eyes rolling in the back of their heads, which paints the whole genre a bad light. Our scene kind of needs to get its shit together, which we’ve started to. Insomniac is doing everything they can and should do, with the move to 18+ shows and medical facilities. I’m sorry to all the under 18 kids who are our fans who are out there but just wait it out and you can come rave with the rest of us.
SL: If you could choose any artists who would be on your ideal playbill to ravage a dance floor alongside?
PeaceTreaty: Laidback Luke is one of our favorites. If he were to headline and we were to support him that would be one of our ideal gigs. Some others would be Hardwell and Fedde le Grand. We’ve been fortunate enough to do a show with Wolfgang who has been a big supporter of Cal State Anthem. More than anything it would be where we get to play. We want to get to Ibiza and Miama for Ultra, as well as other festivals in Europe.
SL: Now you’ve been slaving away for months putting together this album, to be released on Dim Mak, what you got up your sleeves? What are your goals for the album?
PeaceTreaty: Most people know the EP has 2 originals Cal State Anthem and Change, as well as a whole bunch of tracks. It’s a really big EP. The average is about 8, but ours is 17 just because we got a lot of remixers. People will be pleasantly surprised with all the different sounds and especially by the transformation of some songs they may have heard like Change, which was realeased on Steve Aoki’s “I Love Techno Mix”. As for the future we’re already right back to work on our second EP, which we’re looking to be more vocal based. That’s something that we haven’t really tackled yet, and that’s a direction we want to move in.
SL: Who are some of the remixers you’ve been working with?
PeaceTreaty: Metropolis [formerly PanceParty], Urchins, Sharooz, Tom Piper, Religion, Valerna, Lazrtag, Cold Blank = Cal State Anthem. Apster, Dan Oh, Mr. White, Dem Slackers, Flinch = Change
SL: Any specific tracks we should pre-add to our party playlists?
PeaceTreaty: The new version of Change that we reworked. We re-mastered and reengineered it and there’s a lot more tribal progression in it now. The song has lived up to its namesake; we’ve been changing and working on it until we turned it in. Compared to the original it’s pretty similar, with 3 different progressions which change after each drop and is different from the section before it.
SL: You all came from different backgrounds, any tips for up-and-coming producers or advice on how to do it right?
PeaceTreaty: One thing is stick to it, and don’t let anything for one second make you think you shouldn’t be doing this. Just keep working; practice makes perfect. Josh would say tutorials are a great way to perfect your technique and we’ve been trying to give back by giving Ustream tutorials online [PeaceTreaty TV]. There are so many producers with this wealth of knowledge that we all have to share. We’re trying to help people out in the way that people helped us out. As far as the industry it’s tough, we were fortunate enough to have some connections and were fortunate to get some feedback from big people like Congrorock, Fake Blood, and Tommy Sunshine. It’s kind of about who you know and who you can get to know and whose ear you can catch. After that it’s about persistence and hard work. We kept sending tracks to people. What we have done is proof that it’s not impossible. No-one gave us the golden spoon and said here’s your record deal, we made a song that Steve liked. If you enjoy doing it, the hard work doesn’t really feel like work. We’re blessed that we get to do this for our career because we love it.
SL: We think it’s important for human happiness to recognize the people or things that you’re thankful for. Is there anyone or anything you’d like to give a shout out to or for?
PeaceTreaty: We are all thankful for our families who have been very supportive. Even if EDM is not their ideal music they’ve been behind us 100 percent. Second, definitely our fans. We’re blessed to have a very loyal fan following who we love talking to on Facebook and emails. As work gets a little busier we may be a bit slower but we will always do our best to respond. We don’t want to be up on a pedestal, because we realize that without our fans we’re nothing. Our manager Ryan Jaso has really done a lot, as well as Dim Mak. Dan Oh in particular passed us on to Steve to get us signed. Laidback Luke gave us an opportunity to produce a remix for his label, and Afrojack offered us to produce an original on his label. Bigger names like Benny Benassi played our stuff on his radio show; we’re definitely thankful for that. We want to give that in return to up and coming producers. If you send us good stuff you may get some play in one of our mixtapes.
SL: Lastly, it’s our SL tradition to ask, is there any phrase or quote that really speaks to you or describes your take on living?
PeaceTreaty: One of the words that PeaceTreaty lives by, and I credit Angelo who coined it is, if something’s good “ydg” [abbreviation of ‘ya dig’] spelled that way. It’s kind of a PeaceTreaty mantra.
Looky looky, due diligence paid off and logikally we were rewarded. A swanky promo they hooked up for us to give away! Thank you logikians, and make sure to show them some love on their soundcloud or via twitter.
**Special thanks to Ryan Jaso, and Sam Hiller for the record needle view into our favorite tracks.