We’re always trying to keep our ears on the pulse of EDM here at SL, and if there’s one trend that stands out above all the rest in the electronic music universe, it’s the insane infusion of youth into EDM’s gene pool. The duo from Central Coast California, Tommy Noble, consisting of two young guns Alex and Trevor, ages 19 and 23 respectively, pack a serious electro punch in their production and are quickly rising amongst the ranks of young electro-house producer/DJs. We got to chat with the duo and they were generous enough to record an exclusive mixtape for us. Let’s get to it!
Ok let’s break the ice somewhat… You’re at the club and a shuffle circle breaks out, what do you do?
TN: Cheer them on from the stage where we’re already rockin with the gogo dancers
Your first release as Tommy Noble came 2 months ago, so you’re a fairly new project. How did you guys meet and decide to do the whole DJ thing?
Trevor: I was about to graduate from Westmont College, and had DJ’d a student-led “rave” called Robot Food on campus for a couple years. I invited Alex to do an opening set at my last Robot Food so that the tradition would continue.
Alex: After that we met up every now and then to work on music…
Trevor: Then one day in the school library..
Alex: after we did the final master on the headphones you check out at the front desk..
Trevor: we decided to send a demo of The Engineer to a couple EDM labels, and they got back to us the next day. We sent it to a few more that also loved it. Then we realized we had something good going…
Alex: And so it was
What are each of your musical backgrounds?
Alex: I’ve studied classical piano for three or four years, and I’m now majoring in music at Westmont College. I’ve been producing EDM for about a year and a half now. I started with trance, but obviously have shifted gears to a harder,yet still trance influenced, brand of electro house with Tommy Noble.
Trevor: Both my parents are musicians, so I grew up playing lots of different instruments and styles of music. I really got into producing when I started working on film music a couple years ago that ended up being pretty electronic and led me to EDM. I majored in Music at Westmont as well and studied music composition and piano performance.
Do the differences and similarities in your backgrounds help or hurt Tommy Noble in any way?
Alex: Our skill sets play off each other really nicely, it seems like whatever one of us doesn’t know, the other knows, and vice versa.
I noticed a pretty big age difference of 4 years between you guys, does that ever get in the way in producing, your lifestyle, etc?
Trevor: Only because my bed time is a little earlier…
Alex: Sometimes Trevor gets a little grouchy about his back pains
Trevor: It’s nice to have someone visit me at the rest home, though.
Your very first beatport release as Tommy Noble came on Lazy Rich’s Big Fish record label. A pretty prominent label when it comes to electro-house. Are you signed exclusively to them?
Trevor: No we’re not, we’d love to work on music with Rich in the future though. There’s a reason he’s one of the most respected figures in electro house today. We talked to him on the phone once and were kind of blown away by how cool, composed (Alex: and sexy) he came across.
I know fairly recently there was somewhat of an ordeal with Plasmapool getting upset about “their” artists releasing records on other labels. Do you think exclusivity would hurt or help the EDM industry?
Alex: Well, its funny you mention it, cause when we were juggling around contracts we were initially turned off by some of Plasmapools policies, but the reality is that Plasmapool does some great releases and its hard to argue with that.
Trevor: I heard that once upon a time, labels would sign up-and-coming acts and then work with them and develop them or whatever. An exclusive deal totally makes sense in that situation. I guess that was before I was born though, cause most of my experience thus far with labels whether major or the smallest EDM indie label is that they basically just send you a contract, release your music and then ignore your emails. All that to say: we have no problem with exclusive deals or non-exclusive deals, but we’d like our emails responded to in a timely manner
Alex: and to be paid bread money — I’m hungry!!
It seems to me at least that the electro-house genre is pretty over-saturated, especially in North America where we like our beats fast and bass hard. How do you plan to stand out from the crowd?
Alex: I guess by not caring about what the crowd is doing.
Trevor: Yeah. I think Alex and I are in the business of trying to make good music while attempting to not worry too much about whatever else is being put out there.
Your most recent remix, if I’m not mistaken, is sitting around 110 bpm. Is moombahton something you plan on producing more frequently or was that just a one time thing?
Alex: that track was all about fun and experimentation..
Trevor: Like all good college experiences..
Alex:and we just wanted to try something a little different than what we are used to.
So what do you anticipate from the genre going forward?
Trevor: We keep joking about “110 is the new 140!” but i guess i don’t know. I think it’s pretty damn fun. Us white guys have needed an excuse to listen to reggaeton for a long time now.
Alex: It’s pretty cool when a song can get you laughing and raging simultaneously
If you could choose one person/group to collab with on a track, who would it be?
TN: Rob Swire fo-shizzle
You just announced two shows with Dada Life in SLO and Fresno in November.. how stoked are you?
Trevor: Just about bananas stoked
Alex: We’re pretty much going bananas
I read recently that you guys might have an unhealthy obsession with Taylor Swift… explain!
Alex: Unhealthy?!? Don’t belittle my love.
Trevor: Have you heard Taylor Swift?
Alex: have you SEEN Taylor Swift??
What are your top tracks you like to play out at the moment?
TN: The Cold Blank remix of Peacetreaty’s Cal State Anthem… Trafalgar is so badass.. The Island Pt. II is always great
Any inside information you can give us on future releases or collabs?
TN: We just finished two remixes that we are really excited to see released sometime next month… we have a collaboration effort with Big Chocolate in the works as well as at least one track with Celldweller and a couple other potentials, talking to Barletta right now about a track. We’re gathering ammunition for an album of originals right now to release sometime next year.
We always end our interviews by asking, is there any quote or phrase that embodies your view on life or music?
Alex: “If you’re bored you’re boring”
Exclusive Mixtape + Bonus Logik
1. Keljet – Laserflies
2. Michael White – Right Here (Eric Farias Remix) [Edit]
3. The Only – Top of the Jam (Autoerotique Remix)
4. Swedish House Mafia – Save the World (CAZZETTE Remix) [Edit]
5. The M Machine – Trafalgar w/ Tommy Noble – The Engineer
6. Tommy Noble – Zombie Cancer
7. Tommy Noble – Dada Logic (Dada Life – White Noise Red Meat w/ Alex Gopher – Handguns (Dada Life Remix) w/ Daft Punk – Technologic w/ Big Chocolate & Tommy Noble – Untitled
8. Dillon Francis – Masta Blasta
9. Knife Party feat. Skrillex – Zoology [Extended Edit]
10. Avicii – Levels w/ Peace Treaty – Cal State Anthem (Cold Blank’s College Dropout Remix)
11. Tommy Noble – The Engineer
12. Tommy Noble – Your French Friends [Nervo feat. Afrojack + Steve Aoki – We’re All No One (Nervo Goes to Paris Remix) w/ Jusice vs. Simian – We Are Your Friends w/ Dvas – Inner Sanctum]
13. Z3RO – Hunting Down Myself (Tommy Noble Remix)