we're talking about stuff we like
Though they’re most known for their 2015 single, “All My Friends” (ft Tinashe and Chance the Rapper) and now with their July release of “Cruel” (ft Zayn), electronic duo, Snakehips, they've been well versed in producing music for a while. Native to London, England, James Carter and Oliver “Ollie” Lee, have made some dope remixes to songs by artists like Banks and The Weeknd, before releasing their 2014 debut single, “Days With You” (ft Sinead Harnett).
INTERVIEWED AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY: IJEOMA ONYEKWE
Only having landed the day before for the start of their tour in Dallas, the guys agreed to a have sit-down and do an interview before their set. Check it out below:
How did you meet each other?
James Carter: We were out in Hong Kong few years ago. Both doing separate things, got talking in a bar. And then,clicked. And then realized we were on a flight home a few days later so we just got talking. It was coincidental, and then agreed to get in the studio when we got back home and then just went from there.
And so just decided to be a duo from there?
Carter: Kinda, yeah. We just got in the studio and realized we worked well together, had similar interests.
So, growing up did you guys know you wanted to be a DJ? Or was there a job that you wanted to do?
Carter: Never wanted to be a DJ. I wanted to be a musician or producer.
Ollie Lee: Not specifically DJ. I definitely wanted to play music.
Carter: He was in loads of bands. In like a mariachi band and I was in a jazz band.
Was there a specific genre that you guys thought you would be doing?
Carter: Mariachi music.
Lee: Yeah, just like, Mexican. I’m a big fan of it.
Why didn’t you just go into that?
Carter: There’s not that much money in it.
Lee: It’s difficult. I’m still trying.
Carter: Never say never. We’re closer now, as well. Make a step to America and then over to Mexico.
Lee: Yeah, we won’t be doing this in a couple years. We’ll be doing mariachi bands
Where’d the name come from?
Lee: It was some dance move I used to do years and years ago. A stupid dance move- it was a joke I did one time. I had these really tight pair of jeans and I used to pull them up really high. I was hanging out with some people, and we were really high, and I was like “Hey, meet my friend, Snakehips” and everyone was like “Ahh man you’re an idiot.”
Carter: “You’ll never amount to anything. Go get a job, Ollie. Sort your life out.”
Favorite fest you guys have done together?
Carter: Outsidelands, in San Francisco (this year).
Lee: That was really good fun.
Carter: And Coachella, actually was fucking amazing (this year). It was definitely as the best one, this year as well.
Is there someone that you guys have ever been on the same lineup as, and just like fanboyed over?
Lee: Like the whole time we’ve ever been DJ’ing. I remember the first show we did, and we were playing with Hudson Mohawk and I was like “Oh my god. How the fuck?” You know what I mean? Like I listen to his music so much.
Carter: But then it just gets beyond that and it’s like other people.
If you could do a dream tour, who all would be on the lineup? Dead or alive.
Lee: Michael Jackson.
Carter: Michael Jackson, headline. Celine Dion, supporting headline.
Lee: Elvis, maybe? That’d be cool.
Carter: And then like, Travis Scott.
Lee: Gotta keep it current!
Carter: Elvis, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, and then Travis Scott.
Lee: Aye, if you didn’t buy a ticket for that, you’d be an idiot.
And then you guys would just be the only DJ’s.
Lee: No we're not even gonna play it.
Carter: Yeah we're curating it. Ollie comes on every interval and tells a joke.
Lee: I'll come on and just introduce the acts. That’s it.
Carter: Dead and Alive-mostly dead.
Touring wise, what’s the worst memory or experience?
Carter: I have a lot of bad experiences with showers. They're always different. It's really hard to get the temperature right, so I always end up burning myself.
Lee: I also find that being from England, you can't drink a good cup of tea in the states. It really gets to me, sometimes. Like I think there is one(time) where I did bring a pack of my own tea with me.
Carter: But then the water’s different.
Lee: Yeah there's so many different factors to making your own cup of tea.
Carter: You have to bring your own bottled water.
Lee: And like the milk...
So right now, what would you say is your favorite remix or song that you’ve put out?
Carter: “All My Friends” with Tinashe and Chance the Rapper. I’m proud of that.
Lee: Probably, yeah. I never really think of what my favorite song is that we've done.
Do you say it’s because of it lyrically or the people that were a part of it?
Lee: It was just a cool thing to do.
Carter: Yeah I like it lyrically as well.
Lee: Were really really proud of it.
Carter: It all went down really well.
Do you guys have any new stuff coming?
(simultaneously, Lee is nodding)
Carter: Haha. We've got lots of new stuff. We got a new remix we've been working on. We've got a new single coming out.
Lee: We have a new single out the end of November or December.
Carter: And then just putting in loads of work on the album.
Where would you say your influences come from, for the most part?
Carter: From everything. From the internet. You can find anything and everything.
Any DJs you put on a pedestal?
Lee: Yeah. I always think people like Hudson Mohawk and Ta-ku. People that did beats like hip hop or like future beats like kinda Dilla style, but it was really 8-bit and stuff. I think that got me started making beats in the first place just cause it had a really old school vibe to it but then it was like futuristic at the same time. So people like that definitely...I still listen to that shit the whole time. They're just really cool beat makers.
If you had to be resident DJ somewhere, where would it be and why?
Carter: There's probably like some shack on the beach in Barley that I'd love to be. A nice beach side residence with some-
Lee: just play Wham! the whole time
Carter: - what are those cocktails I like?
Lee: Piña coladas.
Carter: A piña colada by Barley.
Piña coladas for you too?
Lee: I mean, they’re nice.
Carter: I force him to drink them. The drunker I get, the more I push them on him
Lee: It’s a nice drink
Make sure you catch these guys on their tour. You might get lucky and hear a new tune while you're there. In the meantime, check out their EPs Forever Part II and All My Friends.
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