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Who’s Zed?

Zed’s dead, baby, Zed’s dead.

Donning a name that pays homage to the cult classic Tarantino film Pulp Fiction and super awesome spaceman helmets, two of the hottest producers in dance music entered the green room at this year’s Haunted Fest. The Toronto-born pair of Zeds Dead are the stuff legends are made of. Years of producing bass anthem after bass anthem as they found and perfected a mixture of heavy bass wobbles highlighted by picturesque feminine vocals have carved their way to the top of the game. Their latest EP Somewhere Else is a “no genre, just music” masterpiece. Eclectic in melodies and vocal types, it shows off their ability to tackle and blend any kind of music and absolutely nail it. They are better than they’ve ever been right now. I’ve been listening to their latest releases since they began teasing us with their new album 6 months ago on a daily basis. Tracks like their Broken Bells “Holding On For Life” remix and their amazing collaboration with Twin Shadow and D’Angelo Lacy “Lost You” are still staples in my every day listening. When Somewhere Else finally released I would listen to the EP 3 times a day every day because tracks like “Collapse”, “Hadouken” and “Where Are You Now” are not only beautiful but the bass rattles your ribcage, grabs your heart and shakes your soul and gives you no choice but to listen to them over and over again. As someone who has listened to a lot of music every day of their life most things don’t impress me… but Zeds Dead impresses me. And in a short while I’m going to be walking into their dressing room with hopes of asking them questions they don’t hate and hopefully draw out their hilarious, quirky personalities to make for a good interview. No pressure.

Walking into the room wasn’t as nerve-wracking as my pre-interview anxiety was having me believe. Hooks was sitting with his MacBook in his lap putting the final touches on the set for that night and DC gave me a friendly greeting that put me at ease. “The answer is yes!” he says jokingly before I’ve even had a chance to sit down. These guys are so chill and laid back that their calm, funny demeanor permeates through out the room. I can immediately tell everyone is going to have a good time here.

I asked a random fan in the crowd upstairs if they could ask Zeds Dead any question what would it be? I relayed this to the duo as the initial ice breaker:

What is it like performing in front of a large crowd like Tomorrowworld?

DC: Awesome. Slightly nerve-wracking at times. Wonderful. Exciting.
Hooks: Gratifying!
DC: Majestic!
Hooks: Or sometimes if they’re not into it… not gratifying, haha.

When you celebrated Halloween as kids did you ever dress up as anything really funny? Or did your parents ever put you in an embarrassing costume?

DC: My mom actually told me I used to be really picky about my costumes. If I was something with like, a gun, I’d be SUPER particular if the gun didn’t look just right. I remember one year I was Edward Scissorhands and I put a bunch of work into my costume and it turned out amazing.
Hooks: My mom used to sew my costumes. I was Spiderman one year, Captain Hook one year. That was one of the reasons I chose my name.

What was your favorite candy to get in your trick-or-treat bag when you were young?

DC: A full size chocolate bar. There was always that one house that would give you that.
Hooks: The worst one was Rockets. (Smarties)
DC: I liked Rockets!
Hooks: For me, I HATED Rockets.
DC: The worst for me was an apple or fruit.
Hooks: I never got fruit. They were always afraid of fruit. People were like “Don’t accept fruit there might be razor blades in it.” Full chocolate bars were like a legend for me growing up. I didn’t know full chocolate bars existed.

What is your guys’ favorite Halloween song?

DC: Monster Mash is pretty awesome.

Hooks I’ve seen on your Instagram that you’re big into doing graffiti. What does street art mean to you?

Hooks: I could talk a lot about this. Graffiti is kind of like the last rebellious form of art because it’s illegal in nature. All the other subcultures, they’re all legit and corporatized and that’s the only one that’s still against the grain. And it’s the biggest art movement in the world in a way.

[Follow Hooks on Instagram here]

Then I put Hooks on the spot and asked him if he would be kind enough to show off his graffiti writing skills by sketching my name. I was so happy he was down for the challenge. I brought blank paper, a pen, a pencil and a couple highlighters. He got right to it as we all continued the few questions I could squeeze in before they had to get to the stage.

With festival season drawing to an end, which one did you guys have the best time at?

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DC: Oh wow. There were so many. The Mad Decent Block Parties were awesome. We did I don’t even know how many of those.. like 15? Electric Forest was definitely a high light. Also Tomorrowworld.

What kind of DJ equipment are you guys using tonight?

DC replies candidly, “My hands.” The best response I’ve ever received to that question.

Would you rather become blind… or never hear another song again?

DC: Uh… I dunno. But I did hear a really funny one of these questions the other day and it was “Would you rather have dicks for fingers or fingers for dicks?”
After a moment of discussion, Hooks comes to the conclusion that having sex with multiple women with one hand may not be all that bad.

Would you rather open up a show for Paris Hilton… or make a mixtape with DJ Pauly D?

DC giggles and answers “Open for Paris Hilton and just troll the crowd. Play all sorts of weird shit. Watch the people just stare at us.”

Would you rather go home with the hot chick from The Wolf of Wall Street… or spend the night at the bar talking to Michael Jordan?

DC: The hott chick from The Wolf of Wall Street.
Hooks looks up from his sketch to interject how he would actually pick Michael Jordan.

Their tour manager kindly reminds us that there is only time for one more question. They are due on stage in just minutes.

What kind of coffee are you guys enjoying on your entertaining Coffee Break videos?

Hooks: These days I drink black but, I kind of have a thing for cappuccinos. Kind of like an old Italian man.
DC: The more into coffee I’ve gotten the less cream and sugar I put into it, but, sometimes you get bad coffee and you have to cover it up with cream and sugar.

At this point the whole room felt the pressure to get these guys moving towards the stage. Their tour manager’s kind but concerned look was all I needed to tell Hooks that it was okay to stop sketching even though he wasn’t finished–that I understood and I appreciated his time. Unwavered, he never looked up from his work. Like he didn’t even hear me. Like there was no way he wasn’t going to finish what he started. It was in these next several steadfast moments I could feel his dedication to art and to finishing a project. He really was in a world of his own determined to finish this for me. As a superfan, this absolutely melted my heart. He kept his nervous partner and team waiting and in the mere 3 minutes he had he whipped up an amazing sketch of my name that I can’t wait to get in a proper frame. I am an avid collector of event and festival posters but, nothing comes close to what Hooks was kind enough to draw for me that Halloween night. Just another thing to add to the already very long list of what makes Zeds Dead the coolest dudes in the music game.

Z e d ‘ s  D e a d

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Relive Zed’s Dead set from Haunted Fest along and other amazing songs from their latest Somewhere Else EP in the playlist below

P r i m e  S o c i a l

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