Sonic Agenda Exclusive Interview: Two Friends
Matt Halper and Eli Sones, the young masterminds behind Two Friends, have quickly revamped from high school bedroom producers to one of the most promising dance music duos of 2017. Two Friends kicked off 2017 with the release of their debut EP ‘Out Of Love‘ and a North America tour. Recently Sonic Agenda got to speak with Two Friends about the EP, tour, the music scene on the West Coast, Electric Forest, and much more. Check out Two Friends at House of Blues on March 30th.
When did you guys decide to make music your career? How did Two Friends come about?
We both grew up in Los Angeles and met in middle school, when we were 12 or 13 years old. We became best friends pretty much right away. Fast forward six years and we are seniors in high school and about to graduate- we kinda were just like ‘uh you love music, I love music, wanna make music together?’ Eli had been doing mashups for a couple years and Matt always had played guitar and was like the worst one in our school choir. So our backgrounds somewhat complimented each other, and we knew that whatever we decided to pursue together it would be fun since we were best friends anyway.
You are currently on phase 2 of the ‘Out Of Love’ tour, how has the tour been so far? What was phase 1 like with Matoma? What was the craziest phase one show?
The tour has been unreal so far. It’s been so amazing traveling to all these cities and meeting fans and playing our new music and just having overall good times— thinking about all the upcoming dates gets us so excited. The shows with Matoma have been great- not only does he make awesome music and put on great shows, but he is just the nicest guy ever and has been a pleasure to get to know, and we’re lucky we can call him a friend. In terms of the craziest show, man that’s a tough one. Would probably say Terminal 5 with Matoma in New York City, just such an fun crowd and great energy, and of course a legendary venue.
Speaking of ‘Out Of Love’, let’s talk about this debut EP you guys recently released. Where did the inspiration for the album come from? What role do each of you play in the production of music? How was it working with Cosmos & Creature and MAX?
We are super proud of this EP, and have been humbled by all the feedback and love so far. Some of the songs were started way back in the day- I think we found a voice memo of us singing one of the lyric ideas from over three years ago- and it’s really exciting to finally be able to share them with everyone. The songs on the EP span the map, but all go back to that Two Friends spark. Working with MAX and with Cosmos & Creature was such a pleasure. They have such genuine talent and their passion for music really is contagious. In terms of roles, Matt definitely takes more of the captain’s seat for producing, but of course we both are involved in it all. For songwriting, that’s something we usually do together. We wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the EP (as we do with all our original tracks).
Hailing from Los Angeles, CA a town known for it’s musical outlets, tell us how the EDM scene differs from on the East Coast?
I’ll put it this way- if we weren’t from LA, we’d mostly likely have moved here by now. There are so many producers and singers and writers based here, and in our own experience at least, it’s been such a collaborative community rather than competitive. On more of the musical side of things, there’s definitely a lot of visual imagery on our EP that’s inspired by LA and growing up here. The east coast EDM scene is by no means ‘worse’, we’re just not as familiar since we’ve been west coast guys for pretty much all our lives.
2F Friendly Session is a monthly podcast in which you guys prepare a half hour mix followed by a half hour guest mix. What do you guys try to give the fans with each session? How do you prepare differently for a guest mix compared to a live set?
It kind of changes every time. We choose songs we’ve been jamming to recently, throw in any of our new releases, see if our producer friends have new releases that we can help support, and of course include a few demos from our promo inbox. Cuz that’s one of the goals of Friendly Sessions – to shine as much of a spotlight as we can on up-and-coming producers, since we were in their position not too long ago and we know the grind. But the main overall goal is to just share good music and good vibes with our audience! Definitely a lot different than how we would go about prepping for a live set- the Friendly Sessions mixes are a lot more ‘low-key’ in the sense that you can listen in your car, listen while you study, etc., versus trying to ramp up the energy to 11 out of 10 for our live shows, where you really have to be there to get the full experience.
Recently you announced that you will be playing Electric Forest this year. What can fans expect and any other festivals on the lineup for 2017?
We cannot wait for Electric Forest– it’s always been a festival that we’ve heard such rave reviews about, no pun intended haha. If you literally just search it on google images, it looks so magical. Definitely gonna have some fun surprises in store for that. Just finished up some little festivals in Barcelona and the Bahamas, and hopefully gonna be announcing some more for the summer soon!
What is one piece of advice you can give to an inspiring young DJ/producer?
Give before you ask. Don’t constantly go around begging for favors. Give people a reason to want to help you and want to be part of your longer-term journey. You’ll see the results are much more beneficial for all involved.