“We take things to the next level, we get a new level of hurt. We needed our own word because before there wasn’t an expression for what we do”. -Kenny Beats (Loudpvck)
On a nation-wide tour bent on turning up crowds around the country and dropping trap-infused bangers into the eardrums of their ‘hurt’ fans, having a quiet day off is a rarity for Kenny Beats and Ryan Marks, the New York and LA producers behind the groundbreaking & dab-smoking bass sensation Loudpvck. But as the rainy afternoon cleanses New Orleans from it’s previous week of Mardi Gras festivities, the duo shows no intention of slowing down from their high-up suite in the Hyatt Regency hotel. Ryan blasts Flume’s “You & Me” remix from his laptop speakers as Kenny calmly rolls blunts courtesy of Club Ampersand’s care package; a literal loudpack if you will. The two are adamant on being shown authentic Nola cuisine, and more importantly an adequate place to hit a bong for the first time since the start of their “Cold Crush” tour.
Renowned for their hard-hitting trap remixes for the likes of Carnage, Kill the Noise, and Brillz, the Loudpvck boys have proven to be a lasting and dynamic force in electronic music. While their gritty, rap-infused production challenges conventional trap and pushes electronic boundaries, their high-energy sets have earned them a reputation for destroying venues and festivals alike. RTT spent a day with the turn-up gurus themselves to talk Cold Crush, getting #hurt, and future Loudpvck releases. –@Spaz_tik
You guys are on the Paper Diamond-headlining “Cold Crush” tour with the likes of Gent & Jawns, Branchez, Manic Focus…
Ryan Marks: The dogs!
How’s the experience been going on your first nation-wide bus tour with all of your boys?
Ryan: Wild dude. Just really insane and a lot of fun. Most importantly we’ve gotten way better as DJ’s from getting the opportunity to play every single night. And I think getting to understand markets better in some of these areas like the southeast or the Midwest, areas we don’t normally play in or haven’t ever played in is also really cool. And by that I mean seeing what songs work where; how kids in one place get insanely turnt up for certain tracks as opposed to shows elsewhere.
Are the demographics really that different for where tracks will pop off?
Kenny Beats: We have a general estimate. When you go to Atlanta you know they’re going to be way more into that rap shit. You know when you play in the midwest the brostep stuff works a little more there. And then the New York and LA shows are pretty much up on all the shit we’re up on. So for us it’s really more about the cities we haven’t been to and then finding out what works in any situation because it’s never the same.
Every crowd is different.
Kenny: Exactly. But as far as the tour goes everybody on it is fucking amazing. Everyone is a really dope producer and performer in their own unique right. We’ve all learned a lot from each other styles and the tour crew is also super on-point. They’ve really made it really easy for us to do our job everyday. We show up every night and the stage set-up is perfect. The bus has also been an amazing experience, not having to constantly take flights and sleep in hotels. It’s just overall been an incredible tour.
I can imagine that after weeks of touring you guys all start to influence each other. And obviously you have that new “Wylin” single with Paper Diamond, but how have the other diverse acts on Cold Crush, like Branchez for instance, influenced the Loudpvck sound?
Kenny: Musically, a lot of the listening is where we take away from each other. We play each other a lot of records on the bus or just when guys are throwing down practicing their sets. But I think more importantly you take away from how everyone does their social media, how everyone puts together their sets, how everyone produces. You get to see everyone’s day-to-day process from all angles and learn from it.
Ryan: “Wylin” with Paper Diamond really came together on the bus which is amazing and that’s an example of the tour directly affecting our sound.
Did you guys know you wanted to work on that track with Paper beforehand or did it just happen naturally?
Kenny: We’ve been talking about doing stuff with Alex (Paper Diamond) since we got on the tour. We started with three beats and all of them definitely worked but they all needed something more. But with “Wylin” we just pushed and kept working on it everyday and literally finished it in four to five days with all three of us working on it.
Ryan: Sometimes one of us was would have the laptop in the bus, sometimes all three of us were in the studio – it varied everyday. But hats off to Paper Diamond and his team. Before we even had the single done they knew to get the art in place, the blogs in place, and that generally everything was good to go.
Seems like they did a great job, the record definitely had a big impact.
Kenny: Dude thank you. We’re really, really happy with how it did, hitting like 400k plays in the first week. You can’t really ask for more than that you know? Seeing a veteran like Alex and his team and how they put that all together even before the music’s there really taught us a lot about the process.
Which one of you turns up the most off-stage?
Kenny: Everyone definitely has their night. You can point to almost every single person in the crew or with the DJ’s and say “there was this night when you blacked out, this night when you blacked out,” and just take turns. No one is ever really sober. The trailer gets packed up after a show and we’re all like… let’s black out!
I want a rough estimate of how much weed has been smoked on the tour.
Ryan: On the tour zips have been smoked for sure!
Kenny: And for us the whole Loudpvck social media game is about “getting hurt,” or getting fucked up with our fans. So every single city we’ve been to we’ve had all these kids saying “Yo I got blunts, yo I’ve got dabs. Blah blah blah” But definitely one of our favorite things to do is burn one in the crowd with fans. There’s something really personal to it – there’s a real connection there we love sharing with people. So we’ve been facing so much nug everyday of the tour its been amazing (laughs).
So about this whole “#hurt” saying. What exactly does it mean and how did it originate? Its been blowing up my twitter feed.
Kenny: We’ve been saying it for years and it actually came from my high school. There was this kid Paul who would always just say “oh your hurt, oh your hurt blah blah blah” and it kind of trickled down into my grade and everyone from my hometown in Connecticut started saying hurt. I’ve been saying it around Ryan forever and now all the homies in LA say it. One day we just tweeted it to see if kids would get the vibe: like “who’s your most hurt friend,” or “Retweet a #hurt picture,” and kids instantly just got it.
So it’s not just about smoking weed..?
Ryan: No it definitely has multiple meanings. Like a person can be hurt in a completely other realm of life.When you’re hurt it basically means you’re out of commission. You’re just done.
Kenny: Hurt generally is if you’ve had too much of anything. If you ate too much food, if you smoked too much weed, if you drank too much or whatever it is, you’re just cashed out, you’re hurt. And it’s kind of evolved from being just fucked up to more of a state of mind.. We just needed our own word because we take things to the next level, we get a new level of hurt. Before there wasn’t an expression for what we do.
Genres like future bass / love trap have been blowing up lately in dance music. You’ve got guys like Flume, What So Not, Branchez, Wave Racer, and all these guys out of Australia just killing the melodic game right now. Do you guys drop any of this in your sets? Has it influenced Loudpvck at all?
Kenny: We listen to all that stuff. Flume’s one of my fucking favorite producers period. Branchez has put us on to a ton of Wave Racer stuff and we love Branchez’s shit too obviously. But for our personal sound we’re balls to the wall at all times so it’s hard to put in something real pretty and slow because it takes kids out of the energy.
Ryan: We reach a certain level of energy in our set it’s difficult to rewind; there’s essentially no going back. We’ve tried to include those types of records and it always felt out of place. But that being said not every show is a huge neon rave. And when they’re aren’t we definitely love to play stuff like that.
Last time we talked at Highline ballroom Kenny said he wanted to collab with Cashmere Cat. I can’t even picture a Cashmere Cat / Loudpvck record.
Ryan: I could see it – you can mash up any styles together you know? And that might be the gateway for us playing that kind of stuff in our sets. We would be able to put our own kind of spin to a more, as you said, future bass / love trap type of thing.
So like a Loudpvck branded house record??
Ryan: Well that’s on the way.
Tell me about that, what’s going on in the future for Loudpvck?
Kenny: We have a “Gladpvck EP” coming out, which is a collaboration between us and gLAdiator. It’s two songs packed with super festival vibes. One is straight big room house, you know a straight four-on-the-floor dance record: no trap shit, no snares, no high hats – it’s true to the form. And the other is a big festival-vibe trap song. We’re talking to labels and there’s no date yet, but I’d say early summer, like April-May, is definitely likely.
That gritty, real trap-y hip-hop influenced Loudpvck sound seems to be evolving towards a more big room festival type of vibe.
Kenny: Once we started adding some of these big room vibe records and festival records into our sets we realized it just amped the energy up and made everything way crazier. It brings kids up a whole another level. Kids love the feeling of being at EDC, Ultra, etc. And to be able to give that to them in their hometown with all their friends on a random night is big for us. We make jokes about it being festival season and all this shit and we’ll literally play shows with 300 kids and play some big ass festival record kind of ironically, but it still gives you that same presence and vibe of being there with 10,000 kids. It just brings it to a different setting. We’ve been really focusing on starting with crazy energy and never relenting. Never looking back. And I think that kids are really in that mindset now.
Where do you guys see the Loudpvck sound going next as it continues to evolve?
Kenny: We just want to make all kinds of records. We definitely came into the scene on the quote-on-quote trap side of things and rolled that wave really heavy. It’s been good to us and all our peers in that genre of music are amazing, but we don’t want to get pigeon-holed. We want to be able to play all types of shows, in all types of markets, in all types of festivals. You can’t do that by just making the same trap records, the same twerk records at all times you know? You have to include the love step shit or whatever, you have to include the festival vibes, you have to include all of those influences.
Ryan: I don’t really like saying things like that because we don’t know what we’re going to be. That’s really what it’s about for us – that’s why we made the festival stuff because we were just into that shit. We were going to shows and seeing these songs and remixes go off huge. And really the end game for us is playing for 20,000 kids every night. We’re not satisfied, we’re hungry to keep playing huge fucking shows in huge fucking arenas. And who knows if we’ll still be making music like that in a month or two but I think diversity is something really important in making music. We always try to have a different sound or bring something really fresh to a track because otherwise we’re not interested in putting it out.
And that’s ambitious because there’s definitely a risk in doing that.
Ryan: Of course dude, everything is a risk and every time you step out of your comfort zone creatively it’s gonna be a huge risk especially in the trap or bass world where a lot of these kids are very myopic about how they see bass music and they’re not particularly open-minded to what they consider mainstream electronic music. And as EDM gets bigger these things get more and more compartmentalized. You have to be careful about when you release things, how you release things, and how you promote your releases.
Avicii just bought a $15 million Hollywood home. If there was a $15 million Loudpvck mansion what would it be like?
Ryan: Oh, it would have a lot more bongs than Avicii’s house. It would probably even be architecturally structured as a dabber.There’d be a nug buffet for sure.
Kenny: Yeah the garden would definitely be just all nug. I’d have all my homies just tending to plants in the backyard all day. But to be honest we’re not really show-y motherfuckers like that. Literally give us a studio with two great speakers, a bunch of sounds, a bong and some bud and we’re happy.
What’s the quintessential banger right now?
Kenny: Drugs by Anderson Paak. Branchez put me on to it. It has under 10,000 plays on soundcloud but it’s really good, I love it.
Ryan: Gecko by Oliver Heldens is crazy. Such a unique sound. It’s such a fun bouncy house song.
Any last messages to RTT and Loudpvck fans?
Both: GET FUCKING HURT AND SMOKE MORE WEED! Turn up.