Whether it’s music production or performing in front of packed crowds, D.J. and Producer duo, the “VERDUGO BROTHERS,” are committed to bringing the same level of positive energy and excitement to everything they do. They have been DJing together for 15 years and incidentally, they are the first American EDM brother duo to have music featured on MTV.com. Known for their harmonic mixing, track selection and electrifying performances, they have earned world-class recognition, sharing the stage with Grammy award winning artist Moby, and Grammy nominated Tiesto, just to name a few. They have traveled from the beaches of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to the distant beaches of Jesolo, Italy, rocking crowds everywhere in between.
Currently, the Verdugo Brothers are focused on their debut album which will feature tech-house, electro, progressive, down tempo, experimental pop and beyond. Additionally, they are working on defining the sound and direction of their own independent label, Estilo Recordings, as well as filming, directing and editing their own feature music videos, which can be found at Youtube.com/EstiloTV
The Verdugo Brothers‘ music is also supported by Top 100 DJs: Markus Schulz, Carl Cox, Matt Darey and Steve Lawler amongst others.
Rick Jamm caught up with the Verdugo Brothers and got their thoughts pinned down in the Twenty Questions interview.
1. How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
Verdugo Brothers: We’ve been DJing for 15 years now and producing music for about 7 years. It all started after we attended our first underground rave in Los Angeles, back in 1997.
2. Who were the first influences on your sound and who do you consider the most influential producer in your genre today?
Verdugo Brothers: Depeche Mode, New Order, and John Digweed were some of the first influences on our sound. Today, we consider John Dahlback, amongst many others, to be one of the most influential on our style.
3. What was the first piece of equipment that you actually purchased with your own money?
Verdugo Brothers: A Numark DJ mixer.
4. In your opinion what are the biggest barriers new producers face today?
Verdugo Brothers: Getting songs in the hands of big labels and big DJs. And especially getting your music signed to a big label.
5. Do you mainly use Loops? Construct your own pieces? Or program your beats from other single hits?
Verdugo Brothers: We primarily make everything from scratch, but we of course use single hits as well. We love sound design.
6. What do you think is the key ingredient in a track? Breakdown, Style of production or Bassline?
Verdugo Brothers: Style of production. It’s what makes you stand out from all the other producers that are out there.
7. Do you like doing collaborations, if so, with which artists would you like to collaborate in future?
Verdugo Brothers: Yes, we do. We’ve worked with a few very talented vocalists and producers. We would love the chance to work with Kaskade, Starkillers, Deadmau5 and John Dahlback someday.
8. Which of your compositions is your personal current favorite, and which one is the absolute crowd favorite?
Verdugo Brothers: Current favorite would have to be “Games” because so many people can relate to it, including ourselves. The absolute crowd favorite is “The Party Don’t Stop.” The crowd reaction from this song has been awesome every time.
9. Which ingredient do you think is most essential in making your sound the way it is?
Verdugo Brothers: Picking the “right” sounds i.e. drums, etc.
10. When building a track how do you normally work? Do you start with the drums and build from that?
Verdugo Brothers: Yes, we typically start with drum programming first, then move on from there.
11. Do you mainly use analogue or digital soft synth sources? Do you think analogue makes a difference?
Verdugo Brothers: We generally use Digital soft synths. Although we are fans of both, there is a definite difference in tonal quality. It all depends on what you are going for.
12. What aspect of the music producing process discourages you most and what part excites you the most?
Verdugo Brothers: We find that sitting for long periods of time can be hard on the body, but the part that excites us most is creating those undeniable, magical melodies, rhythms and basslines.
13. Any advice on monitoring? Quiet? Loud? Do you prefer flat and boring speakers, headphones or big, phat and chunky monitors when recording and mixing?
Verdugo Brothers: Our advice is to play with the volume. You should listen to your mixes both quiet and loud. We prefer a good solid pair of high quality studio monitors.
14. How important do you think it is to have your music mastered commercially? Can you do it yourself as effectively and what tools would you recommend?
Verdugo Brothers: We think it is extremely important to master your music to a commercially accepted level. Although we can do our own mastering, it is better to have someone else do it for you because they have a different pair of ears and a different work environment.
15. At this time in your career, which is the one factor you desire most (increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, more live appearances etc…)?
Verdugo Brothers: More live shows because we have a passion for traveling, performing, and making people dance.
16. What do you believe is the real secret to your success as producers?
Verdugo Brothers: We believe the secret to our success is always striving to improve ourselves in terms of songwriting/producing, and pushing the bounds of our creativity.
17. How do you handle criticism? Who has been your worst critic, if any?
Verdugo Brothers: We use our criticism to motivate us to work harder in the studio. Our worst critic has always been ourselves.
18. Is having platinum sales important to you? Where would you like to see your career within 5 years?
Verdugo Brothers: Yes, platinum sales are very important to us. It’s sort of like a measure of your success. Within 5 years, our goal is to win a Grammy.
19. If you had to choose only one media method between Radio, TV, The Press or the Internet, to diffuse your music promotion. Which would it be and why?
Verdugo Brothers: We choose the internet because it connects you to the entire world, which is perfect for the type of music we are in to.
20. If you were not music producers, what would you be doing today?
Marcos: I would probably be practicing naturopathic medicine or nutrition.
Antonio: I would probably be owning my own business and helping out the community somehow.
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