The Martinez Brothers International Interview: 1) Tell me what area you are both from originally, what nationality you are, also if you play any instruments? We are of Puerto Rican decent; originally from the Bronx in New York, we were born and raised there until about 3 years ago when we moved to Monroe, which is in upstate New York. We play various instruments; we started playing percussion when we were very young about 7 yrs old, and later we started picking up things like keyboards and bass, but our main instruments would have to be percussion. 2) What do your teachers and friends at school think about what you do, what do they say? Are they envious? Do they treat you differently? Well we tried to keep it very under wraps, especially when we were in the Bronx, nobody really knew what we were up to, but when we moved upstate it was a little different because a lot of the kids from out neighbourhood go to clubs in the city and are into house music and techno and stuff like that... One time we were playing a gig at Pacha, and these two girls came over and said, "We live in Monroe" and we were like wow!...but even then we tried to keep it very discreet, people didn’t really start finding out until the New York Times article came out; that’s when a lot of the teachers and people in our neighbourhood found out... but yeah, it can be weird at times, but we've never experienced any type of envious behaviour or anything like that, lets just say the kids out here really like us! lol 3) Do you sometimes feel like house music and DJing takes a priority over school / college. What would your dad say about that? Right now house music definitely does not take priority over school, it comes first and it shows in our touring schedule and the limitations to some of the gigs that we can and cannot do...During the school year we can only do gigs on the weekends, with the exceptions of holidays..and if the rare occasion where we want to do a gig on a school night or Sunday, it’s made very clear to us that we still have to go to school the next day. Our dad is very stern about this, so if we want to play we have to do the school thing. 4) Where has DJing taken you to around the world to date, name some of the places? It has taken us to a lot of places, places like Pacha in Ibiza, She in Barcelona, Djoon and Social Club in Paris, Watergate in Berlin, Bbc, Buddha club in Portugal, Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Switzerland, London, Italy, los Angeles, Hawaii, many many many places lol. 5) How has your father guided you so far? Our father is really an amazing person and has made this possible for us to do this. He went to places like The Loft and the Paradise Garage, so he was extremely instrumental in getting us into music... he taught us that if we really wanted to do this, we had to learn the roots of music, the funk, soul and disco before we could get into house music, because at the end that’s where this music comes from... The more and more we got into music, the more we realized that this is something we wanted to do, and as soon as we made him aware of this, he was supportive of it; I’m sure every parents dream is for their kids to become doctors or lawyers, but its every kids dream that there parents are supportive of what they want to do, and that’s what he's been, very supportive. 6) Do you think that people consider your age as a gimmick? What would you say to those people? Have you had any negative responses? There are definitely many people that do, but it’s mostly because there’s a lack of youth in the scene at all. When you think about genre's like hip- hop or pop, there’s an abundance of young teen stars, and they are never considered gimmicks because if you pay attention to the core audience, its all young people, and it would only make sense for there to be younger artists. So because the core audience and fans of house music are much older then we are, it’s very easy for us to be labelled gimmicks since we are part of a few young people who are into this music. At the end of the day, whether we are young or not, we can’t expect everyone to like what we do. So to those who are, respect, and to those who aren’t, utmost respect as well. 7) How do you have such a good knowledge of old records? Well like we stated earlier, we had a very good education early on by our father who knew many of the older records that were played at The Garage or The Loft. But we also did our own research, going on sites like discogs and learning about the core records of those times. Listening to Larry mixes, Ron Hardy mixes, Humphries, Scott, Regisford and just being educated and doing research constantly. We met people such as Elbin Reyes and Tony Rinaldo, Charlie from Vinyl Mania, who have record collections that would rival many collectors. So they were also very instrumental to introducing us to a lot of the old school stuff. So yeah, just always doing research and never being afraid to learn more, which in our opinion is a very key thing? 8) Who are the producers that you wish you could be like? Give me a few examples. Wow! There are many. Of course people like Masters at Work, who were and still are influential to pretty much everyone in dance music. People like Joe Clausell and Martin Buttrich whose records are sonically some of the best i've heard. Dennis Ferrer of course, he's taught us so much and amazes us each and every time, an extremely forward thinking producer and even of you're not into everything he does, there’s always something to learn from his productions. Kerri Chandler, which we shouldn’t even have to speak on his genius, it’s just evident. Jerome Sydenham, another genius, has so much knowledge about music. Radio Slave, which has been in our books constantly these last few years. Even people like Herbie Hancock, j Dilla, DJ Premier, who aren’t house music, but amazing producers in their own right. So many to name, we could go on forever really lol. 9) What was it like to be written about in the New York Times, how did it make you feel when you first saw it? Was it accurate and who did you show? It was really amazing; we couldn’t believe it until we actually saw it. It was really an honour considering the fact that they don’t really feature any articles on dance music and their artists, so that was extremely cool. It was extremely accurate which was also a plus. We only really showed our really closest friends and family. The rest have just seen it by themselves, lol. 10) How do you feel about having a pastor at your gigs when you play? God has always been a very important thing in my family and anybody who knows my dad and attendeds his church, knows that he was probably the coolest pastor you could ever meet. It really wasn’t strange at all, because we know why we were into this, not to party, not to get high or get drunk, not even to get girls, lol, but strictly just for the music. And he understood that and it was cool for him, because he really loved the music as well. It was a completely innocent thing and it still is, so we never mind him being there, enjoying the vibes with us. 11) Tell me about your journey with Dennis Ferrer and what he has done to help you develop your sound. Dennis Ferrer, has been extremely instrumental in all of this. Not only on the music and production, but also on the business side of things and on life in general and he's become really like family. He taught us so much about production, teaching us the ins and outs of different programs, keyboards, software and on how to make records in general. We have spent countless hours in his studio just observing and listening and on the way we were also able to work together on some projects on his album and other things. It’s really been a constant learning experience and has been a blessing to have him be apart of our lives and careers. We really couldn’t have picked anyone better to have as our mentor and we have a genuine love and respect for each other, which is key, especially in this business. 12) What was the inspiration behind the sound of Debbie Downer, and why did you call it that? How well have your other tracks done? Well we were in Berlin in the studio with Argy and had been working on some other tracks before this one and weren’t really completely feeling the tracks. So we took a break and went for a walk, where we met up with a friend of his. They begin to talk, and she begins to talk, mostly about depressing things and just brought our mood so down. We left with our heads hung low, and we told him "In New York, we call a girl like that a Debbie Downer" and I explained to him what that was. That night we decided to work on an entirely new track. We did the drums, which we made a point to be very bottom heavy and housey but something was missing. Argy pulls out this vocal he had and we began to loop it up, and the way we looped it, and the words she was saying, we decided to call it "Debbie Downer", because the vocal sounds as if she is complaining about something, so that was that. In that same week we went home and laid down "Where's Mr Brown” in about 2-3 days, which also had a very beautiful response and heard it played many times. We also had "My Rendition" which also did very well for us. We don’t want to put out anything that is not quality, everything we put out must be top quality or it will not be put out at all. 13) How important is your image to you? How do you want to be perceived by people? Well we can’t really help the way people view us, because at the end of the day we are jus being ourselves and we let the public make their own judgements I guess. So its important but then again its not because, we just present ourselves to people, the way they receive or perceive it, is entirely up to them, but we're not going to change who we are no matter what. 14) Do you believe what people say about you representing the future of House music? What do you really think? Hmm, I don’t know if we really want that burden on our back lol, we’re just having fun and doing what we love, not really thinking about whether we're the future or the saviours of house. With that title I guess would come many responsibilities and obligations that would just make it not fun, and if this was to ever become not fun (which we highly doubt) then we would just have to move onto something else, because we really just want to have a good time and present ourselves to people. These days, we see so many people who take this music so seriously and forget to have fun, they want to critique everything and everyone but they forget about why people go out to hear djs in the first place, and it’s to have a good time, and forget about the real world for a few hours. So we say, lets just have fun lol 15) What does the label Strictly Rhythm mean to you? What are the tracks on the label that you particularly feel? Strictly Rhythm records have been in our boxes since we got into the music. Songs like "Beautiful People" and "When you touch me", have been staples for us. There was always something for everyone, "I Get Lifted”, for the soulful heads, and Lil Mo Yin Yang "Reach" for the bigger rooms. So Strictly really means a lot to us, we've learned a lot from this label and we're glad that it back and putting out top quality again! 16) What have you done with your new mix? Tell me a bit about it. Well we've incorporated many of the classic Strictly tracks along with some of the current ones that we're really feeling. Not to mention some of the tracks that are out there that we play out. We really wanted to showcase, or try to showcase how we play, our style from our selection to our mixing. Some of the edits, we did live, doing live type remixing, so it’s just a showcase of strictly but also of our style as djs. 17) What do you think you can do for the label? What does the label expect you to do for it? Our ultimate goal with the label and our careers in general is to expose younger people to the music as possible. Strictly is a huge force in the dance music industry and combines with our youth I think that creating a new demographic for this music would be the ultimate satisfaction on our parts. 18) What is your ultimate goal at this stage of your career? Well definitely putting out more productions and staying consistent with that and also our djing. But as we said before getting more younger people exposed to the music and just to continue having a good time as much as we can. We're having so much fun riding this wave, so it’s going to be interesting where we're taken to next. 19) This bit is for you to tell us about anything that you think we have missed. We just want to thank everyone for the love and support, God Bless!