In spite of being the Drum & Bass Editor for Magnetic Mag, I still make an effort to listen to every genre. Pigeon-holing is as bad for listeners as it is for producers, in my opinion. Keys N Krates are one of the few groups in trap, and I can name the ones I like just on my ten fingers, who steadily impress me. Their live production puts trap on a whole new level; I feel weird even calling it trap because it's so much more.
Keys N' Krates has ascended into the top ranks of the EDM spotlight faster than many acts have seen over a decade of work. How are you handling the sudden attention? Does it put pressure on your music or validate it? How so?
Matisse: I don't think so. Mostly because we've been doing this for a while, and the popularity has come in incremental steps. We're all pretty grounded guys. We have a lot of friends who make sure that we know every day that we're pieces of shit, in general. As long as we're happy with our music and we're being true to ourselves, I think that's all that matters.
Adam: It's been a long time. We've been together for seven years now; we've done this circuit and gone and built up a fan base. So when people say "sudden rise," I think they maybe just discovered us.
Your rhythm (drums), melody (keys) and sampling (dj) are covered. If you had to add a staple session instrument what would it be and why?
Unanimously: Kids' choir.
There have been many electronic instrumental groups before, but KNK stands out as one of the most innovative acts, especially in the hip-hop world. With younger generations getting into the game, what advice would you give kids that are not just looking to collaborate, but play together?
Matisse: Don't have an ego. Remember you're part of a team. You're playing a part in a group, so you don't have to be the loudest or the most dominant, you just have to make sure that the team in general works together. So… know your role, and shut your f***in' mouth (haha).
Flowinsky: More music making, and less social networking. Make music and see what happens. Don't bother people trying to get your music to everybody. Just put your shit online and, honestly, people will find you if what you're doing is making sense.
In the studio, as a collection, what is your strongest suit? and what would you like to improve upon?
Flowinsky: We have three of us, so there's a lot of good ideas always coming from someone. I think when an idea gets laid down, there are three minds scrutinizing it. So it's really hard to get past that wall if the idea isn't really good. The downside is that there are three of us in the kitchen and it takes a really long time to make little decisions, like -- do we like this entire song, do we like the sound of that snare, is there enough reverb on that hi hat. Whereas if you're one dude, you just make those decisions and it just is what it is. It's really a double-edged sword.
Back in January when you were in LA, your laptop was stolen with the session for "Understand Why" on it, which has now made it onto the new EP. Did you get it back, or did you have to make it again from scratch?
Matisse: We had to remake a lot of it; there was a backup of it that was like, older… it took us about a week's work to get it back to where it needed to be.
Flowinsky: But that wasn't it -- to finally finish that song was one of the most painful--
Adam: But that was independent of that whole thing.
Flowinsky: True. That song has such a long story to it. We had finished it, lost it, remade it, didn't like what we remade, and then had to tweak it and it became something completely new. That might have been the longest song we've worked on.
Adam: We worked on that song for about 6 months; there are four different versions of it. We even previewed the second one, and there are still kids on our Facebook like "Yeah, this one is cool, but I really like the second one you previewed on Diplo & Friends better" and we're just like "F*** you" (haha). We're all super happy with the final version and it has been getting crazy support.
Get the Every Nite EP on iTunes now.