DVBBS at Mysteryland: “Gold Skies,” Live Music, and Going Hard
Brothers Alex and Chris are DVBBS. Raw, real, and uninhibited, these guys embody exactly what they want DVBBS to stand for: live and limiteless music. In an interview with Sensible Reason at Mysteryland, Alex put it this way: “We’re humans, we’re real about everything.” In our interview, we definitely saw that these guys were upfront and unabashed about who they are and what they do.
The duo has a crazy show schedule–traveling almost every day, frequently doing 4 shows in two days–and it’s no wonder why: the demand to see DVBBS is definitely there. Their major hit, “Tsunami,” skyrocketed them into the limelight after its release in August of 2013 and right now has over 83 million views! This year, they have a new major track hitting the airwaves: “Gold Skies.” This track is just in time for summer, and you will definitely be hearing it more as we get into July and August. The track was done in collaboration with heavy hitters Martin Garrix and Sander van Doorn, and, in the Rolling Stone article that announced it, van Doorn commented, “It was fantastic to work with such talented young producers. The DVBBS brothers make great songs and I love their vocals.”
“Gold Skies” (see title video above) is absolutely beautiful, featuring the vocals of Aleesia as well as Chris and Alex as the chorus, and the video itself is an awesome and beautiful story. You would never guess that the same group was behind this track and “Tsunami” (see below). The duo also used to be in a punk band back in Canada, so their musical roots run wide, across a spectrum of genres and instruments. The punk mentality has also not been left behind as they get into EDM; both Alex and Chris still have a hard-core, work-hard-play-harder, give-no-fucks-about-anything mentality. The music is important, but it’s also the energy, the fun, the party, and the frankness that they bring along with them that draws people in.
After their performance at Mysteryland on the Main Stage (on Sunday, May 25 at 4pm), we pulled them aside to ask a few questions about the release of “Gold Skies,” their set, and live music. We were most impressed with how they finished each others’ sentences:
Sensible Reason: Tell us about “Gold Skies.” How do you feel about the public’s response to it?
Alex: It’s like our baby. I got it tattooed on me. It came out about a week and a half ago and has millions of views online. It’s gotten picked up by radios in like 6 different countries. We wrote it last year; we collaborated with Sander [Van Doorn] and then Martin [Garrix] wanted to add a piece to it. It’s doing amazing now. We sing on it as well and we produced it. It’s really cool because it’s the style that we were really creating last year, and we made “Tsunami” and it just blew up so big that we kinda got put into this category and this perception that it was all we could do. Now it’s awesome to explore with our stuff. We actually recorded an acoustic version of it and we’re gonna do a live in-studio acoustic version. We all play instruments, we have 3 part harmonies with piano and keys and acoustic bass. We tried a demo version of the acoustic version. We posted a preview of it, wanna see it? [Takes out phone to show us the preview, see below.]
Chris: We’ve always wanted to do that, like have a whole fucking orchestra. Like a “Tsunami” unplugged, with me on the timpani or something.
Sensible Reason: The video for the song is absolutely beautiful.
Alex: “Gold Skies” was shot in Iceland. It was just a good feel video. We played “Gold Skies” as our last song during our last set, it was so emotional. I cried.
Chris: Yeah, I just straight cried. First time I dropped it at a stadium… I don’t know… You don’t get it from a speaker, but playing it in front of 18,000 people, I don’t know… It’s like the first song we got signed, so it’s an important song to us.
Sensible Reason: When was the first time you played it live?
Chris: Amsterdam, Don’t Let Daddy Know. A huge festival with 18,000 people. And since we’re half Dutch it was pretty big to prove ourselves there.
Sensible Reason: How do you feel your set went today?
Alex: I feel like it was amazing! The crowd’s reaction was amazing. We were so tired today getting there and the crowd kept us going. It was such a roller coaster. We trained to do so many different styles and that’s a fun set for me. Some people can only do 128 [bpm] or trap the whole time. So we brought on a nice little roller coaster for everyone.
Chris: The crowd was really responsive, I loved the atmosphere. This is a more hippie camping festival. That makes our set more fun.
Sensible Reason: During your set, one transition did not go the way you wanted, and you guys laughed and Alex mentioned it to the crowd. It’s awesome to see artists be so upfront and it shows that the set is live.
Alex: We’ve had four shows in two days, I was just being real. It’s live shit. Sometimes you’re tired, sometime it’s the monitors, sometimes it’s the computer. If you’re just mad about it, then everyone will be like, “Oh he sucks,” but if you’re real…
Chris: And we go so hard, like smoke 3 joints, then drink half a bottle before the show [laughs]. We go so hard, and we switch songs so much. We have like a minute, and then we’re like, “Oh, we have to change out of this song now.” It moves so fast, and sometimes we fuck up.
Alex: The thing you can say about a DJ is they don’t play live or don’t make their own music…
Chris: …But if you see us live then you know it because we go so hard, sometimes we do fuck up. We did when we played punk rock too. We’d be going so hard, so fucked up, and I’d hit myself in the face with my drum stick and it would go flying. That shit just happens. We play hard ass fucking music.
Sensible Reason: Who are you most looking forward to seeing tonight at Mysteryland?
Alex: Dimi and Mike [Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike].
Sensible Reason: Finally, what do you most look forward to when you come to a festival?
Alex: Just like the show and after the show.
Chris: Partying with everyone, smoking [laughs].
Alex: I like challenges like today, when it’s like 4 o’clock and its really hot out and you can tell people are still tired from last night and it’s our job to to re-amp that whole thing, and make the power of music energize that whole crowd.
Chris: I’m not gonna lie, we take a flight like every day. We’re on a plane more than a fucking pilot. So on the journey there you’re like, “UGH!” Then you get there, and you’re like, “YES! This is why we do this!”
DVBBS wasn’t lying when they said they are on planes more than a fucking pilot: check out their upcoming show dates, and you’ll see that they bounce around from country to country in both Europe and North America (and follow them on Instagram to see how far and wide they go!). If you’re in the NY area and can’t wait to check them out again, you’re in luck: they’re going to be playing at Electric Zoo this Labor Day weekend! We also simply can’t get enough of “Gold Skies” and are listening to it on repeat, so be sure to download your own copy of it on Beatport–it was just released for download a few days ago!
You can check out DVBBS this Labor Day weekend in NYC at Electric Zoo! More info here.