As Zeds Dead and the Deadbeats crew gear up to debut their new show in London, with Rusko, DNMO and Duke & Jones, we caught up with them to learn about their new concept.
MoS: Firstly, can you please explain to us what this brand means and what it means to the world of electronic dance music?
Zeds Dead: We wanted a place to showcase subcultures and styles that sit outside mainstream culture. On the music side of things, we want to push the envelope on bass music by introducing and supporting new artists that we feel are breaking the mould and releasing music from established acts that challenge what people might expect. At some of our larger scale events we try to incorporate these elements by having local graffiti artists and Zack from Zeds Dead painting murals during the day, we bring in local food trucks so people can try whatever they want, and we set up mini arcades with free games all night in the venues so folks can catch a breather and chill out during the night if they want to.
What has the journey been like for you, as a brand, so far? And what key moments can you recall that have been vastly important for the brand?
We started the label as a way for Zeds Dead to self-release their debut album Northern Lights and now two and a half years later we’ve released music with over 50 different artists, this year alone we’ve had over 20+ releases. On the events side of things, Zeds Dead started off by throwing their own weekly event, Bassmentality, so we wanted to evolve that idea into a larger scale event series. It’s been a lot of work, a bit of travel, but a ton of fun. Selling out two nights at Red Rocks for our annual Dead Rocks party earlier this summer was a huge moment for us. And now getting to bring it over to Germany and the UK for the first time is another massive check off the list of goals.
You recently held the 5th instalment of Deadrocks Festival which looked incredible, how did the whole weekend go and what sets it apart from other events in your opinion?
This year we expanded the event from one to two nights, did after parties each night, and we ran a Deadbeats PopUp during one of the days. Red Rocks is a magical place, there’s just something in the air out there, and the people that come out to the shows are always down for whatever we throw at them, so it’s one our favourite places to debut new music and introduce the new artists we’re working with.
Your 2018 has been very busy so far, can you tell us what the brand has been up to and will be ahead of the London event?
We’re dropping a new track from Zeds Dead x Snails later this week. That’s the second new track from Zeds Dead that has come out this month, the first one being a collab they did with DNMO called “We Could Be Kings”, so it’s been a busy month for music. At the start of the month we had back to back events in NYC and Florida, and that’s pretty much how the summer has gone...events, music, events, music...Our tour started in early June and wraps at the end of November, and we’ve got a stacked calendar of releases to carry us through the year!
Over the past few months, there have been many new releases on Deadbeats from different artists such as Shlump’s Lazer Beam EP, Shades’ In Praise Of Darkness Album and 1788-L’s track Full/Burst. What have the reactions for this new music been like?
We’ve been loving the reactions to our recent releases. We like challenging listeners and pushing boundaries within bass music so we can go from the weird wonky dubstep of Shlump to the darkly experimental sounds of Shades to the chaotically melodic future-scapes of 1788-L. The Shades album was one of the biggest projects we’ve worked on outside of Zeds Dead’s Northern Lights and the reception from fans and critics alike was just incredible.
Can we expect to hear new music from more artists over the next few months and hear this at the London show?
Zeds Dead has a ton of new music in the works, some of which you’ll probably hear at the London show. Both DNMO and Duke & Jones some longer projects in the works for Deadbeats so expect new music from them to get dropped too.
What are the brand's plans for the remainder of the year and are there any big projects you are working on?
We’ve got about six more Deadbeats shows left before the end of the year, and around 10 more releases, including the third instalment of our WE ARE DEADBEATS compilation series.
What does it mean to finally make the Deadbeats UK debut and hold it at a venue as iconic as Ministry of Sound along with Together?
This is a HUGE moment for us. These are the first properly international Deadbeats events we’ve done and we’re stoked to be bringing out DNMO, Duke & Jones, the absolute legend Rusko, and of course Zeds Dead for this one. Definitely excited to pick up some late night Nandos!
What do you have in store for your London debut show?
Special guests, new tracks getting debuted... this is just the start for Deadbeats in the UK. You definitely, don’t want to miss this one.
Zeds Dead, Rusko, DNMO and Duke & Jones will play on Sat 29th Sept, tickets & more info here.