Finding success from the get-go, German DJ/production duo Jewelz & Sparks started out with their minimalist peaktime bangers “Toxic Rush” and “Flashbang” in 2012. Over the next couple of years, their songs gained support from the likes of David Guetta, Fedde Le Grand and Hardwell at some of the biggest festivals worldwide. In early January, Jewelz & Sparks kicked off their 2015 Octagon residency and were kind enough to sit down with us prior to their set and answer a few questions.
[divider]JEWELZ & SPARKS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT[/divider]
First off, Happy New Year! How have the first couple of weeks in 2015 been for you guys?
Pretty cool. It started pretty calm…spending some quality time with the families. That was nice to see them again. And then we hit the studio and did some tracks. And now we are pretty, pretty excited to kick off the Octagon residency.
Let’s take a moment to look back on 2014. What were the highlights of last year?
Oh there were so many highlights. First of all, the collaboration with Fedde was awesome. We did a track with him. It’s called Robotic. It will be out this year. Also, we played awesome shows and tours. We were touring the United States for the very first time. We played a tour in Australia and Canada as well. And a very special gig for us, as well, was the Ultra Europe in Split. That was pretty amazing.
This is your first set as international resident DJs at Club Octagon this year. Can you describe how it feels to be named residents at one of the top ranked clubs in the world?
Yeah, for us, it’s the second time, but now we are residents at this club and for us, that’s pretty, pretty amazing. Two years ago, we were seeing videos of the club on YouTube and stuff. And now, to be here and now to be a resident…that’s kind of a dream come true. So, we are very proud and excited to be a part of this from now. This is pretty great.
Of course we expect you guys to deliver that hard-hitting, energetic music that’s made you so popular, but is there anything special you have planned for the Korean shows?
Yeah, we actually do edits and new stuff for almost every show that we do, so we just came from the hotel room right now. And that’s how we do it every time. So, we have a lot of brand new edits…[W]e’ll present a lot of new music right now. So from 2015, we’re changing some things in our sets. So, a lot of new music coming up…We’ll try to make every show a little bit special and not the same as the other ones…
Did you have much time last year to explore while you were here? If so, what aspects of the culture do you enjoy?
Yeah. Actually, last time we had one day off and Mark from Octagon — he was really supportive and he took us for a round trip around the city. And we saw some cool things. We went to the Seoul Tower and also, we went to a restaurant. I mean, we still have this in our mind — where you get like those napkins, but they look like pills or something. And you spill water on it and they grow on the table. We were asking the restaurant to give us as much as they can and we took them back home. And I fool all my friends with this. Also, the Korea BBQ. I don’t have to speak about that I guess, because everyone should know by now — it’s so awesome.
We think the Korean fans will definitely be interested in your background, so tell us about how you two met and why you decided to start working together?
We actually met in a town called Manheim. It’s in the southwest of Germany, and we both studied there at a university. Actually, music production, really. We finished our Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees there. We met up in a bar next to the university, so we were having drinks. We were working as separate artists at the time, so we heard from each other and we just came to talk. We’ve had some releases on Spinnin’ [and] on Ministry of Sound — some minor releases. They were not as big as the ones we have now. So we decided to hit the studio, as we got to know, the very next day. Got in the studio…two days later, we had our first track ‘Toxic Rush’. That’s about it. That was the starting point. Fedde le Grand signed our tracks and we went from there.
What do you think are the advantages of being a part of a duo? How about the challenges?
We match pretty cool as individuals and as friends as well. So, we have a really good dynamic going on. And I always used to say that it’s really important to get things done when you’re with another person. It’s like a creative ping pong effect. It’s like one has an idea [and] the other one tells something about it, so it’s evolving. But the way we work is always the same, pretty much. We create our ideas individually and then we got a Dropbox together and we go on Skype. And afterwards we hit the studio and work things out. A lways together and having both of them doing the input for the track.
You both share common backgrounds and interests in things like dark beats and minimalism. Was finding your ‘signature sound’ something that came about almost immediately or did it take a while to perfect?
The journey of the sound was a long one, but we took it separately before. And the time we met, we were working on production for such a long time individually. And the time we met, this style developed in about two days. So it was a long journey to this point, but as soon as we met, it was [claps hands] really fast…Actually, we have some different influences as well. I am very influenced by hip hop music from the 90s from America.
And I am coming actually from the rock n’ roll and from the jazz scene. I’v been a guitarist before.
So this mixed up with all the minimal German thing…maybe that’s something coming out of it. That’s the result.
We like to ask most of the acts we interview to give us a brief production tip that you think holds a lot of value. (1-2 sentences)
There is like pretty simple tips. For instance, you go have some breaks because people tend to work for, I don’t know, 15 hours…20 hours. The kids are really motivated. They are going at it, so they work for nights and days. You got to take some time…take some breaks and listen to your stuff a couple of days later. That helps. And compare your tracks always one-on-one to other producers and artists you like and that you admire.
Listen to it on different speakers. That’s a cool thing to do as well.
Your car maybe.
And to go more into details maybe, if you have a mix, you tend to think the mastering in the end will do the trick. But that’s not the case at all. So, the mix, for us, is like 80% important and the mastering is, like, 20% important. So, if you’re fixing a mix…you’re having only equalizers and only volume controls, that’s about it. You should be able to do a good mix just with that. And afterwards you have the compression…distortion…
Fix your mix…
Finally, what has you excited at the moment and what are you looking forward to in the rest of 2015?
Release wise, we got a lot of stuff coming up right now. We got one more release on Revealed Recordings right now. We did a remix for Dannic. It’s called ‘Wait for You‘…track with Shermanology. It’s coming out very soon. Then our collaboration with Fedde le Grand. That’s gonna be huge, we hope. It’s got a lot of support already…We’re looking forward to meet great people like we did last year. Always when we’re touring that’s the most important thing. You meet so many great people and they’re so thankful and so friendly. It’s basically everywhere you go and we just can’t wait to be on tour again.
Thanks to Jewelz & Sparks for taking time to sit down with us. Also, a very big thank you to the Club Octagon staff for providing a space for us to chat. As Club Octagon resident DJs, Jewelz & Sparks will be back for more shows throughout 2015. We’ll be sure to let you know when they are back in hopes that you come out and support! Thanks for checking out our Jewelz & Sparks interview and be sure to listen/download their new track ‘Rave Maschine‘. You can find the SoundCloud player at the top of this feature!