On Monday evening I had the pleasure of having a Skype call with Gordon and Erick from Botnek and what a brilliant and hilarious interview it was. These guys were great to talk to and open about most things. Two really humble guys and they didn’t tell me to say that. Well they did but that’s beside the point. They really are.
Anyway, here’s the write up. This isn’t even half of what we talked about, there’s at least another 1000 words of what we didn’t talk about. But that’s for another day.
So introduce yourselves for those who don’t know.
We are mp3 makers, we’re from Canada, we grew up on the east coast and now we live in Montreal and now base all the operations from here?
Botnek, how did you come up with that name?
Gordon: Botnek is just mine and Eric’s names put together. That’s so not true! The real reason is that when we made all our accounts, like twitter and I think MySpace was the first one we made, it wouldn’t be take and if you Google it would be easy to find. We’ve come up with funnier answers before.
Oh yea I saw one where you guys said it was some sort of Super Mario character or something,
Oh yea, that’s the closet real one, it was taken from Dr Robotnek for Sonic the Hedgehog,
Sonic the Hedgehog that’s the one,
Gordon: It wouldn’t actually be that far off cause I still play that game.
Erick: Gordon had a massive love growing up,
Gordon: I had matching sweatsuit top and bottoms with sonic the hedgehog on them. I wore those like 340 days of the year.
So you’ve talked about it a bit already, how did you guys meet?
Erick: We met at online dating!
Gordon: Astronaut camp!
Gordon: No, I was DJ’ing at a party on the East Coast and neither of us really wanted to be there, anyway he came up to me and was like ‘Whats up’ and from that small town theres not that many people that know what dance music is, like everyone goes to the bar and listens to Bob Seger and stuff. So when we found out we both made dance music it was like woah! You make music, although here in Montreal it’s not that impressive because almost everybody is a producer.
Gordon: We were both just really hanging out and talking about music, we never really had any intention of doing it together but then we entered a remix contest for Felix Cartal.
Erick: We were both working on separate stuff and he had one track with nice vocals and I was like ‘oh man I’d love to remix that’ and in true Eric fashion it never got finished. Then we saw this remix competition and thought lets try it together. Then after one night we got the bass-line and we were so happy about it.
But yea, Felix was one of the first to like Botnek and we kept in touch.
We ran into him at Tomorrowland for like one second and we were like ‘Hey what’s up’ and he was like ‘hey I’m going over there’ and ‘yea ok we’ll see you over there’. We never saw him.
You guys have such a distinct sound, how did you create or come up with it.
Gordon: It’s funny we never had any intention of coming up with a sound.
Erick: I think it’s just that we are stuck in our ways and we still listen to music from like 2008 like Jack beats and we just love that and found a way to put it in an EDM’y format. We were just copycats and just tried to make stuff.
Gordon: I think us just not being able to copy people meant we came up with our own way of doing things.
So, ‘I Know’ your newest single, how did that come about?
Gordon: It started a long time ago actually, it was the first time we were touring and we were drunk in our hotel and Eric was like ‘oh I made this little thing’ and at the time it was just piano’s and I thought it was awesome. In the beginning we really didn’t want to do progressive so we decided to make this track as EDM’y and bro’y as we can and we kept adding idea’s.
Erick: It was funny because we were trying to make it so EDM’y and it didn’t come out like that. We also have a love for old rave music and so when we do EDM we get that coming through a bit. Trying to explain it to my parents was funny. My mum actually knows our sound now. At least she’s not like ‘oh I hate it, I hate you guys’.
I love the Alienz remix. Well, I love Dallask and I love you guys, so the two together = amazing, how did that come about?
We met him in Montreal, he was on tour with Wolfgang and we were hanging and out and started Bro’ing out pretty quickly like ‘bro bro! what kinda filter do you use to high pass!’ I think he only asked two people to remix that track.
The story with that one, it’s like two different songs, it has a really trancy breakdown and then that mental drop. We originally wanted it to sound like chainsaws that kind of thing, but then we just went full…
It was actually our highest-ranking thing on Beatport and we really thought people would hate it. We loved it of course and thought it was super cool.
So how was Tomorrowland?
Tomorrowland was amazing, it was surreal, I remember we were just going to the bathroom and Carl Cox walked by and we had to get a picture.
Your set was killer!
Oh thanks man, yea it was a challenge for us. We wanted to play all this new music but we found out we only had 30 minutes so we had to play mega fast and luckily the mixes weren’t to weird mixing. We wanted people to know what Botnek was about so it was essentially a greatest hits set. Including some new ones that aren’t even close to being done.
You know what blew my mind; we played a mashup with No Good and our DallasK remix and when we played it people new our song. Another one, when we played our Autoerotique remix, which wasn’t even promoted or anything, and as soon as people heard the chords they went mental.
I Just heard the preview for the remix newest remix of seek N destroy- marching song. Where did that come from?
That’s a funny one, we actually forgot that we had to do that remix. Well, we knew we had to do it but we thought we had a month, we were talking about it and it was like ‘well they actually wanted it yesterday, so can you guys pull that out and have it done today.’ We had like three demos to work with and it still turned out good. This is more like us making full on banging stuff, there’s no song or anything around it. A big thing for us is if we make a track, if it’s an original, we want a way for people to be able to describe it in the club. Like with I Know it keep saying I know in a chipmunk voice, so you Google I Know and bam! then you’ll see.
So, What’s coming up next?
New singles. We don’t have any names or any dates yet but we will be making new Botnek for the rest of the year. Up first we have to do Tomorrowworld and then a bunch of other American dates. Then we are going to Australia later this year. Oh, also some shows with Steve Aoki. So the for now its just the Seek N Destroy remix that just came out. I don’t think we are doing any other remix’s at the moment.
Finally, What are you guys listening to at the moment?
Gordon: I’ve been listening to the Moderat album a lot. Actually lets go through my iTunes. Invaders must die – the Prodigy. OH look at this, I have the Bruno Mars album.
I love that album,
I really like that song Gorilla. It’s a very clever song. I definitely have a soft spot for pop music. I’m listening to the new washed out album a lot, it’s like my go to album right now and John Hopkins new album. It’s flippin’ Dope!