It was on the first day of Moonrise Festival that we sat down with California’s euphoric bass prodigies, ARMNHMR. The fields of Pimlico Raceway had just filled up with energized fans, as the mid-day sun beat down. The duo had just gotten off of the Stellar Stage, finishing the perfect set to kick off the weekend.
How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?
I guess you could say high energy, melodic, future dub bass? I don’t know, we haven’t really coined a term for it. Pretty much melodic.
To kind of talk off of that, it’s pretty much literally melodic bass music. Whether it’s on the former spectrum or the latter spectrum, we want to hit everything. At the end of the day, we’re melodic. We f**king love melodies.
If I’m correct, you started ARMNHMR by sending each other ideas and you almost quit. How did you start working together in the first place?
That’s true! We met through a mutual friend. I sent him a demo, and we really were trying to work it out. Joe knows production more than I do, so at the time, maybe two or three years ago, we met and it didn’t work out but he sent me something a couple months later and I was like “oh s**t, this is pretty dope.” After we tried some things, he got better production-wise and I thought, “oh wow, this is pretty f**king good.”
At first it was a trial-and-error thing: anything we make together would be under ARMNHMR. We decided that the flow was going well and we had a lot of ideas, and the rest is history.
You’ve had quite the past few years. Was there a specific point when you realized that ARMNHMR is something that you could pursue as a career?
The first part was when the Chainsmokers recognized our remixes, we truly appreciate those guys. They gave us that opportunity to showcase our production value and we tried our best. That’s when we thought, “oh s**t, we can actually take this thing to the next level.” At the end of the day, that’s what we’re trying to do right now. We spent many years just working on our craft and then I guess when the opportunity presented itself, it so happened that it worked out, and the rest is history.
Did you start off as DJs or producers?
That’s perfect! A lot of your biggest tracks are remixes, do you prefer to create remixes or original music?
In a beautiful, perfect world, we’d rather do original music. When we make original music, we have full control over the creativity. At the end of the day, it’s hard to say “yo, I want this vocalist for my song.” There’s so much more that goes behind it.
Original music, for sure. I mean, remixes are cool and all but at least in my opinion I feel like there’s a lot more creative control behind originals, and we’re very particular with our creativity. I feel like when we do remixes, even though we love it, we’re kind of put into a hole in a sense. With original music we get to go all over the place.
Your remix of ATB’s “Ecstasy,” with DATHAN is absolutely massive. It’s what turned me on to your music, and I’m sure it’s the same for many others. Has ATB acknowledged it?
He has. It’s up online because he’s acknowledged it. “Ecstasy” is one of those songs where not a lot of people can remix it, you know? And we really appreciate ATB for letting us take on the project.
Not too many artists that have managed to pull that remix off! Your most recently release, “Oceans,” features NKOLO. Many of your original tracks feature underground artists, including Graye and Aviella. How do these collaborations come to be?
We constantly look online ourselves just for online talent like you said. I feel like there might be more of a passion that comes out of underground artists. Not to say that other artists have no passion, but I guess there’s a little bit of a different type of creativity. We prefer to just hit the underground and cultivate that, but obviously music is always our main goal. If it sounds good, it’s cool for us.
Any tips for aspiring producers trying to get into the game?
As basic as it might sound, never give up. A lot of times I wanted to give up, but you don’t know how close you are to your goal until you actually reach it. It kind of sucks, right, but it’s true.
Focus on the music. Your opportunity will come if you focus on the music. Don’t worry about validation, don’t worry about hype. For years, people have turned down our music and we’ve had to put it up ourselves. If you know your taste and believe in yourself, doors will open. Stick with it, and work as hard as you possibly can.
Beautiful. Finally, what should fans be expecting in the next few months?
A lot of originals, a lot of remixes. More music, that’s it: more music. We’ve been sitting on a lot of new music so we’ve been waiting for those to come out.
Anything else you’d like to say?
We love you all. Please don’t give up your dreams, whatever they are.
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