Realboy on Paying Off Bouncers, Being the New Kids, and Starting Our House Records
Your college experience might have comprised of beer bongs and waking up in unknown places, but for Realboy members Austin Jacobsen and Daniel Gomez, it went something along the lines of opening for acts like Dada Life and starting a record label. Still toddlers when rave culture began to take off and electronic music hit the mainstream, Realboy represents a generation of DJs who do not view records and turntables as a necessary rite of passage, who use software like Ableton Live or Serato for their mixing and production. All Shook Down chatted with the boys about meeting when they were 17, starting their own label, and playing with SebastiAn this Saturday at Mezzanine and headlining tonight at Milk Bar.
How did you guys start your now careers?
Daniel (D): Well, I was living at Austin's house for a summer, that's when it all started. We started messing around with music, and it just kind of happened.
Austin (A): Yeah, we saw Soulwax, and we just had to get into it. Since then it's kind of been a blur.
D: A lifestyle.
A: Exactly. Once Ableton Live took root, it's been hard to stop. Writing music has been the most addicting game for us since Ocarina of Time, minus the water temple. We've definitely pulled a few all-nighters just to see what we could come up with.
You say you got your start in production with the purchase of Ableton. Were you interested in electronic music prior to this?
D: Well, I've always had a love for music, starting out with a lot of classic rock, rap, and metal. The electronic world was kind of unknown to me until I finally went to a show, and it was really inspiring. I had no clue what the DJ was doing up there, so I took it upon myself to find out.
A: Yeah, he was the one who kind of got me into it once he started DJing, so I picked it up as well and got us into the field of production with Ableton.
D: The music was always there, though. I played drums, guitar, and bass before I ever touched a table.
A: It's just a different genre now. I started with guitar, ukulele, and choir.
Is it more difficult to work together since you've been friends since kindergarten?
A: Not really. We get annoyed with each other sometimes, but we're both pretty passive.
D: I guess. It's actually kind of weird, we have this strange form of communication where we don't really need words to know what the other is thinking or feeling, so it makes working with each other extremely easy.
A: There's never really a dull moment, it's really great. If only we had a camera following us at all times, the things you would see would confuse the hell out of you. Knowing someone for that long, you tend start doing really strange things around each other just to keep you entertained. For everyone else, we're just crazy.
Why did you choose to start your own label, Our House Records, rather than try and get under someone else's?
D: Well, once making music became a lifestyle for us, it began to infect our friends. We were all looking for the best tracks and the best shows, and being sure that each of us was fully updated at all times.
A: So once we were all really into the scene as much as we were, we started brainstorming. It just made sense. We didn't want to wait to be discovered. We wanted to explore ourselves on our own terms, especially with the rise of social marketing. It really changes how you can reach your fan base. We have so much more control this way.