Ephwurd, the brain child of dubstep legend Datsik, and house innovator, Bais Haus, has taken the scene by storm within the past year. With a persona unlike any other, Ephwurd's energy captivates the audience, while putting them in sync as they take you on a journey throughout their entire set. With carefully curated sets, stellar stage presence, and a style unique to their own, there is no doubt there are even bigger and better things to come for Ephwurd in the future. Most recently, not only did they headline a massive show at Insomniac's Boo!SF, they released their original track 'Vibrations', which features vocal chops of Good Vibrations mixed with the exclusive Ephwurd sound, that is collecting fans by the masses.
With a multitude of talent and a diverse background, it is no surprise that Ephwurds following is growing rapidly, with over 78,000 follows, and millions of plays. EPIC had the privilege to sit down and talk with both Datsik and Bais Haus, as well as their friend JOYRYDE to discuss how Ephwurd was born and where they're headed next. Check out the interview below!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You both started your careers as solo DJs and producers, how did the two of you meet and decide to form Ephwurd?
DATSIK: I basically met Bais Haus(Basie) through Steve Aoki, I was doing this tour called Identity and at the time I was releasing an album. I was releasing an album with Dim Mak Record Label, and Basie was traveling and tour managing Steve Aoki, and this must have been like 5 years ago. We became good friends, and he showed me some shit he was working on and I was like really stoked and then we started hanging out more and more. And then we started traveling together, and after that we made a bunch of tracks together, and just figured why not, let’s try something different. Basie is really well versed in the house scene and I was more into the dubstep side of things and we just started writing music together and didn’t know what else to call it and was just like ‘Ephwurd’.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: JOYRYDE where did your name come from?
JOYRYDE: Well, I really wasn’t even trying to be creative or clever or anything. I just really didn’t like the way that the 'R' looked after the 'I' so I decided to do a 'Y' instead. I really liked one word things, it must have to be an english problem to pick great names. I was going to pick Juvenile but decided to do JOYRYDE instead.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Ephwurd has a track coming out on Monday called Vibrations, can you tell readers where the name came from, the inspiration behind the track, and the creative process?
DATSIK: The honest story, is that we were actually working on a remix for an artist, and we won’t disclose their name. But we really didn’t like the vocals and kind of thought they sucked. So, what we did was try to reinvent the track like a million times and kept getting stuck. This was like two or three months ago, and at the time Basie wasn’t smoking that much weed. So, I was just like let’s get super baked and see what happens. Then we heard the good vibrations sample, and we knew we could turn it into something dope. Basie wrote this tiny little riff and we really liked it but we were supposed to keep working on this remix that we definitely weren’t happy with it. So, we got pretty stoned and the first thing we did when we walked back into the studio was press play for a second on the remix, closed it, opened a new project and literally banged the track out in three or four hours. Once you catch a vibe and roll with it, it’s really easy to accomplish.
BAIS HAUS: Basically we started this riff based on the remix we were doing, then the sample worked with the riff but it was a whole new song and it really worked. The best part of this whole story is that we never finished that remix.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: JOYRYDE what is your creative process?
JOYRYDE: Everything is rhythm. On the surface anyone can say oh that’s just a vocal, or a horn, or a snare or something, but what makes this type of music great is in the vocals that you edit, on top of bass-lines it just all has to do with rhythm. If you have a good understanding and appreciation for rhythm you can make something out of nothing. You can take something and it becomes a whole new development. When using elements such as vocals or synth notes as percussions, and you fall in love with that element of production, it’s great when you start editing it and it’s like magic. You get really excited when you discover even the most simple of steps. When you take something like a vocal, and open it in a keyboard, then you have a synthesizer has a sound that no one has ever had before, and it has a very humane attraction to it.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: This is the first date on your Ephwurd Winter Tour, what can fans expect when you stop in a city near them?
BAIS HAUS: I mean we fucking turn up, what more can we say?
DATSIK: I think why it’s different is because we want to keep it different. We come with the flags, the water guns, t shirt cannons, and love to have fun with it. That’s why we’re all here. We bring a whole crew with us, and it’s just kind of like if you don’t want to turn up with us than F U.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You have been killing a lot of your remixes, including one of your most recent, Knife Party & Tom Morellos Battle Sirens, how do you two pick which songs to remix or not?
DATSIK: If I can be completely honest that is the last time we are remixing a song that has no vocals.
BAIS HAUS: But we were like holy shit, it’s Knife Party we have to do it.
DATSIK: A couple weeks before we were playing an Ephwurd show in Toronto and Gareth(Knife Party member) and I were hanging out in the hotel room and just like chilled and drank, and started talking about dubstep. Then a week or two later they hit us with this remix opportunity. Once we listened to it, it already felt pretty conclusive, they had Tom Morello on the drums, with the sick ass Knife Party drop. It didn’t feel like there was a lot of room to remix it so we struggled with it for a few days. Then what we ended up doing was taking their guitar, throwing it into a sampler, taking one solid note then rewrote our own melody with that note in a sampler. Finally, we had no idea what genre to do so we went from 128 intro to 128 trap to build up then 128 bass house drop then into the breakdown then it speeds up to 150 dubstep, then to hardstyle and back to trap. We couldn’t decide what genre so just decided to do it all.
BAIS HAUS: Tonight is going to be the first night we are ever actually going to play it live, so I’m excited.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Ephwurds Facebook page is covered with fun things from fans including, fan art and a ton of them rocking your t-shirts. What is your favorite thing you have seen or received from a fan?
BAIS HAUS: Some guy got a tattoo, that’s pretty cool cause that’s for life.
DATSIK: I saw a lot of really cool totems, I saw this one that was all yellow and it said don’t snapchat that duck face, and I’ve seen that crew all the time and it gets bigger and bigger. It’s amazing seeing them at multiple shows. We ran into them at Escape and it was just such a cool moment.
JOYRYDE: I want to challenge someone that is reading this to top that story. They are very proud of their t-shirt cannon, if you’re an Ephwurd fan or not I want some to make a t-shirt with your face on it, manage to get a cannon through security and blast a t-shirt back at them.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Do either of you have any pre-show rituals to get you ready for your sets?
DATSIK: Shots of tequila, power up like Dragon Ball Z. The power up is basically taking someone, raising their power level, and getting hyped. Raise your fucking power level, everyone puts their hand in the middle and you keep it there until everyone powers up vocally, and go super crazy before we play or else you’re not ready for battle.
BAIS HAUS: Then we drink a lot of Tequila!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: We're going to switch gears back into the production side of your careers. Imagine Today is your first day as a producer. What is the one thing you'd tell yourself in order to begin producing the best music?
DATSIK: Mixdowns are definitely the most important. You can have the simplest track ever, and it can have a really good mixdown and can be way more approachable than a track that is trying rip off someone like Skrillex, that has a horrible mix down, and has a bunch of random sounds.
BAIS HAUS: I would say patience. Because when you first start you’re going to suck. And you’re going to suck for a really long time and if you want to continue doing it you are going to need to have patience. Slowly over time you’ll gather pieces of information that will form you into the artist that you’re going to be.
DATSIK: It’s really important to collaborate as well. You’ll sit in the same room a someone and be able to absorb and learn things, and even smash your whole belief system in half.
JOYRYDE: Always be ready to learn. I think handling production is very intricate in translating your message across. One of the things that is super important, is to also try and pay homage to the music that came 10 years before you. If you have a better understanding of where the music came from, and you expose yourself to atmospheres and materials that aren’t right now, it will really help you.
DATSIK: It’s funny, you’ll listen to a producer that really inspires you. Then your whole goal is to make what that producer makes, but that just means you’re second best. When you have finally gotten to the point of imitating that producer, that producer will be miles ahead of you. So what you’re better off doing is taking your own path, and figure out what you find, and let it run.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What was the turning point where you said “hey I can do this”, and this is something I want to do for the rest of my life?
DATSIK: When I was like 16 or 17, I was delivering pizza for three different pizza shops. And while driving around I got to listen to music in my car. The reason why I did it, is because when I was done I got to go home to my house in Canada and work on music. I was giving away my music for free on dubstep forum, and I was never really expecting anything to happen. I just wanted to gage people's reactions and some thought it was really dope and some thought it sucked. A lot of people don’t like change but the ones that do, they were prevailing. I was getting hit up to play shows, like we will give you $500 to come play, and it was amazing. Like holy shit, I can make $500 a night playing and doing what I love, or I can make $500 on three good nights delivering pizza. As soon as I played my first show, then I connected with an agent and it just got bigger and bigger. That was not my future plan but I started making good money and doing what I love and here I am.
BAIS HAUS: For the longest time I was working for Dim Mak Records and I was ghost producing for a lot of people. And it was a good mediocre career you know? Then Troy(Datsik) and I linked up and helped me unlock my potential. Then we started traveling a bunch, and starting Ephwurd. And I think a year ago today, our first Ephwurd show ever, we played in front of like 30,000 at Escape and it was amazing. I started this project hoping to do something, and we’re fucking doing it now and holy shit it’s amazing.
DATSIK: Basie has always been one of the most talented and humble guys I have ever met, and he comes from an insane musical background and it just didn’t feel right to have him be in the backgrounds anymore.
BAIS HAUS: I had to shine bright like a diamond
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I noticed you're both wearing gold chains? Did you plan that?:
DATSIK: No I think Basie is biting my style a little bit.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: And last but not least, favorite food?
DATSIK +BASIE(in unision): Sushi, we eat it like four times a week.
Ephwurd is currently taking over the Midwest and West Coast on their Winter Tour 2016, and I promise you, if they stop in a city near you, you don't want to miss them. Their sets prove an energy unlike any other, and it is truly amazing watching two passionate people working together and doing what they love. Where are you going to see Ephwurd? Let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: James Winterhalter