Interview: The Martinez Brothers
We finally got a word in with two of our favorite underground house ambassadors—Steve and Chris Martinez—who spin around the world’s biggest nightclubs, destinations and festivals under the name of The Martinez Brothers. Hailing from the Bronx and touring before they even finished high school, the brothers have set the tone as emerging leaders in the global house scene.
The gents have been busy hopping around the globe this year, including a premier in Australia, their behind the scenes Coachella photo diary for Rolling Stone and Nylon Guys, breaking into the world of high fashion—the duo traveled to Paris to provide music—as in spin a killer runway set—for Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy Mens and Womens F/W ’14 collections.
And then there’s today, in two parts: The Martinez Brothers drop a 10 track E.P. under the alias Masters At Dutch as a free download and listen (something they curated on their down time) and arrive in L.A. for a rare show on May 14 (a label showcase for their very own Cuttin’ Headz imprint). The show features the brotherly duo along with Filsonik and Jesse Calosso. Expect a diverse range of NYC sounds, from fresh, stripped-down techno tools to one of the brothers first loves, hip-hop. Tickets can be purchased here. And, of course, our feverish chat with the stylish music duo right here:
LA CANVAS: Welcome to LA. What are you up to while you’re here?
THE MARTINEZ BROTHERS: We just got back from a 2 week tour in Europe so definitely chillin’. And, we have to do some record shopping.
LAC: Where are some of your favorite LA hangouts?
MB: Universal Studios without a doubt, In N Out (obviously!) and anywhere there’s a Banksy.
LAC: Let’s back beat for a minute. I know you started spinning, and more importantly touring, when you both were still in high school (in the Bronx), but some readers may not. Looking back, what were some of the pros and cons of starting a duo career so young?
MB: The pros are being able to have time to go through different stages of music and personality as well. Also we’ve been in it for nearly a decade and still enjoying our 20’s, so haven’t seen the cons yet! Hahaha!
LAC: Did you both want to be anything else when you grew up?
MB: Always wanted to be producers. DJing didn’t come till way later, but as soon as we can remember we’ve been in bands.
LAC: I‘ve seen your sets at HARD and Sound here in LA and of course, I’m a big fan (Chicago gal!). What are the moments you both love most about being behind the decks doing a set?
MB: Thank you!! The best moments is when you play a track that you genuinely love and can’t wait to play, and everyone goes nuts for it! Nothing better!
LAC: You were recently handpicked by Ricardo Tisci to be the runway DJs for Givenchy and were highlighted in Paper Mag’s Beautiful People of ’15. What’s your perspective on starting to get noticed as fashion tastemakers?
MB: I think it all has to do w: being ourselves to be honest! In the BX dressing nice was always a huge deal, so we spent a lot of time on Fordham Road making sure we were always pretty much on point. Or else you got teased! LMFAO!
LAC: Now I have to ask, what brands are you vibing with right now, and how do you both integrate fashion with your music culture?
MB: To be honest, nothing fits better then Givenchy. Anything Riccardos doing right now is pretty much a go. This house is dope because everyone at Givi is into our type of music! We have a lot of creative freedom to express ourselves musically.
LAC: Do you have plans to enter the fashion world at any point in the game?
MB: We sure do—we’re in the process of getting our website up so we can start releasing loads of clothes & accessories. Also, we just collaborated with New Era for a Cuttin’ Headz Offical Hat that came out very sick! Loads of original & collab work for sure.
LAC: I gave your new EP, Masters At Dutch, a pretty loud listen here at LA CANVAS HQ (my team is convinced I’m a DJ)—what’s the ethos behind this drop? Love all the disco vibes surrounding some of the tracks!
MB: We kinda wanted to just do something as a group with our friends from NYC. So we flipped the Dutch Masters logo because we feel like it’s such a NY thing. Anywhere you go around the world they never heard of them. So we made many different types of flavors, and wanted give it out for free.99!
LAC: What else do you have going on? I heard that you have your own label and collab with Seth Troxler. Do you guys even sleep?
MB: We actually got a full line up of releases coming out for Tuskegee this year! Really excited about them, don’t wanna give to much info out but pretty much they’ll be no sleep this year. Out to kill!!!!!
LAC: What’s on your current playlist?
MB: A lot of Jazz to be honest. Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Tony Williams.
LAC: Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
MB: Madlib The Badkid. Soon!
Follow the brothers’ voyage right here on Twitter.