Interview: with NYC DJ/Producers Hyperbits
New York based DJ/Producers Robert Palliser and Serik Slobodskoy aka Hyperbits have invaded our speakers with their aggressive electro-house sound. Remixing some of the biggest names in the business including Tiesto, Gareth Emery, Dirty South, Thomas Gold and much more, the duo have been creating quite the buzz as the projected “next big thing” for EDM. Already tearing up the dance floors of New York City clubs and venues, EDMinsider felt it was our civil duty to get the inside scoop of the duo to find out their story and to see what is next on the horizon for Hyperbits!
EDMinsider 1. How did you first get started with DJing and producing? Were you always interested in the genre of electronic dance music?
Serik: I personally only learned to DJ as a result of producing. For me, creating the music has always come first! I used to be the guitarist and singer for a rock band back in high school, and we legitimately started recording our own stuff on a little analogue 8 track when I was only 14 years old. We ended up breaking up before I went to college, but there was a good three years there where I really learned a lot about making music in various studios. Since I wrote most of the songs, I was always had this sense of ownership of the music, and was fascinated by the way our tracks would come together (or fall apart) in the studio. After taking a break from music, I was itching to get back, so I took a couple paychecks and bought myself a budget studio and learned to produce with Logic. From there, the transition to electronic dance music was pretty natural since all my compositions kept getting more and more electronic based. Next thing I knew, I didn’t want to create anything else. It’s funny, everyone thinks dance music is so repetitive, but there is something about dance music that is just so much more intricate and detailed and advanced than anything else out there. Once I realized that, there was nothing else to pursue!
Rob: I’ve always been into electronic music from a very young age. It really took off about 7 years ago when that’s all I started listening to. Then I realized I needed more. I felt like I had to be part of the music. So I went to the record shop, picked up my very first vinyl’s and started mixing in my bedroom. I was hooked. Cosmic Gate’s ‘The Drums’ was actually my first record. Since then it just keeps escalating and now I am here
Serik: We’ve been very close friends for most of our lives, so it’s actually kind of ridiculous how long it took us to realize that we should start working together. Since Rob was strictly a DJ and I was strictly a producer at first, it just seemed only natural to combine forces! Plus, we are able to accomplish so much more collectively than we are alone. That might sound a bit corny but it’s just so true – also, the creative process is just so much more enjoyable when you have someone to bounce ideas around with. We thought of the name Hyperbits for several reasons: First off, because Rob is extremely hyper – he is not a normal person and anyone who has met him can confirm that! Second, because we have this genuine love for electronic music and we wanted a name that would speak to that. A bit is actually short for a binary digit – it’s this concept that all computer technology boils down to this series of ones and zeros (think of that green matrix code we’ve all seen if you’re having trouble placing it!). We like to think of our music as all of those binary digits, hyped up to create clean, aggressive and melodic electronic music. And that’s our sound really – we are obsessed with anything melodic, but we don’t want to get stuck in any one particular genre, so we like to think we combine the big room feel from progressive house, the melodic core from trance, and the aggressiveness of electro.
Rob: Absolutely. We’ve been releasing a lot of remixes and mashups because we love making them and it obviously helps a lot with exposure. Plus, we are constantly learning and trying to hone our producing skills, so releasing the remixes gives us the freedom to take our time with our originals. So yes, remixes are fun and a great way to get our name out there, but in the end, Hyperbits will be all about our original work!
Serik: This is always such a tough question to answer! I come from a very musical family, so there are always the classics which I have the utmost respect for, like Simon & Garfunkle, or the Beatles. Way before dance music I had a Metallica phase, a Green Day phase…at one point I couldn’t listen to anything unless it was Indie. I’ve always been obsessed with any piano based rock and have a huge appreciation for Andrew McMahon as a song writer. These days I can’t listen to music from a commercial standpoint so I am always blown away by what the modern producers are up to. From a sheer production standpoint, guys like Mat Zo, Alesso, Cosmic Gate, Above & Beyond and Jochen Miller are completely untouchable in my eyes.
Rob: Good question! I’d have to say my biggest influence from a general music standpoint is Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. I think he is one of the most influential, unique and talented musicians of our time. I did have some phases like Serik… you can throw me in the Metallica and Green Day phase with him. And finally, I would say my earliest EDM influences are artists like Sasha, Digweed, and Markus Schulz.
Serik: Being based in New York City is definitely an advantage in our eyes. Manhattan gives you so many resources if you choose to seek them out, it’s just a matter of making the place work for you. From a producing standpoint there are so many other producers to talk to, so many classes we can take, and so many studios to check out. For DJing there are tons of venues, with plenty of people to fill them! Who wouldn’t love that! We can’t even imagine trying to get into the progressive dance scene without a city like New York at our fingertips.
Rob: There are some New York based producers that we could learn so much from and would love to work with. Filo & Peri are practically legends to us. The Disco Fries are extremely talented. Even someone outside of our normal style like Tommy Sunshine would be incredible to work with. We’d also love to start working with some top tier vocalists on our original tracks.
Serik: Put down the decks and get into the studio! DJing is obviously important, but almost anyone can learn to DJ. Making your own music is where you can separate yourself. And you’ll see – once you start learning to produce and trying to replicate the sounds of your heroes you’ll realize just how hard it is. But don’t get frustrated because every producer has been there! Just keep pushing. Stay up later than everyone else and say goodbye to 8 hours of sleep per night.
Rob: Also, don’t hold on to your tracks too long. Put something together, give it a solid go, but then release it, get feedback from the world, and repeat that process over and over until you get it right. And the last thing and most important thing, drink a lot of coffee!!
Rob & Serik: Our current focus is in the studio. We are working on several tracks which we are EXTREMELY excited about. As far as shows go we’re looking to play the top tier venues in NYC on a consistent basis, and then from there we’ll branch out through out the east coast, and hopefully across the country!
Check out their brand new remix of The Killers – When You Were Young
Connect with Hyperbits!