Artist Spotlight: Street Lurkin
Kicking off our Artist Spotlight series are some dear friends of ours from Atlanta, Street Lurkin. Ryan “Oh Snap Kid” Purcell and Lee “Hxllywxxd” Bates have long been ambassadors of the Atlanta underground movement. They took separate paths consisting of nightlife photography and video production, art design, and event promotion, among many other brave endeavors throughout the years. They found their common ground in music production and live DJ performance and soon formed Street Lurkin.
This might sound typical of many successful electro acts who create incredibly catchy, devastatingly funky, melodic electro and dubstep music, but what really separates Street Lurkin is that they are a marketing machine. In less than 2 years of existence they have played and destroyed over 100 events throughout the U.S. including Winter Music Conference, SXSW, and Identity Festival. It also helps that Ryan is co-founder along with Le Castle Vania of one of the southeast’s longest running and most successful indie parties, F*CK YESSS, here in Atlanta. We caught up with the duo recently for some insight on their path to electro enlightenment.
How did you get started playing and producing music?
Ryan: I’ve been involved with events and closely with electronic music more and more the past 4 years. Being around it so much and at the time having a roommate with a full set up to play on, I figured I would give it a try. Two years later, here we are as Street Lurkin with my friend Lee Bates playing alongside with some of our favorite artists.
Lee: When i was around 13, I learned how to play the guitar. But I had no drums, so I started making drum tracks in FL Studio, and then I kept learning the program. Actually, I completely forgot about my guitar until I was 15, and pushed my electronic music to the side. After several hardcore and metal bands, I wrote my first electro-pop album.
Lets talk about playing out live, where can I find you these days?
You can always find us on the 1st Saturday of the month at The Masquerade for FUCK YESSS. We also have a fun indie disco monthly at MJQ on 3rd Saturdays as well.. Other than that you can find us around town and the touring around the south east lately.
What type of plans do you have to tour in the future and also for your recent projects?
We are starting to work with some agencies and with the release of our EP we are hoping to really take off for 2012. We’ll be doing work with Reid Speed’s label “Play Me”, Le Castle Vania’s label “Always Never”, and our friend Paparazzi’s new label “Blood In Blood Out.”
Tell me what type of gear you used to get started, and what you guys are using now?
Ryan: I started off on Serato with Technic 1200s and 2 channel numark mixer. since then, I’ve switched over to Serato with CDs on Pioneer 1000 MK3 and the Pioneer DJM800. I am absolutely loving that change. haha. It has on the other hand made me more versatile to play in many different situations.
Lee: As a producer/songwriter growing up broke, you kind of have to rig your own setup… I started out on horrible desktop speakers, a computer mic with a pantyhose “pop-guard”, and FL Studio. NOW, i use Ableton Live, Mackie monitors, and various other plugins.
Where and who do you draw your inspiration from?
Ryan: Listening to different EDM artists is always helpful in seeing how people are pushing their limits and what ways they are creating new music. As much as I feel listening to EDM can be helpful, I feel like the most helpful inspiration comes from listening to bands that I have always been into.
Lee: All around me! Believe it or not, I am actually influenced more by live acts, rather than producers or remixers. The Smiths, Bury Your Dead, Comeback Kid, HORSE the Band, Smashing Pumpkins, and Fugazi are really where I draw my ideas.
Can you guys describe your creative process?
Ryan: At this point I am more of a backseat driver in our production process. I’m still learning the ropes in production and tackling the other end of the spectrum in our production with mixing and mastering. I’ve been around the music long enough to where I can visualize just how the crowd would react to each track we are working out. Luckily Lee is a mastermind of writing and knows just how to tickle the ears of our fans.
Lee: I start with a melody idea. Something emotional, usually. Take that melody and add body and rhythm to it. Build it up until it’s at its complete and utter climax, and then make a drop or hook that captures that and takes it to the next level.
What advice would you give to up and coming artists, djs or producer/remixers?
Ryan: Patience, branding, and marketing are key. Quality over quantity. There are so many people out there trying to do the same thing, you have to separate yourself from the others.
Lee: Just write, write, write. Never stop humming melodies. Never stop air drumming in public. Live, breathe, and sleep music.
What artists are you excited about currently?
Ryan: Kill the Noise is back on top of his stuff and I’m loving his new tracks. Knife Party is killing it across all aspects right now. Everything they have put out lately has been flawless. Le Castle Vania is currently working on a new EP that is, what I’m hoping at least, going rip open the electro genre and show people what can be done. `I’ll always be a fan of Fake Blood and look forward to the day of their next release. So many other great artist like F.O.O.L., The S, Zomboy, Nerd Rage, Treasure Fingers, Paparazzi, Computer Club, Heroes+Villains, and Kid Cedek that are pushing their limits as artists.
Lee : There are plenty of awesome artists I’m stoked on right now. Modek, Data Romance, Requake, Mode Selektor, F.O.O.L., Bart Bmore, Digitalism, and SO many more.
What kind of experience can we expect to have at your live show?
Ryan: I’d say lots of yelling, lots of jumping around, lots of crowd surfing, some cats, few water guns, and a whole lot raging.
Lee: Sweaty. Very sweaty. We tend to get overexcited and flop around like dying porpoises. I guess that’s okay though, because the crowd still catches us when we crowd surf, so maybe they aren’t sick of us yet.
So, what’s the most important meal of the day?
Ryan: The one you have time for.
Lee: All of them. Also, the other four meals that I tend to have between the others.
Agreed. We should finish this and have one of those now!
Huge thanks to Street Lurkin for launching our Artist Spotlight series. You can catch up with them if you’re in the Atlanta area at F*CK YESSS currently at The Masquerade on the first Saturday of every month as well as many upcoming dates all over the southeast. Check the links below to follow them, listen to their tunes, and to see pics of their amazing events.
Until next time, happy gigs!