Behind The Beat w/ BOTNEK

Behind The Beat w/ BOTNEK

Labour Day long weekend marks another milestone for Blueprint — and a massive leap forward for the Alberta dance scene. Arrival Alberta takes place over two days spanning in Edmonton next Friday, August 29th at Shaw Conference Centre and Calgary on Sunday, August 31st at BMO Centre. Acting as a great excuse for one last summer road trip blowout, Arrival brings exceptional talent to all Albertan dance fans.

One such talent— Botnek —are raring to keep their monumental rise to fame on its upward trajectory. Hailing from the birth place of the Trailer Park Boys these Canadian boys are primed to bring torrents of bass & sass to Arrival. As their #Selfie remix continues to dominate festival sets around the world we couldn’t miss our chance to sit down and get to know just what Botnek was all about;


Name three characteristics that make you distinctly Canadian.

1. “frig” 2. “off” 3. “bud”

One version of how you guys settled on the name Botnek revolves around Dr. Robotnek from Sonic. Were you both big Sega fans when you were younger? What other gaming systems and games left a mark on your childhood?

Our name actually comes from our first names put together. We also grew up playing Mega Man, all the Mario Karts & Smash Brothers. I miss my Game Gear.

Hands down favorite Sonic game or all time?

Probably Sonic 2, it had that dope casino level and you could go way faster. I played that game like a zillion times as a kid and also yesterday.

In previous interviews you guys have made a point of differentiating between EDM, dance music, and rave music: can you define each of these categories and explain why you believe it is important to understand the distinctions? Which style of music do you see yourself producing?

Yaa totally. EDM to us is just big festival “1-2-3 jump” electronic music. Dance music to us is house music with a solid constant groove you can actually dance to, for smaller stages and clubs. Rave music originally was more raw, high energy dance music made in a very DIY almost punk way, giving it so much more attitude. Right now we love making big festival music, but have always seen ourselves transitioning our sound into an album electronic format with more variety.

How would you explain the drop in Vikings to someone who has never listened to dance music before?

Haha, kinda like that moment at the end of Tool songs when Danny Carey would go all double bass pedal on you and it’s the most. I guess that’s more it: the song is just the most.

Do you think either of you would have made a good Viking?

Heck no, we’re two dudes from Nova Scotia who just sit around nerding out making funny noises on our laptops. Our badass level is not viking level …. yet.

In your DMCWORLD interview you mention eating sushi in Vancouver: where was the best sushi you have ever eaten and how would a preshow dinner with Botnek go down?

Best sushi we’ve probably ever had was in Seattle, a spot called Momiji. It tasted so good I couldn’t feel my legs. Preshow dinner for Botnek is light, no bread or pasta before a show, can’t have the DJ booth smelling like farts.

You guys attempt to try local beers in every new city you visit while on tour: what are some of your favorite local beers from across Canada?

Holy moly yes. There’s a beer from Montreal made by St. Ambroise called the Double IPA and it’s a real treat. Our local beer at home was Alexander Keith’s in Nova Scotia…but it kinda tastes like pennies. Our favorite beer though is Tuborg…that stuff will get ya sassy in seconds.

The first track you ever produced together was for a Felix Cartal remix contest, and you won. Can you tell Blueprint readers what it was like to produce a track as a duo for the first time? To what extent do you credit the contest for jumpstarting your careers?

That was supposed to be the only track we made together actually! We were both just doing music on the side and decided to make one track for fun. Winning the contest made us go “well…I guess we should try to make a few more of these.” Our working method hasn’t really changed since that track actually. We both still just work on things individually and then come together to feed off each other, then somehow tracks end up getting done.

Currently your remix of The Chainsmokers#Selfie is destroying festivals on a global scale. Where did you get inspiration for the remix and did you know how big it was going to get before you released it?

Absolutely not, but we knew if we were gonna do the remix we had to have fun with track. We originally wanted to sample the Trailer Park Boys where one of the characters says “shut the fuck up”, but ended up just recording ourselves to save time. The fact that the Chainsmokers were on board for it just shows how rad those dudes are. When it hit Beatport #1 I remember us finding out on twitter cos kids were tweeting us about it. The success of this track has probably been the biggest surprise of our careers.

Why should fans show up early to Arrival to see Botnek lay down a set? Do you have any surprises in store for fans?

Fans can expect a Botnek set to just be loads of fun. You’ll hear top secret new Botnek mp3s and Botnek approved mp3s. Get ready for sassy sounding songs.

Botnek is set to rock the second day of Arrival, Sunday August 31st at BMO Centre in Calgary, and tickets are still available. Grab yours for the Sunday show (or snag your 2-day wristbands for $139+sc) & make sure you show up early to experience Botnek’s extreme mp3 sampling skills.

– Ryan Hayes

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