Tuesday Thoughts: Party Pupils
We had the great pleasure of talking with Party Pupils This past week prior to the release of their first original song “Patient”. For those that don’t know, Party Pupils is a future funk duo combining MAX and RyanEXOE. The two artists come to together some insanely funky dance music that just knocks your socks off.
How would you two define your style? Do you believe you have found the sound that you want, or do you foresee any sort of change in sound?
Max: We call it “Future Funk”. I’d say it’s always evolving but we’ve found the core of what we always want to be consistent.
What digital instruments and synths are favorites of yours?
Ryan: Ableton is where we start and finish everything. When we get to use real outboard synths, we take full advantage but we also love soft synths like Serum, Massive, and a little-known bass synth plugin called Dagger, which is what I use for the foundation of most of our bass synth parts.
What is the story behind how Party Pupils came to be?
Max: J swipe. Musical compatibility ensued.
Ryan: Lolz. Party Pupils was an alias I created a few years ago and hadn’t used for anything. When we worked on our first remix together back in Sept 2016, I told Max it would be fun to create a different project for all future remixes, and apparently no one else had thought of the name yet, which kinda blew our minds.
What’s it like managing the work of Party Pupils with the personal work of MAX and RyanEXOE?
Max: It’s definitely a challenge to juggle it all but it’s worth it. We’re pretty much attached at the hip for all shows but when we have time separated we try to be as productive on our own as possible to contribute to all projects.
Ryan: We basically are a traveling studio, and while it’s challenging to find time to sit and be creative, we’ve gotten really good at managing our time on the road wisely.
What vibe or feeling do you try to give off when performing? Do you see yourselves using more instruments during live performances in the future?
Max: Always all about the energy. Transforming any crowd no matter where we’re at or the setting. That’s the goal. We just started using the keytar and talk box. Definitely want to keep incorporating different exciting instruments and moments.
For each of you, what artists and musicians are your largest inspirations? What made you decide that you wanted to make the kind of music you make?
Max: James Brown, Prince, Michael Jackson, Etta James, Billie Joel, Stevie Wonder etc.
Ryan: For this project, the inspiration came from my love for French house music, as well as Montreal-based artists such as Pomo & Kaytranada. There’s so many others that inspire me in different ways but I’d say those are the biggest.
Can you talk about the process of making “Ms. Jackson” and “Pony”, and what it was like recreate classics like those?
Max: It was so fun. I think we try to remind ourselves that no matter how hard we work it’s gotta be extremely fun in the end. We wanted to completely make those two songs our own while paying respect to the originals.
Your most recent remixes of “Show You Love” and “Green Light” appear to utilize longer synth notes and extended sounds. Is this something your experimenting with?
Ryan: I just love synth pads! Haha. They make everything sound so lush and pretty while building into the chorus. Definitely a Deadmau5 inspired technique, with a “Discovery” era Daft Punk twist.
What are the good and bad aspects of working with a party for you two?
Max: We really feed off of each other creatively. Even when we don’t agree we take a second to each other’s sides. There’s not really any bad aspects. It’s just about finding a mutual understanding when we creatively might have different views.
Ryan: Knowing how to pace yourself is important. We like to plan out a set for most nights but it’s also crucial to be able to improvise a bit if the crowd is not feeling something or REALLY feeling something. Dance music culture is not always all about us on stage, it’s about the experience, the release that people get from being in a club and being with their friends or whoever. Engagement with the crowd is always important but it’s good to know when to give them a break to dance with each other and not demand their attention.
Have you considered collaborating with other artists? Are there any that you would love to collaborate with? –
Max: HELL YEAH. We’ve got some collabs coming in the future with our singles and EP. T pain and Kenny G are two of our top people we want to work with on our EP
Ryan: My list is too long, I don’t even know where to start!
Do you have anything coming up soon that you get can tell us about? Any sneak peaks we can get?
Max: Our debut single “Patient” should be out by the time this interview is out and we’re extremely stoked to finally share our first true original piece.