It’s a safe bet to say Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom – aka. Nadastrom – have been the two busiest DJs in America this year. With their ‘LezgOZ’ Australian tour under way soon, and amidst preparation for an upcoming album, even the term ‘busy’ seems like an understatement.
Aside from their recent endeavours, Nadastrom hold an enviable palette of original productions, have had renowned success in their solo projects, and collectively possess more remixes than Tommy Lee’s got STDs.
The boys have just penned a residency deal with UC Music Hall in Washington. Though technically their first residency under the Nadastrom moniker, Matt and Dave first met playing a weeknight gig as solo artists.
“Dave got offered to do a night in DC on a Wednesday and he was looking for someone to do the night with,” Matt explains. “We’d been kind of chatting a little bit online, trading music, things like that – so this is kind of where we left off.”
Their names on the bill were short-lived, Matt says, due to the ‘progressiveness’ of their music at the time. “Basically, we wanted to hear really weird, left-field electronic music. Not your ‘run of the mill’ house and techno and club (laughs). The club owner didn’t really want us to play progressive music.”
To rub salt into the wound of club owners from residencies past, Nadastrom’s ‘progressive’ music style is now the benchmark for every budding DJ. Both Matt and Dave agree that their roots lie in residencies, and while they’re embracing the intensity of touring worldwide, there’s comfort in coming home to a night entirely devoted to them.
Matt says that “one of the things we really like to do is to be able to take over an entire night, and we’ve actually gotten to do that a couple of times on tour and its really fun. But at the same time, you get a huge rush from playing an hour set to such a huge crowd.”
Back to touring and the duo have just kicked off their run of Australian gigs. Labelled the ‘LezgOZ’ tour – “why not chuck a ‘Z’ at the end of a cool word?” Dave muses – the trip will finally see both halves of Nadastrom play at various venues around the country.
As a solo artist, Dave Nada has been to Australia several times thus far, playing catalyst to the duo’s timely arrangement to come as a team. Being his fourth time now, he’s quick to admit his borderline addiction to the Australian scene. So, what does our music scene have that the yanks can’t grasp?
“I think Australians for the most part are a little bit more progressive in general,” he says. “You know, every time we come out here, there’s so much love for a lot of new music that really hasn’t translated over in the US. I just feel like the US is just kind of catching onto it now, but I would say the audiences I’ve experienced in Australia are just amazing.”
“[They’re] really ready to throw down, really excited about the tunes. You know, overall everyone’s having a great-ass time. Not that we don’t have that in the States – we go to places like LA and the crowds are insane; we go to Canada and the crowds are wild, they’re engaged and we like to interact with the crowd as well. The difference would be that I think Australia for a while has been ahead of the curb. So I think for Matt to come out with me, together as Nadastrom, you know I keep telling him, ‘these parties, they throw down so… (hysterical laughter).’”
In a positive appraisal of their thumping sound and equally enigmatic live show the electro duo have been invited to both the Winter Music Conference in Miami and South by Southwest in Texas over the past year. When asked what Australia can expect in their tour shows, Matt explains there will be a swag of new material.
“I think a lot of it (our live shows) is just kind of, trying to be the way that we present it, not only visually – we’ve been putting together a lot of visual stuff – but also just trying to party with everybody. What we always try and do is make sure that we’re as much part of the party as everybody else.”
Aside from their upcoming residency in Washington, Nadastrom have been on a tour frenzy since their inception in 2007. It’s because of this that Matt and Dave have spent almost every minute together for over two years. Surely tensions rise spending so much time with your co-worker…
“We’re pretty “Bro’d” out,” laughs Dave. “I think the only time I’ve fought Matt was when I didn’t want to leave a club, I wanted to keep dancing (laughs). I think we’re pretty good for a longer run. It’s really funny, even our friends kind of laugh at how similar we are sometimes.”
“I can speak for myself that musically and creatively since we’ve been collaborating two-and-a-half years ago, I’ve felt like I’ve benefited and learned so much since I’ve started working with Matt, as a DJ, and as a producer and friend. So it’s a pretty amazing relationship that we’ve started with Nadastrom and continues to be a big learning experience. And yeah, we’re pretty tight bros (laughs).”
They may be chums but Dave and Matt certainly have different roles when it comes to a joint persona. Who plays father figure and who’s the angry teen?
“We’ve traded off on duties on that one a couple of times, that’s for sure,” says Matt. “Mostly the other one has gone a bit too far, and they’re like ‘alright, I’m going to quit drinking now’. We take good care of each other, but we both tend to have our wild sides.”
“We look out for each other on the road especially, because we know how crazy it can get. And speaking for people who travel a lot, artists and whatnot, there’s nothing like having a good friend or a partner out there that’s on the road with you,” Dave adds. “The game can be pretty lonely sometimes, but when you’ve got your partner in crime, it’s almost like world domination, taking shit over.”
Bromances aside, Dave shares some details on their forthcoming debut album. He thinks that “this album is definitely geared for the dance floor.”
“The vision that we have for it right now is something that’s focused toward a club. We love to take tracks in a really deep end or a really heavy end – I think that shows in our catalogue, our remixes. We’re known to do really heavy tunes, just a wide range, and I think with this album we really want to flesh out the dance music and make it as an album.”
As for surprise collaborations on the album, Matt is decidedly cryptic. “We’re working on a few things, but it’s too early to say now,” he hints.
With Nadastrom’s reputation for uncontrollable live shows, and the initial misunderstandings between the patrons and their music, Matt considers that it’s all about sticking to a particular model of thought when trying to gain appreciation from the masses.
“It’s just about trying to push something new, and trying to educate someone and then bringing them back; and then they won’t know quite what to think at first. But after a while, we’ve found that the more you push your musical style on someone that wouldn’t understand – the more you push it, they’ll eventually come around.”
It’s all about pushing your ‘sound’, but what do Nadastrom consider their genre to be? With remixes and originals that span from house to tech, dubstep to indie-electro, it’s no surprise they don’t focus on a single strand of music.
“With our sound, we feel we pull inspiration from and we never try to limit ourselves creatively,” says Dave. “Every time we have an idea of what we want to sound like on a track or a remix, it never really comes out that way. That’s how we’ve been doing it since the beginning. And our sound’s definitely progressed since our first EP and it continues to, and I feel like right now we’re like sponges, and it’s really inspiring to hear music like Renaissance Man and Solo and Mowgli; and then you hear Moombahton ‘poppin’ off.”
“We love all kinds of music and apply it to our production as well as DJ-ing. We’ll bang out like an hour-and-a-half set of really huge tunes at a festival, and then we’ll play deep tech-house for five hours, from 7am till noon, and we have the ability to do this because we love this music and I think it gives us the leverage that we can play at all kinds of parties at different times of the night.”
Nadastrom hit Australia next week for a national tour. Here’s the dates:
Sunday 13th June
Brisbane – Monastery
Friday 18th June
Perth – ‘Limelite’ @ Metropolis
Saturday 19th June
Sydney – Oxford Arts Factory
Sunday 20th June
Newcastle – CBD Hotel