Zeds Dead didn't set out to be electronic music superstars. In fact, according to Zack "Hooks" Rapp-Rovan -- who makes up one-half of the band along with partner Dylan "DC" Mamid -- there was a time not so long ago when the pair didn't even particularly like electronic music.
"I never listened to electronic music in high school or anything like that, with the exception of Prodigy and stuff that was a little bit popular in the mainstream," he said. "I thought it was all just gino beats and driving around in your Civic listening to 'Sandstorm.'"
Zeds Dead started life as a hip-hop producers. They adopted their current, dubstep-flavored sound after getting frustrated with hip-hop and discovering the breadth of electronic music almost simultaneously.
"We were making hip-hop beats and rapping a bit," he said. "We'd make beats in the vein of Pete Rock and DJ Shadow... We were never really in the Toronto hip-hop community... We got turned down for [local production contest] Battle of the Beat Makers, and we were like 'Fuck it...' I did graffiti with some of my friends, and we'd hang out and draw and they'd be listening to Aphex Twin and Noisia and I would start getting those tunes off of them. Then I got into electro house, Justice, Proxy and stuff like that, and then that's where my head started to be at."
Switching genres turned out to be a life changing decision. In less than three years, Zeds Dead have gone from co-hosting Bassmentality -- a monthly night at a grimy Toronto bar, presented in conjunction with DJ/producer crew The Killabits -- to pumping out several releases a year on labels like Ultra, Mad Decent and Dim Mak and headlining massive