Arriving to the sound of deep dark jungle beats we knew right away that the Golden Boys aka SJRM aka Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano were in full control of the dance floor at Echostage DC. As always it was amazing to hear such great artists on one of the best warehouse sound system on the East Coast. With stunning visuals complementing and equally impressive 2 hour set it was clear why SJRM had truly taken off in the last two years. This duo from Amsterdam started off playing at local clothing store, small local venues and with their intense passion and love for music have now traveled the world and played at some of the biggest festivals & clubs!
Photo by: Doug van Sant Photography
Voices from the Undrgrnd:
Undrgrnd Sound: I am here with SJRM at EchoStage DC right after their amazing set. So you guys just come off of some serious touring and in fact word all over social media and blogs is that you two killed it at Ultra South America. Also you just kicked off the second leg of your North America Tour. How has the US been treating you guys?
SJRM: Well tomorrow we will actually be out in Vegas! So its been great so far. DC has been wild. Last time we were here we played at a small club…Josephines something, but this crowd today, we don’t even know, we don’t have the words for the energy! Well maybe the best is SICK! We got to say EDC, Ultra and then Echostage!
We even went deeper here because we felt that everyone was getting into the set. The energy was on 10 the whole night.
From what I thought you guys went up and down really traversing the from deep techy house all the way to progressive/big room. You guys did some high energetic tracks and then boom just “Work” by Joe Brunning!
SJRM: Yes! Oh you know that track? We are big fans of that acapella.
Without a doubt I’m a big fan of Joe. I can’t believe you guys dropped that vocal… I have a question, who out of you two are in charge of working in the acapellas?
SJ: I love acapellas, sometimes i get a bit annoying, because I want to have the acapellas a bit too much. I gotta tell whole story though Ryan started with acapellas. He was the one who made CDs and I was like fuck I wanna do this, so then I was claiming it in a set. Then honestly I was just you do it boy and I think it’s working really well.
RM: It’s like producing live and it is what we like to do. We have some mashups and bootlegs but we enjoy when we do the bootlegs live, and mashups live, and today we did a lot of new stuff that Echostage was getting crazy over.
Photo by: Doug van Sant Photography
What did you guys prepare for America, for Echostage… What were the tracks that you thought would be big on this tour?
SJRM: Um… Lethal Industry which is always a big hit & of course Circus, thats our new record which we dropped tonight and blown away by the response. Everyone went nuts! But we also love sets with the vocal tracks and make a little remix of what is his name….Nicki Romero’s “Stayin’ Alive?” and it went nuts. We love the vocals. People can say it’s commercial, but if we really like something we will play it.
In 2012 you guys played in what I think was the best football game ever… is that something that we may or may not be expecting? Have you guys been contacted about that for WMC this year? Or was that a one off?
SJRM: They talking about it, but we think it’s not gonna happen this year, maybe next year. And that’s cool, but actually we did a shot for Ultra Argentina. We did some shots with Killz… so soon you’re gonna see that. We like to play soccer… oops football! It’s football…
The last WMC Football game was for charity, what other charity initiatives are you guys involved with?
SJ: Actually, we are really close with Dance For Life, participating really often on big shows and some smaller ones. What we try to do is for the young kids in Amsterdam. They have like a really talented group of kids in Holland, Amsterdam who cant get out of the struggle.
RM: It is from where we came from and grew up.
SJ: So we’re trying to set up classes to give kids opportunities. It’s a long journey, and we are talking to the city and we will get there just will take some time. We do end up going in and doing our fundraisers. But we’re really close with Dance For Life right now.
Speaking of Amsterdam, I believe you guys are about to have your first solo show “Sexy by Nature”. How did that come about?
SJ: Yes! Yeah, I mean everything we achieve we have to be thankful for Amsterdam. We played for five years in Amsterdam we were there every week touring.
RM: We did everything there, even played in shops while people were buying clothes.
SJ: We started the concept in Ibiza and, Boom! That was the launch of the concept and it really went crazy. It was a success and we realized we need to go on tour with this. So where do we start New York, Miami, Vegas, etc.? But we decided to start in Amsterdam and stick to our roots.
We thought it was time for a different thing; more mature, but still for the kids. <new stuff?> Its crazy that it is almost sold out, probably under 500 tickets left and it the Heineken Music Hall which is about a 6000 person capacity. The week before is Drake, and a week before that is Beyoncé and then its us! I’m like I don’t know what’s going on all the these big acts in Amsterdam but we have built up a strong fan base and cannot wait to play for them.
I saw you guys have a very awesome guest line up with Dannic, Oliver Heldens & Jaz Von D. How did you choose the guys that would be opening for you? Is that from your personal interactions with each artists?
SJRM: They all very talented and that is very important. Jaz Von D, he’s our boy. He makes some great music. He’s really young, 20 or 21, but this guy is making so much nice music and he stays true to what he’s doing. Nowadays young kids just want to make music that everybody likes and its easy, but he’s choosing his own way and that’s what we like, appreciate. Dannic, I mean he’s doing his own stuff as well and honestly its Dannic he has so much going on right now. Oliver Heldens that guy is truly superior for a young dj. We are all about giving the up & coming artists a chance, so we are going to give him a big venue to show his skills.
So what other plans for 2014 do you guys have? Cause it’s only been like two months now and you guys are not slowing down.
RM: It really feels like a year already!
SJ: The plans are already made we will be doing a lot of big shows: Tomorrowland, EDC, Ultra. Music-wise we’re gonna release a lot of stuff. We did some remixes. We did a remix for Calvin Harris and Alesso – “Under Control.” We did a remix with Gareth Emery. Circus just came out and we have another release on Doorn Records. We played it tonight, “One Life.”
RM: We might release something on Calvin Harris’s label, but we’re not sure if he likes it, so… so we still have to see…Calvin! Do you like it or not?? Tell us!!
I’ll shoot him a text…I swear
SJ: Then we have a big record – actually the first real radio crossover kind of track and we are excited about it.
RM: Its not really radio. Before we were really into the beats and now we want to make something different. We did “One Life” it’s emotional with violins and a great flow. Now we want to do something with vocals – we never did proper vocals in our songs…
SJ: The goal is to have it more of full song so it might fall into the mainstream area but we love making music in general and we are trying to experiment.
Before you guys realized that you guys were gonna be touring the world and enjoying this wonderful life with all the hot models, bottles and parties. What did you guys feel you were gonna fall back on? What was the backup?
SJ: Honestly, our friendship. It’s really simple it’s our friendship. I mean no matter what…
RM: Wait, wait, wait… I always wanted to be a pilot, but my eyes were too fucked up so I couldn’t. He always wanted to be a football player…
SJ: I got injured and I got fucked up. So, maybe you gonna cook because you love to cook right?
RM: Yeah, yeah we’re still cooking…
SJ: Maybe we end up in a restaurant cooking together. We love to cook… it’s like producing, as well, but we come back on our friendship. I mean if we have to choose between this life or friendship, it would be real friendship. And that’s period! I mean that’s why were doing this because we’re loving to be around each other no matter how crazy things get.
Alright for our final question, if you guys were stranded on an island, middle of the desert or just stranded… What would be the one track that you guys would be down to listen to forever? Or until the battery ran out?
SJ: I know what it is. You first!
RM: No, you go first, I don’t know yet. I’m getting stressed out
SJ: Really? It’s really hard to ask a DJ this but I have to say Stevie Wonder, Motown Records. And I have to pick one track? Oh my God… um…
RM: I pick Stereophonics, “Maybe Tomorrow”
SJ: No, Stevie Wonder and…
RM: If you’re in the desert you’re gonna want that, because they’re singing about when you getting home, when you gonna find a home… If I’m in the desert then I wanna find home!
SJ: Yeah… but I need Stevie Wonder in my life, and if it’s just one record? Then, like, oh my God. Um… uh…
RM: Don’t even say the name you have to sing like a little sentence of it.
SJ: I love it, but one record – I think Ebony and Ivory. Yeah and I need to sing Stevie Wonder, are you crazy? (singing) Ebony and Ivory go together…