Keys N Krates Talk ‘Midnite Mass’ EP, How To Get Out of a Creative Rut, and Cats
Posted by Matt Mueller 8 months ago in Interviews
Keys N Krates have been running the trap since before trap was a thing to run. Formed in 2008 by keyboardist David Matisse, turntablist Jr. Flo and drummer Adam Tune, they’ve made waves with their eclectic hip-hop/electronic-inspired beats, slowly but surely growing into central figures of trap community.
Earlier this week, the three dropped their third EP, “Midnite Mass” (you may have heard the single, “Save Me,” off it back in 2015), and just last week, they embarked on tour, set to hit 32 cities before March’s end. Yeah, they’re busy. But luckily for us at IHEARTCOMIX, not too busy to chat with us about what sets “Midnite Mass’ apart from their previous work, what songs get them excited about everyday tasks, and what they think of Batman versus Superman (yeah, we tapped that nerd shit!).
Strap in, kids, you’re in for a treat.
1) “U Already Know” off “Midnite Mass” was my anthem as I was cooking dinner last night. What songs get your guys hyped for seemingly-mundane activities?
Flo: I really like listening 70s soul when I’m making coffee in the morning. No song necessarily in particular but any dusty, gritty stuff like the Charmells’ “As Long As I Got You” makes me feel happy to be alive and making coffee. I also really enjoy running to “Diamonds Dancing” by Drake and Future at the moment cause the whole tune is kind of hypnotic and energetic all at the same time.
Tune: I used to listen to Phil Collins when driving all the time. So much so that a CD got stuck in the shitty mini-van I used to own, and then everyone who took a ride with me was also forced to listen to Phil.
Matisse: I actually like running to Celine Dion.
2) What separates the songs of “Midnite Mass” from your previous releases? Musically, stylistically, etc.
Matisse: I think we wanted to make stuff that’s a bit more maximal sounding, epic sounding, and still very bassy, but less 808-dependent. We kind of set out not to use any 808s on this project. We also wanted it to be more emotional and even more musical than our other stuff.
3) Flo, you’re the cat guy of the group. How many cats is too many for one man to own? Is there even a limit?
Flo: I have two and that feels like the right number. Any more than that you kinda become a crazy cat lady. With that being said, I’d probably be fine with being a crazy cat lady.
4) Obviously what you guys do is pure collaboration, but are there any songs of yours that one of you might consider “your baby” and the others help perfect? Or is it equal collaboration all the way through?
Tune: Actually it really varies on a song-by-song basis. Sometimes we all start and finish something together, but often songs start from ideas that one of us has individually sketched out, and then the three of us triple team it to get it where it needs to be.
5) Out of the many remixes and bootlegs people have done of your songs, do you guys have any favorites in particular?
Flo: I think we all really dig the Christopher Lorenzo flip of “Understand Why.” Such a different take but so cool.
6) What’s the best compliment you’ve ever gotten from a fellow musician?
Flo: Maybe Just Blaze telling us he’s playing our music out in his DJ sets. That meant the world to me cause he’s one of my fav producers of all time.
Tune: The drummer from Caribou loving our set at Coachella. He’s a beast of a drummer and we are such big fans of their music and show.
Matisse: Maybe Skrillex telling us he’s a big fan and loves how we do our show. That was pretty cool. That guy is a beast.
7) Who’s been your favorite artist(s) to play with at a show? And who’s your number one choice to play with that you haven’t already?
Matisse: Man, we’ve played so many shows with great artists it’s hard to choose. Right now we have Stooki Sound on tour with us though and they are awesome and really redefining their show in a great way on this tour. They play their crazy beats, they’re playing grime, they’re rapping live. It’s so uniquely them. We love seeing that; people upping their shows and separating themselves from other acts.
Flo: I’ve always wanted us to play a show with Ratatat because I think our fans would dig them and their fans would dig us. Also they’re just so cool.
8) What’s your preferred way to get out of a creative rut? And how do you guys like to unwind in general?
Matisse: I think just stepping back from stuff and maybe going and listening to other music that inspires us. Going to other people’s shows also always seems to unlock something.
Flo: We all like to eat roti and watch Netflix to unwind.
9) Are there any songs that can bring you guys to tears instantly?
10) Later this year, we have two movies about superheroes fighting each other: Captain America vs. Iron Man, and Batman vs. Superman. Whose corners are y’all standing in?
Matisse: Batman and Iron Man all the way.
KNK is about halfway done through their tour and almost to their LA date on February 20th; check them out at one of the cities below if you don’t live on the moon: