Making a name for themselves as one of Brazil’s best Electronic Dance Music groups, Chemical Surf has produced and performed amazing Tech-House sounds worldwide. Brothers Lucas and Hugo Sanches are intriguing with their alluring looks and even more appealing musical creations. Garnering millions of streams on Spotify, producing hit tracks “Hey Hey Hey”, “I Wanna Do”, and “Feeling Good” with fellow Brazilian DJ Vintage Culture, and putting their unique flair into their creations, Chemical Surf will no doubt dazzle us even more as they prepare for their upcoming collaborations with Steve Aoki and Afrojack. I had the pleasure of interviewing Chemical Surf to find out more about their music production process, what it’s like to work with your family, and how they manage to make such exciting music.
Hi, this is RiMo from Fresh Music Freaks and I’m here today talking with Chemical Surf. How are you doing today?
Hi RiMo! This is Lucas and Hugo. Thanks for having us. We’re doing fine, getting some interesting outputs from these weird times.
I love how your music draws the listener in and then entertains with a unique flair that is intoxicating. I can see why you’ve had over 80 million streams on Spotify and have multiple collaborations coming up. It’s not surprising that your new EP “Terremoto” on Martin Garrix’s label STMPD RCRDS has worldwide appeal. Can you please tell me how you both got started in the music industry?
That makes us happy. Well, we are brothers and our parents encouraged us to learn music from an early age and it naturally led us to start making music together. When we got in touch with electronic music, we got really curious about it and, after a while, started producing tracks as a duo. One thing led to another, we started playing some live acts here and there and at some point we realized this was the thing that we both wanted to dedicate our lives to.
Can you please tell me about the role music production plays in your work and what roles do each of you play in creating a song?
Music production will always be the foundation of our work. Without it, nothing happens. We believe that art is an important form of communication and we create it so we can give our message to other people, we don’t make it just for ourselves. We produce music in a very collaborative way and each case is unique. Sometimes one of us comes with the idea, sometimes the other and we’re always discussing possibilities and feelings that we want to bring with the track we’re working on.
How would you describe your music style(s) and has your style changed through the years?
Our motto is “R.I.P Genres”, because we believe music is about feeling. We wouldn’t describe Chemical Surf with a single style, we keep our ears open to pretty much everything and then try to translate these different influences to hybrid tracks that bring a new perspective. We learned a lot during the past 15 years of music production. We had the opportunity to play at different continents and get in touch with many distinct cultures and this has a big influence in the way we approach the creation of music. We’re very thankful for this.
In “Cheddar” the playful melody and tones of the vocals are in perfect harmony. Boastful and fun the repetitive possession of the vocalist’s precious cheddar is what keeps him going and keeps us interested. How did you come up with the idea for this song?
We and our friends from Breaking Beattz got really into the vocals and decided to build a track around it. The vocals are very rich in low frequencies so we used a deep sub-bass to push the vocals even more and the melody to bring this fun and suspense atmosphere at the same time. We were really happy with the result and this was our first release on STMPD Records.
In “Walking in Chicago” the beat is deliberate and smashing at points. The computerized sounding vocals feel like you have some kind of artificial intelligence singing this tune. It feels futuristic and fantastic. How was your experience working with Victor Lou on this track?
We really admire Victor’s work as an artist and we’re also very good friends, so it was a lot of fun to work with him on this one. Both Chemical Surf and Victor Lou have a strong connection with fat-groovy-basslines and the mix between our ideas really worked.
Tell me a bit about your song “El Tiempo”. I love the build-up to the song as it starts and the lovely guitar playing in the song. You’re then treated with an outstandingly fresh electronic music beat that complements the song perfectly. It has a sensual quality to it and I want to play that lovely music lead in over and over again. What was the creative process behind this track?
This is a great example of how we like to bring different sounds and fit them together in the track. We used a guitar sound to play a melody that would normally be played with a synthesizer and we think this brings a different atmosphere to the track.
Can you please tell me about the Electronic Dance Music scene in Brazil and how it has influenced your music?
Brazil is very rich musically (generally speaking) and with Electronic Music it couldn’t be different. There’s a huge amount of clubs, parties and festivals around the country with all types of different vibes and crowds. Something that we really like about Brazil is that the audience is quite open to new ideas, so it gives you this nice and challenging freedom to create something different.
How are you dealing with COVID-19 and isolation? What is your plan going forward in the industry and where do you think the industry is going after it’s over?
Well, of course, we are worried about the situation that the whole world is facing right now, but we have a strong positive feeling that we will come out of this period even stronger and more connected to ourselves and to the people around us. Speaking about isolation, it’s been great to have a lot of time in the studio to work on new songs and ideas. We’re also spending quality time with our families, which is really important for us. We usually play every weekend (sometimes 3 or even more shows) and the whole touring consumes a lot of our weekly routine.
How do you stay healthy while working/touring?
We try to eat healthy whenever it’s possible (sometimes it really isn’t because of the tight schedules over the weekend), sleep well, practice sports outdoors and, super important, talk to each other. We usually travel with three people (Lucas, Hugo, and our friend/tour manager Wellington, also known as Monkey) and we have a lot of fun together. Sometimes it’s not possible for our families to join the road, so it’s great to have friends with you and really enjoy the ride.
Including your own work, what music have you been listening too recently? Are there any artists (Art, Music, Performance) are inspired by?
For sure. We prepared a list of five songs that we’ve been listening to recently, from artists and friends that we really admire. Check it out: Steve Aoki, Global Dan, Travis Barker – “Halfway Dead”, Afrojack featuring Ally Brooke – “All Night”, R3hab, Timmy Trumpet – “911”, Oscar and the Wolf – “Breathing”, Rufus Du Sol – “Treat You Better”.
Tell me about what you look forward to when performing live?
We look forward to meeting our fans and having this positive exchange of energy with them. It’s something that really motivates us.
Is there anything that you would like your fans to know?
The current situation is very hard and uncertain, but it will pass and we will come back stronger and united. Take this time to look after yourself and your beloved ones. Keep strong and stay positive everyone!
Thank you Chemical Surf for talking to us today.
Download and listen to Chemical Surf’s new EP Terremoto here.
Check out Chemical Surf’s latest Track “Away” released on June 5, 2020 below: