Two-Man Giant Squid detail new single

Brooklyn is a notorious breeding ground for some of the most interesting music you’ve never heard of. Psych-punk band Two-Man Giant Squid is certainly no exception. Despite being known for their sweaty and chaotic live performances, the band decided to give a nod to a completely different genre on their new single, aptly titled ‘I Was a DJ in 2015’. Not only does the song cheekily reference the EDM-boom of the 2010s, the music video does as well, hilariously depicting a “DJs Anonymous” meeting for artists reconciling with their traumatic DJ pasts. As strange as it sounds, the song is somewhat autobiographical too: frontman Mitch Vinokur was in fact a DJ before starting Two-Man Giant Squid. We caught up with him just before the premiere of their new music video, which you can also view below.

[TJ]: Congrats on both your new single, and the phenomenal video that goes along with it! Tell me about the inspiration behind ‘I Was a DJ in 2015’.

[MV]: The song is basically me looking back on my time as a DJ during the EDM craze and not knowing whether to think of it fondly or not. A lot of our music is tongue-in-cheek and this is no different. I wanted it to end with this big, dance floor euphoria moment to try and capture what it is that DJs are chasing.

You reference a period in music that was nine years ago, which feels both like a long time and also not very long at all. Having that perspective, what do you think is the basis for writing attention-grabbing music in 2024?

This day and age it seems like people are looking for unconventional ways of recording and the door remains open for anybody to grab some instruments and put something out there that can gain attention.

In your opinion, what are some essential qualities that make a “good songwriter”?

I think a good songwriter gives you something you arent expecting. I’m a firm believer that there’s no such thing as “background music.” It should grab you and hold your attention.

Can you pinpoint some specific songs and songwriters that changed the way you write music?

When I heard Bodega’s latest record, it made me focus more on the rhythm section and trying to leave some space on the track unfilled. ‘I was a DJ…’ is one of our least busy tracks and I think that’s in large part to some of the Bodega record that I was listening to before writing it.  

Do you find that you ruminate over writing songs and hold on to them for a long time before including them on a record? Or do you prefer to write them, release them, and move on?

I do tend to work songs into the ground a bit. Especially songs that I feel have “single” potential. This one is a prime example of that. I must have gone through 200 different versions with only minor changes.

I know you guys are also working on a new LP as we speak. Were there any lessons you learned while writing and recording ‘I Was a DJ…’ that you will take with you into the next record?

This was the first song I self-mixed. I feel like I learned a ton in that field and mostly that there is really no right or wrong. If it sounds good to you, go with it and don’t look back.

Two-Man Giant Squid’s new single, ‘I Was a DJ in 2015’ is available on all major streaming services now, or via the band’s Bandcamp page.

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