Disco Men From Mars is a quirky, sci-fi electronic duo living on planet Earth since their “Invasion” in 2021. Their music has elements of synth-pop, classical, synthwave, house, alt-RnB and boom bap.
They have been accused of assuming hidden identities as US citizens, James Sewell and Russ Cody to hide their origins from the Red Planet.
This is from their top-secret dossier:
Where did you grow up?
I (speaking as James) grew up in Philly for most of my young life. Russ grew up in Flemington, NJ. We both currently reside in the suburbs of Philly.
What is one of the first songs you remember liking as a kid?
I have to say that I was way into the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and the Kiss “Dynasty” album, which was Kiss’ disco record lol. ‘Staying Alive’ by Bee Gees and ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ by Kiss, along with songs by The Police, Madness and Bow Wow Wow.
What were some of the influences you had that made you start making music?
Prince, Nine Inch Nails, Meat Beat Manifesto were influences on me as far as wanting to create music for myself. I loved the fact that an artist could be just one or two people. Also, Depeche Mode’s "Ultra" album and the sound design on that record is flawless. Some of Russ’ influences were Royksopp and Boards of Canada.
At what age did you start playing/singing?
I am a drummer, first and foremost. I started at age 4. My parents took me to a wedding reception, and they had a live band. I was enamored of the drummer/drums and knew it was for me. I started working on electronic music when I bought my first drum machine, a Roland TR-606 at age 12. Russ started taking piano lessons at age 6. His parents said that used to stand on his tiptoes to play the piano.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself after finishing school?
I would tell my younger self to really listen to the lyrics in The Smiths’ song, ‘Ask'. “Shyness is nice but shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you like to”. Don't be afraid to take chances. Lol, truth.
What are some of your favorite songs at the moment?
I just listened to the album, "VHS" by a band called Castlebeat. Great stuff, great lo-fi vibe. Also the new songs by Peter Gabriel, “Panopticom” and “The Court”. Also, really into the Average White Band too at the moment. My tastes are all over the place lol. It can change in the blink of an eye. Russ is currently into Demi & JD Beck and plenty of Vulfpeck.
Do you listen to your own music besides when making it or do you listen so much it gets tiring after it is released?
By the time I am done mixing, mastering, etc, I kinda hate the song(s). It takes awhile for me to get back into the songs again. If I don’t listen for a couple months and listen back and get into it again, then I know we did a great job.
Are there any collaborations you would like to have in the future?
I would love to work with Trent Reznor, he is kinda an inspiration to me. Something with St Vincent. I wish I could have worked with producer J Dilla on tunes. Also I would love to work with Elisabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins, maybe something ambient/downtempo.
What is one of your favorite memories so far in your music career?
So many to mention, I just love the journey. It’s life-long. One of the recent memories has been finally putting out music on my own, separate from the bands I normally work with. But, nothing beats sharing a moment with an audience after playing a show.
What advice would you give to someone that is just starting to get into music?
Love the journey, don't be afraid to suck. You will suck, for a long time. Eventually, you begin to suck less and less. Take chances, listen to everything, outside your genre or whatever.
A BIG THANK YOU to Disco Men From Mars for doing this interview! Be sure to check out their new EP, "Computer Loved" out now on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/5HDUB9tGKGGrutwxoxDroP
AND on YouTube:
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