Atnight.com Interviews the EC Twins – Read about Burger King, EC, Partying in Miami, Manchester United, French boys and Penis size! (and more)
Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013 - by Rick Comisky
Many years ago, DJs and twin brothers Eric and Charles (Charlie to his mates) were hiking the trails of Kuala Lampur. Whilst searching for inner peace, they encountered a Sherpa that informed them that they should thenceforth be known as the EC Twins. That’s where it started.
Fast forward to Miami Music Week, 2013.
I arrived at a luxury hotel and was escorted to a luxury suite by the group’s manager, Walter (Wal’er if you’re English). I walked in on an interview winding down and caught Allister extolling his love for boys in France. Perhaps I had missed something.
The EC Twins – creators of the best song in the world… EVER (look it up if you don’t believe me) – have been delighting audiences in the US and abroad for many years. However, before January, I had never heard of them. I attribute that to the fact that they play at venues that are not clients of Atnight. The Twins performed at the opening party for the Grove Cruise at Bamboo. I saw two GQ models jumping up and down, and even standing on the DJ booth. They were having a blast. The music was fun and exciting. I was enticed. Then, I saw them two more times on the cruise, and I became a fan. By the way, these are perhaps the friendliest DJs I’ve encountered in my years of night club photography. The week after the Groove Cruise, VH1 was recording a show about DJs (Master of the Mix), and the EC Twins were guest judges. I was invited to be in the audience. At the event, I decided to go say hi to the guys, and they both hugged me. Not the Miami hand-shake-hug, but a real, legitimate hug. Very exciting, fun DJs with great personalities.
This was a 45 minute interview. All of the laughter has been edited out, so you should be able to read it much faster.
Allister – Rick, what would you like to talk to us about?
Me – I know you guys have great personalities – you’re very fun.
Marc - I think that’s subjective.
Allister – Some people think it’s great, some people don’t, but thank you for understanding it.
Me – you guys look like you’re having a good time when you’re up on stage -
Allister – We’re having an absolute riot up on stage - time of my life, Rick. Things can’t get any better than that. I don’t want it to be over. It’s just, when you come off, trying to maintain that high, what do you do? I find heroin works.
Me – Doing what I do, I see a bunch of DJs. Some guys just look like their job is painful.
Allister – I don’t trust DJs that don’t dance or smile. I do not trust ‘em. Go get a job at a telemarketing company or some shit. I used to work at a telemarketing company.
Marc – A lot of DJs nowadays do dance and get into their music, all the good ones anyways. The first thing I stopped doing because I didn’t like the way it sounded, was referring to a show as "work." I prefer the terms "play" or "perform." I thought it was disrespectful to people that have real tough jobs to consider the performance aspect of the DJ life work. I say I’m going to play or I’m going to perform. It’s also disrespectful to the fans because you’re making it out to be some sort of frustrating task, and that’s not really the way it is. I feel that if you're a DJ, and it ever gets to that stage, then you should just quit.
Allister – But we enjoy what we do. When we see DJs up there looking like miserable bastards, we don’t understand it.
Marc – Not acceptable.
Me – I know you guys are from Manchester England
Marc – Lovely place
Allister – Shit hole
Me – I went there…
Allister – I’m so sorry. Did you really go there?
Me – yeah
Marc – Fuckin hell. What for??
Allister – Are you a drug dealer?
Me – I used to be a huge Manchester United Fan.
Marc – Oh, 11 overpaid, undereducated, borderline rapists.
Me – Are you a City fan?
Marc – I’m a United fan, he’s a City fan, but more importantly, we don’t give a fuck. You know what I mean? But if you enjoy that, that’s cool.
Allister – Yeah, no, Americans have a different attitude to sport, just to be brief. They like sport. If you win, you win. If you don’t, it’s like “ah, we’ll get ‘em next time.” Whereas in the UK, if you win, you win. If you don’t, go and hit the guy that supports the other team with a glass bottle in the face. It's a cop out, like YAY! WE WON! Who's we? "We" didn’t win anything, "they" won. They got paid. You still got to go back to your shitty jobs tomorrow.
Marc – Americans view sport as entertainment – a chance to hang out, eat snacks and drink beers. UK people see soccer as something to kill people over. That's stupid.
Me – You guys are twins, which one is which.
Marc – I’m Marc.
Allister – I’m Allister. If you just write “fatter one is Marc. Better looking one is Allister.” When you write the interview, you should just write “Allister, the better looking one says…”
Marc – Sure! Write that if you want to sound super gay.
Allister – Go ahead and write that, Rick. Honest! It’ll be worth it. I’ll take one for the team!
Me – You guys live in LA, you’re from Manchester, why did you pick LA?
Marc – It’s the media center of the world. We were running what I feel – Eye Candy, our nightclub, in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland – was one of the better parties I’ve ever been in. If you look on Facebook now, they’re still talking about it. See, people are talking today. [They showed me EC Twin’s page, and yes, they are correct]
Allister – We haven’t done it in 10 years, and…
Marc – People are still saying it was the best times of their life. We thought it was fundamental – a party that changed a lot of lives and a part of the culture, but we were having to read about sub-par parties going on in LA all because Brittney Spears walked out with no underwear on, and I thought “What if we turned that attention onto electronic dance music?” So… Did I just say Electronic Dance Music? I just used the full wording for EDM. I'm sorry. I sound like a cock now!
Allister – What we did in Scotland, we were very successful with. We think we had the best party in the world – that anybody had ever been to, but no one knew about it because there was no media outlet in Scotland. Just an enclosed little small scene of 1000 people every week, so we came here knowing if we achieved a similar thing, it would spread throughout Americ and then across the globe. That was the plan; you know, come over here and promote electronic music.
Marc – I mean yeah, it was an accident, us being DJs. That is a much longer story.
Allister – The whole process of what happened with electronic music, and this big explosion – we played our part and it wasn’t an accident at all. I wouldn’t say we had our pens out, but there was a master plan in place.
Marc – We went out sober every single night. We saw these shit clubs with shit music and shit DJs lick their fingers playing on laptops. What the fuck are you lickin your fingers for? The computer’s doing the work for you.
Allister – Don’t fuckin lick your fingers.
Marc – Take your headphones off! You’re offending me! Why do you have headphones on? Jewelry?
Allister – I’m not a huge fan of laptop DJs, but I’m even less of a fan of laptop DJs who lick their fingers on laptops. DJs used to have to do that back in the day when they were scratching on two pieces of vinyl, sure... but now you just look like a wanker.
Marc – Anyway, we came here and we saw these shit DJs, and we decided that we’re going to change the scene. We cracked the code. We found what people want in America, and that’s something they think is cool - so electronic music needed to be branded right for it to work.
Me -How long have you guys lived in Los Angeles?
Marc – Ehhh
Allister – Ummmm, it’s really a hard question.
Marc – We came like six years ago, seven years ago just to visit.
Allister – A big part of the process before that is we had to become legal in the country. We had to make sure we could legally work. Because there’s a lot of DJs who come here and try to get away with it. We wanted everything to be official.
Marc – More importantly, we were having to fly in and out and not being able to work, we were just hemorrhaging money. There was a three or four year period where we were just taking everything we had made out of the club, every single penny of it, and spending it to set up our American Dream. We sold our houses, cars, everything. When we were ready to throw our first party, and we were penniless and homeless – and I mean zero.
Allister – I mean, you go to the ATM machine, and it says zero. Is that even legal?
Marc – To have no money?
Allister – You know, it’s been a real long road for us.
Me – Struggling artist? Artist committed to your craft?
Allister – Yeah I guess so, we’ll go with that.
Marc – Yeah sure.
Allister – Yeah, I mean I think there’s some romance there somewhere, but it certainly wasn’t romantic at the time, and the girls sure weren’t falling over themselves to get to me when I lived in my car.
Me – Speaking of which, there’s a rumor that you guys used to be models.
Walter – Next question.
Marc – I don’t really know if we did too much of that.
Allister – No no, the answer is yes.
Marc - We were always house music promoters first - we were always into electronic music since we were kids. But yeah sure, we did that too, but we also worked in Burger King and on building sites much more than we ever stood in front of cameras. Sometimes designers came up to us and asked us to do stuff for them. Walking up and down the runway? Yeah I’ll fuckin do it. We still get offers. Maybe from headphone companies or an energy drink and stuff. It’s not really because we’re good looking. I’d say we’re a solid 6 out of 10, but there’s two of us, and we’re on stage so people get confused into thinking we're cute. It's not a part of our lives we concentrate on because it was only a very small part and it never really benefitted us.
Allister – It was brief and meaningless.
Me – As a fan, I feel bad that I don’t know – what is EC?
Marc – EC are the initials of our club, which was named Eye Candy. We started Eye Candy initially as sort of a gay and gay-friendly club to scare the soccer hooligans away. That meant there were a lot of gay guys, a lot of hot women, and a lot of really open-minded straight guys. So it was just a place where you could come – and there aren’t many in Britain – to dress however you want, be however you want. It didn’t matter if you were rich or poor, gay or straight, black or white; you could just come to this great party…
Allister – And you were safe basically. Me and my brother made sure you were safe in there and the party was called Eye Candy because we expected the crowd to dress up.
Marc – Here in America, they do it differently. They say "well, you’re not good lookin enough." I don’t like that. There’s not an awful lot you can do about genetically the way your body is.
Allister – You can't pat yourself on the back, as if being attractive is an achievement, because you did nothing to earn it - it’s a genetic fluke. We did it differently. It didn’t matter if you were a model, if you turned up dressed like shit, you weren’t getting in.
Marc – You couldn’t buy your way in either.
Allister – We didn’t want your money. It wasn’t like a $50,000 table, we don’t care. It was the same price for everybody – it was $15 to get in – and everybody had a dress code. That meant that people were dressing wild, and that way if you’re 400 pounds, but you got dressed up wild, you’re fine. And if you’re good looking and you’re dressed up wild, you’re fine too. We thought that was a much fairer way to run things. Eye candy was the name because the crowd were eye candy. And we had drag queens at the door.
Marc – Basically, when we came to America and we started to work, people needed to Google us to contextualize us in a meeting.
Allister – When the journalists would write about us, they would say the twins from Eye Candy, or the Eye Candy twins.
Marc – In much the same way as we could be the Fontainebleau Twins, or the Groove Cruise Twins. In fact, that would be the perfect example: The GC Twins. We’re the EC Twins – they started to write that in the press so we knew if we said EC Twins, people could Google the EC Twins and have a point of reference. In the beginning we were the Eye Candy twins, but we quickly wanted to get rid of that. I think it worked really well in Europe where Eye Candy - the club - had a big following. We weren’t even the DJs, we were behind the scenes, but of course when we came to America, they didn’t know about Eye Candy.
Allister – They thought we were trying to make some fuckin lame statement about the way we look.
Marc – They thought it was going to be two blonde playboy girls behind the decks.
Allister – So now we just tell everyone we’re called Eric and Charlie to keep it simple.
Me – March in Miami is Spring Break time. Lots of fun. What is it for two big DJs?
Marc – It’s all about house music for us. Everybody from electronic and house music is here too. It's great!
Allister – I don’t think the electronic music year really gets going until WMC, because in December, it’s a crazy time. January was actually nuts for us too. And then in February, we start to make our music. We spend our time in the studio making music. And then the DJ year gets started in Miami. This is when you come with all your new music. You meet all the labels.
Marc – All the stuff that’s going to be big this summer, all the stuff that’s going to be big in Ibiza. That's what you come to hear about and we hope EC Twins' new stuff is in those conversations too.
Allister – You meet the other DJs. We come here, hit it hard and perform as much as we can, so we start the DJ calendar in March. Set stuff up like he said, for Ibiza, for the summer.
Me – Very good Spanish accents. So you guys are here to work hard, and it’s fun because it’s Miami.
Allister – A lot of fun.
Marc – It is a lot of work, but we refuse to call it work.
Allister – It is a lot of work, and we’re saying that sitting in a luxury suite overlooking all of Miami.
Marc – Now when I worked in Burger King, and I was doing 12 hour shifts, and I was allowed to make 1/8th of a whopper meal every hour, so After 12 hours I was allowed a double whopper meal and a 15 minute break – that included getting out the kitchen, inhaling my fuckin meal, and get back on the shop floor.... That was work.
Allister – And your boss was like “Get me fuckin hamburgers now, you cunt.” And you'd reply "Hey, don’t call me cunt! And use your fuckin manners!" He’d be like “Get those burgers over here now, you cunt. Please.” No bullshit!
Marc – When you've experienced going home to a houseing project, stinking of rotten burgers, after being on your feet for 12 hours, it’s bad taste to call this lifestyle work. I mean, for those people who’ve forgotten how to work completely, sure, you have to work hard when you’re out here - you can’t just be lazy. You can’t just lie down and expect it to come to you. You have to hustle hard. That’s not a problem for us though.
Me – If you guys had to pay to see a DJ – not your favorite – who would you pay to see?
Allister – I’m kinda against paying to see any artists. That sounds like a weird thing to say, because, you know... But we have just as much fun sometimes watching locals. Yesterday we were in town, and there was a guy playing at the show we were just about to play at, and he was opening it up, actually even before the doors opened, he was performing, and we probably enjoyed his set as much as we’ve enjoyed anybody’s set since we’ve been here. There’s a lot of big names that we love. I’m not really a DJ hater because I love all the big names as well. But I can’t really differentiate between the big names and the small guys. As long as you're an artist and not just some open format DJ playing lowest common denominator crap for people who don't really like music, just so you can get your cock sucked, you got EC Twins support.
Marc – It’s a cliché, but I think that Daft Punk show would be nice to see.
Allister – Honestly, as much as I’m a huge fan of Daft Punk, like, and I have been for so long, if they were standing on the other side of the road, I wouldn’t cross the road to shake their hand. I mean, we’re fans of the art, not necessarily the artist. We can't become a fan of the artist until we know that they're nice guys. Until then, we separate the art from the artist to avoid the disappointment of finding out our favorite track is written by a total bell end. That's not usually the case of course - most DJs are great - but there can be exceptions in every walk of life. Like Chuckie and Hardwell and all these guys, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Tiesto, Dmitry KO to name a few. We know these guys and we like these guys, They're friendly and we know they're really nice to their fans. That's super important to us.
Marc – Yeah, we would pay to see Chuckie, Tiesto, Hardwell, Dmitry KO, Dmitri Vegas and Like Mike. Guys like that! Not just talented guys... but nice guys.
Allister – If you become our friends, then I would automatically happily go and pay to watch them.
Me – I’m a follower on Facebook. You guys are the most hilarious…
Allister – I’m glad you get that. That’s a fine balancing act, that one.
Marc – There are two types of people in this world. You know it and everybody knows it. There are those that have a sense of humor, and those that just big time do not have a sense of humor. It’s really bizarre! When we post this stuff, some people take it so literally – seriously.
Allister – Or they confuse the subject of the joke with the target of the joke. "How dare you offend this person," when the person was simply used as the subject, not the target. Some people are just stupid.
Marc – Every time we post some stuff, we may gain like 50 fans, and we’ll lose 50 fans as well. It self regulates. My dad hit us up, and he said you have to stop posting some of this stuff. And I said "well, you know if people don’t get it, they’re wasting their time sticking around. We’ll only offend them somehow." It’s hard for me to behave myself. So, you know, people like you – thank God – get it.
Allister – We spend a lot of time in the air, a lot of time in hotel rooms, a lot of time just kind of thinking up funny things.
Me – So they’re not Walter’s jokes.
Marc – Have you heard Walter’s jokes?
Allister – Christ no.
Marc - Walter’s jokes are like “that’s what she said.”
Allister – Your momma jokes.
Me – A lot of your fans write comments, and it seems like you know everybody.
Marc – I was thinking about that today. I was talking to two big producers from Germany, and they said that us guys have gotten so big and we still haven’t had that #1 record, and that we can still put more people in a room than they can. I’m not a big fan of being behind velvet ropes and in VIP rooms. Earlier today we went to see Chuckie at the Dirty Dutch Party and a lot of the other DJs were behind the scenes and everything, but me and Allister were on the dance floor. I really don’t mind talking to people, I like that. I don’t like being escorted by security – waving people out of the way. I’d rather just walk in and shake hands. We've always been the peoples' DJs.
Allister – I think a lot of our fans think they know us and I think that’s ‘cause they do. We don’t give a fuck about standing on stage feeling superior. That's dumb.
Marc – I totally understand it when other DJs think it's necessary. They don’t want to cross that line of becoming too personable because it might affect the way people perceive them as gods. People have mentioned that to us. I totally understand it and they’ve got a point, but I can’t live that way. I don't perceive us in that way. We feel like everyones equal, so we've never understood the allure of VIP rooms and all that nonsense.
Allister – We talk to people at the show. Then, we fuckin disappear. We’re reclusive, so we still maintain that air of mystery, even though we refuse to be surrounded by security.
Marc – Yeah, we are reclusive
Allister – You don’t’ see an EC Twin falling out of the club at 5 o’clock in the morning with cocaine hanging out his nose with a load of girls. You just don’t see it. I’m too busy here thinking about more fun I can poke at Justin Bieber or some other deserving target.
Marc – People don’t believe me. I’ve never heard a song of Justin Bieber. Maybe I did, but when people say Justin Bieber, I think of, I think of that song “call me maybe” and people tell me that's not a Bieber track, and well, I’m fucked if I know a Bieber song then. Her fans just get so angry when we make fun of her. It's hard to say no. Personally, we have nothing against her. Wait... what? Justin Bieber is a guy?! Damn it! Foiled again!!
Allister - We’re really personable, and we talk to everybody, but realistically, we’ve got a real small group of actual friends.
Me – Yeah, I met Andy, great guy.
Allister – Yeah, that’s it. You named my group of friends! The only one who’s not on the payroll!
Marc – We met him working at Burger King.
Allister – He’s seen us coming up, and he’s always so happy for us. He’s seen us going down and his friendship never wavered. Some people wanna be around when you're on top, and if not, they don’t want to be around anymore.
Marc – And then vice versa. Some people, when you’re up, they can’t handle watching your success. We have to be really cautious about that now. There’s a lot of people around us now, you know? 15 fuckin people holding on me to get into the Dirty Dutch party. I don’t know one of these motherfuckers. “Oh, we’re with the Twins.” Oh? You’re with the twins? Who the fuck are you? Never even seen your face at one of our shows.
Allister – We got them in! I mean, fuck it... but you get the point.
Marc – Whereas Andy, if he didn’t get in, he would laugh about it. He doesn’t give a shit. He ain’t there for that.
Me – Last question. Ok, 2nd to last question. In Miami at Mansion a few months ago, they brought in a big DJ, promoted him, then kicked him off during his set. Did you hear about that?
Allister – Yeah, everybody heard about it. I don’t remember which DJ it was. The blame lies on both sides of that, you know? But it's a dilemma. They never should’ve booked that DJ, but they want top talent. He should have done his homework on the booking he accepted - but he made a commitment to his art.
Marc – We used to be nightclub owners, so we know how that goes. You book the wrong DJ, and you’re hemorrhaging crowd. You’re hemorrhaging money. You know, it’s a business.
Allister – We’ve got so much experience, it’s very easy for us to form balanced opinions on such things. I used to run a club, and I know what happens when you book a DJ, and he plays something that appeals more to a druggy crowd – or not quite your crowd, whatever the reason, and people are leaving, and you feel like you have to go up to that guy and say "hey man, can you play A B or C?" I understand the dilemma that Mansion were in.
Marc – As a DJ, I also understand the dilemma of turning up as an artist.
Allister – It tells you in every DJ's contract not to make requests!
Marc – It doesn’t happen that much to us, but yeah, it can happen.
Me – Do you have a funny story?
Allister – I think the only time it really happened was when we did uhhhh… Berlin
Marc – Berlin. Gay pride festival.
Allister – Do you know who Justice are?
Me – Yeah
Allister – This is before they were big. We knew these guys were going to be big. And it turns out the promoter had just booked us because we were twins and had some famous friends that appealed to the gay crowd.
Marc – It was years ago.
Allister – We opened with something like "Stress" by Justice – a really dramatic opening.
Marc – All electro.
Allister – All electro, banging electro, and it was like a cane coming from behind the curtain and dragging us off before the intro was over.
Marc – And the thing is…
Allister – If we could have gotten 3 records in, we knew what we were doing. We wanted to create some drama in the opening.
Marc – Other than that, it’s not really happened to us. If any DJ, any DJ, it doesn’t matter, hip hop, top 40, house, jungle, it doesn’t matter. If any DJ tells you that they never faced that situation, then they’re simply not working enough. Every working DJ has had that dilemma. Every DJ who’s worked their way up…
Allister – Every DJ has their style. We still have problems. You know, you’re in Middle America, and they want to hear fuckin Gangnam style, or some fuckin hip hop record. Some guy’s going to give you 20 grand if you drop Drake. I don’t have Drake.
Marc – On the flip side, because the dance music scene has exploded now, I’ve seen a lot of hip hop DJs – the bigger ones – get punted off because they’re not playing house music. So it’s just an occupational hazard. It’s no big deal. It’s just one of them things.
Allister – You’ve got to understand, most of the shit you read online is written by trolls. Speak to the DJ about it. See what their opinion is. Speak to the club about it. See what their opinion is. There’s a whole big thing about that. It happened in Vegas too. Talk to the DJ. Talk to the club. They don’t have an issue. It was discussed as mature business people.
Marc – We spoke to the guys directly about the Vegas issue. The DJ was like, “I don’t really play that. Hows about I come back in a couple of weeks and I do my thing?”
Allister – And the venue said “ok, we’re still going to pay you, and we’ll rebook. We’ll give you another booking at a time that works for you.” Everybody’s a fuckin expert, aren’t they? I say that all the time. Until you’re behind those turntables with your headphones on, staring at 6000 fuckin people that want you to entertain them, then you can't really comment.
Marc – Imagine: You have a nightclub, and you paid a guy $50,000 to show up, and you’re trying to make that back, and people are leaving the door, and you just lost two 20,000 dollar tables and you’re staring down the barrel of a gun. What are you going to do? What are you going to do, seriously? Sometimes people get pissed off, but I think these situations are played up. Anything to create controversy for electronic music is all good anyway. Go for it!
Me – As I’m writing this, what do you want the legend of the EC Twins to be?
Marc – Oh God
Allister – I’m the greatest lover in the world. Big penis – with girth! Sexual athlete.
Marc – What we did for electronic music. We really did come here with a goal in support of house music… Regardless of what people say about America, it’s still the major country in the world that influences everything. So if you’re big in America, you’re big on a global scale – unless you’re the EC Twins, then you’re just big in America as of yet. Our work here was some of the most important work that was put into the scene and has benefitted the entire house music industry on a global scale.
Allister – We paved the way for the explosion and I know there was a small scene here. I know they had something. They keep tellin me. Ok, fine, you had trance and deep house, but your bars weren’t making shit. You maybe had one venue that playes house, and only then in the big cities. Now, it's at every nightclub. You’ve always had WMC, sure. I’ve been walking down the street, and I’ve seen NFL stars. I’ve seen actors. I’ve seen every freakin DJ in the world this year. They’re all here. Whereas when I came to WMC 15 fuckin years ago, it was nothing but underground house people, walking around passing vinyls around. When we came to America we sold house music on a massive scale. That’s what we did, and I don’t think people give us enough credit. We exposed it. We put it out there, and I think some people think we just go up there and play music and jump around.
Marc – As long as people are talking, that’s fine by me. And every time I get into a conversation with another DJ or something, and they say I heard this and that about you, we just laugh because it's normally complete bollocks. It has nothing to do with the way we look, or what we wear when we’re on stage. It was real pure hard work and risk. It had to be done. Someone had to do it. Somebody had to make a commitment to stay in America.
Allister – Previous to us, every other European came back and said it’s never going to happen. They were coming back and said “it just sucks over there in the USA.” And we were like “we’re not coming back until it doesn’t suck.” Literally, I will go to my grave trying to make it happen. And we did, and now it’s huge. It would be cool if people know what we did for the scene.
Marc – That’s our legacy. And after that, I’d like it to be a huge penis. Supermodel girlfriend. Best-selling record in the world – ever. But we'll settle for "Nicest guys in EDM."
Allister – Hung like an Arabian race horse, and goes like a fuckin sewing machine. I want that on my grave stone.
I feel sorry for the boys in France.
You can enjoy Justin Bieber's biggest hit on YouTube - just to get some perspective.