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Girls n Boomboxes

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

San Francisco–based duo Harald and Jason of the electro rock/house duo Girls n Boomboxes met when working at an art school. Finding a mutual love of electronic music, they soon were critiquing each other’s tracks every week. It was only fitting that they soon became a beloved duo that has rocked decks from here to Europe. Check them out January 28th opening for The Toxic Avenger and Autoerotique at the Mezzanine, and look out for their full-length album this spring and touring Sweden this June.

SF Station (SFS): How did you come up with Girls n Boomboxes?

Girls n Boomboxes (GB): One day Harald was browsing blogs (he blogs a lot), and saw a photo of four girls with boomboxes. He said to himself, "nice, girls and boomboxes — wait a minute, that's catchy." It stuck. People love saying it.

SFS: What's the most important part of being a successful duo?

GB: Working on a good live show together that incorporates the crowd, and also knowing your part. That's when people notice you.

SFS: These days, it seems like electro is getting a bad rap of just the same head bangin’ sounds over and over again. What do you think about this generalization?

GB: Electro is a pretty diverse genre and can take on many forms. We focus on keeping somewhat of a rock structure, but replacing the live instruments with synths or vice versa.

SFS: Of "Girls, Lasers, Bass, Faders," which one is the most important to you?

GB: Bass, no question, and lasers come second (laughs).

SFS: Why bass first?

GB: Producing our own music is our fundamental drive, and bass is an important factor in dance music. Bass also moves people at shows, and you need to separate those frequencies so people can hear them, and more importantly feel them. Bass can be felt by your entire body, unlike mids and treble. We put a lot of emphasis on making our productions clear.

SFS: What was your favorite part of your European Tour?

GB: Right after playing our set at Fusion Festival, we ended up at a stage called the Oasis with a cropping of trees surrounding a big sand pit with a bar built into the trees. Fusion also has killer Funktion One sound systems at most of their stages. We rocked with some newfound friends from Paris, London, Berlin, and Melbourne. To this day we will never know who that DJ was, but it was by far the best Berlin down tempo techno we've ever heard. It was priceless.

SFS: Time to put out an ad! What is the worst request you’ve ever received?

GB: The worst thing anyone has ever requested — oh my — and we quote, "We're not all on fucking e here, so can you play something we know?" Just wow.

SFS: So do you think people think they need to be on ecstasy to enjoy electro?

GB: Not at all! The girl who told us that was attempting to request a song that she knew and obviously wasn't getting what she wanted. The entire rave/techno/electronic thing here in the U.S. is still taboo for those people who are stuck on non-electronic music. Some day, people will open their mind. The fact that we use Abelton Live and not conventional turntables rules this sort of thing out usually, but when the crowd has no idea what you're doing, it doesn't matter.

SFS: What are you looking forward to the most when playing with Toxic Avenger?

GB: First off, just playing a show with Toxic Avenger. Secondly, getting to hang out with him since we'll be playing France sometime in the future. It’s always good to know the locals!

Girls N Boomboxes opens for The Toxic Avenger on January 28th. Advance tickets are $15 and the party starts at 9pm.