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Call & Response: Megasoid

Call & Response: Megasoid

Montreal electro/crunk duo Megasoid are attracting a lot of attention online and on the streets (literally) of Toronto, Montreal and beyond. Speakerbruiser (aka Spkrbruzr of Sixtoo fame) and Robert Downey DJ (aka Hadji Bakara of Wolf Parade) perform live bass-infused remixes using a wide-variety of top-notch, booze-soaked gear. Their shows get messy and some have notoriously ended prematurely as a result.

On the strength of a couple great mp3 mixtapes and a very helpful mention in The New Yorker, Megasoid have been fielding numerous remix and show requests, while playing gigs under bridges, on top of their van (see above photo), on the Drake rooftop at Nuit Blanche last Fall, and at their own Turbo Crunk monthlies at Montreal's Coda and the Drake here in town. On top of all of this, rumour has it they are working on a "real record".

I chatted with Speakerbruiser and Robert Downey DJ about record rumours, fictitious gear, and poor Becky.

blogTO: Why are you called Megasoid?

Spkrbruzr: Pussyzoid didn't quite have the same ring to it.

Robert Downey DJ: I named us Megasoid. It is the name of a monster from an episode of the original Outer Limits. I actually watched the episode for a film seminar at McGill, and soon as the monster appeared and was deemed the Megasoid I knew I would have to title something after it. It is just one of the best words I have ever heard because it is simply a prefix and suffix without any article. Anyway, the monster is also pretty badass, it is a horrible cross between an owl and a tyrannosaurus rex, and it reads minds.

How long have you known each other? How did this project start?

Spkrbruzr: I met Hadji in the coffee line in Montreal about 3 years ago. I borrowed a synth off him. It caught fire. I bought it off him before he knew it caught fire. I been reading manuals and borrowing gear and obscene amounts of money off him ever since. Hadji is the father I always wanted.

RDDJ: Rob is the hormonal, recalcitrant teenage son I never knew I wanted.

How would you describe your sound using only one word?

Spkrbruzr: Anti-soft.

RDDJ: Busted.

Why do you think you've made such a splash on the scene in such a short amount of time?

Spkrbruzr: Did we splash the scene? Is there a scene for this? I thought only people in Montreal (and a few really good people in Toronto) knew about what we are doing! I mean, we ride for good dudes and vice versa. Drugmoney, TSMF, GoodLife, SofaKingMike, Coda, Jeff @ the Drake and the Turbo Crunk team. I mean, really, without the people around us, nobody knows what this shit is. We barely know what it is 1/2 the time. People seem to like the Tank Thong mixtape.

RDDJ: Yeah, I did not know that there was a scene until we started to do shows and all of a sudden all of these other like-minded acts started appearing all over the map.

What has been your favourite Megasoid show to date?

Spkrbruzr: Holy Fuck record release on Queen West. We ripped down the chandelier and shut down the bar by 1:30. People got upset. That place sucked - fuck 'em. They don't like to party. We broke a lot of glass that night. We had fun anyway. The 70 people that were there know how we get down!

RDDJ: Yeah, that was my birthday and I did all of the terrible things only a birthday boy is permitted to do.

You list "Touch-Screen-Tablet-Prototype-Powerbooks" in your gearlist. What exactly are those, how did you get them?

Spkrbruzr: They exist purely in our imagination, and we are hoping Apple will heed our wishes and send us the first prototypes. Lemur x Apple. That's what we want. Spill-proof if possible.

I've heard that you're working on your debut record. Was that always the plan, or has your popularity inspired you to release a full-length?

Spkrbruzr: We just have a good chemistry and complimentary skill set that lets us work well together. I am not sure if it is anything we discussed. It wasn't serious when we started. The mixtape is more of a by-product of what we do live, so I guess maybe the record is just an extension of that? We like nasty crunked up rap music and tough dancehall stuff, there isn't really a lot out there that fits that bill and works a dancefloor hard, so we are gonna try and make some.

RDDJ: I don't exactly know how we would make a record at this point; at least a record that was legal to sell over the counter.

What do you like best about Toronto?

Spkrbruzr: I'm originally from here, so my timeline and affinity for certain things runs deep. My deepest Toronto-elated love is Roti. I got spots.

RDDJ: Bar tabs.

What do you like least?

Spkrbruzr: The new condo smell.

RDDJ: Urban Barn.

What can people expect to see/hear/feel/do at your next Drake show?

Spkrbruzr: They can expect a drinking contest to lazered up crunk music, and some people getting clowned. Dear Becky: we aren't playing your request.

RDDJ: The disconcerting sound of blown speakers passing air through their smashed little faces.

Get Riddim Launch Party
Feat. Megasoid, Maysr (MTL)
Sunday, May 18
The Drake Underground
1150 Queen Street West
Doors: 11pm
$5 Cover

Call & Response is a series of Q&A's with artists from or playing in Toronto. Photo: Rachel Granofsky.

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