Jean Paul “JP” Makhlouf and his brother Alex, as well as their childhood friend, Samuel Frisch, make up the electronic recording group Cash Cash. While the group received some early notoriety for “Party in Your Bedroom,” their latest single “Take Me Home” is a bonafide hit that’s dominating the mainstream charts. We caught up with the boys before their Marquee residency debut on February 15 to chat about everything from studio seshing with Krewella, Capital Cities and Johnny Rzeznik to hunting turtles.
Before there was Cash Cash you guys were The Consequence?
JP: Yeah, we started out as more of an electronic group that played keyboards, drums and guitar, and evolved into more of what we are now, which is a producer group. We’ve always produced, mixed, remastered and recorded all our own music, so it was really easy for us to make the transition. We started focusing more on remixing and slowly got rid of the guitars and the keys, and just focused on what we were good at: writing good songs and producing.
Alex: The Consequence was more of a garage band.
You’ve done some pretty notable collaborations, and produced Krewella’s latest single “Live for the Night.” How did you guys hook up?
JP: We actually did a remix of their song “Alive” first. [Their label] Columbia sent it to the girls, and they felt it was good and fell in love with it. So we linked up with the girls and started talking. We saw them at different shows, and they said, “Why don’t we do an actual song with you guys.” We were like, “Hell yeah, count us in!”
What was the production process like for “Live for the Night”?
JP: They actually already had the vocals and were working on it with another track, but weren’t really happy with the way it was sounding. We ended up flipping the chords around and doing a whole new chord progression. We would go back and forth with them …
Frisch: Our arrangement was different.
JP: Yeah, we arranged it all. They were in New York City for two days in February, and we blocked out some studio time and did a lot through email and Skype.
What can Las Vegas expect from your residency at Marquee?
JP: We did our first show there in December, and it was awesome. We didn’t even know what to expect. Now we are really thinking about what we can bring that’s new. We try to bring as much variety to the big rooms as possible. So, we’ll drop some huge tracks, we’ll drop some deeper tracks, we’ll drop more vocal stuff, more pop stuff and work to keep things fresh and different.
Frisch: In layman’s terms: Expect to get rowdy.
You spent a day in the studio with Capital Cities?
JP: That was a fun day. They’re really cool guys, and we share similar backgrounds. They literally make all their own stuff.
Alex: They are an example of how diverse the electronic music community is. They’re more on the band side, but they also really appreciate the DJ world and the remix world, and that’s a cool thing. We met them to remix some of their songs, and they said, “These kids are awesome. Let’s hook up with them.” Then, boom, the next thing you know we are doing an actual collaboration.
Frisch: They said they wanted to do a studio session with us because they love our remix of “Safe and Sound” and that they pretty much close every show with it!
What’s your next single?
JP: We’re torn between a couple, but there’s one we finished up with Johnny Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls called “Lighting” that everyone is really excited about.
Non sequitur time: I’ve heard that JP is obsessed with catching turtles.
JP: Yeah. Snapping turtles.
Frisch: I wish I could say he is joking.
JP: I only do it in the summertime because they are hibernating during the rest of the year. They call me the Turtle Man.
So, you’re not dating anyone, obviously.
Frisch: [Laughs] No, he gets his girlfriend to do it with him!
JP: It’s a match made in heaven.