OC Duo Slander and XS Are a Match Made in “Heaven Trap”

Photo by Donslens

Slander at OMFG! San Diego on New Year‘s Eve. | Photo by Donslens

Slander—the Orange County duo whose stage name is a mash-up of each of their real names, Scott Land and Derek Andersen—has recently been signed to the Wynn Resorts’ DJ roster as 2015 residents. The industry newbies are known for producing “heaven trap,” a dance-music subgenre that fuses trance with trap. This is perfect fit for their usual appearances at XS’ Movement Sundays, where the musical selection steps away from Vegas’ now ubiquitous big-room EDM sound. Catch them there March 1.

What brought you together and into the music industry?

Andersen: Scott and I met at UC Irvine in Orange County. We got introduced to electronic music probably a year or two before we met, and we decided to DJ for the fraternity that we were in. We DJ’d on the beach in Lake Havasu, and it just went really well. Some of our older alumni were able to get us into the clubs in Orange County. We basically only wanted to DJ [at first]. We didn’t really have any aspirations to produce, but then it came to a point where we decided that we wanted to try to do it for a career.

Land: We’re pretty new on the block since we just got signed by an agency back in May and we’re more publicly out there as DJs who are touring, but it’s not like we’re new.

slander2_WEBHow did you get into the production side of it?

Andersen: We really started learning organically. After we did that for about a year, I decided that I needed to get more knowledge about it, so I went to a school called Icon Collective in Burbank. It’s basically EDM production school. It really [impacted] how good of a producer I was and my knowledge of the music industry.

What was the turning point for your career?

Andersen: We started putting out more high-quality music, and our “We Like to Party” remix got 300,000 plays in the first week. Before that song, all of our songs got like a total of 30,000 plays. The song just took off: Carnage played it at Coachella [2014] twice, and DJ Snake played it at EDC Mexico. It gave us a little bit of traction. [We went on] our first tour over the summer, and we hit basically every big city in the United States this year. [We played] TomorrowWorld and Nocturnal Wonderland and all of the big LED [Presents] shows in L.A. It’s been a wild ride.

You both worked full-time day jobs until pretty recently. When did you start to pursue DJing full-time?

Land: We were both working full-time jobs in July [2014]. I did executive recruiting for technology startups in the Bay Area. I think it was August that you quit, Derek? Or September?

Andersen: It was the end of September. I worked for my dad, doing IT; he has a commercial plumbing business. It was a really good job, and I always wanted to work for my dad, so it was hard leaving. But it was the right time.

What are your favorite tracks to play?

Andersen: We’ve been playing this new song by RL Grime; we made an edit of his remix of “Acrylics” by TNGHT. And this song by Yellowclaw [& Mightyfools] called “Lick Dat,” a remix by this guy Cesqeaux—it basically has a hard-style part and then goes into a trap part that gets the crowd jumping. We’ve also been playing “Try It Out” by Skrillex [and Alvin Risk], the Put ’Em Up mix.

Land: And pretty much everyone he’s named is a Wynn Resorts resident, I realized: Yellowclaw, Skrillex and RL Grime.

Speaking of that, why did you join Wynn Resorts for your 2015 residency?

Andersen: One of the main things is their hospitality is so next level. They treat you so well, and you’re excited every time to go play there. When you go somewhere to play once, it’s usually cool the first time. But if you’re there repetitively, it’s not as much fun each time. So it was really important, if we were going to be there more times than anywhere else in the year, that it was a place that treated us well and it was a place that we wanted to go back to every single month.

Land: Just to be associated with the acts at XS—we get to be right next to Skrillex on the website. For us—especially as an up-and-coming duo—that means more to us than anything.

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