Onstage, U.K. twins Marc and Allister Blackham are known as the EC Twins. Until recently, their main mission was to bring the craziest parties to the craziest club kids. Then they decided to lock themselves away in the studio to focus on writing a hit song. Now they’re doing double-time as producers and DJs. These days, the duo only comes out of the “stu” to set soundtracks for such events as Foxtail Pool Club’s Memorial Day party on May 25. We recently caught up with Allister to discuss the Twins’ rise in popularity and the crazy adventures along the journey.
Why do you keep coming back to Las Vegas?
Las Vegas has a special place in our hearts. When we first came to America, the first city we cracked was Los Angeles, and then we decided to go to Vegas. Everybody told us that we couldn’t play Vegas. [They said that] if you did a good show one week and then came back the following week, the crowd would be completely different, because it’s all tourists, its transient. So you couldn’t get a regular crowd. However, me and my brother, we saw it quite differently.
We saw that if you went there and did a big show, the people would go back to Texas, New York, Detroit, Germany, England, wherever, and they’ll spread the word about how much fun they had listening to house music and electronic music in Vegas. And we could make Vegas a hub in America for house music; that was our plan.
It’s a different crowd every time you go there. The challenge of playing Vegas is what we love. And also the all-you-can-eat buffets.
So while you’re here, we can find you in the club … or at the buffet?
Those are two of our passions: Food and house music. We’re rather boring individuals unless we’ve got a set of headphones on. That’s when we come alive.
Was there a pivotal moment that drew you to this career?
When we were kids, we had a friend who went to DJ in New York. In our heads, that was the ultimate thing. It didn’t matter where the club was or if it was busy at the time; we just knew that our friend was going to DJ in New York and that he made it. It was a big deal. I remember having a show at the pier. It wasn’t a club night, it was our show. Sold out. Four thousand people. Moments like that bring out emotion. We’re not particularly emotional characters, but that meant a lot to us, to know that people have seen us as this West Coast act and we just sold out a 4,000-person show in New York.
What’s going on with your music production?
We’re so fuckin’ busy. We’ve been in the studio all of our life, but recently, our management put us in the studio and said, “Go in there and write a fuckin’ hit.” So we wrote a few songs.
We’ve always been producers, and people don’t know that. We were producers way before we were DJs. We knew how to produce music before we knew how to mix two records together.
What’s the new music like?
We wrote a lot of songs. We wrote them as acoustic, piano-based songs or acoustic guitar-based songs. We wrote one with Havana Brown. She’s got a great voice. We wrote the song [first], and she heard it somehow, and said she’d love to be the vocalist on it. We also have one [in the works] with Taio Cruz. We’re gonna work with him on songwriting as well.
All of your new music is acoustic-based like that?
My brother and I went in there and did some passion projects. We’ve produced some disco bass, like French house [tracks]. We’ve always loved that stuff. So we’ve gone in [the studio] with two objectives: to show people that we can write a fuckin’ song—sometimes we just do bangers because we love bangers—and to make music that my brother and I also love, but doesn’t necessarily sound like anything else. It’s always difficult, because you have to fit that pocket where the music is playable within a club, but it’s also different enough to have its own vibe.
So you’re going to release a string of singles rather than one EP?
Yeah, we’re planning on doing a series of singles with different labels. The songs are very different. There’s the Havana Brown one that is very commercial-driven, and then the other stuff is funky disco.
Why is this new tour called your No Apologies Tour?
A critic once wrote that we’re “just crowd pleasers,” like it was an insult. What the fuck is my job if it’s not to please the crowd? I thought it was funny that he used the phrase “crowd pleasers” as a potential pitfall. And I said, “What does he want us to do, apologize for that? Apologize for entertaining the crowd?” We try really hard and we really care that people are enjoying themselves at our shows. I said, “I’m not apologizing. You know what? Let’s name the next tour the No Apologies Tour.”
Do you enjoy the traveling and time commitment of a tour?
We grew up really poor, without a lot of things. The whole concept of getting on a flight, staying in a hotel, getting to do a job that we love—sometimes I’m really tired and I think, “What am I complaining about?! There are so many kids who are at home right now, dreaming about the lifestyle that we have.” I love being on tour.
Now that people recognize you, what has been your craziest fan moment?
Recently, I guess people found out the address [to my house], and I’ve had people sitting in my house when I got home. One time I got home, and there was a pot of soup on the stove with a letter: “I love you, and I’ve made you some soup.”
Did you eat it?
I wanted to eat the soup, but I didn’t. I’ve watched so many [episodes of] Forensic Files at this stage that I’m paranoid.
And this happens a lot?
I’ve had five—I wouldn’t say break-ins, as I’ve left my door open, I didn’t lock it. One time I was in the shower, and I had someone outside my room. I thought it was my brother, but it was a girl lying on the bed naked. I was on the way to shoot a music video, so I didn’t have time to … explore my options. She was quite attractive, but I wasn’t in that frame of mind. It’s like if you got out of the shower and you found a naked guy on your bed, and you’re like, “OK?”
I would immediately call the cops.
At the risk of sounding emasculated, I did get a bit scared.