Table Talk w/Two Friends

With their mix of bright, shiny beats, bold guitar play and top-notch guest vocalists, Eli Sones’ and Matthew Helper–better known as red-hot pulsating pair, Two Friends–have had no problem garnering a steady following since they came together as an official music act over five years ago. 

And if you’re wondering if these fine tuned gentlemen are indeed, two friends…you are correct, and in fact, it’s that certain dynamic that makes it all, well, werk. Producing beats (and so much more) together at the end of high school, Halper brought his knowledge in guitar, choir, and music theory to the table, while Mr. Sones‘ served forth his expertise in hip-hop DJ’ing.

Their first official Two Friends labeled EP, You (Me), danced its way to us  in 2013, and from there, the guys have blessed dance floors across the globe with hits, “Pacific Coast Highway,” “Overdose,” “Just a Kid,” and the summer anthem you-need-to-hear right now, the umbrella-laced cocktail worthy, “Bandaid.”

Of course, with easy movin’ melodies such as these, you just have to take the show on the road, which is what Eli and Matt have done all summer long with stops in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Borgata’s Premier Night Club, where you might have caught them just last weekend. 

But good news for all of us, is that the guys are showing no signs of slowing down, and they will keep it all going through September with takeovers in Boston, Washington D.C. and Chicago’s North Coast Music Fest, which they will dominate next Friday just in time for Labor Day Weekend. 

Before they get down with all of that beat business, the boys stopped by the Philly Mixtape tea-table, where they broke mugs about their favorite records, life on the road, and Matt’s cooking skills?? Yes.

Read on and take a seat at the table with Two Friends

First up on the table, how’s the tour been treating you guys this summer? 
It’s been so insanely fun and unforgettable! Nothing better than going to new places or coming back to cities that have always shown us love, and getting to play the music that we’ve been working so hard on, and meeting everyone afterwards. We can’t wait for all these cities we’re coming to for the rest of summer and fall- so many fun surprises in store! 

Break a mug or two over the tale of how Two Friends came to be…
We’ve been best friends since 2005- we went to middle school and high school together in Los Angeles. It wasn’t until 2011 though, during our senior year of high school, when we had the idea that we should start making music together. We were kind of just looking for a fun activity that we could do together since we already had gotten accepted into our colleges and knew that we weren’t going to continue sports at the collegiate level- and since we both had somewhat of a background and a huge interest in music, it seemed like the obvious choice. We literally started Googling “how to produce music” and “what music production software should we buy” and Two Friends officially begun.

Your latest fire, “Bandaid,” is a true summer romp. Tell everyone a little bit about the recording process. I have a wild guess that it might have been a lot of fun…. When we sat down to write Bandaid with Shaylen (the singer), the idea kind of came for a song about when you get together with someone just so you can get over the last person you were with- and you know it’s not gonna last, it’s just sort of band-aid to help you heal. From there, it all came together pretty naturally. We wrote it and recorded with her that day, then got to work on the production, did some fun vocal chops for the drop which we actually posted a little tutorial about recently, got our dude JJ to record some trumpet for later in the song, and overall we’re super proud and happy to share Bandaid with everyone. So yes, you are 100% correct that it was a lot of fun! 

Both of you shout out a couple of albums you simply can’t live without…..
E:Take Off Your Pants And Jacket by Blink-182, and College Dropout by Kanye M:Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi, and Dizzy Up The Girl by Goo Goo Dolls.

You guys have been touring for quite some time now. So, what’s your favorite place you’ve ever been to and why? Which city maybe you surprised you the most? That is a tough one! As we mentioned, we grew up in LA–and we still live here now–so it’s always special doing a hometown show- nothing better than being able to have all our friends and family join us and get to see us do what we love. And the East Coast definitely always shows us major love too- we’ve had a blast every time we come to Philly, NYC and New Jersey. We try to never take for granted the fact that we get to visit so many awesome cities all over the country and the world, and do this as our “job.”

So, I hear Matt loves to dabble in the kitchen and even served up a segment called ‘Cooking with Matt.’ You must dish on what that was all about… Matt loves teaching people how to cook. Except a lot of times we’re at hotels and there’s nothing to cook, so you gotta teach the people something else…. So make sure to check out that video series if you need to learn how to take a nap, or how to brush your teeth, or how to take an Emergen-C vitamin. Go right here to watch

How about…..some words of wisdom you guys would give to anyone who decided right this very second to dive into this crazy music and entertainment business… 
Best advice is probably cliché, but we don’t care, it’s to make sure it’s fun. If music/producing/DJing/anything feels like a chore, it’s not a good sign, and there’s something that needs to be fixed if it’s gonna last. Have fun with it, and then put in the hours. And those come hand-in-hand because if you are having such a good time with it (and for us it helps that we also have our best friend to do it with), you’ll only be wishing there were MORE hours in the day you could devote to it.

One last spill……describe your impending takeover of the rest of the summer and the upcoming fall season…. Impending. 

For much more with Two Friends and to get your hands on those tickets, check this and this out. 

Cover photo courtesy of iHeartRadio 

For much more with Philly Mixtape, take a gander right here. 




Music Tea w/ Jade Starling

So, has anyone seen that temperature forecast for this weekend? Of course, we all have. However resident Philly diva Jade Starling of Pretty Poison (“Catch Me(I’m Falling),” you know it, you love it.) music fame is hoping you’ll forget all about the never-ending falling temps when she warms you up with her powerful stage presence and iconic demeanor at the iHeart ’80s party that is set to take over Harrah’s Philly tomorrow night. 

Also starring Ms. Debbie Gibson and Mr. Rob “It Takes Two” Base, whether you’re coupled up or debating whether you should sit home alone in the dark, this is a show that will make you feel all of the music love this Valentine’s Day weekend. Even better than that is that tomorrow night is Ms. Starling’s long time Pretty Poison music bestie’s Whey Cooler’s birthday, which is even more of a reason why you should brave the tundra and step on out to celebrate that one-of-a-kind ’80s style and sound. 

Before Jade takes over Harrah’s Philly tomorrow night (get your tickets right here…hurry!), take a seat at her esteemed music tea table as she spills on all of the I Heart ’80s party happenings, her personal journey through this music life, and of course, we just had to break some music tea mugs about the one-and only, Beyoncé. 

Hey, Jade! Thanks so much for taking the time to spill with us. Kicking things off, how is your 2016 going so far? So far, so good! I’ve been in the studio recording my new single, also getting some remixes done by some top remixers. I’m very excited! 

How are you preparing for the big show tomorrow night? I’ve been rehearsing every night with my dancers, and of course, Whey Cooler. We’re preparing a really special show for this weekend. It’s truly an audio-visual experience. We’re going to be performing the hits off my Captive album, starting with “Better and Better,” and then we’re going to do a freestyle medley into all of my club songs. We’re also going to be adding a song that people have been putting in mad requests for, “When I Look Into Your Eyes.” Really, were just looking to warm everyone up and to have a great time!

I just have to know, what is Ms. Debbie Gibson like? She’s great! I actually toured with her back-in-the-day when we were teen queens. 

You know, she was my first convert ever! I was seven years old, a true in-the-closet the queen. Oh, that’s so funny. You were a queen in the making! Yeah, I’ve known [Debbie] for a long time. I also did a lot of shows with her and Tiffany back-in-the-day. When I see her, it’s just like seeing family.

Would you say that whole family aspect is why tomorrow night’s show will be so much fun?  I think that the goal with everyone that’s performing that night is to entertain the audience and make sure everyone has a good time. And, you know, it’s great to reflect on the past and the songs the bright us so much joy, but to also open up some new music, too. It’s interesting to me how the ’80s have maintained their popularity. We’re all very lucky to have that music that still resonates with so many people.

It’s all just one big crazy journey, isn’t it? It really is, but the journey is what makes it exciting. Because obviously you know where you’ve been, but the future is still wide open. For me, everyday I get to do what I do, I still feel have that passion in the music and when I’m creating new music as well. I still can’t believe the fans that have followed us for all of these years. It’s really an emotional journey and it touches my heart. 

I almost forgot to ask, how is Mr. Rob Base doing these days? He’s a very approachable cool dude! When you meet him, you almost forget that he’s really this legendary DJ rapper. His song, “It Takes Two,” it’s just so iconic! 

Okay, let’s talk about the now infamous Super Bowl 50 halftime show to close things out. What did you think of Lady Gaga’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner?” Totally flawless! I thought it was fabulously done. She’s really like other worldly when it comes to her singing sometimes.

Then of course, there’s Beyoncé...You know, I don’t really think she meant it to some kind of racial thing. It’s entertainment, but whatever your take is on it and how you interpret it is up to you. You can’t deny, the girl is talented. I thought her performance was as much entertaining as it was exciting. She’s Beyoncé, she can do whatever she wants. At the end of the day, it was her interpretation. I think she’s a fierce bitch, I have nothing bad to say! 

For all of Ms. Jade Starling’s music truth, check out her official website right here. See you tomorrow night! 








Music Tea w/ The So So Glos

After their explosive set at Union Transfer this past weekend (if you’ve ever seen them live you’d understand the energy they’ve got, packed with a punch), Philly Mixtape drank some music tea with The So So Glos, which or may not have been spiked.

Break a tea mug with So So Glos brothers Alex (singer/bassist) and Ryan (guitarist / singer), as they spill about the records that made them who they are today, and just what their new record, Kamikaze, will be all about. 

PM- How is Kamikaze going to be different from your previous record, Blowout? 

Alex- It’s going to pick up where Blowout left off. I like records where you could listen to one and you can put on the next and it sounds like a continuation. Kamikaze is like the next saga. Darker, Angrier, Sparser. It’s more direct. The highs are higher, the lows are lower. The loud is louder.

Ryan- We didn’t plan it out that way. It was a just a natural progression.


PM – You guys had a chance to play Letterman before he signed off the late show circuit. What was that like?

Alex –I don’t really remember being up there. It was like a really quick flash. Letterman was cool because of that space. The Ed Sullivan Theater. The Beatles played there you know?

PM – Do you guys maybe see any other televised performances in the music future? 

Ryan – We don’t really think about it. Those are all just an added bonus.

PM – You guys also write a lot about this so-called current generation “z” and how they’re lost in technology. 

Alex – Oh is that what they’re calling it now? I think we’re like the last generation to grow up with a concept of tangibility. We remember a time before the Internet. Sometimes I feel super hopeful. There’s just so much more information that kids have their hands on. Without the experience though, you lose these very important skills like looking people in the eye. You go to the doctor and he won’t even look you in the eye. Sometimes I feel hopeless. The only thing we can do is talk about it. I think people need to be reminded of humanity all the time. We’re losing it in a way.

PM – Which albums influenced you as young music kids? Any favorites in the crate right now? 

Alex – The first Specials record was one of the most influential records for me. I loved it. “Do The Dog” “Concrete Jungle” “Stupid Marriage.” It was miles and miles ahead of everything that was happening. It’s a hodgepodge of styles.

Ryan – When we were kids our parents played us a lot of 70s punk stuff / new wave stuff. I was into that early on and then “Dookie” came out.

Alex – Operation Ivy “Energy.” That was a huge influence for “Blowout”s album art. Wu Tang “36 Chambers” is one of the best records of all time. Beastie Boys “Licensed To Ill.” Why don’t we throw Clash in there too. “London Calling.” It’s one of those records you can always go back to. You are never done with it. The first Violent Femmes record.

Ryan – Cyndi Lauper “She’s So Unusual” that’s definitely one of our favorite records. The Kinks “Arthur.” We grew up on a lot of Kinks.

PM – What does the word “punk” mean to you? 

Ryan – It doesn’t matter.

Alex – It really doesn’t matter. You’ll know it when you see it. It’s a conversation that’s constantly happening in the Universe. And it doesn’t mean a leather jacket. It’s more about fighting through your inner demons; standing up and facing the day; to inspire someone to do the same thing.


PM – What’s been one of your favorite cities to play in?

Ryan – On this tour, Cleveland was cool. It’s a rock n roll town. Boston was really fun. Some cities are exciting to get to. Detroit. New Orleans…but not so much for the show. I like playing Shea stadium.

PM – Do you consider yourself in the punk scene?

Alex – No.

Ryan – There’s more bands that call themselves punk bands now than when we started. Punk is in now. It wasn’t when we started.

Alex – Labels and genres are less important than they’ve ever been. We’ve never been accepted into any scene. We’re outsider artists in a way. There’s no band around that sounds quite like us. We like hip hop. When we started artsy kids were laughing at us. Hardcore kids said we were too pop. We just started our own culture. You gotta build your own army. We’ve never been scene-sters.

For more on The So So Glos, check your music life and click here.