Timeflies – Interview

“The fact that the stuff we do behind closed doors reaches people and makes them feel something and changes their perspective, I think that’s the coolest thing….”

[By Monica Harris and Jaclyn Gonzales]

Timeflies when you’re having fun. And this group is all about having a good time. Timeflies, comprised of Cal (vocalist) and Rez (producer), have garnered much attention for their special blend of electro, dubstep, hip-hop and pop music. The duo first garnered attention with their “Timeflies Tuesdays” YouTube videos, in which they provided interpretations of a variety of pop hits including “Call Me Maybe” and “We Found Love.” Since hitting the road this September with their One Night tour, Timeflies has sold out venues across the country, including the Troubadour in Los Angeles on November 3. 

Jaclyn talks to Cal and Rez about motivation, freestyling, and being part of the “iPhone generation.”

You met in college. How were you capable of keeping up with your classes while also producing music?

Cal: We did not do it well. I can tell you that. Making music is what we wanted to do. A lot of things fell through the wayside which included a lot of classes.

Rez: We also weren’t the greatest. I mean, we’d turn in things late but they let it slide.

Was it stressful trying to manage it or just trying to get through it?

Cal: We should have been taking it more seriously in our early years of college, but we were at that point when senioritis sets in and we were ready to give up on a lot of these classes and just coast, so we really didn’t care.

Rez: Also I think, we really like taking our time and working slowly on our album and fresh material. And especially with Tuesdays, it shows us we both work well under pressure and it kind of feels like some of the pressure of college.

How did you first get involved, get started with music and produce your own stuff?

Cal: Rob (Rez) has been working with ProTools and had been recording in his basement since high school. I did a bit of singing but we were together in a 70’s funk band when we got through college and we decided to break off and do our own thing and started recording on the side. As we did, we learned from our mistakes and it started to make more sense, you know.

Rez: I mean everyone was telling us why don’t you guys keep doing it. They’d have [songs] on their iPods and they’d have no bridge or anything and they were like ‘why don’t you finish them’ and people liked them so why don’t we do a little more? So that’s kind of how we started to get more serious.

Some of your music is hip hop. Some is more pop-ish. What genre do you think you fit into?

Cal: We don’t mind not fitting, but we’re in pop stuff sometimes and sometimes it feels like hip hop. The thing that we love is that every time we take down a new track, we don’t know what it’s going to be. So you know, take the last couple times like on Tuesdays, that was an acoustic kind of chill song. We’re that band that does everything and has diverse interests, but want to give what we’re interested in.

How stressful is it to commit to a new video every Tuesday?

Cal: Oh man, it’s the most stressful thing there is.  (Rez laughs) It’s pretty intense I think that we did a good job at sort of training our fans more recently to be supportive and excited about upcoming things like streaming, putting out some of our original tracks or music videos. I think that’s been nice for our stress levels on Monday nights and Tuesday afternoons.

Are you perfectionists when it comes to your music?

Rez: I like to think we are. I mean, I think our own original stuff was 100 percent perfectionist and there’s really nothing that I look back on our original stuff and think I would have done this. I don’t think Cal would either.

Cal: I mean we’ve done like 75 songs for Tuesdays and 15 original tracks so I think that kind of determines how much time we spend on the original stuff because you know it’s hard to let stuff go, but when you have that Tuesday deadline it’s kind of good for us because we are perfectionists so it’s good to get it out.

Cal, your freestyle is almost like magic. What is the key to freestyling?

Cal: The key to freestyling is not thinking. It’s getting out of your head. It’s kind of — I don’t know — there’s so much to think about, that you just have to think about nothing. I don’t know how to explain it, I just completely lose myself in the beat… but the minute I start thinking, ‘oh, someone wants me to say this, or do this’ I start jumbling words or messing  something up, and then I guess, you know, it’s like anything that people do. You can think about writing all you want to, but if you overthink it, it’s not going to be as good. You just have to let yourself do it.

Who would you love to battle in a freestyle?

Rez: You’ve got some big names. That’s a great question.

Cal: I don’t know about battle, but just to see how Eminem does his thing. I mean he does so much freestyling that I’ve ever heard and not to mention the way he sings, I just love it.

Rez: Honestly, this probably sounds crazy but Rick Ross’ flow is absurd. And I would love hearing him thinking that out, because that guy writes the beat a different way than most people. So I’d love to hear it.

What motivates you?

Cal: For me, beyond the fact that it’s very gratifying to able to do something that I’m really passionate about, you know, make music, which I love doing. The fact that the stuff we do behind closed doors reaches people and makes them feel something and changes their perspective, I think that’s the coolest thing. The fact that we can hold up the microphone at shows and they’re singing words that we beat out against the wall and come up with. It’s a really cool experience.

Rez: I think what motivates me is the same is what Cal has just said. I think it’s really cool that now — not that I’m not a big fan [of electronic music] — we play guitar at our shows — but electronic music gives you the opportunity to really involve every single note and every sound that goes through a song. It’s really exciting for producers to, you know, get everything that you hear –observe it. It’s a really cool thing that music matters. It really gets me excited about one more track.

Cal: One of the other things that’s pretty motivating — I think it’s crazy how record label execs will look at us like we’re some sort of geniuses with our understanding of how to use YouTube and social media and I think it’s really funny because we’re just a product of our generation and every person who is at our show isn’t all that stumped; they think it’s so standard the way we do all that stuff. So it’s really cool how we’re so connected with our fan base. In our generation we all know how to do this and it’s mind boggling to everyone else.

Tell me about your App.

Rez: The App is something I did not build myself. We both had iPhones and really support the iPhone culture and I guess the iPhone culture is whatever that is. We both really wanted to have something that went a step further than just Facebook and Twitter. People can have on their phones where they can really connect and get all our stuff in one place. I think we built the App with that in mind. You know, a lot of other artists have Apps that are more flashy and look a little space-agey or whatever, and ours looks like what you’d expect something that our App to look like. It goes straight to the music, straight to the videos, straight to the screen for the shows. We’re both excited about making something like this, that could give our fans everything that they’d want.

Will you be back in LA anytime soon?

Cal: Oh, hell yeah.

Rez: We just did the Troubadour. We’re going to be in LA a bunch for sessions. There are a lot of great talented people to work with so we’re going to be out there a lot.

This fall, Timeflies will release their EP One Night. Look for it.

More on Timeflies: here.