EXCLUSIVE: Thugli on hometown festivals and MMVA nominations

(By: Angela McLean)

If you’re a fan of the Canadian dance music scene, Thugli is a name you need to know.

Back in the summer of 2012, friends Tom Wrecks and Pat Drastik officially joined forces to become musical partners and started releasing original bangers and club remixes via Soundcloud. Their producing talent caught the attention of industry heavyweights like Diplo and his Mad Decent label, who brought Thugli on to do an official remix of “Boy Oh Boy” with GTA. That remix has since amassed 1.5 million plays and given them a fanbase that has supported the pair through to the release of their latest single, “Sic Em,” which is up for an iHeartRadio MMVA this Sunday, June 19. This is just the beginning for Thugli as they are currently gearing up to release new music and share it with the world on tour.

RUtv News caught up with Pat before his set at Bestival Toronto (Tom was ill and unable to attend the fest) and chatted about hometown shows, being nominated for an MMVA alongside friends and his picks for the songs of the summer.

Pat Drastik at Bestival Toronto

You’re based out of Toronto, but have played all across the world. How does it feel to come back home and play to such a big crowd here at Bestival Toronto?

It’s awesome. It’s the best because all our friends are here and it’s just great being home. It’s not like I have to fly somewhere crazy and rush. I woke up, got a ride here and it’ll be fun.

For people who haven’t seen you live, what can they expect from a Thugli set?

We’re pretty energetic. We don’t dilly-dally; we play pretty quick and play pretty aggressive [music.] But we like to take you on a journey too so there are a lot of builds, a lot of drops…we keep it exciting.

How did you and Tom meet and how did Thugli come to be?

We both met when we were kids. I was about 15 and I think Tom was about 13. He grew up in Poland but when he moved to Canada he lived in the same neighbourhood as me and we met skateboarding. I had started DJing at the time and he got curious and we haven’t looked back!

Your latest single, “Sic Em,” is nominated for Best Dance Video at this year’s iHeartRadio MMVAs! What’s the story behind that song and video?

We actually made the song quite a while ago and we were kind of sitting on it. We met with our director that we did our last video with, Amos LeBlanc, and he came up with the concept and we were hip to it.

Sic Em

You’re nominated alongside fellow Canadians Grandtheft, Keys N Krates and ZEDS DEAD in that category. Is there any friendly competition going down there?

No, no, no! They’re all good friends, so no matter who wins, it’s cool. There’s no bad blood or anything. I’ve known Grandtheft and the majority of the Keys N Krates guys for the better part of like 15 years so it’s like whoever wins, it’ll be a party.

Your music has been noticed by the likes of Diplo, A-Trak and Flosstradamus. Which celebrity fan have you been most starstruck by?

Maxwell, the R&B guy, was posting our music on his fan page. That’s kind of trippy! Diplo was cool and he was pretty early on. We sent him music a while ago when we first started and he was into it, so that’s a pretty big one.

If you could collaborate with any producers out there right now, who would you choose and why?

Right now, producers aside, we’ve been wanting to work with more singers and songwriters and rappers. There are a few people in that realm that I’d like to work with, like Future. Producer wise, High Klassified from Montreal is a good homie of mine and I’m obsessed with his music so maybe something with him.


As a DJ who is always scoping out the latest and greatest music, what are some of your favourite songs of the summer?

Right now, I’m obsessed with the new Flume album, and especially the [track] with AlunaGeorge called “Innocence.” That’s my go-to right now. It’s not a big club record but it’s up-tempo and dark and weird. That whole album actually is amazing. “Say It” with Tove Lo is good too. That’s actually a great summer record! But really, anything off that album.

What’s next for you?

We’re working on an EP that’s kind of turning into an album right now. We’ve been working on it for a little over a year so our main focus is just getting that done and we’re getting there. It shouldn’t be too much longer. It’s different than our usual big festival turn-up [music.] There are a lot of actual songs – some that are mellow and some that are hype – and tons of different sounds on it so we’re really happy with that. Then, we have a few more shows, but the main focus is getting that done right now.

Thank you, Pat! Follow Thugli online @THUGLIMUSIC and www.thugli.com.

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