Miami Trio Brass Knuckles Talks Electrik Circus, Nervous Records, and "Lie to You"
Meet Brass Knuckles, a three-man production team that moonlights as a live electronic band. Repping the 305 to the fullest, Danny D'Brito, Tony Livadas, and Anthony Pisano have played all the biggest venues while also producing their own reoccurring party, Electrik Circus, at Grand Central.
Over the last three years, the Brass Knuckles bros have increased their rep with underground remixes for Top 40 hits like CeeLo's "Fuck You" and Usher's "DJs Got Us Falling in Love." And their latest single, "Lie to You," on Nervous Records has gotten serious airplay.
Recently, Crossfade caught up with the Miami trio and here's what they got on deck.
Crossfade: Brass Knuckles ... How did you get that name?
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Straight No Chaser and Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox
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Danny D'Brito: In July of 2010, the group had a meeting at the studio. We decided to take a new approach in the production game. In order to get our work out there quicker, we decided to start making DJ-friendly remixes. The new plan sounded great, but we had no name. Anthony said, "We need a dope name." Then I [Danny] looked at him. He was wearing a t-shirt with a big set of brass knuckles on the front. I said, "How about Brass Knuckles?" It stuck from there. That meeting was the start of it all.
Explain a little bit about your history: How did you meet? How long have you been working together?
Tony Livadas: Danny and I [Tony] started our first band together in 1999. Over the years, we worked together in different musical projects and ended up starting a recording studio business after high school. Near the end of 2008, a good friend and client of ours, Emir Duru, introduced us to Anthony. At the time, Anthony was working at Circle House Studio and DJing all over South Florida.
He had heard one of our songs and wanted to work with us. Emir brought him to our studio and we all clicked immediately. Our first big project together was two-song placements on Jagged Edge's newest album "The Remedy," one of which featured Rick Ross. Though we currently release electronic music as Brass Knuckles, we also produce for industry artists as well. We've been working together for three years now.
Trio is always a good group size ... Give me three brief adjectives to describe each of the three members.
Has Miami influenced your music at all?
Miami is a mecca for house and electronic music. Miami clubs are world famous for the house and electronic music. That musical environment, along with everything else Miami has to offer, definitely influence the sound of our music.
What are your major musical influences?
As a group, we come from a very eclectic musical background. Our influences stem from Motown to Ministry of Sound, Quincy Jones, The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Beatles, Daft Punk, Calvin Harris, Radiohead.
Any upcoming projects/shows we should be aware of?
We will be in L.A. for a month working with top-line writers for our upcoming EP as well as producing for some big-name artists. We will be doing shows in L.A. as well as a European tour in the summer. Plenty of other dates in the works in Miami, NYC, Vegas, and a college tour.
Your underground hit single, "Lie to You," has gotten some club love. What was the biggest lie you ever told?
We don't tell lies. Would I lie to you?
Favorite Miami moment?
Electrik Circus Halloween 2011 at Grand Central with Congorock. We are currently planning another Electrik Circus for the near future.
What's Brass Knuckles' 2012 New Year's resolution?
Our New Year's resolution is to make as many people dance in the world as possible. We want to expose our music to the world. Music is an escape for so many. We want our music to be the escape.
You got a five-year plan?
World tours, major releases, collaborations, and features with major artists ... The whole nine yards that encompass success in the music industry. That starts by surrounding yourself with a good team. We are blessed to have a great and growing team.
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