Chicago, Throw Your Z-Hands Up for Zeds Dead!
The Deadbeats Duo visits Grassroots Chicago!
On Saturday, October 21st, just hours before Zeds Dead took the stage at Navy Pier for the React Present Deadbeats Tour, Zack (Hooks) and Dylan (DC) of Zeds Dead stopped over at Grassroots Chicago to host the Deadbeats Chicago Pop Up. There, they released their newest line of Deadbeats merch. While fans had been coming in all week to purchase exclusively-priced tickets to the show, even more lined up to meet the Deadbeats duo, purchase original Hooks art pieces in Grassroots Chicago's Movement Gallery, and get a picture or autograph from the successful DJs and producers.
Fans were stoked to check out the highly anticipated drop of new merch from Deadbeats. The new line included: long sleeve tee shirts, tie dye apparel, hoodies, dad hats, pins, and more! They sold out of a few designs during the pop-up but the rest can be purchased on the remainder tour stops or on their merch site!
We were so excited to premiere Hooks’ own artwork here in our store’s Movement Gallery! This was the first gallery event Zack had ever prepared; a collection of spray paint and acrylic canvases, all very colorful and graphic. Fans were super stoked to grab a Hooks’ original and nearly all the pieces sold out by event close at 5pm. While Hooks was here, he was able to paint a mural for Grassroots Chicago located on a wall on W Ohio Street, just a block north from the store’s location. The mural features an iconic “Dead Beats” phrase and is a stunning piece of Chicago street art!
Our Interview with DC
We had the chance to ask Dylan “DC” from Zeds Dead some questions. Read our exclusive interview with the Deadbeat DJ/producer below!
“A lot of things, for one it feels like a hub for not only the people in the city, but music lovers from all around the midwest and east coast to come see great music. We have a huge fan base their that is super strong and supportive and it makes us feel very welcome every time we return. It’s kinda crazy to say though, even though we have been to Chicago so many times and have amazing memories from the city, I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of what it has to offer I wanna explore more of the neighbourhoods away from downtown and Michigan Ave. Besides that, Chicago is home to some amazing grub, I’ve hardly had a bad meal their. Its also home to one of my favourite steak houses in the country (shoutout Chicago cut).”
“Mostly eating, like I said I’ll usually try to either get a steak or hot dog at the very least. We've done a bunch of the touristy stuff like gone up and down Michigan Ave. and seen the Bean. But ya, I wanna see more.”
“Chicago Cut! Some of the best steaks around, plus awesome old steakhouse vibe and cool staff.”
“I met Zack through my good friend Cody, who is actually Zack's cousin and came to be the booking agent for Zeds Dead and still is to this day. We all had a love for music, specifically Hip Hop and classic rock growing up. Shortly after we became interested in making beats around the same time and really connected over that. We ended up forming a hip hop production duo called Mass Productions and later realized an instrumental album called "Fresh Beats" . As our music tastes kept expanding and we started delving into electronic music we decided we wanted to start a new project which would encompass a wider array of sounds and styles, thus Zeds Dead was born.”
“DC is actually an acronym for Dusty Crates. Which is a nod to digging through old vinyls to find samples for making beats with."
“It’s hard to boil it down too specifically but in the beginning we really tried to tap into as many online avenues as we could to get our music out there. Hooking up with different youtube channels and blogs. Also a lot of our early work was bootleg remixes which I think helped to get people to pay attention to us because they would be familiar with some of the songs already and then clearly be able to hear our take on them and what styles we were bringing to the table. Overall though, something that has really payed off for us in our career, as cliche as it might sound, is always making sure the music we create comes from a place of passion and inspiration. And by that I mean never trying to chase trends and staying true to what we love as artists, if you do what you love regardless of what’s popular, and people are listening to it, I think that always shines through and can separate you from whatever the flavour of the month might be. I’m not saying that tapping into whatever is popular is wrong in anyway, we draw inspiration from everything including very popular music, I just think that people who are a fans of an artist stay with them because they wanna hear whatever unique or interesting sounds they are bringing to the table.”
“We had the idea to start a record label for a long time. probably almost since we started Zeds Dead. We were just trying to find the right time and wanted to make sure we were ready to devote the energy into making it something exciting and unique. As we got closer to finishing our album Northern Lights, we were trying to decide where to release it or how to put it out and it just began to make so much sense that this was the perfect way to kick off Deadbeats. The tour for us is a natural expansion of the Deadbeats world and something we decided we would be doing from fairly early on. It’s a way for us to provide another platform for the artists we are releasing and supporting on Deadbeats by exposing them to our fanbase and allowing them a place for their fans to come see them as well. Furthermore we have been fortunate enough to involve artists that may not even be releasing stuff with us but that we just love musically and feel can fit into our shows to create an overall awesome experience that speaks to the Deadbeats vibe.”
“We do it all year around but winter time is even more appropriate for some pre show hot coffee or tea. It soothes the soul plus gives you some much needed energy at times.”
Thank You, Deadbeats Team!
It was definitely an exciting day for Grassroots Chicago as well as Zeds Dead. We were happy to work together for the Pop Up event and were stoked to see their tour locally as well. We want give the whole Deadbeats team a huge shout out, and especially thank Zack, Dylan, and the Chicago Deadbeats team for putting on a great event in-store and a great show over at Navy Pier! Congrats to Deadbeats for all of their success and we wish them the best of luck moving forward! We’ve got our Z-Hands up just for you!