ZEDS DEAD with UZ and EXETER at Kool Haus (132 Queens Quay East), Saturday (December 22), doors 10 pm. $20. RT, SS, TW. See listing.
Zeds Dead are from Toronto, but if there's one thing they haven't seen a lot of in 2012, it's home.
"I haven't really sat down and thought about it, but we've been gone for at least half the year," says Hooks, aka Zach Rapp-Rovan, on the phone from London, England, where the electro/dubstep producers are wrapping up a European tour.
"I really shouldn't be paying rent," chimes in DC, aka Dylan Mamid.
Since performing at Coachella in April, the duo has sold out concerts across Europe and North America. The hometown Kool Haus show, then, is a "fitting exclamation mark" to a meteoric year.
While some people have dismissed their music as "brostep," there's more to Zeds Dead than meets the eye. Named after a line from Quentin Tarantino's 1994 film Pulp Fiction, they're as likely to remix Bon Iver as they are to make a song with Jamaican dancehall singer Mavado.
That shape-shifting approach is what caught the attention of producer Diplo, who called Zeds Dead "one of the craziest, wildest DJ collectives out of Canada." He released several of their singles this year through his Mad Decent label, and this summer, Mamid and Rapp-Rovan headlined Mad Decent block parties in Los Angeles and Yonge-Dundas Square.
"They're a cool label," says Rapp-Rovan. "It's anything goes with them."
About the duo's sound, Mamid says, "When we get into the studio, we have diverse palettes and a lot of different influences. It's always evolving and changing."
Currently on their playlists? Kendrick Lamar's g.o.o.d kid, m.A.A.d city, New York City rappers Action Bronson and Sean Price, plus some drum and bass.
And they aren't planning on slowing down any time soon. A few days after their Kool Haus show, they begin a series of dates across the U.S.
"It's very tiring," says Rapp-Rovan. "I really can't complain, though. I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing."