September 16th will forever live in infamy in the world of electronic dance music, hip-hop, soul, electro-glitch, sample-flipping-neo-funk-step, and every other genre of music that makes your body move, for it was the release of Finding The Way, a 12 track stash of dopamine from the freshest pair of producers in Colorado, Krooked Drivers, Donnie Dalbora and Maddy O’Neal. Before I caught up with the dynamic duo from Denver, I literally had to pause the album to let my serotonin levels recover before I could interview them.
Huff: 12 tracks is such a gift these days, so bless you for dropping so many bombs for us. You two had such a huge year. Playing mad festivals for the first time. Opening for huge artists such as GRiZ, Manic Focus, The Floozies, Purity Ring, your Super Best Record’s founder Michal Menert, and many more. And if playing insane shows and doing a lot of summer festivals including Sonic Bloom, weren’t enough, you guys were mixing and creating FTW, which is truly the most groundbreaking work from you two yet! How long was this in the works?
Donnie: We really started crafting this about the time we released Right Beneath Your Feet. We honestly have been playing so much and created so much that it was just deciding on which songs worked, which ones outshined it’s peers and collectively placing that into one project.
Maddy: Dude we have a lot of songs that didn’t make this album that we play a lot, and feel are really good, but we just could not add them all!
Donnie: But we will be giving away two bonus songs if you go download the album on Bandcamp.
Huff: That’s awesome. From start to finish this is next level electro-soul and this is a priceless gem that will be hanging on the walls long after you two are gone. Was there an overall theme with Finding The Way, or a certain story you two were telling?
Donnie: Definitely, because from our earlier works such as Somewhere In Between, Right Beneath Your Feet, and now Finding The Way, we are basically painting a story for you, in little steps. And this is like the closing chapter until the next Krooked Drivers release. But the theme is just finding your way. We draw our influence from our friends, our label, our shows and fans, the festivals, the culture, and just every day life experiences, and the thing that remains is you have to keep plugging away. You have to devour it all while it’s there because time goes so fast. We are finally finding our way.
Huff: What hurdles did you guys encounter creating this new album?
Maddy: Well every artist has struggles. For us, we were on the road a lot. We were creating music in a van on the Retro Electro Tour. The true struggle is just trying to be better than yesterday as an artist. You know, I want this to be better than what I was showing you last year. Questioning, “Is this really some next level type shit? Did I do everything I could to go all out?” I think that is the biggest hurdle; it’s just reassuring this is going to be amazing.
Huff: I can tell you after listening, amazing is being modest.
Donnie and Maddy: Thanks Dude!
Donnie and Maddy are two of the most humble and genuine people you will ever meet in your life, and I believe it’s one of the reasons so many people relate and love their music, because the vibe glows and shows how genuine they are, and it radiates from their music to listener’s souls.
Huff: Many tracks on this new Album, from “Take Me Back,” to “Drift Away Days,”to “It’s Your Choice,” could have been singles, but you chose “Something in the Air,”whichI thought was daring, because it was so unique.
Donnie: That’s one of the reasons we chose it, we double-timed the beat and knew it was the boundary pusher on the album with not as much classic KD bass, and as much as we were nervous, we truly wanted to run with our guts and see how things would play.
Huff: 20,000 plays in 24 hours is not bad at all. And I would say the drum and bass flavor is something I never imagined from you two and just shows how diverse and dynamic you two are. The drums and transitions on this track are so concise, yet very ground breaking and unorthodox and just solidifies the KD genius and why you guys are the best at what you do. What are some key things you have taken away from this creation and the experiences in the last year?
Maddy: Basically, just realizing that we are where we are supposed to be and that’s the best thing ever. We have so much to learn with our production yet right now we have a great opportunity to actually sit back for a bit and really dig deeper in the craft to create. It’s about balance, almost like we do in our sets. We try not to give you too much of one thing, we want to build an overall experience, bring you up and then back down, and that’s kind of the perspective I get my inspiration from when I’m creating. It’s turning the negatives and positives of the road into something to share. I want as many people as I can to hear this!
Donnie: I agree, and now we have a good booking agent and a solid album out, so we can let the rain fall off our backs and look back at what we have accomplished. All the while, still grind more on the next chapter of Krooked Drivers. It’s all about timing, and you have to do what you can, but at the same time really appreciate all the friends we have created with our music and enjoy all the hard work we have put in. We are going to probably have a winter/spring tour for the album, while still playing some dope gigs in the meantime.
The Krooked Drivers get their first chance to show the new album off tonight, at Denver’s 1UP on Colfax. Super Best Record’s will be hosting the Krooked Drivers’ album release in raging fashion and you can guarantee KD shenanigans, mind-distorting bass lines infused with instrumental algorithm, and more soul stepping than a tap dancing bodhisattva. Go Download Finding The Way now.Party on, dudes.
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