Trillectro is known for keeping it (t)real, and with Ghost Beach on the lineup this year they’re proving it now more than ever. Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn of the tropical grit pop duo chatted with us from Los Angeles for a quick preview on their upcoming live set, their irresistible sound, and what they bring to every festival.
BYT: How did you guys hammer out this unique sound?
Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn: It wasn’t a really conscious decision. Me and Josh [Ocean, other half of Ghost Beach] just combined our influences, and it worked out that way. We’re really big on Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel. The accidental beach-y island vibe I think comes from our love for The Police. We drew a lot from reggae, because we’re both big into Bob Marley, too. I think it happened by accident,
BYT: Yeah, Tim Osbourne at Obscure Sound described you guys as “seductively good,” and it’s exactly how your sound feels.
EM: The rhythmic thing we do probably hits on some subconscious instinct to dance.
BYT: It’s like your unconscious decision on your sound, the crowd just feels irresistibly drawn to the synths.
EM: Yeah, definitely.
BYT: You guys played a show at my college with Walk the Moon, too. How do you guys transition from basement shows in New York to larger festivals?
EM: It’s been a great experience to play in front of larger crowds, and see our sound translate on a larger scale. Also, it’s cool because you play these late night night shows in New York that are 21+, and we don’t get to play for younger crowds a lot. It’s great to see younger crowds, 18 to 21 years old and teenagers, and see them really respond to it because we haven’t had that outlet as much.
BYT: And you guys have been experimenting with DJing along with your live sets. How are you splitting the time between both?
EM: We’ve bee working a lot on the DJ experience, with time spent 50/50 on both set styles. So much of our live performance anyway is based on Ableton Live. We write, record, and play live by using our computer, playing samples, and manipulating that whole electronic aspect. It’s pretty natural for us to move into that sort of DJ realm, cutting up songs that we like with different beats and having fun with it.
BYT: After Trillectro, you’re also playing Virgin FreeFest, too. How does it feel to be part of a big benefit show?
EM: We’re excited for the lineup, and really excited to keep doing these really big festivals.
BYT: How do you guys like playing in the District?
EM: DC’s like a great second hometown for us, so we’re really excited to come back. It feels like New York to us, because we were able to get our feet on the ground throughout our progression of playing live.
BYT: Do you have any essentials to bring for the larger shows?
EM: Besides the gear? [Laughs] We have a buddy who makes these figurines out of resins, stones, and crystals. He makes robots, there’s an elephant, all sorts of different stuff. We bring them on stage, and most of the time, if you look, we’ll have them hanging. I’ll have one hanging from my keyboard, and Josh will have one hanging from his keyboard. It’s our sort of good luck charm that we bring around. Keep an eye out for these clear robot looking dudes, they’re pretty cool.