Name: Team Demo
Who: Zachariah Wise, Experience, J Cosell, DJ Dialtone
Interview by Jerry L. Barrow
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Expernz of Team Demolition at Sha Money XL’s One Stop Shop Producer’s Conference in Arizona. Since then he’s been keeping me in the loop on his movements and unless you’ve been living under Lil Mama’s armpit you’ve heard 50 Cent’s new single, “Crime Wave” produced by non other than Team Demolition. So I hit up 1/4 of the Virginia based production team to find out how their brand of hustle-nomics paid off.
50 Cent’s “Crime Wave”
Nodfactor.com. First off, congratulations on the “Crime Wave” placement. How did you get the first single on 50 Cent’s new album, Before I Self Destruct?
Expernz: We developed a good relationship with Riggs over at Shady a while back through our folks Illa Ghee who passed him some music of ours. Me and my crew try and hit NY every month or so shopping beats and eventually he put us in contact with the homie Dre over at G Unit who we got cool with as well and started hittin him with beats in addition to our other stops in NY.
Nodfactor.com:Ok, I thought maybe it was a One Stop Shop Connect with Sha.
Expernz: well long story short…I got the call from Dre last x-mas that 50 picked a beat of ours…and I spoke with Sha Money right after who we got cool with as well via Riggs and attending all the One Stop Shop Conferences in Phx. I initially thought it was Sha too…but the track 50 picked was from a joint off a CD I dropped to them in ’06…so it was definitely between Dre and Sha that made it happen.
Nodfactor.com:Wow, this beat is three years old?
Expernz:YES…that’s what killed me when I heard what he picked…cuz you know us as producers…we have to keep creating…so the catalog of music is enormous…the beat was MADE in 05…and we started shoppin it in 06! Shady and G Unit always got first dibs
Nodfactor.com:So tell me who is in Team Demo and how you got together to make music.
Expernz: Team Demo is Zachariah Wise, J Cosell, DJ Dialtone and me Jady Experience with extended fam everywhere…but us 4 are the core members…us 4 go back together from highschool and even before that…we actually started as a group Team Demolition that dropped our first single in 98….we dropped our first album in 2001 and the follow up in 2004. We were always self produced and cats always used to give us props on our tracks…so after the last album we focused solely on production and went hard with it…working with different artist and shopping tracks for placements
Nodfactor.com: So you were a group first. I’m finding that a lot of producers I’m interviewing lately started out rapping. What made you focus on the music?
Expernz:well we always made beats AND rapped….J, Wise and Tone started making music together since 88…I came later on….we came up learning all facets of the music….so it was hand in hand with us….as a group we got love locally and were always respected…it’s just always been hard for artists to break out of our area…we’re just now kinda gettin that look….and to be honest…artists careers are short lived these days….there’s always going to be longevity in production.
Nodfactor.com: Well said. You are all from VA, right? I just interviewed Oddisee yesterday. Tell me about the DMV hip-hop scene from your perspective.
Expernz:Well right now the scene is thriving here….it feels good….we work out of our spot Depth Charge Studios here in VA a stones throw away from DC and MD….alot of the artists that are up and coming are flowing thru here regularly and we are doing tracks for a lot of them….the DC Hip-Hop scene has gone thru like 3 or 4 surges thru the years where we felt that we were about to get major exposure….but this is the first time we really feel like its happening…with Wale signed to a major, Tabi and Kingpenslim’s exposure…and producers like us, Oddisee, BKS etc DC has been a city rich with creativity and music for decades…going back to Jazz and of course the Go-Go sound….we were just always a city that never got that “Hip-Hop Credibility” I always feel existed here…..we’ve seen it happen everywhere else…NY, Cali, Houston, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta…the DMV should be no different
Nodfactor.com: So what are you weapons of choice in the studio?
Expernz:Well my whole crew came up on the Ensoniq ASR-10…so they are still a major part of the arsenal….but we’ve definetely have grown with the technology and we now incorporate all the tracks into Digital Perfomer….where we use plenty of plugin instruments as well as outboard gear like Korgs and Rolands. We own our studio so we have tons of stuff we use thats at our disposal from live instruments to old moog synths.
Nodfactor.com:I can tell in the sound. But I still noticed a good old vocal sample in the 50 single.
Expernz: The vocal was a part of the actual record…but it was short…so we actually had to cut a piece of it…stretch and loop it so it would fit in and sound right with the rest of the chop.
Nodfactor.com: I love the mix. You work the sample in but it doesn’t sound old school at all with those drums. Who does your engineering?
Expernz: Well all of our engineering is handled by Zachariah Wise…he is the engineering guru and runs the studio daily…the actual final mastering was handled in NY.
Nodfactor.com: Cool. Do you have any other tracks on Before I Self Destruct?
Expernz: This is the only joint that we got on there….that I know of anyway…haha
Nodfactor.com: Hey one is all it takes sometimes. What other projects are you working on now?
Expernz: Well we got more joints in the works with Kingpen Slim dope DC artist…got a couple joints with Wale, Tabi Bonney and XO another up and coming DC guy….Illa Ghee, Tom Gist, Sha Stimuli, Kurious, Big Lou and some joints in the works with Sean Price.
Nodfactor.com Nice line up. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in the studio and how did you fix it?
Expernz: our biggest mistake is that we work with too many artists that like to go to jail before we can release there music….hahah…just kidding…but not really…I guess the biggest mistake we’ve made was one time…we worked like a 12 hour session with Illa…and the last song of the day while playing it back…the computer crashed…and Wise for whatever reason forgot to save it…so he managed to recover all the audio files and had to piece everything back together…took forever.
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