Behind The Beat | Grand and Warren Interview
Grand and Warren is a progressive house duo named James Alexander and Gary Rabbitt, and are one of the most talked about and sought out duos from NJ. Grand and Warren recently opened for Walden at Pacha NYC. Their 2012 remix of “Glad You Came”, by The Wanted, was played on The Remix Top 30 Countdown, which can be heard on radio stations across the United States including 103.5 KTU, NYC. I had the privilege of catching up with James and Gary as they were preparing for their closing performance after the legendary TJR at Bliss Lounge in Clifton, NJ on January 25th.
OTB: When did the 2 of you decide to come together and create the energetic house duo that is Grand and Warren?
Gary: About a year ago, James and I were still splitting sets at some local places and one day we decided, “What if we just did this together?” It just made sense.
James: So from there we came up with the name Grand and Warren, which are the 2 streets that our high school (St Peter’s Prep) sits on. It is common still to this day to receive letters from Prep stating “Greetings from Grand and Warren.” Even though we have opposite personalities, Grand and Warren is the one thing we can both relate to.
OTB: Who are some artists that have influenced your sound, or who have motivated you over your career?
James: There are many artists that influence our sound. Some of today’s artists would include Laidback Luke, Kaskade, Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano, and Alex Kenji, just to name a few.
Gary: But we are also influenced by music from years ago as well. We grew up listening to classic rock from our parents and of course, hip-hop with our boys. James still has some Jay-Z and Fabolous in his car.
OTB: What music festival would you ultimately like to headline at?
James: We were just saying how we would love to have the opportunity to play for our home crowd on a larger scale. So I’m going to have to say EDC NYC.
Gary: Literally we pass Metlife Stadium at least 6 times a day. As much as we would love to play Tomorrowland and Ultra, I think EDC would do it for us.
James: It’s more meaningful to us, you know, to all of our friends and fans as well as our family of course. I think it would be a real honor and a nice way for everyone that has worked so hard to support us, be satisfied by seeing us on the big stage, right in our backyard, literally.
OTB: If you guys could work with any artist, who would it be?
James: Without choosing one over the other, it would be an honor to work with any artist in this industry. There is so much talent in the scene right now and being able to work with others is essentially what Grand and Warren is all about.
Gary: Like James said, Grand and Warren is about working with others and creating an environment that utilizes all different types of talent. We aren’t just two producers; we are a huge team made up of people that do so much work to get us to where we are. As far as picking someone to work with in the future, I’d say anyone who is willing to push themselves to the best of their ability.
OTB: If you had to pick one genre of electronic dance music to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?
James and Gary: Hands down, Progressive.
James: Being fans of all types of electronic music makes it difficult to pick a specific genre because we tend to use different types of electronic dance music and tie it all together. If I had to choose, it’d be progressive.
OTB: Since the electronic dance music scene is finally starting to take off, where do you feel it has room to grow and evolve?
James: Realistically, it needs more exposure. It needs to gain more believers and more radio play, like hip-hop or rock and roll was/is for its time. Look at Ultra or Coachella or any big festival in this country. These are going to be the Woodstocks of our time.
Gary: EDM and the scene are worldwide and NYC doesn’t even have a true “EDM” or “House music” station. We live near one of the largest markets in the world and the exposure in the tri-state is still not as huge as the rest of the world. Its people like us, the ones that love the music, who need to come together and make it happen.
OTB: What can we look forward to from Grand and Warren in 2013?
James: Definitely a lot more productions. Some of which we hope to do with other up and coming artist of this type of music. And of course, bigger and better parties!
Gary: Any successful person will tell you, you need to set goals. Besides the obvious, myself, James, and the rest of the Grand and Warren team, have set some goals for this year that we are diligently working hard on to make happen.
OTB: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans? Any final words?
James: We love our fans. If it weren’t for you guys, where would we really be? We know that everyone is excited to see what’s next so fair warning; be prepared!
Gary: I’m just going to leave everyone with advice that was given to me.
“ Just keep going, work the hardest you can and never give up on your dreams.”
– Laidback Luke
Grand and Warren on:
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