Insights: Barely Alive

Introducing our next artist collab, Barely Alive! The Barely Alive bracelet, longsleeve, and tee drops Tuesday, July 2 at 10AM PST. Proceeds from this bracelet will go to our Greater Good Fund. Read more about the Greater Good Fund at the bottom of the page.

We got a chance to sit down with Barely Alive to get some insights into their lives and career. Read on!

1. What is the meaning behind the name Barely Alive? What/who was your main inspiration when you were developing the project?

M: I think originally the name Barely Alive had some really heavy meaning behind it but the reality is, it is just a quote from a movie. The message died but the name stayed the same. We started Barely Alive when the biggest names in bass music were people like Kill the Noise, Feed me, Koan Sound and Zomboy but I would say our largest inspiration were the bagels and pizza that we ate. And Skrillex.

W: Yeah, we found the name in a quote from one of those random movie quote generator websites. It sounded really cool, and we tried to apply the name to the concept of a being who was so engrossed in technology that they ceased to be considered "alive". 

2. Is there anything each of you do as part of your daily life or creative process that is unique to you or that others would be surprised to know?

M: I don't know how unique this is, but I ALWAYS have my laptop on me. I carry it in a backpack when I go out to the supermarket or to get coffee. I bring it in the bathroom or when I take a bath. You never know when inspiration will hit, but I can tell you statistically that you are 67% more likely to make good music on the toilet.


W: It's hard to be creative on demand, especially when the pressures of deadlines are a factor. I try to keep my mind clear of distractions by clearing time in my day before starting a session and avoiding social media while I'm working. I also always pick up the guitar and play for 10-15 minutes before getting into Ableton because playing a physical instrument is great for your mind in gear for music.

3. What genres, albums, songs, or artists do you guys enjoy listening to that your fans would be surprised to learn?

M: Oh man, I don't really know what would surprise the fans but some stuff I listen to a lot right now would be Virtuoso by Joe Pass and The Disintegration Loops by William Basinski. The latter is just a loop that is continuously played through a tape player and as it passes the tape head it gets a little more destroyed. It starts as a beautiful loop and gradually just becomes chaos. It's really gorgeous.

W: Every few months I end up listening to totally different kinds of music. Recently I've been listening to Bob Dylan who was a favorite of mine when I was very young. It's fun to revisit the music you grew up with. I find myself enjoying it for different reasons and hearing it in a totally new light.

4. In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your lives?

M: Open your DAW once a day and make a loop. Don't think too much about it or put pressure on yourself. One hour a day is enough to either get in some practice, or get far enough into a project that it will start making itself.

W: I've actually been working really hard at building a lot of new healthy habits recently, so instead of listing all of them I'll just say that deliberately planning your entire day from start to finish is essential to getting meaningful work done and feeling happy and healthy. This doesn't mean obsessive planning and time management, but just being mindful of how you choose to spend your time, because after all it is up to you how you spend your time, and you should take advantage of that!

5. Name one thing that you think the world could do without, and one thing that the world needs more of, and why.

M: While trying to avoid being overtly political or awkwardly cliche I would have to say that the world needs less complacency. We should constantly be questioning our beliefs and learning new things. If anyone says they know anything for sure, it means they stopped learning. It seems like right now a lot of the world is struggling, especially in America, and especially in the younger age group. Among these people I would like to see more trust, unity and teamwork. 

W: Yesterday some friends and I were looking at the smog over LA, and we wondered what would happen if every car were instantaneously deleted. How long would the smog stick around for? Pollution is a huge problem that's only getting worse and I can't help but wondering if we'd be better off without gas-burning engines and other pollutants like manufacturing and food industries. Being aware of this problem (as well as many others) is really important because our planet is invaluable and represents our children's future.

6. Why did you decide to collaborate with Electric Family?

M: Firstly, because the bracelets are dope and I want one. Secondly, because it's for a good cause, and lastly because all of the cool kids are doing it.

W: We've always loved the designs and branding of EF and we're happy to be involved in a good cause!

7. One last remark: Your set is over and you can flash one more message on the stage’s LED screens that everyone in the crowd will read. What does it say?

M: Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.

W: Hi, Mom!

About the Greater Good Fund

The Greater Good Fund is a pool of all the money raised from Electric Family sales which is evenly distributed to our Greater Good partner charities on a quarterly basis. Our Greater Good partner charities are:

Charity: Water
Pencils for Promise
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Tim Ferriss: Treatment of Major Depression through Johns Hopkins University of Medicine
Ocean Conservancy

Learn more