It was an unexpected delight on a hot day of SXSW to share ice cream sundae’s and brownies a la mode at Moonshine’s with the down to earth guys of Cash Cash. Though I was not surprised by their casual and comfortable nature – these three childhood best friends and two brothers, Jean Paul Makhlouf, Alex Makhlouf and Samuel Frisch have been sharing mealtime conversations for some time now – I was surprised at how personable they were with me, an outsider.
From adolescence, they did everything themselves musically, from producing in their garage, to their own marketing. Together, they built a passion and understanding for music and music theory.
Their more recent success came in 2013, with the single “Take Me Home” featuring Bebe Rexha. It peaked at #18 on the US Pop Songs chart and #67 on the US Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year.
I spoke with the band about their most recent song “Lightning,” featuring Goo Goo Dolls front man John Rzeznick, their own radio show and being signed with Atlantic Records.
Vinyl Mag: How do you guys decide what to remix or which artist to feature in your songs?
Jean Paul: We started with electronic music as our base when we were younger, which has recently branched out into songwriting… we are very picky about who we use. We turn down requests from artists and labels all of the time. We don’t want to pump out a lot of stuff but rather, when we want to remix something, we start with the artist’s voice, like an instrument that we want to work with, and we will remix it from there. Like Bruno Mars’ sharp vocals on “Treasure,” and we were excited to work with Icona Pop on “All Night.”
VM: So tell me about “Lightning.” Was it John Rzeznick’s voice that was the deciding factor?
JP: Yeah, it’s a juxtaposition of his voice with what we do on the chorus that really works. It’s climbing up the top ten list of Hypemachine – we’re really excited.
VM: You recently got signed with Atlantic. How is that going?
Alex Makhlouf: We’re really happy with Atlantic; it feels like family. We already know how to do everything from the ground up, and they really know how to help us keep doing just that and to push us into realizing our vision. Plus, we’re excited to collaborate with artists on the label, for example, the guys of Chromeo, and more with Icona Pop.
VM: Tell me about the radio show that you guys do.
AM: It’s called Royalty Radio, and you can stream it. It’s basically our way of giving back and helping to promote the people that deserve recognition, like for example a friend of ours from back home that we grew up with – he’s so talented, and we hope to help him get that exposure. We also like to let our fans know what we’re up to and who we’re listening to and inspired by.
VM: You guys really like sweets, huh? So far, no one has ordered any appetizers or sandwiches for lunch – just sweet drinks and desserts. Traveling all over the world, what kind of weird food have you tried?
JP: We toured in Japan – they have lots of really weird candy. If you ever travel there, you have to try the dried octopus candy and dried fish jerky. We’re headed to Australia soon; we’ll have to try the sweets there!
*Catch Cash Cash on tour now!!
Apr 17 Budweiser Made in America Charlotte Party Charlotte, NC
Apr 19 New City Gas Montreal, Canada
Apr 22 Budweiser Made in America Athens Party Athens, GA
Apr 25 Life In Color West Lafayette, IN
Apr 26 Life In Color Columbia, MO
May 23 Exchange Los Angeles, CA
May 24 EDC New York East Rutherford, NJ
May 25 Sunset Music Festival Tampa, FL
May 26 Marquee Dayclub Las Vegas, NV
May 27 Shrine Mashantucket, CT
Jun 01 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Wantagh, NY
Jun 06 Royale Nightclub Boston, MA
Jun 07 X Games @ Austin 360 Amphitheater Austin, TX
Jun 14 Grand Central Miami, FL
Jun 16 Marquee Nightclub Las Vegas, NV
Jun 20 Firefly Music Festival Dover, DE
Jun 26 Electric Forrest Rothbury, MI
Jul 04 Life In Color Hidalgo, TX
Jul 18 Bassmnt San Diego, CA
Aug 01 Lollapalooza Chicago, IL
Aug 03 Boonstock Penticton, Canada
Aug 09 Whiskey Portland, OR