STASH Interview

It’s our first interview of 2015 and something a little different! While this blog is all about men, there are a few women who share in our obsession with hot men. Consider STASH, an EDM duo out of L.A. consisting of Steph (left) and Amanda (right), allies. They like to party, they know how to have a good time and they make some pretty damn catchy music that you should be dancing around to. We talk about everything from their music preferences, inspirations to who they’re currently crushin’ on.

Man Crush: Let’s start off with some ice breakers to make sure you two are ready for us. You’re preparing for a night out in the city. What songs would each of you choose to play to get you pumped up and ready to have fun?
Steph: You can never go wrong with some old school Snoop Dogg, Eminem, or Ying Yang Twins.
Amanda: Easy! Red Cup Pinky Up. Duh!

STASH's Amanda and Steph | Man Crush Blog InterviewI’m sure both of you have endured your share of bad pick up lines and come-ons from men while outperforming and on the club scene. Can each of you tell us about a time a guy’s tried to hit on you that’s ended in an epic fail?
Steph: I think when guys try to hit on me and try to impress me with music knowledge than when they figure out that I’m the DJ, they are put in their place real fast. I’ve even had some guys then try to further impress me by offering me some advice on different dj equipment for sale, and what I should be using instead, etc. How can people actually try to act more knowledgeable than the person that actually DJ’s for a living?!
Amanda: There are too many bad lines to count, but one, in particular, I do remember: When out at a club when I first moved to L.A., I was waiting to buy a drink and they guy next to me asked “What are you drinking?” I thought he was being polite and I said, “I’m not sure yet…still deciding…you?” To which he replied, “right now-vodka tonic, but my drink of choice would be your bath water.” It is not hard for guys to at least find decent pick-up lines, especially with it being as simple as checking out sites like Understandably, not everyone likes pick up lines, but at least make them good if you’re going to try and impress someone. I was embarrassed for him and grossed out at the same time.

What drives you crazy about the music industry today? If you each could change one thing about it in hopes of making it better, what would it be and why do you think that change is necessary?
Steph: I would make it so that it didn’t revolve so much around record labels and be easier for independent artists to be seen.
Amanda: I think the most obvious and troubling problem is the piracy, but there’s not much we can do about that. The way to make money in music these days is in touring and performing. So Steph and I work very hard to make sure that not only is our music good, but we can perform and give our fans a show worth paying good money for.

I know you’re all about making your own music but if STASH were to cover one song and completely remix it and make it your own, what song would you two choose to give the STASH treatment?
Steph: I would redo “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga.
Amanda: I would love to remix some old Motown music and give it the STASH treatment! Maybe some Four Tops like “It’s the Same Old Song.”

Picture this: you get the chance to collaborate with any music artist–past or present, active or retired, living or dead–who’d you bring in as a feature on a track?
Steph: Calvin Harris!
Amanda: Andre 3000.

STASH's Amanda and Steph | Man Crush Blog Interview
You two have a new EP out titled Strip Me Bare. Your overall sound is very fun, pop, but also every song has an upbeat, free-will, party-vibe. You aren’t singing sad songs about broken hearts or singing about shaking off haters like Taylor Swift. Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?
Steph: My inspiration is my life! Going out, falling in love with people… some of them suck, some of them are awesome. I like writing songs about experiences. I try to keep my life pretty easygoing and fun, so I think that’s why the songs are written in that tone.
Amanda: We both love music and making people happy. We aren’t about wallowing in misery and feeling sorry for yourself. Steph and I both have persevering spirits. Our tenacity is what’s gotten us to this point in our careers. If something sets you back a few paces, you pull yourself up by your boot straps and keep going. This is a fast moving town and industry and no one has the time or interest in hearing a sad story.

Steph, you started out DJing for private parties, film premieres and big events. What made you want to go from being a successful solo act to part of a duo group?
Steph: I wanted to be more than just a DJ. I thought teaming up and being a duo would have way more potential in the long term. Two heads are better than one!

And now Amanda, you’re a classically trained pop singer. What was the appeal of teaming up with Steph to form STASH? If you were solo would your music be much different from what we’re listening to on STASH’s new EP?
Amanda: Even through my years of classical training, my music library was filled with Top 40 pop music. In the practice rooms at my University, I was practicing Wagner, Gounod and Donizetti. In my car I was belting Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Pussycat Dolls. I, like Steph, love music that makes people dance and feel good. That’s why she and I are a great match and love making music together. I don’t think my music would be much different if I went solo.

When I listened to your EP I noticed there’s this theme of perseverance and “never give up” in tracks like “Hysterical,” “Tear Me Down” and “Strip Me Down.” This sounds like a bit of a personal theme. Was weaving this theme throughout your music intentional or just happened by chance?
Amanda: I don’t think anything happens by chance. We write and perform the way we’re feeling and that persevering spirit is just who we are.
Steph: When I was writing the EP I had a lot of people in my life discouraging me and telling me “I couldn’t do it”. All the songs of the EP are a direct reflection of what was happening in my life at the time. I don’t think it was intentional, it just kinda happened.

Your EP is out now. What can we expect next from STASH?
Amanda: Touring and a sophomore album!

What’s been your experience with the gays so far? I’d think with songs like “Tear Me Down” that could be blared at any pride festival that you’d have a legion of lgbt fans pumping your music.
Steph: All the gay boys have loved our music so far!
Amanda: Three of my best years in L.A. I resided in West Hollywood. Two of my very dearest friends are gay. I hope that the theme of our song resonates with them and that they are lifted up and encouraged by our lyrics.
Steph: I think it the whole tear me down theme really speaks to the gay community. I can’t wait to see it performed at pride festivals this year.

STASH's Amanda and Steph | Man Crush Blog InterviewIs there a track in your music library that each of you would be a bit embarrassed to admit you rock out to behind closed doors? I’m not gonna lie, I turn it out when Reba’s “Fancy” shuffles onto mine.
Steph: Probably “Mmbop” by Hanson. [laughs]
Amanda: Ummmm, “I’m a Parrot Head.”

I’ve noticed both of you are pretty damn fit and hot. What’s your secret to staying in shape?
Steph: Thanks so much!! I’ve always played sports, but now I pretty much just run.
Amanda: Singing is surprisingly aerobic. I’m blessed with some liberties as far as what I eat, but I have been running a lot more recently to get in shape for singing, dancing, and not panting on stage!

I’m sure living in L.A. and being involved in the nightlife and club scene as much as you are, you both have dealt with both straight and gay men. Not that I’m trying to strike up any bias but what do you all think gay men get about music and having a good time in general that straight men sometimes have a hard time understanding or getting?
Amanda: I’m not sure if one persuasion “gets it” more than the other. But I do know that when I’m out with gay men, there’s not an underlying effort to “get with” me so we have a better time without that subliminal pressure. Also, let’s face it–gay men across the board are better dancers. And we can always lip-sync Wicked and Rent duets. [smiles]
Steph: I think that gay men are more care free when going out and listening to music. They just like to have fun and dance. I think that straight guys take themselves to seriously at the end of the day.

Our site is all about objectifying men and their bodies, which seems like something you two could get behind. So for each of you, what man do you currently have a crush on?
Amanda: Cam Newton.
Steph: Aaron Paul.

You can purchase STASH’s Strip Me Bare EP on iTunes by clicking here. Follow STASH on Twitter @DanceSTASH and visit their website for more updates and music.

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