The DJ’s of bustedBASS don’t normally approach their shows with a plan.
They wait for the crowd to respond to what they play and take it from there.
Cleveland natives Joe Sherwood and Arthur Henke, AKA Mad Hat and Empty Cups, will spin at at 9 p.m. Sunday as part of the club’s weekly “The Get Up!” indie dance party. Like the duo’s other shows, the audience members will be their priority.
“We try to make it all based on experience. We want people to enter the bar and see all the lights and see all their friends and escape reality for the night,” said Henke, who grew up in Cleveland Heights and Bay Village. “Dance is really the main goal.”
They describe their music as a combination of Thunderclub and Electro 'n' Roll. Melody-based dance music that doesn’t rely on strange noises and isn’t absent of harmony and key. If audience members “don’t have at least one song stuck in their head, we haven’t done our job,” they said.
The crowd should recognize at least some of the songs — they mix everything from classic rock to hip-hop to punk to one-hit-wonders to club hits. Main influences include DJ Diplo, Daft Punk and the Beastie Boys.
The duo went to Bay Village High School together and reconnected at Ohio University. Both are 22-year-olds and seniors. They formed bustedBASS in 2009, and said their love of hip-hop and punk initially brought them together.
Sherwood, a history major, and Henke, an audio production major, hope to have a music career post-college. They again indicated the audience as their favorite aspect of performing.
“For me, it’s the crowd reaction. I love that moment where everything builds up and you can just see everyone in the crowd go down and they’re all dancing all on the same wavelength. It’s like they are the same person,” Sherwood said.
Henke jumped in.
"It’s just about having this relationship with the audience and watching them come together and watch their party grow and develop … The experience of being able to watch the party go insane — it’s the coolest feeling in the world.”
The Get Up! presents bustedBASS. B Side Liquor Lounge, 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., 9 p.m. Sunday. Admission: 18+ $5, 21+ free.