By Julia Eskins
Photography by Kareen Mallon and R. Stephenson Price
On Saturday nights at The Hoxton, flashing LED neckties are a common sight. The fashion statement is just one of the many ways musical act Stereotronique is lighting up the stage and Toronto’s Electronic Dance Music scene. For the duo, choosing an outfit is more than just an afterthought – it’s an integral part of their performance. Since joining forces in 2010, Kevin O’Brien and Lane Theriault have shaken up the EDM landscape with a creative approach to everything they do.
“How we portray ourselves is not by accident. We don’t want to be a couple of guys in hoodies and toques, just throwing on records,” says O’Brien.
The Calgary transplants have taken their act beyond traditional DJ culture by trading oversized T-shirts for suits and producing their own music. After their remix of Adrian Lux’s Teenage Crime peaked on The Hype Machine (a music site for trending tracks), the duo garnered international attention. In February, they played alongside Benny Benassi and Sander Van Doorn in Calgary.
Even with their recent success, O’Brien and Theriault still do the nine-to-five grind while working in business and sales.
“At the end of the day, we’re both really corporate guys,” says Theriault. “We met while working in an office. We always had that dual life and wanted to bring that forward through our show. That’s when the LED ties came up.”
After taking water cooler chitchat to the next level, Theriault and O’Brien realized their similarities extended past a mutual love for playing Rock Band and synthesizers.
“We realized we had the same work ethic. We used to go 10 or 12 hours at a time in the studio, just jamming it out,” says O’Brien. “We started DJing by association of our productions, but it’s always been from the studio first.”
Since moving to Toronto last year, Stereotronique has quickly built a reputation for headlining lively shows across the city and holding residency at The Hoxton nightclub. They credit their original sound to the combination of O’Brien’s rock music background and Theriault’s DJ experience. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed: in August, the duo became finalists in the Canada’s Next Top DJ competition.
Along with catching the attention of critics and bloggers, the musicians recently received support from Diesel and have a few new blazers to show for it.
“Our outfits always have to work with the ties,” says Theriault, adding that the signature showpieces are adaptable to their sets and still in the first phase of development.
With more fall shows and an upcoming mini-tour in Arizona and California, Stereotronique will be testing out the ties on the road and introducing fans to a different side of electronic music.
“We definitely want to bring some class to the EDM scene through fashion. Music festivals are full of clashing styles. You’ll see people in tank tops and sneakers, right next to girls in their high heels,” says O’Brien. “EDM draws so many different crowds and people, that’s the beauty of it.”
A photoshoot with Stereotronique
Photography by Kareen Mallon
At The Hoxton
Photography by R. Stephenson Price