Getting to know the cross-platformed artists with millions of streams who bend genres and bring two completely different crowds together:
Blending genres of music is difficult at best. Such an undertaking takes genius and cunning because it’s not easy to find common ground in two different music genres and hopefully meld them into a listenable experience. Doing that and then generating millions of plays on a first release due to the (shareable) nature of the project is something that most artists can only dream about. Fortunately, for the Rhode Island EDM / HipHop inspired duo #LOPPSIDE that dream has come true. They have created their first work, HAPPY CAMPER, an industry-received album with millions of streams already on Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube. They credit their success to spending hours in the studio making great music, being lucky enough to have had a label (Commonwealth) pick up and promote their first album; marijuana; and reptiles. (Yes, reptiles. That will be explained later.)
Loppside is comprised of music producer / drummer Larry Ohh (30) and front man / rap artist / singer Peter Piffen (28). Both are originally from Rhode Island, and they use their personal backgrounds to paint a unique and uplifting musical picture for the enjoyment of the people who attend their performances. Larry’s infectious pulsating dance rhythms riddled with hard-as-stone trap drops create the perfect backdrop under Piffen’s catchy, melodic, relatable, and repeatable lyrics. The amount of care and attention they dedicate to every nuance of the sound is admirable and something many artists strive for.
Besides their creative genius, their live performances emulate their studio. Larry plays a Roland SPD-SX with drum sticks, running every set through his equipment and helps hype everything up while Piffen stands to the front and swoons the crowd with his words and movements. Their knowledge and comfort in entertaining makes for an entrancing experience. They have performed at festivals such as Hemp Fest in Boston, but their command of their onstage performances is the result of extensive and individual histories of performing live on other various projects and for other acts.
It was a Sunday night when we met. Larry and Piffen came together in the same car and with weed to roll. The conversation was extremely natural, lasting about three hours. Our conversation ranged from Piffen’s reptile collection (OVER fifty!) to Hulk Hogan and the WWE to Britney Spears being one of their first celebrity crushes and, of course, how the Universe connects us all and even the Law of Attraction. Throughout this amazing conversation, however, we got down to a lot of personal and honest information on the two as a musical duo and as individuals.
Larry’s affection for music dates back to his boyhood days. He affectionately reminisced, “I can remember my Mom would play B101 (a local oldies station) nonstop. My first cassette tape was Aerosmith, and I would play it on the first Walkman I ever got for Christmas one year.” He went on to explain his beginning in taking a genuine interest in music which would eventually lead to him producing. “I didn’t get into making music until I was 18 or 19. I listened to a lot of different things up until the early 2000’s, which is when Dr. Dre and Limp Bizkit made some of my favorite songs. That’s when I realized how great rap and hiphop were.”
After Larry began producing, he said he worked doors as a security guard for a local booking company at the time called, “The Scene Machine,” run by Frankie Sbacchis. He became good friends with Frankie and from there built a nationally recognized rap/metal band called Scare Don’t Fear (SDF, scaredontfear.net). They were signed to KBB records, a label started by Ben Bruce, the guitarist of world-renowned band Asking Alexandria from 2014-2016, and then toured the country with Vans Warped Tour, 36 Crazyfists, and Mushroomhead throughout these years. Since then the band has gone independent and still rocks shows across America. Larry also credits Frankie and Scare Don’t Fear as getting him started with drumming, which he now plays in the studio and at shows. Check one of the band’s music videos here: SDF: “Vanish”
According to Piffen, it took Larry a long time to begin producing EDM. “I told him: I know for a fact you can make this music and I can rap over it and it will blow up!” At first, Larry had his doubts about switching up his style from HipHop-centered beats to EDM-inspired tracks. But, as Larry explains, “I fell in love with it. I still make rap. It’s always going to come back to rap. But I love the electronic feel. I don’t even know what to call the genre we make. I’m just inspired differently nowadays.”
(For producer heads: Larry’s DAW of choice is FL Studio.)
Piffen (28) confesses that he didn’t listen to hiphop until he was fifteen. “I was in group homes and raised on a farm… I listened to Hootie and the Blowfish, Cat Country, all that crazy shit. And that shit was dope to me!” Piffen explains that as long as music is great and has some type of purpose he can appreciate it. “Once I got into junior high school shit got real… Everyone was listening to Eminem. I loved him. I didn’t know anyone who didn’t.” Not an old soul when it comes to hiphop, Piffen went on to explain that he only listened to older influential artists such as Tupac, later in his career. Piffen remembered one family trip where he was camping with his family and they had a trip to Six Flags planned for the next day. He began screaming the “bad lyrics” to an Eminem song so loud that he was punished and not allowed to go to Six Flags the next day. The whole family went but him. “That was when I realized I was ready to die for this shit.”
Piffen said he began writing music when he was sixteen. “Growing up rapping, I knew I was good but I was never good enough for the older people I hung around.” He went on to explain that he tried unsuccessfully to start up multiple rap groups with other artists from the area. “Too many people doesn’t work. I did the solo thing for a while and dropped a couple albums”. Check out some of his work:
A self-described loner, Piffen began making music with Larry four years ago and has not looked back since. “The world is fucked. I keep guns. Don’t fuck with me. I’ll move to Vermont and just call people (and) Do me…”
(For weed heads: Piffen prefers blunts over other smoking accoutrements.)
Now having known each other and worked together on music and entertainment for over five years, the duo believes their success has come from hard work, making good music, and being fortunate that a label such as Commonwealth promoted their first EP.
Piffen: “Now we finally got the M’s (millions of views). We’re not rich but we’re finally seeing something. I would put out albums and get zero dollars. But now, we want a billion.”
Larry: “It feels good to finally get something. People are looking and listening now. It’s something that proves what we believed in for so long is working. Commonwealth put in a lot of work, but the love we receive is all genuine and organic. The best part is that they stopped promoting it and it’s still growing!”
This duo’s relationship isn’t all fun and games, however. Both are extremely honest and real people. They disagree, fight, and argue just like others do. Piffen recalled a time when he first met Larry in the studio, and Larry shunned him from a specific session with an artist because he was too loud in the studio the night before. This is all for naught, however, because their personal friendship and work ethic trump every disagreement.
Larry explains, “If any crazy stuff goes down, I’m finding Piffen and staying with him.” That is, assuming he means something along the lines of a zombie apocalypse or alien invasion. Larry is also trying to talk Piffen into going on the TV show Naked and Afraid. Lastly, Piffen wanted to point out in the interview that Larry is a lightweight when it comes to smoking weed. This writer kept it real for you (imagine the fist emoji here).
Keep up with LOPPSIDE in these ways:
…And lastly, MAKE SURE to talk to them if you see them somewhere. You won’t regret it!
Article by Alex Mazzuchelli (@takibrano)