The Dirty Disco Kidz don't just want fans to attend their shows. The DJs, producers and visual artists making up the Madison collective want fans to identify with the DDK experience, the DDK movement.
Yea.Nice is a new clothing brand with a similar goal, and its styles have been showing up at snowboarding competitions and other events worldwide. The brand will be formally launched at a Dirty Disco Kidz show on Oct. 2 at the High Noon Saloon.
What's the connection? Yea.Nice cofounder Josh Sherman and the Dirty Disco Kidz' Chris Miedaner attended Memorial High together. They snowboarded together as teenagers.
"What we want to do is collaborate with great artists, musicians and action sports athletes and create a brand that the youth can feel part of," says Sherman, who started Yea.Nice with 2002 Olympic snowboarding bronze medalist J.J. Thomas.
Miedaner's high school interest in snowboarding didn't overshadow his interest in music. "I was a drummer in middle school and through high school," he says. "I got my first pair of turntables and started DJing around the age of 15."
Sherman grew up in the Greentree neighborhood on Madison's west side. "It was a rad place to grow up," he says. "I had a great group of friends, and we'd listen to music, rip skateparks and go snowboard."
Snowboarding became Sherman's passion. "My mom got me a skateboard when I was about 7," he recalls. "When winter came, she put me on skis. I saw a guy snowboarding. Instantly I was like, 'Mom, I wanna do that.' After that, I basically made Tyrol Basin my second home."
Sherman became a serious snowboarder in the years that followed. His parents doubted how they would afford the gear. So Sherman took matters into his own hands and first earned sponsorship from Salomon and Bonfire at age 11.
In 2003, at age 17, he moved to Breckenridge, Colo., to pursue his snowboarding dream. A year later, "I had enough paying sponsors, and I didn't have to work," says Sherman, who lives in Boulder. At the height of his success, Sherman traveled on sponsor tours to Japan, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
Since forming the Dirty Disco Kidz two years ago, Miedaner has pursued success with the same tenacity Sherman brought to snowboarding. The group has been featured in major national music blogs like Hype Machine and Club Action. "I just kept sending new material and releases to blogs," says Miedaner, who performs as Mr. Physix. "Once I finally started getting picked up and featured it had something of a snowball effect."
Sherman and Miedaner see Yea.Nice and the Dirty Disco Kidz as natural partners.
"In essence, we are both brands," says Miedaner. "They do clothes. We do music. Music and clothing always cross paths and become part of an overall scene. DDK and Yea.Nice's styles reflect each other really well."
"Yea.Nice loves and appreciates music and musicians," says Sherman. "At our core, no matter how we're feeling that day, we can feel music."
Sherman and Miedaner's can-do attitude will fuel the party at the High Noon Saloon.
"We've been hanging out since we were 14," says Sherman. "I called him up, like, 'Let's throw the best clothing launch party we can.' Chris was just like, 'Of course, man, let's make this happen.'"