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Entries in Interview (22)

Wednesday
Oct102012

EDM Lounge Interviews Wolfgang Gartner

With the recent, massive release of his 2-song EP Love & War, Wolfgang Gartner (born Joey Youngman) has set out on his nationwide Love & War tour. No rookie to the EDM scene, his distinct glitchy, Electro House sound is one that's immediately distinguishable and simply irresistible. This past Friday at his tour stop in Providence I had the pleasure to sit down with Wolfgang himself and ask him a few questions.

So before I ask anything, are there any questions you hate to answer or just get asked too much?

Where did you get the name Wolfgang Gartner? I hate being asked anything that you can find on Google because it just seems like laziness to me.

What song of yours would you say you’re the most proud of and why?

Right now, it’s "Love and War," but it’s probably tied between that and "Illmerica". I’m just biased towards "Love and War" because I’ve played "Illmerica" probably about 500 times in the last 2 years in shows, so I’m kinda over it. It will probably always remain one of my favorite songs, but "Love and War" right now is my favorite.

So if you had to pick a soundtrack to your life what would it be?

(laughs) A soundtrack to my life, uhhh I totally know the answer to this: Junior Mafia - "(Fuck Bitches) Get Money."

That's self explanatory - I'm not even going to ask why. So "The Devil's Den" is a huge track. How was it to work with Skrillex and how did that collaboration come about?

It was good. We both live in LA and we actually did it remotely. I don’t know why, maybe just because we’re both lazy. He sent me some stuff he was working on and asked me if I wanted to work on it with him, so I did some work on it and sent it back to him. So we just kind of did that back and forth until it was finished so it was done over the internet, but it was cool.

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Friday
Sep072012

EDM Lounge Interviews Zedd

Quickly leaping from obscurity to the spotlight, the German Electro House artist Anton Zaslavski is not afraid to experiment with new sounds and cross musical boundaries. From glitchy head-nodding beats to massive uplifting dance-pop records ("Spectrum"), Zedd may be the frontman for the new face of dance music, where genres evolve and morph as fast as the beats themselves, and to get the top you've got to keep up. I had the pleasure to sit down with Zedd for a few minutes at Electric Zoo this past weekend to ask him about his own inspirations, successes, and how it feels to be at the top of his game.

So Zedd, how did it just feel to perform on the NYC Electric Zoo stage?

It felt amazing - it was great. I just got in here literally a couple minutes before I started my set because I had a very late flight so I got here and got right on stage. Yeah and it was super packed, it felt amazing.

As a classically trained musician, what initially inspired you to make the cross over from piano and drums to Electronic music?

One of my biggest inspiriations was Justice, because when I heard that album Cross it made me want to try to do something new and it made me want to try electronic music, and then I just started doing it for fun. That was the main inspiration that brought me to this scene.

You're one of the kings of Electro House, but you still maintain a wide variation of sound in your releases. What do you see as the future sound of EDM?

You know I would have never thought something like Trap music would have been big for a moment and also Moombahton was also kind of unexpected for me so there can be new trends every day and it's changing so quickly so I don't know. I really have no clue - I couldn’t even guess.

Coming from Germany, where dance music has already been popular for quite a while in the club scene, what do you feel the biggest differences are between the EDM scene that has risen in the U.S. and the one back in Europe?

 

I think that the scene in America is ahead of Europe, and a lot ahead of Germany. Because for instance, in Germany a lot of YouTube is blocked and you can't watch any videos on Universal Music Group - all those big artists you can't really watch. And the dance culture in Germany is a little different than that in the states because its more focused on the dancing and they don’t really care about the DJs. I want people to pay attention to what I’m actually doing. I see myself as an artist and that scene really isn’t there in Germany.

Did you know when creating "Spectrum" it would become such a big hit?

No, absolutely not. I made the song and then decided I loved it and wanted to put it out as a single so I called my label and told them I wanted it out right now. But I hadn’t released music for a little while, and "Spectrum" is obviously a little different than what I put out before, so I didn’t know how my fans would react. But I really didn't care because I feel if you think only about what your fans think, not yourself, then you're trying too hard to be someone people like - and that's not me. So I just released it and it's by far the biggest song I've ever had.

And how does it feel to have guys remix it like A-Trak, Armin van Buuren, and Arty

It's a big honor. I've asked for remixes before and it's really hard to get people to remix your song, especially the names you named because they're super busy and always touring, and most of the time they're not cheap as well. There's always a financial factor, but they were all super excited about the song and they were like yeah we want to remix it.

What is it like to be signed to Interscope Records as a dance music artist who was making Legend of Zelda remixes just a little over a year back? (We loved that remix).

It feels great. I feel like at Interscope I have a team that is able to help and support me achieve my goals, and I have a lot of time to concentrate on my music now because I can go to them with what I need and want and they take care of it while I'm working on music. But yeah I think it's great - it's a big step. It’s a major label and I'm honored to be one of its artists.

When working on new projects do you like discovering new or unknown talent and vocalists to collaborate with?

It's the best feeling, it's incredible. My passion is finding people no one knows. I did it with Heather Bright who no one knew who she was, and now everyone wants to work with her. I also did it with Matthew Koma, and I have a lot of other artists on my album who are going to blow up. I work with big artists too though like Ellie Goulding, but it's a ton of fun finding new talent.

What do you currently have in the works, and what are your future goals as an artist?

Well my biggest project is my album which is coming out October 9th and my future goal set is up in there. I don't really plan too far ahead I'm just going to release my album and then go from there.

Interview by Brooke Forman

Photo Cred: Jordan Loyd

Tuesday
Jul312012

EDM Lounge Interviews Eva Simons

Back in November of 2010 Eva Simons took over control of the EDM scene in the US with her chart-topping collab with fellow Amsterdancer Nick van de Wall (Afrojack). Since then, she has quickly become one of the most recognized vocalists in EDM history - and for good reason. I had the pleasure of sitting down with the immensely talented Dutch singer-songwriter to ask her a few questions that I had about her inspirations as a vocalist, and her views on the future of dance music on a larger scale.

WHAT GENRE OF MUSIC DID YOU START SINGING AND WRITING IN?

Well because I write songs, you know, I was just writing songs all the time. I was always influenced by House music because I just like the energy of it, and I don't know, my first songs were just on the piano, or thinking about some lyrics and melodies. And then I found out about Logic and was like "hey, what is this, I can record myself now? Wow that's crazy." So then I just started recording them in Logic and Cubase and I really wanted to feel it, make some really cool stuff. So I actually started making beats as well for a while, but then after a while I stopped doing that because I realized that my power was more in the song. I can work with producers and DJs that can make better beats than I can, so now I focus on the song.

I HEARD THAT YOU FIRST MET AFROJACK IN A CLUB. WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH HIM TO CREATE "TAKE OVER CONTROL"? 

It was really fun. We didn't know each other and were talking English to each other in the club. After we found out that we're both Dutch we started talking and we realized we lived only twenty minutes from each other so we were like "Hey, let's make some music." And then we went in the studio and he was like "Oh, I got a gig for us at 12," which I thought was a really weird time to have a gig being that it was a Wednesday. But we had two hours to create this track and we did. Straight away we tried it out in the club, and we were just excited. There were a few people putting their hands up in the air and that was enough for us to say, "hey this is a smash!" So we went to release it.

WOW, ONLY TWO HOURS - THAT'S AMAZING!

I mean after that we still refined it, but we had the basics. We were just testing it out in the club.

DIDN'T YOU WRITE THE TRACK WITH YOUR MOM AS WELL?

Yeah my mom is fantastic. A lot of people don't know but my mom still loves House tracks, Euro House. She's my inspiration for a lot of things, she's not only just a great mom and singer, but also very creative - I learn from her a lot.

WHEN YOU HEARD THE FINISHED RECORD DID YOU THINK THAT IT WOULD BECOME SUCH A BIG HIT IN THE US, AS WELL AS A MILLION-SELLING SINGLE?

No I did not. I actually thought it was going to be big in the UK, but it wasn't - it was like a massive flop or something. I mean it did well in the clubs, but it just did fantastic in the US. It was strange touring the US and having people know the track so well! It showed me how you never really know what's going to be a hit.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE "I DON'T LIKE YOU," AND WHAT WAS IT LIKE TEAMING UP WITH ZEDD?

Oh, it was really cool. We were in the studio with Benny Benassi in Italy and I had an off day and was pissed off and decided that I'm gonna write this song about how I Don't Like You. After that the acapella was heard by Dave Rene, Zedd's manager, and I had met Zedd in the club before hand as well (I meet everyone in the club). He asked if he could try something out with the song and I was like "Of course, let's go!" And he did - it was awesome.

YOUR TRACK WITH WILL.I.AM "THIS IS LOVE" WAS A NUMBER ONE RECORD IN THE UK, AND ALREADY HAS OVER 18 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE WHICH IS AN OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENT! HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT, AND WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH THE FORMER BLACK EYED PEAS MEMBER?

I've known Will for a few years now - around 5 years. It's funny he just asked because we are on the same label now and one day he contacted me, "Yo - I'm in the studio, do you wanna come?" I'm like "yeah sure, cool." I came to the studio, he was in LA and I was in LA. He had this beat by Steve Angello and he did some things on it and was like "Yo! We should try something new." And he knows I record my stuff and mix my own stuff, he really appreciates artists doing their own thing, you know? And Will saw me working and he enjoyed that and said "Do you want to record that yourself?" and I said "Yes! I would love to!" So he just let me do my thing for a couple of hours and I came back to with this thing I did and he said, "That's crazy! I want to release that as my single!" Will was so cool and he understands how positive energy works, he's just awesome.

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Monday
Jul162012

EDM Lounge Interviews Zeds Dead

In case some of you didn't know, we here at EDM Lounge had a very exciting week. On Wednesday, yours truly (the Bass Queen, BQ) got to sit down with DC, one half of the epic Toronto-based duo Zeds Dead, to have a nice conversation about their new tunes, the future of their duo, and the evolution of EDM as a genre.

BQ: First off, I just need to give you some love from friends. My little brother absolutely loves "Coffee Break," which is a sick track. I have mad respect for producers who can combine hip-hop with dubstep beats. 

DC: Yeah, the track's a little fast so it works well with hip hop vocals and shit. 

BQ: Didn't you guys originally want to be Hip Hop producers?

DC: Yeah we always just produced Hip Hop in the beginning. We were huge Hip Hop heads. Still are. We're still doing Hip Hop beats, it's just, that when we started Zeds Dead, the idea was to do more Electronic things, because our previous group Mass Productions, was strictly Hip Hop. Like, old school hip hop sampling kinda shit. 

BQ: So how did you get into Dubstep?

DC: When we started Zeds Dead, it was like "Alright, let's start a fresh page and do electronic shit." When we just started electronic production we were really into Electro House, and then got into Dubstep. But recently, I've really gotten back into Hip Hop, and I see Zeds Dead as being something that I can produce everything under, it just happens to be that when we started we were doing Electro and Dubstep and shit. Our first popular tracks were Dubstep tracks, so a lot of people saw us as a Dubstep group, but we have a lot of different tunes out there, a lot of different releases, and coming up especially we're going to be doing a lot of different stuff. I just see Zeds Dead as a larger encompassing title which I can produce many electronic genres under.   

BQ: Right. And lucky for you guys, you can still do whatever you want. So that's an awesome creative freedom.

DC: Yeah, I think our fans have come to understand that we do different kinds of stuff, so I feel like they're just interested in what we have to show them, whereas some people just want to hear Dubstep because they're hardcore fans of Dubstep - know what I mean? I think a lot of our fans are open to the different stuff that we produce. 

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Friday
Jul132012

EDM Lounge Interviews Big Gigantic

I met with Dominic and Jeremy, together who form the jazz-electronica duo Big Gigantic. After following them from Manhattan at Governors Ball NYC to Rothbury, MI at Electric Forest, I can safely say these guys are one of my new favorite acts. Their unique production style which involves the combination of Electronic production with live drums and saxophone makes for a signature sound that you'll just have to see live to really appreciate. Gigantic follow suit with fellow Colorado producer (and Lounge favorite) Pretty Lights, who's also all about spreading the love (through free downloads). Here's some questions I asked the Jam-band of EDM at Randall's Island. 

How do you feel about Hip-Hop influences?

We both are super into that style of music. Although our stuff isn't outright Hip-Hop, I think it's influenced pretty highly by a lot of that stuff. We're big Hip-Hop fans.

Are you guys working on collaborating with rappers?

Yeah, that's something we're definitely aspiring to do, getting MCs involved and stuff like that. Since we're releasing a lot of our music for free, you know, it makes it a little more difficult to get a more high-profile MC on a track. But, we do remixes - you know that "Get Em' High" remix, a lot of people are into that kinda sound. 

Personally, Jazz music or Electronic music? You can't say both. 

Oh no, I can. Good music is good music, and I believe in that 100%. I love some pop songs, classical songs, hip-hop songs, just as much as I love the other. Good songs are good songs, for sure. That's the real answer.

Unlike most of the others, you guys actually use real instruments in your sets. Do you think instument use will die off?

Instruments aren't going anywhere, they've been around for like thousands of years. Yeah, it's all just going to evolve. I think now the computer is going to be looked at more as an instrument, especially with what you can do with it, and you can attach synths like you said. I think it will be a way to arrange music and produce, but I hope instruments don't go away, that would be like one of the worst things that could ever happen! I'll make sure that doesn't happen. 

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