Will: “Hi, my name is Will [Wiesenfeld]. I am Baths, and this is for L O W – L I F E . c a, in Canada, Vancouver.
L.L.: Tell us about yourself.
Will: “I’m Will, I am 22, from Los Angeles, I make electronic music, and I love electronic music.
LL: Now that it is nearing the end of the year can you recall any major highlights from 2011?
Wil: Well, Japan – was not just the highlight of touring, it was a highlight of life. It was one of the best weeks of my entire life, and I had this horrible horrible feeling of never wanting to leave, and was 100% ready to abandon every friendship I’ve ever made in LA, and my family, just like “fuck it, I’m going to live in Japan.” But I realized coming back to LA that I would have to make a lot more sense of things before that would ever happen, like: learn the language, because that’s a pretty big barrier, but it was incredible, it was the best week of my life.
LL: Amanda – one of Low-Life’s contributors – suggested that music you produce under Geotic is among some of her favourite tunes to study to. From an artistic perspective, how does the experience in producing Geotic differ from say Baths or Post-Foeutus? Does this translate to your focus on Baths (do you prefer it)?
Will: To give you a full low-down on the names; Post-Feotus doesn’t really exist anymore, it’s like Baths is what Post-Feotus was. The way I designate the two, is that Baths is active listening, and Geotic is passive listening. When I’m making a Baths track, in whatever form of function, it’s something that I would hope people are actively listening to; it’s for turning on a stereo and paying more attention to, and making an effort to take it apart – really really listen to it. Whereas Geotic stuff is intended to sort of be more atmospheric, and more a part of whatever’s happening. Not really like you have to be focused and listening, but that you can study, or read a book, or whatever it is that people do while they’re listening to music. That’s the intent behind it, because that’s the way that I listen to a lot of my favourite music, and the whole effort of the Geotic stuff was with that in mind.
LL: You’ve emphasized the importance of live performance, and have even expressed interest in forming a live band. I have not seen your perform live before, but from videos I have seen, you put on a high energy show. Any recent ideas of what’s next for performances?
Will: You make me sound I think way cooler than I am, it’s not like audience participation or anything, it’s more just that it’s… there’s a type of feedback I think with any live performance, where you read the audience, and the audience reads your reaction to them, and so if the audience is particularly negative, or you just happen to focus on one person that’s like pouting, it can deter your whole performance, so for me I try and establish very early on, that I’m comfortable, that I’m excited to be wherever I’m playing, and in turn make other people feel more comfortable, and that vibe circulates.
LL: Shlohmo spoke in a Dubspot interview at the Friends of Friends 2 year anniversary on how being “branded” as an artist can hurt the beauty of what is within the LA beatscene and what it’s really about, which he said is creativity, and openness. Are you seeing more of this connotation being developed around what people expect to hear, or are they pretty open?
Will: People are becoming more open, at least with me because I’ve spoken about wanting that. I have a very very strong desire for not being pigeon-holed, I think anybody would… it was initially quite frustrating with the “chill-wave” thing, because at the same time I was such a fan of all that shit, like I love that first Toro Y Moi record, I love the Washed Out EP, and all of that stuff, and that was undoubtedly a big influence on how I was making Curulean, but at the same time that’s not the only music I’m planning to create, and I don’t think the Baths album was in any way strictly that type of music. In life, more than anything, I’m most excited to work on this next album after this tour finishes, and go home and just start the next record because I know for a fact it’s going to be completely different than what Cerulean was. The material and the lyrics that I’ve written so far are much much darker and fucked up, and that’s the record I almost started before Curulean, but because I knew Cerulean was going to be the first thing that I put out into the world, I wanted to make it much more accessible and easier on the ears. I can’t wait to make the next thing, because it’s going to be very very different, and it will stop maybe the pigeon-holling that has happened – if it has.
LL: Flying Lotus said in an interview with Pitchfork, “Well, I feel like a lot of kids, a lot of halfway kids, come out here, kids who started making beats six months ago, thinking they can get on stage because their drums are off.” Daedelus was responsible for showing Sean of Anticon your music before Cerulean’s release on the label; do you get a lot of these “halfway kids” throwing demos at you?
Will: I mean, I am a halfway kid, I don’t know – fuck. That’s a very funny question. My situation is a little different, like I started writing music a long time ago, it was bad, but I’ve been writing full structured electronic music since I was 14, and I didn’t come into the beatscene like, “yo, fuck, I’m tryin’ to make these crazy beats right now, like let me do my shit.” It was more like, “I write songs, and let me try whatever I want to.”
Definitely there are people that give me demos, and there are people that come up to me like, “I make electronic music, you’re a big inspiration to me”, and it’s the coolest shit ever, because I’m that person all the time. Like tonight, Morgan Greenwood is playing, he’s opening the show, and he is like the number one influence in my life right now — he is the only music I am listening to right now. All of the stuff he did with this group Azeda Booth, it’s like creepy how much I love his music, and how much I am deconstructing it all of the time, so like… I am that person all the time, and I meet kids that are like that with me, and it’s like, “you don’t get it, I am this person.” It’s cool, and it’s humbling.. he [Morgan Greenwood] makes me feel humble.
LL: Recent favourite songs?
Will: Oh shit, well Morgan Greenwood is in the room, so this is a little bit weird, but I basically have been listening to Azeda Booth like all year, and the songs: Fijian Hearts, Squal, In Red, and Landscape with Grass, are pretty much my favourite songs.
LL: Thank you for your time.
See previous: Introducing | Baths
L O W – L I F E
January 10, 2012 | Categories: Interview | Tags: anticon, azeda, baths, booth, cerulean, daedulus, dubspot, electric owl, flying lotus, foeutus, friends, Friends of Friends, geotic, Interview, los angeles, morgan greenwood, Pitchfork, post, Shlohmo, toro y moi, Vancouver | 1 Comment »