OTS x OP1: Interview with Wheez-ie
Bringing our interview series threefold for this month’s deluxe combo of on the sly X OUTPOST1, comes from Wheez-ie. Hailing from Houston TX, Wheez-ie’s been rippling the bass music pool with two EP releases this year, All Worked Up on Well Rounded Individuals and Keep Yer Chin Up on Embassy Recordings, (scope the write up on XLR8R here).
To quote Andrew, who sums it up nicely: “every track from this dude is fire, and if DaveQ from last month left you with a little bit of a hankering for more juke at OUTPOST1, here you go. Fuck, even Joe Nice told me to book him!”
Photo: Geoff White
Let’s cut to the chase and get to the interview! Hit the jump.
(q’s from knomad)
It’s clear your sound is heavily influenced by the Chicago footwork scene, but often times much more melodic than the drum and chopped vocal programming of those originating the sound. When you start a track, do you start with a melody and/or chord progression, or do you start with a vocal and beat loop? It depends. Sometimes I’ll start with a vocal and sometimes I’ll start with a beat or a melody. I try to not think about what I’m going to write until I’ve already written a big chunk of the tune. I usually just pick a bpm and start building the tune.
What’s your next step? Once I have the main part of it written out, I generally try to fill out the rest of the tune until it sounds done to me. I’m not sure what “done” is, but I know what it feels like.
Where does the melodic nature of your sound come from? I’m a classically trained Oboist and I’ve played a lot of Jazz gigs on bass. I think a lot of my harmonic and melodic knowledge is from playing and studying a lot of different styles of music over the years.
(q’s from kc)
In the game since: I originally started messing around with writing tunes and mini albums for myself in 1999, but I started producing seriously in 2009.
The first piece of music you ever bought? Chumbawamba ‘Tubthumpin’
The most recent? DJ Screw and the Screwed up Click-Screw Tape in the Deck: Still Bangin’ Screw Vol. 1
What was your first gig like? My first gig was in 2006 at a dnb night in Houston called Turn it Up. I had just turned 18 and I wasn’t old enough to get in, but a friend talked to the guys running the party and I they let me play the 11pm slot. I mixed all the quiet parts together so no one would know that I couldn’t beat match. I think the DJs knew, but the crowd didn’t care so it was super fun.
How did it compare to your most recent? My most recent gig was a lot of fun too. I played at Bassic in Boston. That party is my favorite party in Boston to play. The crowd is really open-minded, the sound is good, and the people who run the night are really good people.
Best part about DJing? DJing lets you create a live composition of many different pieces of music. I really enjoy the improvisational aspect of it, as well as the instant feedback the crowd gives me.
If you could pick one type of venue or particular spot to play where would it be? I just want to play in a place with a good sound system, a dark room, and people that want to dance and have a good time.
Who are your favorite producers/tracks right now? Dj Rashad and Distal. Rashad’s album coming out on Lit City is amazing. It’s really going to fuck with what people think footwork is. I’ve also heard some of the tunes that Distal is putting on his album for Tectonic and they’re completely next level.
KAB bonus: Check out my interview w/ Distal of Embassay Recs.
What’s the best way to combat boredom? Make the decision to not get bored. It’s not really that hard. JUST DO SOMETHING.
What’s your favorite kind of taco? Taco Bell Taco Supreme (Hardshell)
Be sure not to miss Wheez-ie at (Le) Poisson Rouge in Manhattan this Thursday for on the sly and this Friday in Albany at the Fuze Box for OUTPOST1. Don’t sleep!