(photo credit: Sebastian Kim)
In the short period of time that Joey Youngman aka Wolfgang Gartner has been producing music he has already become a legend in the EDM world. Eight number 1 tracks on Beatport's Top 10 charts, performances at Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Ultra Music Festival in Miami and most recently, a sold-out North American tour and the release of his first album, Weekend In America. Claiming Top 10 status on Beatport with the single “Menage A Trois,” the album debuted at #1 on Beatport’s Top Releases. We were fortunate enough to catch up with Wolfgang Gartner in the midst of his tour to ask him a few question. Truly an honor. Enjoy!
DxE: What is the meaning of the title Weekend in America?
WG: I go out and play shows almost every weekend. Some of it is in Europe or Australia but over half of it is in America. I'll fly out on a Thursday, play Thursday, Friday, Saturday, come back home and then I'll make music during the week. Then I'll fly back out the next Thursday... thats kind of a very generalized picture of what my schedule is like. When I fly out and play these shows I get inspiration from the crowd, sort of do my market research, and figure out what type of music I want to make and then I come home and make it. Then I'll take those tracks that I made and play them out the following weekend... it becomes a cycle. The music on the album, Weekend in America, was all inspired by and created from me going out on the weekends in America and playing in front of these crowds and what I saw and what people reacted to. It also did have a nice ring to it.
DxE: What's been the biggest difference in your production style/schedule since moving to LA?
WG: I moved after I pretty much finished the album actually. The only thing I did here in LA was I put some of the vocals on tracks. I did ["Circus Freaks"] with Jim Jones and Cam'ron, they sent me their vocals, and here in LA I perfected it and re-mastered it. The only track off the album that I actually made in LA, in the studio, was "The Way It Was". Oddly enough that seems to be the best selling track off the album on Beatport and Itunes. It's not necessarily the biggest reaction I get in clubs but it seems to be the best selling single off the album so I think that's probably a good sign that that is the one track I made in my new studio.
DxE: What is your favorite piece of equipment/gear in your studio?
WG: A hybrid analog and digital synthesizer called the Dave Smith Poly Evolver. By far my favorite, it was used countless times on the album, almost on every single track I'd say.
DxE: Do you think Albums are necessary in the EDM world or would you also be ok with living off singles like a lot of artists do now a days?
WG: I think the landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years and I don't think albums are necessary. The reason I did an album was because I wanted to put together a body of work and I wanted to be able to go a little bit outside my bounds. When you're putting out singles, if put something out that is way out in left field people get freaked out and think you're going into this crazy style now. But when you put it on an album, there's 12 tracks on there, so as long as you've got a few of your classic sounding, signature style tracks then you can go and experiment with some new stuff and it wont really freak people out as much. I wanted to put together a collection of stuff that defined where I was at as an artist.
DxE: Do you think it is necessary to shift towards making more mainstream (pop) tracks which include vocals?
WG: I think instrumental only is totally do-able. To be honest, sometimes I think that it would have been smarter, from a marketing perspective, for me not to put any vocals on this album because my fan-base and the people who are listening to my music don't necessarily want vocals. They want my stuff untainted with no vocals. A lot of the dance music community doesn't like that type of stuff. The kids will listen to David Guetta and those radio tracks but the vocal tracks I've done on my album aren't like that. They aren't radio tracks. The track with Jim Jones and Cam'ron is a gutter rap track with so much swearing it could never be on the radio. If I were thinking just about marketing and what's going to sell best I probably wouldn't have put vocals on the album. I did because I wanted to and because I like the way it sounds. I think it's bringing a lot more to the table musically, and I got to work with people I've wanted to work with. It was purely something I wanted to do selfishly regardless of what the repercussions were.
DxE: Who is one rapper/singer you hope to work with one day?
WG: There's a ton. Drake and Lil' Wayne, I love them. Jay-Z, Kanye West, Mos Def. Dipset was a big one, I was a huge fan of them and they were somebody I really wanted to work with so that's one checked off already. It's constantly changing, there's a lot of new people out there, but I'm trying to put together a wish list of people I want to work with so that we can start hitting them up for the next album.
DxE: What is your favorite track from Weekend in America?
WG: If I really have to pick a favorite... "Illmerica" has always been my favorite track of mine ever since I made it. But I feel the same way about "Space Junk" it's just completely different than "Illmerica". "The Champ" is another one I love. The track with Eve, ["Get Em"], I love because it's really catchy to me and I get I stuck in my own head which is rare for stuff for me. It's hard for me to pick a favorite but, if I'm forced to I have to say "Illmerica".
DxE: Up to this point, which stop from the Weekend in America tour has been most memorable?
WG: There's no one spot where it always pops off. It all depends on the party, the venue, the promoter, the night, whether its Wednesday night during finals, [etc]. But LA is my favorite place to play and from a management perspective its my biggest market, which means I can sell more tickets in LA than I can anywhere else in the world, which is a beautiful thing for me because I live here. I think I am very lucky to have the city I live in be my biggest market. LA is my favorite place to play always regardless of where it is and a lot of the Insomniac parties end being around this area like Electric Daisy Carnival, Audiotistic, Together as One, so I associate those with saying LA is my favorite place to play. But [all of my gigs] are good. Nowadays when I go out, I know that every single show that I play is going to be really good. Some of them are going to blow my fucking mind but every single one of them is going to be really really really good and that's a good place to be in.
DxE: What is one thing you never leave for tour without?
WG: My laptop, extra socks, gotta have extra socks, and Listerine. Gotta have multiple refills of Listerine. Gotta have fresh breath always.
DxE: What is in store for Wolfgang Gartner in 2012?
WG: I think I will probably end up doing another bus tour of North America early in 2012, I just have a feeling that will happen. Then I'll go over to Europe for some of the festival stuff. I'll do about 2 months in Europe just spread out over the year. There's also Australia, I'll go all over the world like I usually do. The touring will look pretty much look like this year's. I'm also hoping to start on album number two this week. Now that I'm in LA there's a lot of people out here that I know that are outside of the dance world, in the pop world and rap world, that I am looking forward to working with and sort of doing production type stuff for them. I'll probably explore that a little bit and see if I like it. I'm working on a project right now where I'm realizing I'm not too sure if I like doing that type of stuff. I might just be the type of person that needs to write my own music and not write for somebody else. But I plan to play a little around with that and also start on album number two.
Get Weekend In America HERE