One of Australian label Future Classic’s rising stars, Wave Racer has been building up a steady fan base with his bright, cheery melodies. Now he’s crossing over to America with incredible success. Check out what Flume, Emoh Instead, and Lindsay Lowend had to say about Wave Racer in our past interviews, and then read on to hear his take on the evolving relationship between Australia and the States.
There’s been a resurgence of lighter sounds and an emphasis on melodies rather than drops lately with artists like Flume and Disclosure on the rise. Do you think this is a response to the heavy waves of dubstep, big room, and trap?
In some ways it’s a response to that. For me personally its an intrinsic happiness. I always thought dance music was dark music with sad, brooding sounds. This is a response to that, making it bright and happy.
Will we ever see a darker side to wave racer?
The music reflects my mood so like any songwriter it could happen. I’m not very good at writing dark music but we’ll see what happens.
So for your songwriting do you need to be sad to write sad songs, in love to write love songs?
Getting in the songwriting mindset is a totally different thing than the normal mindset for me. It depends how I’m feeling creatively, not necessarily emotionally.
I heard you have a Facebook group with Austarlian electronic producer’s swapping music?
Yea that ones called the awesome group, it’s pretty small. Friends of mine like Cosmo’s Midnight.
Who are you working on tracks with right now?
Cosmo’s, the guys I just mentioned, from Sydney. Other than that I’m working on new originals.
How has the reception of your music changed over time and from country to country?
That’s a good question, every territory has a different response. People in America will respond differently to different songs. For example a remix I did a while ago for D- cup is one of my more popular songs in America where as in Australia it’s one of my least popular tracks. I’m kind of blown away by the response I get here (America) which is often bigger than what I get back home. It’s amazing.
You approach music in a sample based way, do you have any tips about isolating vocals or beats when the layers are all muddied up across the channels and eq isn’t enough?
You can do some stereo stuff. Ableton’s got a really great plug-in called utility and basically you can split the stereo signal into two. The vocals usually exist over the whole stereo spectrum whereas the beat is usually more mono. So if you just get the wide sounds and leave out the middle it tends to isolate the vocals. If you do that plus eq you get a pretty good result
What was your room like as a kid?
I had tons of Pokemon posters as a kid and Muse Posters as I got older. When I was a kid I had a Tweety Bird blanket cover. That was the most memorable part of my room.
What were your other early non-electronic influences besides Muse?
Mars Volta, Rage Against the Machine. I was really into rock music like that. I went to a lot of festivals in Australia like Big Day Out.
What are some non-Australian electronic movements you’re into at the moment?
I think the Jersey club movement is pretty cool. Norway has really cool stuff. I’m not sure if that’s a movement but there’s lots of cool stuff coming out of there.
Lastly let’s hear a couple artists that you love that we should all check out but haven’t heard of.
Alizzz from Barcelona, Awe from LA, can I say Lido or do you know him?
He’s playing today as Trippy Turtle.
Well… that’s not confirmed. I guess we’ll find out.
When’s your album gonna drop?
I’m working on my next release right now, it’ll probably be an EP. I have a few ideas and one of them’s going really well. Probably next year.
Interview by Jesse Wheaton