If you happened to go to Shine’s re-opening in South Beach on Saturday, September 19th, then you definitely had a memorable night. Sure it was their re-opening party, but more importantly, they brought in a very special musical treat in the form of Way Out West. The UK based DJ/Producers have been making hits since they first broke out onto the scene with their first single, Montana, in 1994. Now they’ve become a house hold name in the EDM world, recently releasing their highly touted fourth studio album, We Love Machine. As they continue to tour for this album, we definitely have to recommend catching one of their live shows. Clubplanet recently caught up with Way Out West’s Nick Warren and Jody Wisternoff to chat about their new album, their first collaboration with a male vocalist, and what they have in store for the remainder of the year.
Clubplanet: How's 2009 treated you thus far?
Jody Wisternoff: Very well thanks. Besides from finishing the album I’ve also put out a loopmasters sample pack, released and have been touring loads.
Nick Warren: Very good mate, busy, busy and great to have the album finally out there.
Clubplanet: What's it like to play Miami outside of Winter Music Conference?
Nick Warren: Very good, it was strange, the clubs are pretty much shut down for most of the year, so lots of people came out. My God it was hot though, I understand why they do the conference in March.
Clubplanet: Going into the studio for 'We Love Machine,' did you have a particular sound that you were shooting for, or did you seem to improvise along the way?
Jody Wisternoff: We did decide to make the music a lot more synth heavy and to use less samples as sound source, and also to go with the house groove which we play as DJs as opposed to the traditional wow sound which is more on the breakbeat tip. We’ve been collecting vintage synths for the last few years, so obviously we put these through the paces and that probably lends to the flavor of the record.
Nick Warren: We pretty much follow instincts, the sound naturally evolves around the ideas we have.
Clubplanet: On 'We Love Machine,' your sound transitions from melodic tracks, to bumpier dancy tunes. Did you guys want to cover different moods on the album?
Jody Wisternoff: An album needs to have variation otherwise it would be a boring listening experience. Hopefully every track has a different mood and emotion, but even on the more clubby tracks we still made sure they had melodic content. That is one of the wow trademarks I suppose.
Nick Warren: I think it's vital to do so, the best albums always cover different moods and sounds and we take all our influences and idea's into making an album and see what comes out the other side.
Clubplanet: On 'Only Love,' you have your first collaboration with a male vocalist. Why after so many years have that come about now?
Jody Wisternoff: I think it’s a lot harder to find good male vocalists. Jon Mendelsohn tracked me down on myspace, sent me a demo of his vocals over one of my solo tracks, I was blown away, and we've been working together ever since. I would have been the obvious option to go with a bunch of guest vocalists, or a featured female like last time, but when this opportunity arose we were like, yeah lets go with it!
Nick Warren: It was time we felt, our female vocalists in the past did an amazing job for us but we thought we should try a different vibe on this album, we are over the moon with the job that Jonathan has done.
Clubplanet: How's your live tour coming along? It's highly anticipated amongst all of your fans?
Jody Wisternoff: This time we are doing the wow sound system, which is Ableton based and sounds a lot punchier in clubs than the live band approach from before. You can really get creative with Live, in ways that were previously impossible. An ideal scenario would be transporting the analog studio onstage ala Orbital, but this is just not viable right now.
Nick Warren: it is working really well, Jody and I have found our winning formula and it is very exciting, every live performance will be different from the last, mixing and playing live is such fun."
Clubplanet: How much work would you say goes into the preparation of a live tour?
Jody Wisternoff: We are not really doing a tour as such , the wow sound system is more like DJ dates in that sense. I break down all the tracks into their individual elements and separate all the key sounds, so that the arrangements can be done live whilst nick fires samples over the top. It takes a lot of preparation, and the set is revised after each gig.
Clubplanet: What are your thoughts on the progression of electronic dance music in America?
Jody Wisternoff: Well, obviously House comes from America, but Id say in general it seems at the moment a lot of the more influential stuff is coming from Europe. Club wise, the scene seems pretty strong at the moment, certainly a lot better than 3 years ago, but EDM has never really broken through in states, possibly due to the lack of any nationwide radio. The commercial side of dance music seems very strong. Production wise, I wish I was hearing more American productions in the techy melodic scene, it seems very European based at the moment."
Clubplanet: What can we expect from you for the remainder of the year?
Jody Wisternoff: The album has just been released so we will be in full promotion mode for a good while.
Nick Warren: We are doing some shows in Greece, and also a big New Year’s Eve show in Hungary, plus lots of solo DJ shows and there is a remix album out in February.