Ahead of his headlining appearance at the Ottobar, Gutter Magazine sat down with Australia’s Tornado Wallace to find out more about the nu disco DJ/Producer:
Q: How has 2012 been going for you so far? Have there been any
projects that have been keeping you especially busy?
TW: After living in London for the last half of last year away from my
Melbourne studio, 2012 has been about knuckling down and writing
music. I have an EP finished that will probably see the light of day
next year, I’ve done some remixes including one for Matthew Dear and
Recloose and I’ve started some other projects with some Melbourne
based mates that have a slightly different vibe which I’m looking
forward to getting out in the big bad world soon enough.
Q: It seems like information about you online is pretty sparse – is
that a personal preference to stay out of the spotlight or just a
TW: Perhaps it’s the smaller musical output I have compared to some
others; maybe it’s the distance I live from a lot of the dance music
‘hubs’. I guess I’d leave that answer to the analysts. The most
important thing for me is to put out the best music I can and play
interesting and absorbing sets when I DJ. I tend to avoid anything
that smells like a gimmick and let the music do the talking. Oops that
was a bit cliché…
Q: What kinds of music did you listen to when you were growing up? Do
you think that those artists influence the music you make now?
TW: I listened to a lot of different genres and made a lot of music in
different styles as soon as I was able. Electronic music gradually
became my passion as I started getting into commercially successful
artists such as Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers and Prodigy. The journey
led deeper as I became fascinated in most of electronic music’s sub
genres such as house, drum’n’bass,Warp records style electronica and
trance music. I’m certain sub consciously – and sometimes more
directly – all this music has had an influence on what I produce
Q: How and when did you first get into the electronic music community
in Australia? Was there anything in particular that you were listening
to when you began exploring the scene there?
TW: The Internet was my main source of musical discovery, as it was
for most my age. So it didn’t really matter where in the world you
lived, you could build your own musical path. When I started going out
in Melbourne it was because I wanted to get drunk with my friends. I
never really expected to enjoy the music too much as I had only ever
met 2-3 people who were into the same styles as I was growing up. But
then you see a few street posters, stumble across some ads in street
press, and discover a community of promoters, artists and DJs building
a scene founded on great music.
Q: How much does your home city/nation influence your music?
TW: I’d have to say not very much actually, but that’s not to say
there isn’t a whole heap of cool stuff happening there. I couldn’t
pick any specific city these days that has any profound influence on
me as it’s totally across the board. Where one’s from seems to matter
less and less, which means the music itself has to do the
Q: What music has been the most inspirational/influential to you
recently? Do you have any noteworthy comrades in the Melbourne scene
whose work has been particularly stimulating?
TW: ESP Institute, Future Times, International Feel, Claremont 56,
Beats in Space are some labels at the moment that you can put in the
bag without taking off the plastic
TW: In the home scene – just to reel of some name – Otologic, AndeeFrost,
Bell Towers, Roland Tings, Mic Newman, Chet Faker, Francis Inferno
Orchesta, Michael Ozone.
Q: How active/visible is the electronic music scene in Melbourne? What
groups or factors are potential tastemakers/tastebreakers there?
TW: To me it’s exciting as there are great parties and strong artists
coming from Melbourne, but you’d have to spend a bit of timethere or
know someone involved to really scrape the surface. A weekend spent at
the wrong places would make you never want to step foot in Melbourne
again – but I guess that’s the case anywhere. There are
nights/artists/promoters/clubs popping up all the time. After a while
it becomes quite apparent who is just trying to capitalize on a
growing market of electronic music lovers compared to those who are in
it for the right reasons. And fortunately, the good (mostly) prevail.
Q: Does your perception of your audience influence your music as
you’re creating it? Are there any particular moods or atmospheres
you’re trying to achieve?
TW: I’m quite self-indulged when I make music – I think you have to
be. My styles change a fair bit from track to track so I’m not really
thinking about any ‘audience’ so-to-speak. Sometimes I worry that some
tracks are too different from previous stuff, but if someone doesn’t
like something, then someone else will.
Q: Are there any significant differences between the music that you
produce and the music that you’ll play when out in a club?
TW: I like to play a big range of styles when I DJ – a much wider
range than I’m capable of creating myself. I don’t tend to play much
of my own music but if I do it’s usually something that has been
released for a while already. When I make something, Ihear my finished
track differently to how I would if I didn’t make it myself. Recently
I finished something and sent it to a friend for some feedback and he
told me it sounded ‘psytrancey’ – which I of course wasn’t expecting
(or hoping for). I put it down to his lack of understanding of
psy-trance, but still… no smoke without fire.
Q: How does the rest of the year look for you, in terms of what you
have coming up after your tour in North America? Any exciting plans or
projects lined up for 2013?
TW: After this North America tour it’s back to the studio for a few
months and playing a few of the festivals that litter Australia’s
weekends during their summer. There’s a few EPs ready to go as both
Tornado Wallace and a side project and a couple of remixes that should
leak out soon enough. 2013 will see another UK/European tour and
hopefully I’ll be able to get back to the States at some point towards
the end of the year.
Listen to Tornado Wallace on Beats in Space
Tornado Wallace is the guest DJ on Saturday @ The Ottobar’s Slow
Disco Dance Party, join the event here: http://www.facebook.com/events/291771427576032/