Sam Vogel, a.k.a. JAUZ, has been taking the EDM scene by storm by disproving the idea that artists belong to genres. After emerging from a background of heavy music such as trap and dubstep, lately he’s been releasing more deeper styles of music with a futuristic sound; it has been getting a lot of buzz to say the least. On September 4th Buygore invited us out to their showcase at Havoc Thursdays inside the Yost theater. We had a great time at the event and were lucky enough to catch up with JAUZ in the interview below.
Daily Beat: How did your music career begin?
JAUZ: I tried to be in bands and I tried to do the whole band thing and I was just too young and kids didn’t have the commitment or the determination. After a couple of months bands would always breakup. So I had the idea to record myself and make a band like a one-man band. I tried that for about a week and it was impossible. So I pretty much stopped producing for like 4 years after that and I still loved music, I would still write music. Up until one of my good friends showed me dubstep. It was something that gave me the same emotion as metal, but wasn’t metal. And then I saw one of my friends making music and I realized I could do this all on my own, 100% solo and all I had to rely on is myself to make all the music. That was really what drove me to get into electronic music. I had no idea of any of it when I started making it. As time went on I started listening to more people,.
Daily Beat: Who were some of your early influences?
JAUZ: The first EDM song I heard was Swagga [Excision & Datsik]. I heard that and I didn’t know what it was but I fucking loved it. And then I heard a really old Getter track. It was so close to metal that it just put me over the edge, I was like holy sh** I can do this. And so I’d say my inspirations earlier was all the heavy stuff and they still are. Excision, Datsik, Skrillex, all the big guys.
Daily Beat: Were you just listening to music then or were you also going to shows as well?
JAUZ: I actually didn’t go to an EDM show until 2 years after I started producing. I went to metal shows but no raves. All my friends went to raves that’s how I got all my music. I learned what EDM was but I was seriously just sitting in my room making beats.
Daily Beat: I definitely see a lot of DJs going out to play clubs all over by selling tickets and I feel like a lot of them miss out on getting their own sound together.
JAUZ: There’s nothing wrong with trying to work your way through the ranks like that but for me it was always about the music and never about the shows or the scene or anything like that, and it still isn’t. I love playing shows and I like connecting with fans, and being in a metal band that’s all I ever wanted to do was get on a bus and travel the country and play shows for everybody, but without the music theres not really anything. There’s so many people that try to make it with DJing but once they get to certain point they have to figure out producing. For me it was completely the opposite. My mind set was like I’m gonna make the music and do nothing but make the music until it gets to the point where I have to start playing shows.
Daily Beat: How long did it take you to play shows since you started producing?
JAUZ: I’d say my first serious shows started after I signed with Buygore. My manager believed in me from the beginning when I didn't really have any following. I was just making music for myself. My first show was a myspace party, it was me, Ookay, Kennedy Jones, and Borgore, and that was almost after four years into producing that I played a real show. I've been focusing more on the music than the shows and actually am still continuing to do that.
Daily Beat: So would you say your inspiration has changed overtime now that you’re getting more well known with the EDM scene? Has anything changed about it?
JAUZ: I’d say as far as what I’m making has changed. I started doing only heavy stuff and as far as what it looks like, I only put out deep house. But its not true, I make just as much dubstep and heavy beats as I’m making deep stuff. What I’m trying to do right now as an artist is kinda like push the boundaries. Everyone always says you should stick to one thing first then expand, but I don’t really buy into it. I’ve always made everything. I’ve put out dubstep, trap, future bass, melodic shit, and I don’t wanna say I’ve gotten a ton of people that are like “oh my god you’re so versatile and amazing” but like people appreciate it. They appreciate something different. It’s kinda like jack of all trades master of none, that’s kinda how I view myself.
Daily Beat: Does that reflect in your live shows as well? Do you jump all around genres?
JAUZ: Absolutely like tonight I’m sticking to a little bit of deep house and mostly heavy stuff. For like a festival setting I would do absolutely everything.
Daily Beat: Have you done any festivals yet?
JAUZ: Not yet, Hopefully soon as its always been a dream of mine.
Daily Beat: With the shows you’ve played so far, is there anything you do that makes you different than other DJs?
JAUZ: That’s a good question. I feel like a lot of people worry about that a lot. They worry about being different and doing something as far as their live setting that sets them apart from everyone. And for me I look at it again from a metal perspective. There aren’t many bands trying hard to do something so different that they stick out from everyone else. I kinda just let the music talk for itself. The other thing is I see myself as more of a producer than a performer. I’m way more about making the music than playing the music. I got into it in an unconventional way. Then at the same time you hear the Skrillex stories and the Big Chocolates and all those who were all metal guys that went into dubstep.
Daily Beat: That’s crazy that it happens so much with dubstep in particular.
JAUZ: I’m not an angry person at all, but I love angry music; it’s the visceral. I love like light music, not just as much, but I can appreciate it. I can make it, there’s a time and place for it, but nothing can replace the gnarly heavy ass music for me. As far as my sound goes, my goal is to bring this whole deep house night bass thing out. Personally I don’t give a fuck about genres, you can quote me on that. One of the duos I respect the most is GTA, Death To Genres. I wish I could take that and make it my own thing. When I saw that I was like shit that’s exactly what I wanna do.
Daily Beat: So what festivals have you gone to so far?
JAUZ: I went to my first EDC this year.
Daily Beat: How was that?
JAUZ: Well I missed Excision and Destroid dropping my track Pure Evil, but I got to sit down and talk to him it was really cool. Getting to like hang out with him like two people was way cooler than seeing him drop my tracks. Its funny because no matter how big any of these guys are we’re all just a bunch of computer nerds. We all just sit behind our computer all day. Asaf was another great example.
Daily Beat: He was a drummer before right?
JAUZ: That and he’s an incredible musician. Once when I went to his house, he went into him room and starts playing like jazz piano. The chords he can hit are gnarly. People do not give him enough credit. I mean you wouldn’t know it. If you listen to his new album you can hear it, people just don’t even realize it.
Daily Beat: You can’t always tell a producer’s knowledge of theory by listening to their music.
JAUZ: Definitely I learned theory in school and it kinda went in one ear and out the other. The thing that I took away from it the most is intervallic relations and understanding what notes together sound right. I couldn’t play a scale for you, I could hit a chord if you asked me to. In my head I know what melodies sound right in what keys, and like what notes to play together to make a cool melody. I can figure out chords, it takes me longer than it should, and if I kept playing piano it would probably be a lot easier. I don’t know I just do my thing and it seems to be working.
Daily Beat: So how exactly did you get your foot in the door? Going from producing music in your bedroom to working with Buygore.
JAUZ: A lot of it had to do with Icon and a lot of it had to do with Kennedy Jones. He helped me get my foot in the door. I sent him one of my tracks and he never listened to it. I hit him up and he finally listened to it, the Zeds Dead Ratchet Remix. Then I met him at Avalon and I told him how I had given him the track. He was stoked to meet me and I kept sending him music after that. Then he came into Icon and did a Mixify event where I got to talk to him and hangout with him for like two hours. And then after that I sent him Pure Evil, way before it got released. That was when he finally introduced me to Moe, who’s now my manager. It wasn’t that long after that until I got picked up by the label and things really started to take off from there. I think I was barely over 1,000 likes on Facebook when I signed with them and its been like six months now and I’m at like 38,000. That stuff would have taken me years. And they’ve done a lot more for me than just boost my numbers.
Daily Beat: What advice would you give to an upcoming producer to get into a spot like you’re in?
JAUZ: Keep your head down, keep writing music until you get to a point where people tell you you’re great and people need to hear you. Don’t try to put yourself out there too soon. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think its too soon. Always keep waiting.
Checkout our entire review of the event and JAUZ's set here.
[JAUZ, Borgore, Dotcom]
Photography by Simply G.