For a fairly early set, Wave Racer drew quite the crowd on the first day of Electric Zoo. Situated on the Riverside Stage, which was designed as a zebra-print octopus, this 23-year-old Aussie laid down his summery house beats self-described as "under the sea," dropping plenty of originals sprinkled with some of the many remixes he's done. I got to chit-chat with him a bit after his set about his upcoming EP, Flash Drive, his live sets, and his spirit animal:
DB: First off, Kanye or Trump for president?
WR: Ooo, obviously Kanye. Anything is better than Trump, right? Plus, Kanye is cool.
DB: And you're not even from America.
WR: Nope, Australia.
DB: So how was it out there today? Your First Ezoo right?
WR: It was really cool! There were definitely people out there who knew the words, like knew my songs. And I try and play as much of my own music in my sets because that's what it's all about. I don't really need to play other people's music.
DB: I totally agree.
WR: Yeah, make it a little different and more about me and my songs. And when people respond well, that's all you can really ask for.
DB: So a complete live set is what you're going for.
WR: Yeah, I still play other people's songs in my set because I don't have that much of my own material.
DB: Well, your new EP is coming out soon so that will help the live set.
WR: Yeah, I have an EP coming out next month, Flash Drive. It has 4 songs on it and the single is already out. I'm really excited to get the rest of the songs out because it's a really diverse set of songs and there is more stuff on there that people might not expect from me.
DB: We were just talking about how you have such a unique sound and I feel like that's so hard for some artists to find their niche these days, and you did it.
WR: Well thank you!
DB: I'm not sure really how to describe it.
WR: Under the sea! Yeah, that's a pretty good way.
DB: A lot of the songs, I felt like I was in a video game.
WR: Yeah, I have a lot like that because I make my music as much about me. So I don't feel the need to replicate.
DB: Do you sample your own sounds and use that in your productions?
WR: Yeah, most of my stuff is made using a laptop, so I create all the sounds myself. Even the drum sounds and all that. I make everything myself so that way I have complete control over what everything is going to sound like and it doesn't feel derivative of any other styles.
DB: I know that you play the guitar too. Would you ever incorporate that into a live set?
WR: That's a good question. I played guitar for a long time, 7 years. I don't play anymore because it's hard to incorporate a guitar into what I do. Although I will probably try eventually. I still have all my gear; it's just sitting there. However, I just feel like I have a lot more freedom when I have software as opposed to the restrictions of a guitar. I feel like that's kind of why I made the shift in the first place.
DB: Yeah, when was that? You're only 23.
WR: I started shifting toward electronic music at about 19/20.
DB: What were you listening to before that?
WR: Before electronic music I was listening to like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine, Mars Volta. Progressive Rock music.
DB: Were you in high school bands?
WR: I was in a bunch of high school bands!
DB: What's next while we wait for your EP to drop?
WR: Waiting for that and touring in the meantime. The single is out so pushing people to hear that.
DB: Last question: what's your spirit animal?
WR: Hmm... the cliche answer would be dolphin but I don't want to say that.
DB: I thought about even asking you because of such an obvious answer.
WR: I think I'm probably more like a puppy. I love all animals though, it's really hard to pick one. It's like, every animal is my spirit animal.
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