Electronic music pioneers Way Out West (AKA Nick Warren & Jody Wisternoff) are back – not only with a brand new album recently released on Anjunadeep, but now also with a much-demanded fresh UK Tour. DMCWORLD gets the world exclusive…
Guys a huge welcome back to DMC, where are you and what’s going on right now?
Nick: I’m on tour in the USA, had some great shows and am up the Colorado Rockies for a couple of days off, I think Jody is over here as well.
Jody: No prob. I’m sat on a plane, about to head out to Vancouver to continue the Anjunadeep North America tour.
This year saw you release your fifth studio album, Tuesday Maybe. It’s your first since 2009’s We Love Machine – what was behind the decision to take a break from releasing music?
Nick: We never took a break, we were working on material all the time but we both have really busy schedules outside of WOW, I have been touring constantly and building up The Soundgarden brand with my partner Petra, alongside the label.
Jody: We are both juggling solo careers alongside WOW. In these 8 years, I have released a JW artist album, 5 mix comps with Anjunadeep and countless remixes. Despite our individual endeavours, we were always working on WOW stuff. Around 2013 we decided to properly do another album, and these things always take about 4 years from inception to release.
With a career spanning three decades and counting, you’ve released dozens of pioneering tracks like 1996’s The Gift. What has been the highlight of your career to date as Way Out West?
Nick: There have been so many highlights, on a personal one it is the fact that Jody and I have worked together for such a long period of time and still kept relevant.
Jody: Trevor Horn came to our studio when we were collaborating on a track and showed me the exact chord’s and synth patch for Grace Jones – Slave to the Rhythm (on the Roland JX8P). That was pretty awesome! Besides that, doing Top of the Pops with the Gift was a childhood dream come true.
How has your music-making process changed since 1996? Do you feel you’ve kept up with and harnessed the ever-progressing world of music technology?
Nick: Jody has always been a wizard in the studio. I have gained in my experience and we now tend to ping ideas back and forth while being away from the studio.
Jody: Oh yeah totally! Fully up to date with all the latest software. We haven’t done the modular synth thing yet but we are very lucky in that we have a bunch of classic Analogues.
You both hail from Bristol – a city that needs little introduction by way of its huge number of legendary artists. What kind of influence has the city had on you both over all these years?
Nick: I think the multicultural side of the city has been a big influence on all the artists that come from the city – in the early days we would go to a house night, reggae, trip hop, techno all in the same week.
Jody: The major influence for me was in the early days. My parents were kind of on the scene and instead of getting a babysitter they would drag me and my little bro there to house parties where the likes of Massive Attack would be Djing. I was exposed to a lot of cool shit when I was very young.
2018 marks a very exciting year as you embark on a seven date UK live tour. What can fans expect from the show? Any surprises?
Nick: it’s going to be great fun to do, we are doing the old school live venue tour, everything in the back of a van and on the road together. None of this 5-star hotel DJ business. We will have a fantastic support act in Phaleah who is also from Bristol and as well as me and Jody we will have guest vocalists along.
Jody: If I told you it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore lol. We showcase the new album plus a bunch of our finer moments remixed for 2017.
You’ve experimented with various lineup changes to the live band over the years, fully incorporating instruments alongside electronics. What made you guys want to perform live instead of strict DJ sets?
Nick: It’s a real challenge to play live but very rewarding. It’s just me and Jody on music, along the same lines as the Chemical brothers live shows.
Jody: It’s just a more honest and pure way to express your sound. DJing is awesome in its own right, but the majority of the music you play is by other artists. When we do live shows, it’s a chance to portray the music we have been making together over the last 25 years but in a contemporary fashion.
How has the live sound developed since the last time you were touring?
Nick: It Naturally evolves as we do more and get more experienced, I am also using Maschine as well as the Roland sample pads so it’s good to keep adding to the set up.
Jody: The last show we did was Glastonbury this summer and the set-up is pretty much the same for this upcoming tour.
Can you name any influential artists you admire in 2017?
Nick: TB on Innervisions, Anton Dhouran, Modd, Mr YT, Kiwi, to name a few.
Jody: Kink, Bicep, Luttrell, De Erweckens. The list goes on…
Finally, what’s the craziest thing to have happened to you guys on tour?
Nick: Jody getting naked on the Faithless tour. That’s all I have to say on the matter.
Jody: During a Qantas flight between Sydney and Melbourne one of the engines exploded. The pilot said “we have had a catastrophic failure of the left engine “, turned around and landed on one engine within 15 mins. A harrowing experience to say the least.
LEEDS – BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
MANCHESTER – GORILLA
BRISTOL – THEKLA
CARDIFF – THE GLOBE
NOTTINGHAM – RESCUE ROOMS
BRIGHTON – CONCORDE 2
LONDON – MANGLE