Weiss talks identity, trends & house music

Deep jacking grooves, warm rumbling subs, sweet sharp percussion, delicate vocal treatment… Whatever it is about house music that stimulates you the most, you’re guaranteed to find plenty of it on a Weiss record. Weiss has had a varied and exciting music career. Having already found favour with Radio One DJs B.Traits and Shadow Child, Weiss enjoys regular support from a host of House artists from Jaymo & Andy George to Groove Armada and more. With a string of exciting projects, collaborations and hotly tipped releases on their way, expect nothing but the deepest jacking grooves, the warmest rumbling subs, the sweetest, sharpest percussion and most delicate vocal treatment. Weiss might be a new name right now, but with years of behind the scenes studio engineering work under his belt he has more than enough skills to back up the hype. Inspired and infatuated with all forms of music; Kariya, Shades Of Rhythm, Kate Bush, New Atlantic, 808 State and Chic, Weiss has finally invested his love and professional audio skills into his own body of work embracing house music’s rich heritage.

We caught up with the man of the moment to discuss his new project, the cyclic nature of dance music and his views of the scene.

The Weiss project sprung into life in 2013. What was the catalyst and where do you see the project going artistically?

There was no one catalyst really. I started from the age 14 making music, but last year I felt the time was right for a new approach. This music I’m making is perfect for me and I feel the time is right in the music industry at the moment for this sound to do well.
Obviously, I want this project to progress to become bigger than it currently is. The plans are to get the Weiss sound out to every country into the world if we can. The main places I’m doing at the moment are Europe, but I’d love everyone who is into underground music to know about Weiss.

Your hugely successful Weiss City EP’s have reached number 3. What inspires you to be so productive in such a short space of time?

Really, at the end of the day, it’s my job. Monday to Friday I’m working in the studio, so I have so much time working on music and it’s something that I love, so I don’t really look at it as a chore. I experiment so much in the studio and come up with all these different ideas on a daily basis so there are quite a lot of ideas there to work on. But, it’s quality over quantity. I’ll make six or seven tunes and only choose one or two out of them so I’m focusing on quality.

Having spent much of your life as a studio engineer, what has been your perspective of how House music has developed over the last 20 years?

Yes, I’ve seen a lot of changes, repetition and development. For me, each genre comes round in circles: we get the harder edge and then the disco side and then the old school. They all come back on each other, but as the years progress, there are new and different influences which means they sound different. The genre we’re going through now that everyone’s calling Deep House is really original ‘90s House, but brought up to date with new influences.

When you were learning your trade producing, were there any eureka type moments? If so, maybe you would like to share these tips to any aspiring producers out there.

I get eureka moments everyday, like you’ll be working on a track and, all of a sudden, you’ll come up with an awesome sound so that would be a eureka moment. They’re really on a daily basis for me so I’m quite lucky. So, it’s really down to persistence, concentration and inspiration.

As a touring artist, what are the differences between the UK scene compared to the international scene or do they share any common traits?

Different countries take to different sounds and also different times of the year affect it. I would actually say that the underground scene in the UK is really upfront, a world leader, so you’re bringing new sounds and styles to countries when you travel and those combine with the popular sounds already there so it’s a great way for new sounds and styles to develop.

Who were your inspirations and idols growing up and what was it in particular that you liked or felt connected you to with their music?

From a very young age, I was experiencing the Motown side of music because my mum was really into it, so she’d be playing it all the time. So that was the main genre I would listen to when I was young. Then I moved on to Metallica, the rock sound. Then when my brothers started going out and I was only thirteen, was when I first got introduced to House, in the Club UK days, 1996/7. I’d listen to that and then I’d start buying hard House. But, artist-wise, Smokey Robinson, people like that, even Phil Collins, Kate Bush, they all influence me. When I got into the House scene, it was Todd Terry, Kenny Dope, all those guys, people with soulful influences. I used to go to the Subliminal night at Ministry of Sound, all those American DJs – it was the American sound that I liked, DJ Sneak, Armand Van Helden, all that lot.

What has been your impression of the changing world of music production? These days pretty much anyone can download a cracked copy of some music software and start making music. Has acid house’s dream become acid house’s nightmare?

I think it’s a 50/50. It’s given people that don’t have the money an opportunity to do something they want to do because, back in the day, you’d have to have at least 50 grand to set up a studio with all the hardware. But now people can do it on the cheap. But, on the other hand, a lot of crap is being churned out and chucked out there. It makes going through promos very hard, I mean, you have to go through two or three thousand promos just to get four or five good tracks. That’s the negative side – there’s just too much being released – too much quantity, not enough quality. But the good thing, like I say, is that it’s given young kids who don’t have a lot of money the chance to produce.

In the 90’s Speed Garage had taken clubland by storm and artists like RIP Groove, Armand Van Helden and Tuff Jam were the in demand remixers. Obviously times change and styles come and go, but just recently, in the last year of so, there has been a definite turn back towards that UKG sound. Will you be embracing that sound as Weiss or carefully avoiding it?

I will not be going down that genre at all. I think what I’m doing at the moment works; I don’t want to start following other people. I’ll always stick to my guns and go in the studio and make what I love. It seems to be working so I’m not going to start following other people and other genres.

As Weiss, you’ve been mindful to keep a low profile and allow the music to do the talking. Do you feel social media over exposes artists and takes away from their main purpose – making great music?

No, not at all. It’s something we all have to be part of – it’s part of the job, part of the industry, to be on social networks. It’s about finding a balance of both.

Are there any producers in particular you are looking to collaborate with?

I’m really busy at the moment, focusing on my own productions, but I’ve been chatting with Green Velvet and Kenny Dope about possible collaborations in the future.

You are a well travelled artist and have been to many parties around the globe during your career. Are there any venues or particular events that are a high priority to be done?

I played at a club called Bullet in Munich, Germany, and it was right at the start of Weiss last year. It was one of the best underground clubs I’ve ever played in. A box room, no décor, black room, light system, Funktion 1, and everyone in there was just ready to party and it was just about the music. And Fabric, of course. It was always a dream to play there and I played there earlier this year. It was just amazing and I’ll be back there later this year. The ultimate dream would be to be a resident at Fabric.

How do you feel about established artists like DJ Sneak using his twitter feed to fuel personal conflicts?

It’s not something that I’d personally do, but if that’s his bag, so be it. I’ve got nothing against it – each to their own.

It’s been wonderful to meet you and chat. We wish you well with the Weiss project; it has great potential. Could you give our readers an insight into what the rest of the year is looking like?

Sure, I’ve got my remix of Tube & Burger’s ‘Come On Now (Set It Off)’ out soon on FFRR and my remix of MK’s classic track ‘Always’ out on Defected soon too. They’ve been getting some great reactions in my sets. I’ve also got a new single, compilation and EP in the pipeline, as well as lots of tour dates. I’ll be in Ibiza over the coming months doing a few dates for Toolroom Knights at Booom Ibiza, including the opening party next Monday 21st.