The Standard: You have been regularly describes as NYC dance music 'future stars'. How does that feel?
Gavin Royce: Being called 'future stars' is humbling. Obviously being recognized for our work and achievements is so fulfilling, and seeing DJ's we have looked up to for inspiration play our records is almost surreal. However we're not doing this to be stars, we kind of think that DJs being stars is a little weird actually. There's a difference between recognition and stardom and while we definitely want to be recognized we aren't doing it for fame. Our ultimate goal is just to make music that people will know and remember.
You are just back from a tour in UK and Ireland. How would you describe the difference between performing in clubs there versus in NYC?
Sam Walker: It was amazing! People in the UK and Ireland are exposed to dance music at a younger age and are much more receptive, which is really refreshing. We love the US (especially NYC) but peoples' knowledge about dance music is limited here. But it is building and with time we'd love to see the same reactions here as overseas.
Walker & Royce feat. Louisahhh!!! A Perfect Sound
If you have to put your music into words, what would be the story?
Sam: Thinking about our music in terms of words is difficult for us to do because how we write depends on mood. So not to sound corny but the best way to describe our music is emotional. There isn't really one direction we are going in. When we are sick of one sound we write something else. If we are feeling down and out we may write something darker. We may even write a Drum N' Bass track if we are flat-out sick of house music at the moment, which does happen from time to time!
Gavin: Whatever the case our emotions dictate how we write, we don't do a lot of stuff that is a preconceived sound or idea that we are trying to achieve regardless of our mood.
Free Download! Walker & Royce Trippin featuring Javi,
Could you share with us a recent source of inspiration that really struck you?
Sam: I'm not inspired as much by music as just an entire culture or an attitude. Then you can create music for people rather than just a particular sound. And it also works in reverse. If we pick up on attitudes we don't agree with, then we will intentionally avoid those sounds in our output. However, musically I've recently gotten some inspiration from the more soulful electronica that my barber's been playing in the background. It's similar in some ways to what we're doing but for a completely different audience. But different audiences coming together are how new ideas take root.
Gavin: I agree with Sam, I derive inspiration from all sorts of things, positive and negative. My family is originally from a small blue collar town in the north of England. I spent a bunch of time there when I was a kid, but hadn't been back in over ten years. I got to spend an extended period of time there on our recent trips over and it was cool to reconnect with cousins and friends I hadn't seen in years. They have all been following what we have been doing recently and have become fans which really made me proud. These are the same people that showed me 'rave music' when I was 11 years old and sent me home with cassette tapes of Acid House and Jungle. It was a really cool 'full circle' sort of thing and gave me tons of motivation.
Blitz by &ME "Noisy and electronic and epic"(Sam Walker)
Musically what gives you an adrenaline rush?
Gavin: For me it's just making or finding music that I love, as basic as that sounds it's the truth. When I discover something or we have made something that I think is so good I will literally stay up all night long from excitement listening to it. Usually the stuff I play in our sets I have a very intimate relationship with because I have spent sleepless nights listening to these tracks over and over. It becomes an obsession!
Sam: I think it's whenever people are actually as into something weird as I am. Take for example this track Blitz by &ME. Sometimes when I listen to that track I feel like I'm the only one who could enjoy it because it's really noisy and electronic and epic. but then it will go off on a night and it's such an amazing feeling to be like, wow, ok yeah, they ARE hearing what I'm hearing!
Friday March 14, Le Bain presents Walker & Royce. Warm up by Chris Tarantino. Doors 10pm. The Standard, High Line.