Since Sept. 11, it’s a whole new world out there, even in the music industry.
Artists are struggling for publicity, to pull off concert tours and to get airplay – more so than ever. One example is the British electronic duo Way Out West.
The atmospheric debut Nettwerk album, “Intensify,” by music production prodigy Jody Wisternoff and underground DJ Nick Warren was released Sept. 18 and was promptly lost in the shuffle amid all-star benefit shows, charity singles, continuing terrorist threats and a waning economy.
What’s a group to do?
Just live with it, says Wisternoff.
“What’s the point in worrying about things you can’t control?” he said recently. “You can’t take things for granted anymore, because you never know what’s around the corner – that much I’ve learned since Sept. 11.”
What galls Wisternoff, from his perspective in his native Bristol, England, is media coverage of the war on terror, more threats and anthrax scares.
“The thing that pisses me off is the way the media analyzes everything,” he said. “They act like they always have a big story every day. You read what they want you to read and they show you what they want to show you on TV. It’s all about show business.
“If the media showed every single day how many people died in car crashes, a half-hour’s worth of car crashes all around the world, it’d make you think, ‘Oh, my god, I never want to go on the road again.’ The media’s stirring things up and that’s what pisses me off. It makes everyone gullible.”
To keep his mind off the situation, Wisternoff has immersed himself in getting the word out about “Intensify,” a palatable mix of club-friendly melodic grooves and beats. The first single, “The Fall,” features vocalist Aly Kennon and a bonus vocal remix produced by Bedrock.
“It took us a couple of years between DJ tours and remixing to get the album done,” Wisternoff said. “It wasn’t done all one day at a time over the course of a couple of weeks or anything like that. It got scattered across six months.
“We couldn’t do it all at once because we have so many other commitments going on, plus some tracks got scrapped and others got reworked. We were working on vibes that were a lot more abstract. We wanted it to flow and sound quite clubby.”
Wisternoff and Warren met more than 10 years on the Bristol nightclub scene.
“I used to bump into him at clubs,” Wisternoff said. “I think he suggested that we hook up, and I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll give it a go.’ I’ve worked with a lot of people in the past, but Nick and I clicked straightaway.
“He had a completely different perspective on the music I was into. He came off with this organic, sunshine vibe. I was really into the dark, twisted sounds. Our ideas really mesh well together.”
THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT: “It was ‘Hey, Mickey, you’re so fine, you blow my mind, hey Mickey.’ I bought it for my dad as well, ‘cuz his name is Mickey. It was a present for him. I was like 7 or something.”
THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER WENT TO: “I went to Glasbury festivals with my parents when I was a kid because they were hippies. The first one probably was when I started going off to clubs was the Jungle Brothers. My brother got on the mike as well and sang along with them, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my god!’ “
THE WORST JOB I’VE EVER HAD: “I haven’t had a proper job before, apart from working in a record shop, and that was pretty bad. I went straight from school to music. I’m really lucky in that way. Anyway, I got sacked by the record shop because I was always trying to sell hard-core to the garage heads. My entire motive for working there was to get the free promos.”
WAY OUT WEST ON THE WEB: Visit him @ www.wowest.cc.
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