Exclusive Interview with Walker & Royce

Brooklyn-based house associates Walker & Royce have put their mark on the electronic landscape the last couple of years, with hot singles and remixes for Crosstown Rebels, LouLou, Nurvous and Off Recordings. Their style is deep, dark and sexy. We’re happy to see these guys visit our town for ADE next week, playing at Unconditional and All Gone Pete Tong. So we wanted to give them a formal welcome before touching down in Amsterdam. That’s why we have a Walker & Royce mixtape AND an interview for you today. We discussed the NYC clubbing scene, their relation to Moda Black and hissy fits with asshole club owners.

“We talk about spending an extended period of time in Europe because it seems, at least to us, that the music we make is flourishing more over there”

S: Sam Walker
G: Gavin Royce

Q: You said that as producers you’re a product of your environment, meaning what sound you have is dependant on where you live. Do you think that you would ever move out of New York City to a totally different place to originate a new Walker & Royce sound?

S: That will probably happen, sure. I think a change like that is not only healthy but probably necessary at some point to move forward. However, I don’t think any place is ever going to feel like home like NYC.
G: Yeah we think and talk about leaving NYC a lot and it would be cool to relocate for a little bit of time and get another perspective on things. We talk about spending an extended period of time in Europe because it seems, at least to us, that the music we make is flourishing more over there.

Q: Are there up-and-coming house producers in Brooklyn we should keep our eyes on in the future?

G: Absolutely, Brooklyn has a lot of amazing producers coming out gunning. To name a few there are the Peak Twins, the Kaviar Disco Club guys and Free Magic. There are also some dope Labels starting up in NYC like Basement Floor by our buds Soul II Seoul and Most Excellent by Paul Raffaele. This isn’t even mentioning all the established DJ’s and producers that are based here.
S: Yes, I would also specifically like to shout out to our buds Paul Beckwith who has been really coming on strong recently with his productions, and Illich Mujica who we remixed a while back and has become a fixture out in the scene here!

Q: What’s the most common electronic music style you hear on a regular clubbing night in NYC?
G: It depends on the place and neighborhood, however the scene for good dance music seems to always go up and down n NYC. There are some cool clubs that have opened in Brooklyn and one that will be open soon. It helps a lot but still its “The States”, there is always some commercial garbage being played somewhere, even where you think it wouldn’t.
S: Well since I only seem to go out to parties I want to go to, it’s usually techno, deep house, tech house, disco or some combination of that. But that’s just a small scene (growing, yes, but still relatively small). Usually you’ll just hear commercial “club” if you’re not careful…

Q: You guys created the track ‘A Perfect Sound’ featuring vocals from the wonderful Louisahhh that came out on the much-acclaimed Moda Black vol. II album. How did your collaboration with Moda Black start out?

G: We had heard Jaymo & Andy George were supporting a few of our tracks and then they gave a nice review of a promo they received that we were on. I decided to hit them up and thank them and we kept in contact. We have known Louisahhh for years and had wanted her on a track for some time. It all just came together very naturally.

Q: Do you have more releases lined-up for the MB imprint that you could tell us about?

G: We have an EP planned with them to be dropped later this year that we are very excited about.

Q: Any other new work that is worth mentioning?

G: Yes we have some remixes for Mia Dora on Glasgow Underground, for Yolanda Be Cool on Dim Mak all set for release this fall and in January we are really excited to be returning to the Catz ‘n Dogz imprint with our remix of Baunz – ‘Out The Window’, which they have been big supporters of.

Q: You guys haven’t played in Amsterdam before and Unconditional on Wednesday during ADE will be your first ever performance on Dutch soil and also in Europe! How do you expect the crowd to be different on the other side of the Atlantic?

S: Not quite sure what to expect to be honest. We can definitely get some good crowds in the US. But since underground dance is more at home in Europe I’d expect the crowds to be really crazy, really into it.

Q: During ADE people can check you guys also at AIR Amsterdam for the All Gone Pete Tong show on Thursday with the Moda Black crew in AIR 2. Who’s set can we see you two dancing it off to that night when you’re not playing?

S: We’re fans of everyone on the line up; Ben Pearce, Shadow Child and Jaymo & Andy George’s music is always in our sets; Pete Tong and Skream need no introduction. The line up is stacked!
G: We will probably be “shaking and moving” the entire night, such an amazing line up to be on.

Q: A returning question in our interview segment has been what someone’s weirdest or funniest gig moments have been. And we’ve been getting crazier answers every time. What has yours been

G: We played the opening week of this small spot in the Lower East Side (we will leave the names out of it) about a year ago. This place was so hyped up and ended up being one of the worst spots NYC has ever seen. The sound system was nice but the decor was embarrassing, was suppose to look like a subway train in the basement but you couldn’t tell so it just looked like a room with stripper polls. It also had the corniest graffiti on the wall, like Fat Albert style stuff, and you could get a healthy juice drink with alcohol in it. Who wants a kale shake with a shot of whiskey? So anyway we were playing and since it had just opened they had some sort of weird smell in the room, it smelled like air fresheners they use in porta potties at festivals, not a good smell at all. Because of that we kept loosing people to the smell, so the owner threw a hissy fit. He waltzed into the booth while Sam was on the decks and just turned the music off. He then said that the people here aren’t buying enough drinks and that we all had to go and closed the club 2 hours early. To this day I have never seen Sam so angry and I still wish he just clocked this guy right in the face. Maybe next time it happens he will.

Catch Walker & Royce at Unconditional ADE on Wednesday, Oct 16th at BARKODE, where they’ll be playing alongside the likes of Wildkats, Nhan Solo, Cleavage and others. The following Thursday they will be part of the all-star line up for All Gone Pete Tong in AIR Amsterdam, featuring, among others, Pete Tong, Skream, Ben Pearce, Shadow Child, Jaymo & Andy George. Sweeeeeet!

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