Wayward are an emerging British duo consisting of Louis Greenwood and Lawrence Hayes. Having first encountered one another during their school days, they’ve since joined forces to become one of house music’s most auspicious emerging pairs.
On our radar since the tail end of last year courtesy of some quite exceptional originals and remixes, they already seem like a duo destined for big things. With their latest release, the exceptionally titled ‘Good Afternoon Mr. Magpie’ out soon on the Silver Bear label, we figured it a good time to check in with the lads. Here’s what went down when we did…
“Good Afternoon Mr Magpie” is available 2 March in Silver Bear Recordings
Hi guys, thanks a lot for catching up with us. Lets go back to the start a bit. Where did you guys meet? Was it through music and did you automatically get on?
We first met at school when we were 13. We used to play in rival bands doing the North London pub circuit so things might have been a little frosty at first. As we grew up it emerged we were the most obsessed with music out of our mates. We ended up both studying in Leeds, DJing together and running a club night – through this we eventually grew to like each other!
So whose idea was it to become a musical duo? Did you immediately recognize that you’d similar tastes?
After DJing together and curating club nights, making tunes just seemed like the natural extension to all that. We spent a few late nights in a freezing, damp room in Leeds – to the point where we had blankets wrapped around us whilst trying to reach the computer keyboard. Despite our basic skills of production software and songwriting, we realised pretty quickly that our styles complimented each other and we liked the sound of it. We spent long nights up till the early hours, making tunes and annoying our flat mates but it was a really exciting time.
Was there one artist or label you particularly bonded over early on? How would you describe one another’s tastes and how do you think they compliment the other?
When we first started buying records Louis was very much into Deep Medi / Tempa / Osiris and Law more into DnB like Shogun Audio / Critical / Club Autonomic. We bonded over a lot of the post dubstep stuff – Hotflush / Hessle Audio / Swamp81. A bit of a turning point for us production-wise was hearing Scuba’s ‘Adrenalin’ and all the stuff coming out on his label at the time and how he switched the direction. Fast forward 5 years, as we’ve grown older, our tastes have forged closer which helps in the studio and keeps us on the same wavelength. There’s very rarely a record which we’re both not into, going to festivals and clubbing together has also brought our tastes together and shaped what we make in the studio.
Was working together the first time you’d worked alongside another producer? What do you think are the benefits and drawbacks of working alongside a friend?
We’d both done collaborations with other musicians in some way or other but nothing had really stuck. It’s a double edged sword; obviously to go and jam in the studio with your mate everyday is a blessing, however, spending so much time together or in general constant communication via Whatsapp or whatever presents challenges along the way. Over time we’ve learnt how to work well together, choosing moments to work independently and give each other some space. One of the greatest benefits is instant feedback from someone you trust and can be brutally honest with.
Your EPs to date have been signed to Silver Bear. What’s your relationship like with those guys and how did it come around in the first place?
Rob da Bank first mentioned to us that Sunday Best were creating a subsidiary dance label a few years ago. It wasn’t the right time at that point, but when we sent them Orissa and Transience they seemed really keen and it’s been great to be able to work with them since. They have really supported us through every creative decision. Big up Sarah, Nick and the rest of the team!
How important do you feel it is to have the blessing of a label like Silver Bear?
It’s kind of everything to us. Ultimately, like most artists, we just wanna work with nice people, that back what we do and allow us to explore our sound. It’s a relatively young label but they have a massive future ahead.
2017 was obviously a really great year for you guys, with ‘Transience’ in particular going down a real treat. Were you surprised by the track’s success? And what do you attribute it to?
The success of Transience was a total surprise to us. We loved the tune but always saw it as a b-side to Orissa. The fact that it’s sitting on 2 million plays on Spotify is a bit of a head fuck! It’s hard to say what we attribute it to, the more you listen to something as you produce it you forget what got you so excited about it to begin with. Perhaps it’s the fact that it hits that sweet spot somewhere between melancholic and uplifting and blends together a bunch of different styles.
You also picked some great remixers for another big track of yours, ‘Alexandra’, not least Man Power. How do you settle on remixers? And what do you look for in a remix or do you generally leave it up to the artist?
With remixers we always make a list of people whose music and DJ sets really excite us at the time. With Alexandra the two people sitting at the top of the list (Man Power and Hammer), were up for it! We select the remixers as we’re into what they do so leave creative direction up to the artist. Having been on the other side of things we would hate to put anyone in a position where they didn’t feel they could bring their vision of the remix to life.
On that note, how would you define your own sound? Do you feel it’s become more and more difficult to be unique in electronic music these days?
Tough question! It’s difficult to define your own sound but we do like to create emotive music and that’s a theme that we always try to explore when writing. The artists we love most are always developing, exploring sound and pushing boundaries in their songwriting and we try and do the same. And yes it is becoming more difficult as the more thats been done the less there is to do.
There is a lot more noise and generally a lot more music of which parts do sound the same
In terms of your shows, you also played some pretty high-profile gigs. What’s your standout memory from 2017 in that regard?
Our show at Bestival this year was definitely one of our favorites this year and also Turf in Cambridge – crazy vibe and great to play alongside Moxie, Jeremy Underground and Mafalda.
How does playing at Glastonbury compare to say, playing at fabric? Do you pack your bags a lot differently for different gigs?
Of course venue plays a part for us but what we play is more so dictated by the time we’re playing and who we’re before and after. When warming up for more established names on the circuit we just want to try our best to set the room up nicely for them and build the atmosphere. Obviously for more peak time sets, we want to put the emphasis on creating energy and specific moments for the people in the dance.
We’re really enjoying your latest effort, ‘’Good Afternoon Mr Magpie’. What was the general vibe you were going for with this release? And how would you settle on track names like that?
Good afternoon Mr Magpie was the first track we made for the EP and it was written in a remote barn house in the North of Cornwall, on some time taken out of London to write. The contrast of more organic and electronic textures sort of set the template and we set about exploring this theme for the rest of the EP. There was a poster of some birds including a magpie in our makeshift barn studio and we find superstition interesting, which is how the title came about.
Aside from the aforementioned EP, what else can we look forward to from you over the next while?
We’ve got a couple more releases penned. Another two track EP and there’ll be a remix EP for Good Afternoon Mr Magipe which we’ve just confirmed the full lineup for! We also have some remix work in the pipeline dropping in spring and also a couple of collab EP’s which are just being finalized. We think we may actually have more music released in the first 6 months of this year than we’ve had out in our careers to date which is exciting.
And finally, what are your new years resolutions? Or will you be making any?
Only the standard ‘exercise more’ and ‘drink less’ that will probably only last for January anyways.
Featured Image: Nick Greenwood