How are you, how has the year been so far?
It’s been a solid year so far, our creativity has really been flowing so far.
Why call yourselves Warung – does it have anything to do with the famous club?
It’s a question we get often but it doesn’t. We both spent some time in Bali and it was apparent how important Warungs are to the culture. For those that are unaware, Warungs are small family owned businesses. Our local friends explained more about them and we got to thinking — it would be a cool concept to bring forward in our music and sound. We were aware of the club too though.
We hope to get back to Bali soon!
When was the first time you came together? Did you immediately click?
It was a small show in Rhode Island that led us to coming together. We met backstage at a Shaun Frank show and we just got to talking. I think Dillon was making music on an old couch in the corner for most of the night.
Aaron was coming off a production course in London at Point Blank Music School and after sharing some projects with one another our idea was to set aside our solo projects and build something together from the ground up.
Why does it work so well?
We both have our strengths and weaknesses, but one’s weakness is the others strength. We also take feedback really well so it is easy to work through an idea and say what we really feel. We also set a personal goal to make each other’s weaknesses a strength so it’s been cool to see the growth over the years.
Who does what when making music? Do you each have your own roles?
We both produce, but Aaron’s strong suit is mixing and arrangement whereas Dillon’s is more creatively drawn. Over the years we have learned that it’s better to finish a session before beginning to glue things together with a mixdown. Aaron often ensures the idea doesn’t get lost– that it continues to tell a story and evolve so to speak. We always refer to this as one of us focusing on the trees (the creative process) and the other focusing on the forest (the arrangement).
And when you DJ do you each do one each or what?
We go back to back in essence with our selections, one looks for a piece of music that will fit the current track then mixes it in so forth and so on. We are looking to add a live element in soon though!
You have a new EP on Dear Deer – what inspired or influenced it? Where did you write it?
Dillon used to be in and out of indie/alternative bands as a drummer and had an infatuation with the 80s/90s New Wave era artists like; A-ha, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, New Order. That coupled with a love for Progressive House lead us to our draft process. One of the studios in Boston we visited had the original LinnDrum which we sampled drum grooves from.
We then took the drum cuts to our studio and began crafting, I think we spent a week listening to Violator which is the seventh studio album in Depeche Mode’s discography. This gave way to the bright Roland takes we used from our Jupiter-XM and eventually turned into the four tracks which make up Chaotic Individuality. The name itself stands for Individual creativity which can be chaotic and you almost certainly never end up with what you set out to do. This is why the tracks are so different from one another.
We are also excited for everyone to hear the remixes coming out in May as well – some really talented artists involved.
You had solo careers before you met – how different do you sound when you’re together than when you were solo artists?
Solo artists yes, but we were young solo artists, with little structure and direction so us coming together brought discipline into our process which we are careful not to stunt creativity. Kind of a week answer but we have experimented in just about every genre before starting to focus on progressive and indie elements.
What is most important when making music, the bass, the keys, the drums, or what?
Our perspective on this changes quite a bit. I think based on what we are inspired by at the moment we really try to think what that artist who created the piece was focused on. It can be a catchy hook or a great drum groove or vocal.
From a technical standpoint though we really try to focus on the tone of the kick drum. We find this really dictates the tonal balance of a record which can either set you up for success or failure right from the beginning. So, yeah, ensuring the tone and top end of a kick drum fits nicely into the mix is very important to us.
What else have you got coming up/are you working on?
We have a few EP’s in the pipeline on labels we really look up to. I am not sure we can share yet but let’s go for it. We have a couple EP’s coming out on Street Tracks (Waze and Odyssey’s imprint) and a record coming out on Yoshitoshi. We also have another EP scheduled for release on Dear Deer Records later in the year and a remix confirmed for Earthly Delights.
You should check all the labels out, amazing music by so many talented artists.
We have also revived our own imprint: Beyond The Gates Records, just have to stay tuned 😉