By Daniel Albrigo
Over the last couple of years, my musical interests have changed, like they have many times over the course of my life and career.
A few years ago I was listening to mostly Reggae, Dancehall and tropically influenced music. After a while, this led right back into my interest in electronic music. Throughout high school and my early college years, my older brother went to a lot of parties, raves, skate demos, graffiti expos; all of which influenced and sparked my interest in art. It's easy for me to say that both music and art went hand-in-hand from day one.
Lately, I have been listening to a lot of Hip-Hop, Dancehall, Bass music and Electronic Dance music. During the process of finding new producers and DJs to listen to, I've come to realize, like other genres of music, there is a notable interest in tattooing from many big name musicians and DJs. Even one of our own, Billy "The Gent" from Tattoo Paradise in Washington, D.C. is a music producer who is well on his way to becoming a major player in the scene.
As the stars align, (the way they strangely do on my daily path) I have been fortunate enough to be able to connect with a few of these people and over the next couple of TAM Blog posts, I will be interviewing them and introducing you to some brand new music.
My first interview is with veteran Bass music all-star, Nick Weiller. More commonly known as "Knick" from the legendary American Drum and Bass outfit Evol Intent, as well as being half of mash-up group, Ludachrist. Knick is currently making waves in the indie dance world under his newest moniker, Bro Safari. This is a good fit for our lead-off interview, being that Knick has a love for tattoos, music and is generally a great guy to sit down and chat with... [Interview and hilarious video on expanded page]
Your given name and location of birth…
Nicholas Weiller. 32 years old. Born in Rome, Italy. Raised in Atlanta, GA.
What city do you live and work currently?
I'm living in San Antonio right now. I moved here to be with my girlfriend and we had a kid. It has been the best thing that could ever happen to me (the kid, not being in San Antonio). We're moving to Austin in February! Can't wait for that. I need to be around more musicians, artists, culture… My god, I need something to eat besides fried steak too.
You have been producing electronic music and djing for at least the last 10 years, what are some of the projects you've worked on? (I was a fan of your YouTube "Soulja Girl remix by Ludachrist" long ago, in my opinion one of the best viral videos out there lulz.)
I've been involved in quite a few projects over the years. I think I've touched on just about every style of music aside from a few genres at this point. I've played in punk bands, ska bands and rock bands.
After high school, I fell into the electronic music scene and since then I've really committed to not committing to anything (heh). I'm mostly known for being one-third of Evol Intent. We make Drum and Bass, Dubstep, Glitch and a fair bit of experimental beats as well. I'm also half of the group Ludachrist. We make Mash-ups mostly, but we've also done quite a few viral videos. The one that got the most attention was our remix of "Soulja Girl" a.k.a. "Marta Girl." Currently, I'm really pushing my Bro Safari project. Anything goes with this project, but right now I am just really feeling Moombahton. I've been cranking tunes out under this alias lately. Loving it!
Your current project Bro Safari has received a lot of press and attention from major labels like Mad Decent, which must feel amazing right?
Absolutely. I actually started Bro Safari a few years ago and dropped about four Glitch-Dubstep tracks. My motivation sort of fizzled out and then I rediscovered the project about a year ago. I did a few Dubstep tunes and then found Moombahton. I haven't really looked back since. The amount of attention that it has received has been really appreciated. I spent a long time doubting myself and once I got over that, I told myself that I simply don't give a shit what people think anymore. Once I adopted that attitude, I totally relaxed in the studio and things just started to flow. Getting props from people like Diplo and releases on Mad Decent… It's all very quick and I can't say enough how much I appreciate it.
What are some of your musical influences? Both inside and out sound the genre of electronic dance music.
Well, I'll just go ahead and say that Radiohead rules my life. Okay, that's out of the way. When I was a little kid, my sister was into punk rock. I was way too young to understand it or even be allowed to listen to it, but nevertheless, I obtained copies of Dead Kennedys’ albums when I was in elementary school. Bands like Minor Threat really influenced my early childhood. They inspired me to learn how to play the guitar. A bit later, I heard the Amen Break for the first time on "Straight Outta Compton" by N.W.A. That was a really good indicator of how my tastes would develop. Gangster Rap and Miami Bass, like Magic Mike, ignited my passion for "beats" "bass" and anything that wasn't made with an organic instrument. From there, I discovered classic rock, death metal, thrash, IDM, DNB… It was just a natural evolution for me. I'm into just about everything, but I also hate on a lot of the music that's being released these days. That's a whole other story.
Any gigs/shows coming up this year or next your stoked about?
Right now, I'm really excited about the month of March. I'm not sure when this issue drops, but March is traditionally reserved as conference month. We (meaning, DJs and producers) have Winter Music Conference (WMC) in Miami, which is mainly based around the event "ULTRA" and then we have the week-long South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin. I'll be performing at both of these, multiple times hopefully. I'm really looking forward to the all Moombahton line-up some folks are putting together for Miami.
I'm interviewing you for Tattoo Artist Magazine because you have a nice collection of tattoos from some of the best. Who have you been tattooed by? And what shops do you enjoying being in. You obviously know what a good tattoo looks like by now.
My favorite shop is Rock of Ages, (ROA) in Austin. All of the guys there are top-notch artists and really, really easy going people. Specifically, I've been worked on by Steve Byrne and Tony Hundahl from ROA, but over the years I've gotten some work from various other artists. It's too common that, as an average person, you walk into a shop and the egos in the room just consume your own, but not there. It's all down-to-earth. Also been tattooed by Jimé Litwalk, Los at Sid Stankovitz’s shop and a few others.
Any future tattoo plans?
To get YOU to work on my sleeve!
Any other hobbies outside of music?
I'm not going to beat around the bush here. I play way too much Call Of Duty. At my age, it's probably immature, irresponsible (I have a small child) and a waste of time, but I just can't help it. I love it.
Anything insightful for 2012?
I really believe that you can think things into existence. Not as if you can imagine a stack of money lying on the ground and it appears, but throughout my adult life, if I have wanted something bad enough, I have been able to attain it. I'm mostly linking this to my music, but it can probably be applied elsewhere. I just feel that if you truly believe in something and want something bad enough, you can make it happen. You just have to accept that we are all inherently lazy. Once you accept that you are quite possibly a lazy piece of shit, you can move to get past it and start making things happen for yourself.
Aliens or evolution?
On the fence. I think it's a little bit of both. At one point, we could have easily just been strands of DNA on a meteor.
That's rough. Kinda dark too. No comment… Philly cheesesteak…
Any shout-outs or what's-ups?
Yeah. Thanks to TAM for putting this together! Sorry to TAM for taking so long to participate! Thanks to all of my friends, family and my beautiful girlfriend who gave me this beautiful child… And a very special thanks to all of my fans who have followed my work over the years.
(You can follow Knick on Twitter @Brosafari and @evol_intent. You can find music and mixes at soundcloud.com/Brosafari, http://www.facebook.com/BroSafari, www.worshipludachrist.com and www.evolintent.com.)
(Daniel Albrigo is a tattooer and blogger for Tattoo Artist Magazine. Dan can be found at Three Kings Tattoo in New York City.)