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Meet RISE Resident Will Monotone

Thursday February 27, 2014

[Original interview by Glowkids & Fuse]


Were you a DJ or producer first? At what age did you start and what inspired you to do it?
I was a DJ first; I started back when I was maybe 14 and I was terrible. Trying to mix on two belt driven turntables was probably the hardest point in my career. I was inspired at how one person could control a crowd of people the way certain DJs did and I got addicted to it.


Who gave you your first chance?
I would play random house parties back in the day, but I think my very first club gig was at this club called the BBC, which is no longer around. It was an under-21 night I used to go all the time and hounded the resident with my own mix CDs.



Do you work on music full-time?
During most of my career, I have always had other jobs because when you’re trying to move up in your career, it doesn’t pay enough money to support yourself. However, things have changed over the last few years and I’m able to do this full-time now.


Do you feel more comfortable in the studio or in the booth?
I am the same in both because when I play, I look at it the same as making a record - I try to change a track I’m playing as much as possible so it’s more like a live remix than just playing someone else’s track.


What is your proudest accomplishment so far?
So far, it would be what has happened in 2013: I signed with VIVA MUSiC, Defected and a few other labels I have been a big fan of over the years. Also, I was invited to play over in Ibiza this past summer at Ushuaia & Blue Marlin; it was truly an honor to be over there and represent the States’ underground scene to prove we are not all EDM fanatics and that there are still generations dedicated to preserving the underground sound that started in this country.


Will Monotone

Listen to Monotone at Blue Marlin, Ibiza 


Has your sound stayed the same at all since you started? How has it changed?
As with any producer, your sound will change over time, simply because you grow older and experience different things in life that influence you.


What year did you get involved with Boston's electronic music scene, whether as an artist or as a fan first? How would you say the scene has changed here since then?
I would have to say maybe 1997-1998. Trying to think I was going to under-21 nights and parties back then and finally got a fake ID and started getting into other ones with more global artists. I have watched the scene here go through many ups and downs and many different trends, from being heavily influenced from NYC's scene to being taken over by electro; now it is deep house and just about every other trend possible. I sort of like where it’s at right now, as it seems as if more people are starting to really warm up to house music and the underground sound and not just think everything is EDM and that you have to rage to everything.


Has Boston been your main turf, or have you spend a significant amount of time elsewhere?
Boston is my hometown. I grew up in South Boston and it will always be my main turf. I have lived in NYC and Chicago, but Boston will always be my home.


What got you involved with Sub Society?
Sub Society was a new venture between myself and a long-time friend Tony Saputo (J Paul Getto) and his girlfriend Anthi. I had just closed the doors on my old label, Hush Recordings, and Tony and I were talking about launching a new project together and my tour manager Marco more or less came up with the name, and it was born.


Will Monotone


How did you get hooked up with RISE?
If I’m not mistaken, it was through a mutual friend of mine and [the owner] Tom's. His name is Alfred Castillo and he was the marketing director of Avalon at the time I was playing there. He brought me to RISE one night after playing at Avalon and introduced me to [the owners] Tom and Darrin and we have always kept in touch.


Most memorable gig?
My most memorable gig would have to be my birthday two years ago at RISE. A lot of friends, RISE staff and industry colleagues of mine put together a really touching video for my birthday and I got an amazing response at RISE all the way to the last track I played.


Do you have a main inspiration?
It's hard to really nail it down to one person, but my main influences would have to be Steve Lawler, Danny Tenaglia, Armand Van Helden, and Eddie Vedder.

What is the best show/festival/event you've gone to (not to play) and what was so great about it?
I don’t really consider it a festival or show, but hands down Ibiza this past summer because the vibe of the island, the residents of the island, the food, and the clubs and just everything about it was magical.


Who would be included on your [hypothetical] ideal event lineup?
My ideal lineup for a night would be, Steve Lawler b2b Danny Tenaglia, Loco Dice, Luciano, Stacey Pullen, Carl Cox, Deep Dish, Sasha and Digweed, Nic Fancuilli, Kerri Chandler, DJ Sneak, Derrick Carter, Armand Van Helden, Todd Terry, Daft Punk, and Richie Hawtin. I can dream, right?


What advice do you have for aspiring DJ/producers?
Do what you like, not what everyone else or your friends like or what’s cool. Make music that makes you dance and gets you excited. Don’t ever conform to something because it’s what’s going on everywhere else. Make your own sound and your own scene and build it from the ground up because there are enough cookie cutter DJs and producers out there who are making the same record over and over again. Don’t give up and don’t stop; be patient and things will happen.


Connect with Will Monotone:  Facebook  •  Twitter  •  SoundCloud  •  Beatport


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