Neukölln-based trio De Wolt are the latest act to emerge on the eclectic but reliably on point Hypernatural Recordings in Berlin, Germany and specialise in creating innovative music that blends electronics without being limited to or restricted by the confines of the dancefloor.
Their current two-track EP is called “Our Love is Gone”, and illustrates the band declaring their love for music over anything and everything else. From first track ‘Music Hunters’ – paying tribute to their musical influences – to the rock wigout of the title track, it messes with convention and throws dogma to the wind.
The trio joined Gigslutz for a quick chat so that we could find out more about what makes them tick….
First of all, tell us who you are and what you all do in the band…
We’re a trio, but not a clichê rock power trio. We’re a mixture of indie, rock, electronic, synthwave, dance, and sometimes experimental. Until now, Danny has operated as the main songwriter, although on some tracks on this EP we’ve written the music collectively.
Danny mainly plays keyboards and synths, while João and Stefano are multi-instrumentalists. Stefano focuses on drums, while João is on guitars and electronics.
But at any moment, we can turn everything upside down. All of us sing, sometimes in a choir; we tend to oscillate between hip-hop-influenced and melodic vocal styles.
And how did you all meet?
Danny and Stefano met while sharing a studio space in Berlin. Danny had some demos which were never produced properly; after he showed them to Stefano, they began working on and playing them regularly.
João joined at a later stage, as Danny and Stefano were looking for a new musician to fill the gap they felt needed filling. When they met João, he was a guest in the Hypernatural online show hosted in their studio, where he was invited to showcase his self-built Sensi Guitar and the prototypes for Sensi M (a modular and wireless instrument).
At the time, João was also searching for music projects via which he could test his inventions, but also wanted to return to artistry and performance. João was invited to jam with the duo and the chemistry happened, so both decided to formally invite João into the “clan”.
What are the collective influences that brought you together, and what do you individually bring to the table musically?
Mostly, we’re influenced by different music scenes, which we’re all connected to in one way or another. Dan comes mainly from the electronic dance and club scene; Stefano from the indie, rock, and acoustic folk angle of things; and João comes more from a mix of rock, experimental, indie, and electronic, with an extra emphasis on sound design.
Besides those, we also have different cultural influences, as we were all born and raised in different parts of the globe.
Many artists are unanimously important to us: LCD Soundsystem, Daft Punk, Tame Impala, Nine Inch Nails, Queen, Grace Jones, David Bowie. We don’t like to fit snugly into one style. We prefer to blend everything we’re into – classic rock, heavy metal, electronic, experimental, rock, hip-hop – to create something original, and which makes us happy.
How do ideas generate in the studio? Does one person tend to be the main instigator or is it more of a democracy? It sounds to our ears that there’s something spontaneous and improvised about your sound. It suggests a lot of jamming…
Truly, it’s a mix of both. In the original demos for this EP, Danny left a lot of room for new instruments, new melodies, and even new BPMs. It meant we could make freer executive decisions later on in the recording process.
We jam quite a bit with the demo track playing and the record button on; we can feed off each others’ ideas quickly, and as a result, we get to know each other’s musicality better, day by day.
Much of our playing influences come also from prog rock, jazz, and experimental, where improvisation is the main ground. It all came naturally to us after a while.
What’s Berlin like as a creative hub, in normal times anyway? It’s got a big rock and dance scene – is your sound a product of your environment?
Berlin is fundamentally a creative city. Everyone here has a certain lifestyle, which necessarily allows a lot of freedom. You can be whoever you want, for good and for bad.
The music scene in Berlin can only exist because of that freedom. You have a monumental club scene; not to mention a lively jazz circuit, experimental venues, and no end of rock bands in between. Even classical music has its place in the melting pot.
It goes without saying that it’s influenced our music – and of course, our lives – in far more ways than we initially expected. If you’ve ever gotten the U8 to Hermannplatz station, you know our Berlin can be a weird city. Well, and our studio is right there, next to Hermanplatz. In summary, it’s not by chance that Bowie recorded ‘Heroes’ in this city while touring with Iggy Pop.
What are your favorite places to play in the city – when it’s all up and running?
Berlin is home to many small, underground events. They pop up everywhere. Places like 8MM, Cantina, Frannz, Funkhaus, Birgit und Bier, Musik und Frieden, Clash, Volksbühne, Schokoladen, and ZUKUNFT am Ostkreuz are among the venues which we either share many great memories of, or simply dream of playing in.
If things keep as they are, it’s ok for us to play next to the Spree, we will make the party happen anywhere. Afterall, we’re itching to play at this point.
Run us through what you’ve released before, up until now…
Between then and now, we also remixed several artists, including Moody Kablawi, Detroit’s legendary DJ Santonio Echols, and Jack The Box (Tyree Cooper and Bobby Starrr).
Tell us about the current release. Both tracks seem to have a common theme of love – love for music, falling out of love, etc. Is that why you stuck them together?
Music’s ability to evoke feelings is what makes it such a powerful thing. It’s a healing balm. Likewise, the love between people is one of the strongest feelings humans can feel. It makes us mad, often to the point where we can’t regonise ourselves in the mirror. It can be toxic.
Our love for music is unending. We can’t let go of it; it makes the blood pump in our veins as nothing or no-one else does.
While love between two people can be disappointing – finite – our relationship with music keeps forever in its honeymoon. It never lets us down. Not all loves go away; some last forever. But sometimes, there’s not much to do besides admitting that our love for each other is gone. That’s life.
What are your plans in the immediate and longer-term – apart from getting out and having a party when the pandemic is over?
We’re looking forward to playing on the moon. As far as we know, there are no virus reports over there.
On a more serious note, we plan to release a few more videos, along with a remix EP. We are also working on a new album, which is planned for a summer release.
Until then, we’re really starved for live shows, so as soon as the pandemic is over, we’ll be back on the circuit. Even if we just end up playing for our friends, we don’t care; we just want to play to an audience!
We’re also experimenting with a few new technical quirks to make our shows more special, and more than just about music, even in smaller venues. It’s a challenge. No matter the size and condition of the space, we want every single show to be a memorable experience.