Los Angeles-based electronic artist Will Wiesenfeld, more commonly known as Baths, caught listeners’ attention three years ago with the release of his debut album Cerulean. The album landed him a spot on numerous “best of” lists and earned him recognition for his ethereal electronic compositions. Last year he followed up on the success of Cerulean with Obsidian, a decidedly darker collection of songs. Prior to his show in Edmonton, Wiesenfeld answered a few questions about the album for Vue.
Vue Weekly: You began making music when you were 14. What got you into that and how did you learn the techniques you use now?
Will Wiesenfeld: I realized I could make up whatever I wanted instead of playing classical music on the piano. I was classically trained, though, and that muscle memory has stayed with me and allows for ideas to flow out pretty quick.
VW: What were you influenced by at that point? How would you describe those early recordings?
WW: Bjork was the first thing. I (very badly) tried to be Bjork.
VW: You released Obsidian last year, which has a much darker feel to it than your previous album, Cerulean. In another interview you mentioned you had been reading graphic novels as research. What’s the draw of graphic novels and how do they complement what you’re doing musically?
WW: Graphic novel / comic-book artists have totally unique ways of approaching storytelling. I love the idea of an entire universe being built by a single person. I think that ties into the way I try to write music. It’s a fun and intriguing exercise to try and do as much as possible completely by myself.
VW: You also worked with a band set up for the first time on Obsidian. Why did now seem like the right time to do that?
WW: I had made the album with a larger sound in mind, so I wanted the live show to communicate that feel as well. It felt like a natural progression.
VW: What does that band configuration currently look like and what has it allowed you to explore?
WW: It consists of myself and my bandmate Morgan Greenwood, playing electronics on a table across from each other, then I play piano and sing, and Morgan plays guitar and sings. We get to improvise far more than I was able to in previous setup, which has made the live shows much more fun than they used to be.
Tue, May 13 (8 pm)
With Young Fathers
Starlite Room, $17