When we first gave Baths (AKA Will Wiesenfeld) a call, he was just waking up from some much-deserved sleep. After months of extensive touring, the electronica musician told us that he finally had some time to unwind and play a little bit of Mario Kart.
And boy, has he earned it. Baths made his first splash in the world’s music scene with the release of his debut album Cerulean, which won the hearts of fans and critics alike with its glossy, bright, and innovative take on electronica. After that, Baths soon fell ill with a serious bout of E. Coli, which kept him more or less under house arrest for 7 months– after which he immediately went on to record and release his latest album, Obsidian. And then he began a series of tours that lasted the better part of a year. The man deserves his Mario Kart. Fortunetly, before we let him go, we got the chance to talk with Baths about his brush with E. Coli, his bandmate Morgan Greenwood, and life after Obsidian.
So, what’s going on right now?
Not much man, I just woke up [laughter]. I’m getting Mario Kart today, and that’s like, the thing that I’ve been looking forward to for a week, so I’m really excited.
That sounds beautiful. How was your tour?
I got back about a week and a half ago– it was very good. It was just like, at the end of maybe 9 months of touring, or maybe a year’s worth, so I’m very grateful to be back home.
What’s the reaction to Obsidian been like so far?
It’s been good, very good! It was sort of like a thing where I know, or thought I was gonna make less fans, or even get a negative reaction. But it hasn’t been like that at all, people have still been very into the record, so it’s been a very good experience.
Along with Cerulean, that’s two records named after colours- would you say those colours represent the albums?
Yes, I do. It was arbitrary that they both happened to be named after colours– it was just that when I looked at all the titles I had thought out, Cerulean and Obsidian were the most all-encompassing titles I could find, so it just sort of ended up working out that way. It wasn’t like I sat down and thought “Okay, time to make the next colour record!” It was just the title that made the most sense after the album was completed. For Cerulean, the title was actually in place before I started making the record.
Obsidian has a way darker tone than Cerulean, and you actually had a brush with E. Coli around the time you were making the record. Can you talk about that?
It was actually around 7 months before I really started doing anything with Obsidian. I was ready to go, I had set a couple workdays, and then I got really sick and wound up bedridden in L.A for like, six or seven months. And I couldn’t do anything. It was after that that I started working on the record when I had made a recovery from it. When I was sick, I literally didn’t feel like doing anything. I could only think about getting better.
What are your thoughts on the colour blue?
I dunno, I’m into it [laughter]. One of my favourite colours, and cerulean is a shade of blue….I’m a very water-oriented person, and the two often get put hand in hand. I would say I’m more affected by water than I am by the colour blue specifically.
How do you go about finding samples?
I don’t usually use samples– I tend to just record everything myself instead of using musical samples. The only samples I’ve used were a few spoken word samples on the first record, like one of kids laughing and one of them being given a lecture. Other than that, I usually just stick to my own stuff.
Where’d you pick up those vocal samples?
Which musicians, if any, are you looking collaborate with?
The only person I can really think of would be my bandmate, Morgan Greenwood. I don’t really have any collaborative goal- that’s not really my thing when I’m making music. Morgan is the only person who’s sort of creatively on the same wavelength as me, I find. I think he’s a genius, and the fact that he’s down to make music with me is already so incredible. He’s the only person, no question.
A lot of bands and artists go through a lot of bad names before choosing the name they perform under, what were some of yours?
Whoa, interesting question. I had a lot of incarnations. It started out with Moon, then I was Lazy Button, and then Post-Foetus, and then finally Baths. I think Post-Foetus, even though it was one of the larger projects, is probably the worst name, since it’s definitely the tackiest.
I’m about to record like crazy. I am very much done with touring, and it’s very nice to be home and sort of nesting in my new apartment. I’m looking very forward to making a lot of new stuff.
If you want to see Baths live, I guess you’ll have to wait awhile. Enjoy his newest EP while you’re at it.