Over the Labor Day weekend, one music festival was more “lit” than any other: Nocturnal Wonderland! It is the longest running dance music festival in North America, and it came back for its 21st year more beautiful, massive, and full of amazing music than ever.
In addition to attending the festival, I got a chance to interview a few of my favorite DJs on the lineup for a series of articles I will be releasing throughout the next week. Kicking off my Nocturnal Wonderland interview series is Ephwurd, and if you followed our SnapChat on Sunday, you got to see a little bit of this duo’s never-ending sense of fun (and perhaps their over-fondness for using a t-shirt cannon):
D: His name is actually Basie Hauser, but he goes by Bais Haus and…
B: People always give me shit. They are like, “Yo, why did you name yourself after a genre?” No, it’s my name! Bais Haus has been my gamer tag since like 2006, but it just happened to line up perfectly.
You are considered one of the creators of the genre of bass house. Is there any pressure that comes along with that “title”?
D: It’s kind of cool being coined as that, because immediately there is a place for us. No matter what, we can always go back to bass house. A couple of people have really been pushing the genre from the start, but that’s it. There are only a couple people that are doing it.
It’s kind of like how Datsik was with dubstep. People will always know me as a dubstep artist, and even if I go do other shit, I’m always going to be able to tour as a dubstep artist.
I think that’s what’s cool, and it’s kind of the same thing with Ephwurd. We got stuck in the little bubble. What we do with it from here is just whatever we want, but we can always go back to bass house.
B: If all else fails, we can do 128.*
D: Exactly. That’s what makes it cool. 128 music is never going anywhere. It’s not going to fall off because it’s the go-to dance tempo.
I guess that’s the biggest thing. With Datsik I cater way more to an underground following, and with Datsik my idol is Bassnectar. I always like spending time with him and talking to him. I was just up on stage with him, and he was showing me his setup.
I feel like he has this cult following, and I have something similar that’s obviously not as big as his following, but it’s the dubstep kids, so for me to all of a sudden start writing poppy house music doesn’t really make sense, and that’s why we started Ephwurd.
B: It’s a different outlet.
D: Exactly. It’s a different outlet.
B: We just want to make a bunch of different stuff. We don’t want to get pinned in a corner. If you look at the big room bubble, it’s still huge, obviously, and everyone has their niche crowd, but at the end of the day, we just like to make music. It doesn’t matter what genre or tempo it is. We just like to have fun with it. If you stay doing the same thing every time, it gets monotonous and boring.
Where did the “Throw the W’s up” come from?
D: Everyone’s kind of got their little thing. With Ephwurd, [Throw your W’s up] just made sense because we are from the West Coast, too. So it’s always, like, “Throw your W’s up for the West Coast.”
B: Troy’s a huge Wu Tang fan, and he grew up on hip hop, so it’s low-key inspired [by that] because they always did it, but obviously that was for the hip-hop world.
D: It’s kind of like how Xhibit throws the X’s up but so does Excision. It’s okay because it’s two different realms.
So what’s the official way to throw up your W’s?
B: Think about what the emoji looks like on your phone. That’s what it is.
D:You can do it several different ways. I like this one [crossing the thumbs with the back of the hands facing out and raising both middle fingers].
B: I’m a straight emoji kind of guy.
When you say “Throw your W’s up,” what are you wanting the crowd to feel?
B: I think at the end of the day we just want to do stuff that gets kids going crazy.
D: We have a bunch of toys and shit, a flag, and the t-shirt cannon.
B: The cannon is too much fun.
D: Every single time I was pointing to someone in the crowd like, “You. I got you,” I would fire it and it would go like 500 yards past them.
B: Some kid was napping and then just got nailed with a shirt at least five times today. But then he’s like, “Aww, I got a shirt! Yeah!”
Read on to find out which big-name duo has no trouble telling Ephwurd when a new track sucks!