Wooli Lollapalooza EH Interview

Wooli Talks Drive-ins, Buc-ees, & Woolo World [Exclusive Interview]

After watching our first non-drive-in Wooli set at Lollapalooza, we got the chance to sit down and chat with the man himself, Adam Frosh! We made our introductions and he immediately recognized the iconic Buc-ees koozie that I always have on my drink. Off the record, we chatted about Buc-ees and how we need one in literally every state. But what was on the record is sure to pique your interest even more.


Ashley Eggert, Electric Hawk: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. That set was awesome! What’s it like being able to play Lollapalooza? Is this your first time here?

Wooli: It’s not my first time at Lolla, I was here in 2019. They were doing a Gud Vibrations vs. Slugz Music DJ battle as the closing set at Perry’s stage. Snails invited me and it was myself, Svdden Death, Snails, and JAYCEEOH. We battled against Gud Vibrations, which was Slander, NGHTMRE, and Wavedash. It was really fun, it wasn’t like a solo set, but it was still cool to experience Lolla for the first time; I really had no clue what Lolla was before this. I knew it was a festival, but I always thought it was geared more towards bigger pop, hip-hop, jam bands, stuff like that. Didn’t even realize they had a whole electronic side, so it was cool to experience that. Then to come back and do a solo set is just awesome.

AE: I saw you at a drive-in last October with Adventure Club up in Northern Illinois. What’s it been like going back to actual shows again?

Wooli: It’s been awesome! Drive-ins were like a good in-between phase, you get the experience of DJing again, but it’s just weird when you DJ to Toyota’s and Priuses instead of people smiling back at you. There was one time I thought I had a really once-in-a-lifetime experience, I think it was in Salt Lake City, we were doing a drive-in. I think it was the biggest drive-in we played and they marketed it almost like a festival.

There were like 500+ cars. It was really bizarre, so before I went on and played my first song, I told everyone to go in their cars, and on the count of 3, honk their horns at the same time. It was the most deafening, loud, atonal sound of just honks, and then the stage manager ran up and was like, “Please do not ever do that again. We’ve had so many sound complaints already.” The mayor I guess had a phone call with them, and I felt really bad, but when else can you have 500 cars all honking at you? So that was fun. Other than that, it’s good to be playing for real people again.

AE: Yeah, I’m very glad shows are back. The sound there was terrible, our car died, it was rough.

Wooli: A lot of cars had been dying, either people leave them on or the lights are on. And like that’s the thing, you’re supposed to play the music with your car stereo, right? So you’re supposed to keep your car kind of on?

AE: It was definitely an experience. I’m glad to be done with those! But moving on, as I said, this was probably one of the heaviest sets I’ve ever seen from you. What can we expect in the second half of 2021? I saw that tweet about a headlining tour?!

Wooli: I’m kind of holding off to announce that because I feel like everyone and their sister just announced a tour at the same time. I want there to be a little breathing room before I announce my tour. So I think we’re gonna announce it in mid-August and it’s a pretty big tour. It’s gonna be a lot like the last tour, but bigger rooms, bigger support.

I have a lot of new songs I’ve been holding onto that I’m not even playing here, with crazy out-of-this-world artists who you would never be able to guess; they aren’t in electronic music. I don’t know, you’ll have to wait and see for that one. I just got out of the studio last week, so it’s still fresh in my mind. It’s really bizarre. It’s one of my favorite 90’s artists, who hasn’t been making music for a while. We dug them out of the pits and were just like, “We’re making something!” I think we’re gonna try to premiere it at EDC. That’s with Trivecta as well. I had Trivecta come to LA, we all rented a studio, and it was awesome!

“Not another son trying to do this Dubstep thing…”

AE: At what moment did you realize you’re actually becoming a successful artist and quit your finance job?

Wooli: The thing with me was I never wanted to fully commit to being a DJ/producer until I knew that I was going to be comfortable enough and could let go of working as a financial advisor. It was my dad’s company and we were working together. He was actually really supportive. He wanted me to take over the company, so I was not entirely sure if he was going to be. I was like, “I think I’m gonna do this other thing.” He was like, “you sure?”

I have an older brother who’s also a producer and a DJ out of Denver. He’s been doing it for a lot longer than me. So my dad had been watching my brother and he sees how much of a struggle it is to “make it” as a local DJ, touring, and stuff like that. There are so many people to rise through to separate yourself. My brother is fantastic and he’s growing really fast now.

At the time, my dad was like, “Oh, no, not another son trying to do this dubstep thing.” I kind of just proved it to him, started traveling for some shows, and then I went on my first bus tour. I was gone a lot, but luckily I was able to do both jobs. As a financial advisor, you’re on the phone maintaining clients, rather than people coming in for meetings. So I was able to do both for a very long time. Then finally, when it didn’t make any financial sense to keep both jobs, I was like, “I should just focus on music,” and he supported me 100%. It was great.

AE: What was it like working with Excision for the Evolution EP? I feel like that’s when you really started poppin’.

Wooli & Excision | Photo by @ohdagyophoto

Wooli: Yeah, that really helped my career a lot for a bunch of reasons, obviously. He’s always been, crazy enough, one of the first supporters of my music. Before when I still worked in finance, I randomly saw a tweet back when he was doing the Shambala mixes from like, what, 2016? I saw this random tweet around the lines of, “Hey, gonna go play Shambhala, send me some music at this email.” I had just started making dubstep like four or five months before and I was like, sure! So I freshly made a song that I was stoked on. Obviously, when you’re making Dubstep for only a couple of months you think it’s like the best thing ever, but in reality it kind of sucks.

I sent it to him and I remember I was moving out of my house in Rochester; I was packing and then I got this email while I was procrastinating on my phone. The email was from Excision’s management asking if I could sign off on allowing it to be in the mix. I thought it was a scam, then I finally realized, Oh my God, Excision wants to play my song. No one’s ever played my song before! I hadn’t even really played shows yet. So people were like, alright, who’s this guy? When you’re on a Shambala mix, and you’re a newer name, people usually check that out, which is probably the best start I could imagine. Who the hell is Wooli? I uploaded the song about a month later and it popped off a little bit, so that was cool! He was one of the first to support my stuff, so to come back and then play all these shows with him, then do the EP, has been like a full-circle moment.

I flew up to Canada and we sat in his studio, we worked on the EP and we wanted to do one more song, so we did it with Seven Lions and Dylan Matthew. That was the easiest thing to do ever because there are so many talented people involved. It was just a really, really fun easy experience. Then we became good friends, we literally play Call of Duty almost every day together. We’re always talking; I was texting him until four in the morning last night. He became one of my closest friends in the music industry, which is wild, but now I just kind of see him as like, Jeff.

AE: What a wholesome story! Following up on that, who’s your favorite person you have a collab with, and who’s your dream collab?

Wooli: I think it’s Trivecta. He and Seven Lions. They both have this way of making melodic music sound different than other people trying to do melodic music. There’s always this untangible, unspeakable thing that they throw on and that just makes it feel so immersive and luscious. Trivecta and I have worked on like four songs now, some that haven’t come out yet. He’s like one of my closest friends. We have the best dynamic where we just bounce off each other, we’re always laughing, it’s a great time.

Dream collab would probably be… Ellie Goulding – I tweeted her a couple of times. I gotta like hit up either Jeff or someone like Seven Lions; I call him soft Jeff and hard Jeff is Excision. Anyways, I need them to help me because I know that they have a little bit more reach than I do! So I’m gonna make it my dying wish, I don’t care if she’s retired! Get in the booth!

AE: So with the upcoming releases, should we expect more melodic or more of the stereotypical Briddim Boy?

Wooli: Actually, it’s pretty split down the middle right now. It’s always been kinda split, I try to keep an even balance. Perfect, Ying and Yang. During the pandemic, I wouldn’t say I was bored, but it was really uninspiring to make heavy Dubstep when it’s not for a live experience. Listening to dubstep alone in your room, you can do it, but it’s gonna get kind of tired fast. I needed something with a little bit more soul to it. Working with vocalists was a lot easier and made me actually want to work on music during the whole downtime, so I have a lot of melodic music.

I also have some more stuff with hard Jeff (Excision). I want to do something with Seven Lions and Trivecta again. I’m a big sucker for the melodic drops that have a heavy drop following them, as you might be able to tell, it’s kind of like, what I like to do. So I’m gonna try to do more of that until I figure something else out. Invent another genre or something! (laughs)

AE: As I said, I’ve seen you a handful of times. I’ve seen you in Boston, Mousetrap in Indianapolis, Pan Am, Lost Lands, a drive-in, all over the place. What’s your favorite venue to play at? Or your favorite city?

Wooli: This might be controversial because, obviously, we’re all from the States. Montreal is just a different breed. It’s got everything that Denver has, but they’re just a little bit crazier. I think they’re all sicker in the head, they’re just going nuts. Someone made a comparison that Lolla has a lot of Montreal vibes and I didn’t understand what they meant until I saw the kids just moshing to literally anything and everything and not even like, the drops. They were just going crazy! It’s a little weird but, I’m not gonna say no!

AE: I gotta ask, best wing spot in New York?

Wooli: Oh okay, this is easy. You go to Buffalo and you go to a place called Gabriel’s Gate, you ask for the wings, extra crispy, medium with blue cheese. It comes with blue cheese normally, they don’t even give you the option for ranch. Ranch isn’t a thing there. Honestly, it’s perfect. It’s the crispiest, biggest, juiciest wings and they do it right.

Hunter, Electric Hawk: Are there levels to blue cheese consumption? I feel like some Ranch is superior?

Wooli: Well, I don’t know. It’s just an upstate New York thing. Like everything is blue cheese. On the menu, it’ll say carrot sticks, celery sticks, and blue cheese. Ranch isn’t an option! It’s like if you’re in New York City, you’re getting a thin slice of pizza. You’re not really getting thick slices like here (Chicago). I’m obviously from New York, so I like thin pizza. Deep dish isn’t bad, it’s just not pizza. It’s like a pie, an Italian cake. My favorite is Portillo’s tho, I’ll get a cake shake, Italian beef, a dog. I go there for the cake shake and the Italian beef with the cheese sauce.

AE: Enough food talk (laughs), will we ever get a Woolo World?!

Wooli: Yeah. We’re working on it. Do you know where Mammoth Mountain is? There’s another spot too. We’re looking at taking over a mountain where people snowboard. There’s an amphitheater there where I want to do a little curated event. Next year hopefully.

AE: If you could go back in time and give yourself any advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?

Wooli: I think it would be to not compare yourself to others because I feel like that’s the easiest trap to fall into. It could play a lot with your mental health when you’re constantly comparing yourself to other artists and like what they’re doing and like, their success. If you just put your head down and focus on yourself, I think things come a lot easier and more naturally.

AE: Tell us something your fans don’t know about you!

Wooli: I have synesthesia. It’s basically when you can see colors and feel sound a little bit differently. I think I’m I mentioned that earlier like a long time ago, but not a lot of people know!

AE: And finally, anything you want to share for the people reading?

Wooli: See ya at Lost Lands!

Wooli
Ashley Eggert & Wooli at Lollapalooza

It was an absolute pleasure getting to chat with Wooli at Lollapalooza. We can’t wait to see what the rest of 2021 has in store for him!

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Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from Wooli, all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.

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