Q and A

He’s not just treading water.

Will Wiesenfeld, aka Baths, was classically trained in piano from age four. When he got bored with piano, he did what any twelve-year-old (or pirate) would do: abandon ship. But it wasn’t for long. Recently, Will has become one of the most prominent beat-makers in LA. The Weekly interrupted the now 22-year-old while washing his dishes to hear his thoughts on pop music and the end of the world.

So you’re coming for Hallowbaloo. Do you have any spooky Halloween plans? Do you do the costume thing?

I sometimes do the costume thing but mostly my brother and I really like going to West Hollywood in LA, which is the gayest area of Los Angeles, because it’s the zaniest Halloween thing ever. The costumes are completely insane and people spend thousands of dollars on them so it’s really fun to see.

I read somewhere you already have 20 albums of EPs and full-lengths that you’ve finished and you’re my age–22. That’s insane. What do you do with your free time?

I just write a lot of music all the time. When I was younger, in middle school and high school, it’s not that I wasn’t playing video games and watching TV like anybody else. I would just still find time to record music because it was what I loved to do, so I would just record the shit out of everything all the time.

You’ve been making music for so long. Does it ever get uncomfortable to listen to the things you did years ago? Or is it reassuring, like ‘Oh, I’m getting better.’

It’s a bit of both. I mean definitely, there’s so much music I’ve made that I can’t show people because it would be the end of my reputation, the end of my life, the end of everything–the end of friendship, the end of hope, it would just be the total ruins of everything (laughs). So yeah, for the most part I try not to. At some point, I may put that stuff out or show it to other people but it’s just so embarrassing. But you’re right, it’s progress…it is a weird little diary because I’ve been recording music for about seven years and all through that time I’ve been recording, so I can track how I’ve been able to grow.

So all this comes pretty organically? Are you consciously trying to flee from the conventional pop formula or structure?

I mean, yes and no. It’s definitely a conscious effort to make pop music that’s not radio pop music, you know what I mean? I definitely want to write songs that have memorable melodies and contain good lyrical content and all of that, but I just…every time I turn on the radio I want to kill myself and I think that’s the same for a lot of people (laughs). Well, that’s a little exaggerated. There are definitely some pop songs on the radio that I’m really into.

Could you name some? Is there any one you like in particular that’s popular?

I can’t. My brother just literally reminded me of who it was and I can’t tell you because it’s the end of my life (laughs). My goal with music is to try and have a career path that would emulate the way Björk’s career worked, which was really, really lofty and not something that I think I’m actually going to accomplish, but just the idea of incorporating my own feelings of pop music and being able to do exactly what I want with it and still have it be popular so that a lot of people will want to listen to it, and listen to it repeatedly.

Any bands you’d like to recommend?

Yes, whenever people ask me that, the first thing I’ve been saying is the entire past year by this group Azeda Booth. They’re one of the only bands I’ve been listening to repeatedly. I think they’re one of the best bands I’ve heard in my life. I’m obsessed with them.

Nextdoor, 43 N. Hotel St., Thu., 10/27, 9pm, 19+, $10, [nextdoorhnl.com]
Aloha Tower, Fri., 10/28, 8:30pm, all ages, $25, [hallowbaloo.com]


Vocalist/guitarist Theresa Wayman from the LA-based female quartet Warpaint shares her mutual love for Björk and Halloween.

Hey, Theresa. Are you excited about coming to Hawaii?

Yeah, I’m really excited. I actually have a lot of family in Honolulu.

Are there any female musicians that have particularly resonated with you?

Yeah. Mazzy Star, Björk and Cat Power–things like that I really related to. I listened to Björk nonstop, I listened to Debut, Post and Homogenic on repeat for a long, long time trying to dissect it. I thought it was a perfect combination of something avant-garde and poppy as well.

You’re coming to the Hallowbaloo Festival. Do you usually dress up for Halloween?

Well I was going to be Wednesday from The Addams Family, but I didn’t think that was what’s going on in Hawaii (laughs)…I’d love to dress up, Warpaint should plan something.

Aloha Tower, Fri., 10/28, 8:30pm, all ages, $25, [hallowbaloo.com]