From beautiful vocals and dreamscapes to heavy pounding techno beats, Will Day’s sound is all wrapped up as a smooth progressive mix that takes you on a “Phonic Dust” journey.
Everyone at some point in life, is influenced by someone, place and/or thing one way or another. Will Day is no exception. In his earlier days growing up, he became inspired after first listening to The Prodigy. “From the start, The Prodigy certainly influenced me”, he said. Anyone who grew up in the 90’s in the underground rave scene will tell you that The Prodigy alongside the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim have been credited as pioneers of the big beat genre – incorporating heavy breakbeats and synthesizer loops – that’s mostly seen in acid house and techno. Will admits jokingly, “their latest music is too heavy for me now”.
Like most deejays I’ve interviewed and casually chat with, the 90’s seems to be that turning point where they’ve started deejaying at house parties or local clubs. For Will, it was nothing but fun and great memories. It was a time “we got to grips with learning (how) to DJ”, as Will shared with me. “We were using vinyl at that point with dodgy mixers and cheaper Technics 1210 copy turntables… We all learnt what didn’t sound good very quickly”, he further adds.
Learning to play the piano and some other instruments at a young age helps Will when harmonic mixing. With advances in today’s technology, analyzing MP3 and WAV files plus determining musical keys of every file makes a deejay’s life easier. He admits that before he started using software, he would try out different tunes hearing if they mixed harmonically. As he explains, “I can’t play the piano now or tell what keys tunes are in, but I can tell when things are harmonically working together… maybe its second nature now”. Further adding, “I’m currently using ‘Traktor’ and my new Allen and Heath DB2 mixer, along with 2x NI D2s, and an A&H K2 – this keeps me quiet for a while [laughs]”. As he continued to share with FRISKY about creating music, I asked Will about the advantages of technology as an electronic artist. “It allows me to layer up tracks… remix decks, but also allows access to my whole library of tunes and dig deep into my collection and find tracks that fit the mix”, he replied.
Will has played various gigs ranging from both the London club and festival scenes. He currently plays locally in Reading (UK). Seeking aspirations thru musical talents of others, Will plays a mixture of underground deep house, progressive house and techno – adding a few breaks from time to time. There’s no doubt you will be taken on a journey from beautiful vocals and dreamscapes to that of heavy pounding techno beats – all wrapped up in a smooth progressive mix with Will Day’s new show Phonic Dust right here on FRISKY.
Phonic Dust premieres January 7th @ 7PM EST [convert timezone].
First, I’d like to start off and wish you and your family a very happy 2019! Welcome to the FRISKY family – I’m looking forward to your mix show. It’s true a pleasure to meet and interview you. Let’s go back in time a bit and if you would, kindly share with me your backstory. Again, congratulations on your new show with FRISKY!
Thanks, really looking forward to starting 2019 with my new show on Frisky! I originally started listening to rave music in the ’90s when I was a teenager. I wasn’t into the Oasis / Blur scene. I enjoyed the electronic sound of with bands like The Prodigy with their release of ‘Music for the Jilted Generation’ and also the Chemical Brothers and other such artists. DJ’s such as Carl Cox were massive in the techno scene then. I was lucky enough to watch and meet him in our local nightclub in Reading on a Checkpoint Charlie night.
When I went to University in Bournemouth, there was a really good dance scene at the Opera House. I used to go once or twice a week and see DJs like Alex P, Tall Paul, and Dave Seaman etc. But it was at the Manor in Ringwood where I would experience Sasha and John Digweed – at the time Northern Exposure 2 was released. This for me changed everything and is still a benchmark for me.
Since starting out, how has creating music transformed you? And what would you say keeps you motivated on a daily basis? And what would you say was the turning point for you in your career?
New music keeps me motivated. I’m lucky enough to listen to DJ mixes and tunes all day. And really enjoy listening to other people’s mixes as a well as creating my own. As for a turning point, I guess creating mixes for Soundcloud and Mixcloud. When the internet became fast enough for streaming and finding that other people liked my mixes – this gave me the confidence to play/share more.
Tell me about your favorite places and or gigs you’ve played. Is there one that always sticks out from the rest? Why?
My favorite place/club has to be Fabric. I went there the 2nd week it opened. Sasha was playing, and it happened to be when the clocks went back, so we got an extra hour. At that time Fabric wasn’t as busy as it is now. I remember in the main room, Sasha playing some amazing tunes and just really enjoying himself. Watching Adam Freeland beforehand in the other room and then dancing with him and listening to Sasha amazing.
Favorite gigs I’ve played would have to be the Purple Turtle. It’s got very low ceilings which makes the sound really heavy. And people are right in front of you, so no escaping if you play a ‘clanger’.
With that said, playing regularly at The Purple Turtle Club in Reading must be lots of fun and I love the “Deep Fat Friday” concept by the way. Tell me about your experience doing live sets and what would you say has been your biggest challenge that you’ve encountered?
Yeah, I really like playing there. The crowd is very intimate and the atmosphere generally is very sweaty. I like to be able to the build my sets, so I usually do the warm-up slot and mid slot, sometimes 2 – 3hr gigs. A challenge is being able to either accommodate someone’s request for a tune if it fits with the mix and style of the night, or being able to persuade them that drum and bass won’t mix with Deep Progressive House [laughs]. Being spontaneous on these nights are also important so you can tailor a set to suit the time and crowd that are there. Sometimes, it takes a little longer to warm up, other nights it gets busy early.
Your style and musical selection is heavily influenced, for example, with the likes of some of the legends in the business: Sasha, John Digweed, and Henry Saiz. Are there any other musical influences/genres that have impacted your career?
I went through stages of playing progressive breaks and still love adding in breaks in a mix if I can. You may hear some in the new Frisky mixes I’m preparing …… There are so many good DJ’s, artists and producers out there at the moment creating a lot of stuff I like, it’s hard to pin point a few: Eagles and Butterflies, Khen, Patrice Baumel, Einmusik, Solee, Eric Sneo, Quivver, Spektre, Thomas Schumacher, VONDA7, MUUI, Third Son, Tale of Us and Enrico Sangiuliano are generally in my record box/playlist.
Adding to that – I hear a mixture of house, techno, progressive, and even chill elements with your work. How would you categorize and describe your style?
Progressive / Melodic Techno sums it up well I think. I like the chilled deep stuff, but I also really love banging techno. Largely, all my mixes have a progressive element to them, start, intro, middle, slow down, and end to them. I don’t like listening to a DJ’s that play any random tunes and force a mix together, for me the mix and flow is most important.
After listening to your mixes, I’m excited about what you will bring to your show on FRISKY. Let’s talk the about your show. What’s the message/meaning behind “Phonic Dust”?
I like the audio association to ‘phonic’ and working in the audio industry for almost 20 years I think may have rubbed off a bit. I like the thought of space dust and if there could be musical dust that could be a physical element. That’s a bit hippy isn’t it? The show will be new progressive house, techno mixes, and sometimes with classics – if the situation is right. But I want each mix to be a story or journey, each mix to be thought of as one long tune.
What would you say makes Phonic Dust different from your previous mix works; for instance like “Live Control” and/or “Progressive Beats”?
Live Control was my Ableton Live mixes. Progressive Beats or Breaks was Progressive Breaks. I think Phonic Dust will be a evolution on all of the previous works. As music and style changes I think it’s good to softly develop and alter what you play. You can still hear similarities to my old mixes, but new techniques and music keeps things fresh.
How would you (or prefer someone to) encapsulate Will Day’s legacy?
Well curated/thought out mixes.
With that said, what’s next for you? Anything that you are currently working on that you can share with us?
I’m working with a friend creating B2B mixes. I’m not sure where this this go, but it’s been fun. And just creating new mixes that people enjoy listening to. More live gigs in 2019 as well to keep me busy. And obviously my monthly show on Frisky [smiles].
Thank you again Will for taking time with me and FRISKY in sharing your thoughts. It’s been fun! Plus it’s been a pleasure getting to know you and better insight into your musical world. Therefore, before we conclude our interview, do you have any final thoughts?
Thanks. I’m really looking forward to the Frisky public hearing my new mixes, I’ve been collecting a lot of music recently and can’t wait to get it stuck into it!