Monday, August 8, 2011

An Interview With The JBW Experiment

I've been long time friends with the musicians behind the remix group known as JBW Experiment. John Barry and Brooks Whitmore, although relatively new to the music production scene, have made leaps and bounds towards making a name for themselves. It's taken the duo a couple treks through different genres to find their niche, but with their recent tracks, The Experiment has seemingly come into their own. Most notably, is "Looking Inward Out," which dropped about two hours ago. I felt a little funny asking John, one of my best friends since elementary school, for an interview, but I figured followers would appreciate an inside and in-depth look at this duo's method to madness. I surprised myself, however. Well John surprised me rather, as his answers to my questions were both genuine and eye-opening. I am in no way musically gifted, and I use this website to cope with the lack of that talent. John's responses made me realize not just how talented they are, but musicians in general. Find out for yourselves and click 'Read More' below to read through my chat with John Barry of JBW Experiment. Their latest tracks are included, as well as some older gems. Enjoy

Looking Inward Out (Original Mix) by The JBW Experiment

John Barry of JBW Experiment
Birthplace: Charlotte, NC
Favorite sports team: UNC Tarheels Basketball
All-time favorite concert: Phish Live in Charlotte this past July
Favorite live music venue: That I have been to, probably Raleigh's Amphitheatre - that Pretty Lights show was unbelievable. Although I am dying to go to Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a concert
What's playing on your iPod right now: We're Goin' Home - Sex Ray Vision

A Change Of Scenery (Original Mix) by The JBW Experiment

Beat Dropping: I've been with Brooks and you since the beginning, and watching your music progress and see the level of production quality increase has been exponential. Explain how y'all went from being two guys appreciating the music, to two guys producing it.
John: Brooks and I have always loved music, starting at a young age. We were those guys in middle school beating our pencils on the desk to the latest 50 Cent song. We both were in the middle school band and both in the percussion section. Simply to get to the point, we have both always had this nack for music. We appreciate music beyond its Top 40 value or pop culture appeal to the masses. We would hear things in songs and call each other on the phone and be like, "dude, go to 2:15 in this song and listen to that background bass drop." Freshmen year, Brooks found a free download for Fl Studio 8.0 and things just started rolling. We started slow experimenting with the program, having no knowledge of the software or what a filter, phaser or side chaining were. And here we are now, producing music when we can, at the highest level we can, and we're more in sync with electronic music than ever before.

BD: Describe your thought process behind one of your remixes. How do you pick the songs you mix together / how do you figure out that two seemingly unrelated songs will make a great mix?
J: I can't speak directly for Brooks, but I know that both of us, from listening to music all the time, hear riffs and synth lines that just click in the back of our head and give us the green light. I have never forced anything in my music. It has to come to me naturally. Specifically, my Earth, Wind, & Fire remix with Drake and Ludacris came to me in a seminar class this past year at Wake Forest, when I was watching the end of Platoon. It sounds very unorthodox and it is haha.

BD: What about original mixes? I was there when the 'experiment' started; you and Brooks couldn't save your work and were sitting down for hours at one time to crank out tracks. Still do everything on the spot?
J: Haha, yeah back in the day it was rough. Our first 30-something tracks were made on solely the demo version of FL Studio and some samples we found on the Internet. No saving, constantly leaving the program up on the computer for days. We now have money and have both bought Fl Studio 9.0 Beta and use several other software products, such as Ni Massive, Cakewalk and Ableton, for production.

I Just Can't Stop This Feelin by The JBW Experiment

BD: In your latest original, you can really see the progression of the experiment as producers and musicians. It might just be me over-analyzing things, but it seems like "Change In Scenery" is a mini-timeline of JBW's style (trance to a little dubstep, and finally a more electronic hip-hop feel). Am I on to something?
J: Yeah, you could say that it's a metaphor of our music over time. We initially only did trance and hip-hop. Then we melded into club, house, party and dubstep. In the past 6 months we have combined all that we have done into our unique sound in our mashups, remixes and originals. Producing is about finding your own sound that fans can identify with out of the thousands of dj's already out there. When you hear a Deadmau5 beat, you know its his track within the first minute.

BD: Where does the inspiration come from and are you trying to branch out and try different genres?
J: Well, as said above, we are narrowing down our sound finally. It is solely electronic and is similar to artists like Archnemisis, Michael Minert, Gramatik, Pretty Lights and Paper Diamond. Some hip-hop feel, some dubstep and some upbeat club. Dubstep is a recent adventure we have tried, and we have found like many others, it is damn hard to perfect. We also are working on our marketing a lot and getting our music out there so we can do some live performances in the upcoming year locally.

BD: Give me two things you love, one thing you hate, and the best song you can think of. GO
J: I love all dubstep and I mean that literally. Anything from Skrillex to up and coming artists like Gemini, Arion and Urban Assault. Dubstep is slowly changing music and what you hear on the radio. On a non-musical note, I realized at the Belle Chere Festival in Asheville, NC how much I love food. I probably tried over 10 types of food originating from many countries. I can't really think of a best song, but recent music that I'm obsessed with definitely includes DirtyLoud, Afrojack, LMFAO's new album and some of Chiddy Bang's new stuff.

BD: Why should people follow Beat Dropping?
J: Beat Dropping gives you a chance to find music, artists and events that you aren't going to hear about on the radio or find on iTunes. It's helping the artists that actually care about fans and that want to make it big, not artists that have already soared.

How Low Lights Can Go (Ellie Goulding vs. Ludacris - JBW Experiment Remix) by The JBW Experiment

1 comment:

  1. this john barry sounds like a typical BRO. would love to kick back with this homie