Wolfgang Gartner (aka Joey Youngman) is one helluva rising star in electronic music. The electro-house music producer slash DJ has spent the last few months bouncing around the US promoting the release of his debut album, Weekend In America (via Ultra Music on September 20th). The 11-track debut features guest appearances from Eve (opening track “Get Em”), Dipset’s Jim Jones and Cam’ron (“Circus Freaks”), Omarion (“Still My Baby”) and Black Eyed Peas rapper and producer will.i.am (“Forever”). On Wednesday, December 14 he'll be playing at LIV in Miami, the 16th at Surrender in Las Vegas and will ring in the New Year at the two day (December 30th and 31st) electronic festival "Lights All Night" in Dallas Texas.
…In America, consumer credit is like a cancer that is eating away at our country. It really should be considered an epidemic.
How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
Bass heavy club music that triggers your dopamine receptors.
What was your favorite toy as a child and when/why did you stop playing with it?
Video games. I stopped playing them about eight years ago when I got busy.
Any colorful incidents involving a fan?
One time I almost got my finger chopped off in one.
Favor us with a moment in life that changed the course of, or defined, your aesthetic philosophy.
This would probably be the moment I dropped out of school because my music career was paying the bills more than school ever could have. It's when music became my job, income source, 401k, medical and dental plan, and my art suddenly had a price tag. You never completely escape the mindfuck of doing something for love and money at the same time. On one side it is an amazing feeling to do what you love for a living. On the other side it is a weird feeling knowing if you stop doing it, you will go broke. And once you've been a musician for a living, you can never go back to working a regular job. This can create pressure and fear if you let it get to you. I think it took me about five years to get over that and be at ease with it.
Your creative arc. Alpha to omega, go.
I usually start with a kick drum. Then I design each individual drum sound from the ground up, and build a drum loop. I usually spend a day or two doing this until my neck starts jerking at a certain velocity and then I can start on the musical part. Occasionally I'll start off just playing the keyboard and writing a chord progression, then build around that.
The movement from CD to MP3 was a big paradigm shift in the music biz. Crystal ball time. What will be the next big shake up? How are you going to come out on top?
I don't think being on the cutting edge of technology really has much to do with winning. Some people make it a priority, others don't. I personally have never really made it a priority. All that matters is how your performance comes off to the people watching it. I think too much focus on technology and staying current with it takes away from focus on the actual music.
Do you think there are any commonly held societal beliefs that are false?
I think a majority of the world has completely messed up views on credit and debt. At least here in America, consumer credit is like a cancer that is eating away at our country. It really should be considered an epidemic. Which leads me to another thing I think is fundamentally screwed—our educational system. But not in the way most people think it's messed up. My issue is with the curriculum. Kids are required to learn and memorize the names of war generals and obscure events from hundreds of years ago in history class; to learn complex math like trigonometry that they will never use in the real world, but nobody teaches them about money. They aren't taught about credit, mortgages, interest, how to save money, and how to handle money, they are expected to learn it on their own. I think it's pretty obvious this isn't working out, and the long-held educational values and subjects that are taught in school need to be reevaluated and brought up to speed.