When three individuals come together, sharing the same love and passion for music, topped with a long lasting friendship, an opportunity for greatness appears. The Melbourne sound… more specifically, Melbourne Bounce, is brought to the United States and Canada by Will Sparks, Joel Fletcher, and Timmy Trumpet, on their North American Bounce Bus Tour.
Melbourne Bounce has made its mark at a global scale over the last couple of years, and has been heard in nightclubs and music festivals all over the world. Many will agree this new generation of sound definitely packs a punch. The stars of the tour laid out to us what they want to bring to us, to the world… that Melbourne sound.
We recently got a chance to sit down with the trio right before their debut set together at Nocturnal Wonderland.
How and during what time period of your life did you get into Electronic Dance Music?
Joel: Well for myself, I grew up listening to rock music. I played the drums for a while and loved making beats. I think when I first got into Dance Music though, I was about 14 years old. When I was going to house parties back home, Dance Music was being played all the time. It was at that time I started to develop a relationship with it.
Will: I got into house music very early in my life, but then I got really involved with heavy metal for a while, but went back to house music again. I was around 17 or 18 when I met Joel. We have been friends about 5 years now. Timmy eventually came around 2 years later. Since then these guys have become family.
Timmy: I’ve been around Dance Music for a few years, but honestly I have more of a jazz background. Regardless it's music, and I love all of it. It was actually Joel who got me into EDM with his tracks from back in the day.
Melbourne Bounce has grown tremendously all over the world. Why do you think that is, and what sets it apart from everything else coming out nowadays?
Will: It works everywhere! I'll come on and play some Melbourne Bounce, and the place just erupts with energy. It makes you groove, and just gives a total different vibration off. At least I think so...
Timmy: Its simple in a sense, but it's not at the same time. I say that because complex producers bag on Melbourne Bounce and say it's too easy to mix, or there is no music to it. There is though, and if you knew the history of it then you would know the meaning behind the sound.
Joel: Melbourne Bounce in the beginning was a very minimal sound. There wasn't much music to it, and it was super basic. Now it isn't like that at all anymore. If you go back and listen to my old tunes compared to now… it's a hell of a lot different. It took lots of time, patience, and hard work to get the sound that you hear today.
What would you say would have been your career path if it weren’t for Dance Music?
Joel: I think I would have continued with sports. I played cricket, and actually represented the state Victoria back home in Australia. It was another love of mine along with music.
Will: Well I used to play footsie (Roller Blading) for about 5 years. However, I got injured around the same time I was making music. I ended up giving up footsie for the beautiful culture of Dance Music.
Timmy: Well back home before all this, I used to play in a big jazz band. I was making decent money playing, but that wasn't the reason I stayed with it. What mattered most to me was the music and making people happy. I could play in front of 500 people, 5000 people, or even five people... it doesn't matter to me. I can honestly say I would somehow still be involved with music if I wasn’t here now.
You recently announced your North American Bounce Bus tour... What do you dream of doing with this tour, and why is it so special?
Will: We want to make a market for Melbourne Bounce in the States. Like you said, it has grown tremendously, and we want to be the main contributor to this movement. Timmy plays a special role in this tour. When people see him get on his trumpet and play, they freak out because he is so amazing. Along with that, you see him DJ during the set too, and his energy is amazing. Having him on this tour really is a blessing.
Timmy: Will, you are being too nice… The real goal here is Melbourne Bounce, and getting as many people as possible to hear it. Will’s track "Ah Yeah" really hit off in America, and I don't know if this would be possible without him. We all share the same love of music, and want to show the States what Melbourne Bounce is made of. These lads are family, and mean the world to me. I couldn't think of anyone better to do this tour with.
Joel: Another goal with this tour is to take advantage of the time we have together. We have been talking a lot about collaborating during the tour, or even making an album together. Along with that, we really want to make a difference in the States with this music. We want to show people something different, something they wouldn't expect.
With over 40+ shows in 2 months, how do you find some peace of mind?
Will: Snipsy… That is a term we use back home, but to Americans I guess it would mean chill out. This is my third American tour, and I want to enjoy every minute of it. Whether it be on stage, laying out by the pool, or making a track with my buds... I am grateful each waking moment.
Joel: This is going to be one hectic tour, but doing it with my lads is what makes it so amazing. We've put a lot of work into this tour, and the peace of mind for me is seeing it pay off.
Timmy: Some of the perks of touring is seeing new places, tasting all kinds of food, and doing what you love. Now throw these two guys into that mix... that’s reason enough to give me some peace of mind.
If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?
Will: The bullshit: social media, politics, and the corrupt individuals in the industry. It's not what it used to be, and it's not 100% about the music nowadays. Techno is not an underground thing anymore, and that changes the dynamics of the scene. The fans may not realize it, but it's a struggle as a musician to deal with.
Timmy: I reckon it's the money. As artists we don't care about money as long as we get a crowd to play for. It shouldn't be a factor, but it is, and unfortunately, it determines and influences everything we do.
Joel: You have all these managers and promoters around with the purpose of making money. We understand it's business at the end of the day, but I wish there was a way to have the best of both worlds.
How do you feel when people brand and categorize your sound as “Bounce” as opposed to Melbourne Bounce?
Will: Everyone is it calling bounce now, and it's Melbourne Bounce. That's where it all started, and I think people should know that. The roots of a music style should never be forgotten.
Joel: All three of us are very patriotic to Australia, and we want make a name for our country like the Netherlands has in this industry. There are just so many sounds, and so much talent to bring to the States from Melbourne, and that's exactly what we want to do.
Timmy: Another thing is that by labeling it “Melbourne Bounce” you can identify the true artists in the genre. We want to be known as the pioneers who brought this unique sound all over the world. That's what we are doing with this tour: letting everyone know where the sound comes from, and showing how the Melbourne natives get down.
Was there anyone in particular who motivated you, possibly someone you looked up to and acted as a role model to your success?
Will: I would say Joel really is the one who influenced my music. He is the one that came up with a lot of the rhythms and beats that we use today. Back when I started making music, I would sample a lot of his catchy tunes because I had no idea how he did it. Eventually I developed my own sounds, but the beginning of Melbourne Bounce was all him.
Timmy: I agree with Will 100% on this. Melbourne Bounce wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for Joel. Jazz music also played a huge role in my life. I love that I'm able to say I stay true to Jazz while doing Dance Music.
Joel: They are being too kind! Like I said earlier, this genre was very minimal in the beginning compared to now. My motivation was to try something different. I wanted to be unique and stand out from everyone else. That drive to not be like everyone else has made me what I am today.
If one were to check out your set during the Bounce Bus tour, what should they expect?
Will: You are going to have an experience like no other. We will be featuring a tremendous amount of exclusive new music that you won’t hear anywhere unless you come to the show. It's definitely going to be a wild party full of amazing vibrations.
Timmy: The breakdown and build ups with the brass instruments are going to catch the crowd off guard. We have some classics that will be amazing to hear on trumpet. It's something new to see with a DJ set, but also very interesting. It's a new concept, and I think it will go over great in America.
Joel: We have worked a lot on edits to fit Timmy's trumpet in the set. It's truly beautiful to see how it works altogether. I'm ecstatic to see how all the different cities will react to it, and how it will affect the stage presence.
Can each one of you tell me one thing that most people do not know about you?
Will: I appreciate life, and am a hippie at heart.
Timmy: I like really big butts, especially if they are worked out.
Joel: These two guys sitting right here next to me are my best friends, my family.