Let's be honest, is there an artist with Crew Love that doesn't make your heart sing? As a refresher, let's briefly list out a few of the members: Wolf + Lamb. Soul Clap. Nick Monaco. No Regular Play. To a man, each of these players are powerhouses that consistently churn out sounds that fill our hearts with joy. This summer, Crew Love is taking their squad on a nationwide mission to spread their glorious gospel. With shows in NY, Chicago, and LA, they've dedicated themselves to ensuring that this one is a summer of love.
The first show on their tour takes place in their home base of NYC this Saturday, August 19th. The venue, La Marina, overlooks the picturesque Hudson River and will feature three stages jam packed with features that are guaranteed to transcend your spirit to a new level of happiness. With tickets below $50 this is an absolute no brainer to attend.
An incredible tour demands equally incredible attention, so we went ahead and locked down a ton of Crew Love content to go alongside their nationwide tour. Over the next few weeks, we will be be trickling out interviews, Spotify playlists, and ticket giveaways, so keep your eyes peeled and cop your tickets to the events so you can catch them firsthand!
Wolf + Lamb seem to have it all figured out. But don't take this to mean they know everything. Instead, it stands as a testament to the wide range of expertise they've built up over the years. Operating with earnest inspiration, they have pursued and tackled a laundry list of projects; building a successful DJ career, a bad-ass label, a creative collective, and a legendary after party spot, all the while remaining true to their core.
Zev (Wolf) and Gadi (Lamb) are emblematic of the power that a dynamic duo brings. They share a uniquely traditional Jewish upbringing, but have eschewed theology in the pursuit of living a life that continually excites them. Meeting around the turn of the century they set off on their first project, Wolf + Lamb, which, as their DJ moniker, has evolved and shifted over the past 15 years. After working the scene for a few years, in 2005 they took it a step further and founded Wolf + Lamb Records. With a stellar body of work, including the debut EP of phenom Nico Jaar, this label is an absolute powerhouse that demands an incredible amount of respect.
Another project of theirs is the mysterious Marcy Hotel, an underground party spot in Brooklyn that gained notoriety for it's no holds barred approach to providing pure, unadulterated fun. This stands as a prime example of just how powerful their vision is, as despite the fact that they birthed it as a quasi-joke, it turned into one of the most respectable after party spots in the world.
Magnetic Magazine: What has been taking up most of your time lately?
Wolf: We pulled back a tiny bit this year, because we bought this 100 acre property in upstate NY with Soul Clap and two other friends. The intention is basically that we’re going to have a playground that serves as a dope ass studio and slowly build it into a sick place to get old and make music. Lamb and I are here figuring shit out with all these excavators and lawnmowers. We’re building Soul Clap’s cabin right now and it’s a giant hole in the ground at the moment.
Lamb: It's kind of strange. This is the first time we've actually committed to being up here all the time, and the city life has gotten way more intense because we've been spending so much time in nature.
Wolf: We're going from like crazy festivals, being zipped around on golf carts, and fucking flying all over the world. Get on a plane to JFK. Get in the car and then Bam! Wake up back here again. There's not a single fucking person around. If you don't leave the place you literally won't see another person.
MM: How would you guys describe each other?
Lamb: Penn and Teller. Wolf does the magic tricks and most of the talking.
Wolf: It's Pinky and the Brain, and he's the Brain.
MM: How do you guys maintain that power couple dynamic?
Lamb: It's tough having a partner doing all this stuff together. DJing and running labels and all this stuff, but it's kind of like marriage.
Wolf: Yeah. We had a very bumpy working relationship for the first couple of years, maybe because we didn't know if we were going to be successful at anything we were doing, and we were younger and stupider and whatever. But then something shifted.
Lamb: I think the ego had to get out of the way.
Wolf: Yeah. I think the ego had to get crushed. However it happens, you gotta just get through it. So both of us recognized many years ago that it's well worth the time investment to do basic relationship maintenance. Which for us is like, if you get sick of someone, get the fuck out of there. Don't talk to them for a week, a month, two months, whatever you need. We have enough things going on that there's always something else to do. You can always shift it to another project for a while and put your energy there.
MM: How do you keep your focus?
Wolf: I’ve been working on that a lot recently. For a while, me or Lamb would come up with some stupid idea like “let’s open a club” and then he’d talk me into it or I’d talk him into it. After we convinced each-other we'd hunker down and attack this goal tirelessly, day in, day out, for however long it took to get it done. Now I’m much more methodical in thinking about what I want to focus on with my time. Like, where do I want to see X project go in the next few years? In other words, I think we’re growing up. At the same time there are also times where a business hits a brick wall and cant grow anymore, for whatever reason. We feel very comfortable to pull back and let the project sit on the back burner while we focus on something else.
MM: What do you do to you do to manage your time?
Wolf: Work a lot?
Lamb: I go on vacation and he does the work.
Wolf: Pinky and the Brain. Any advice, Brain?
Lamb: Find balance and try to stay inspired, really.
Wolf: That's an important thing. You can’t get bored of anything. I think the nature of this label thing is really cool because you have all these different artists working on cool shit, duking it out in the studio, trying to come up with a new twist, and then the first thing they do when they get it is send it to us. So we have a fresh flow of things that keep us inspired.
MM: What's the hardest part about owning and running a record label?
Wolf: I think the A&R thing is difficult, which is Lamb’s department.
Lamb: That really depends on how you're running your A&R. If it's very personal then it's dangerous.
Wolf: Yeah, and that's how Lamb runs it. It's personal, and he becomes friends with everyone. Then sometimes an artist doesn't work out and Lamb is fucking bummed about it for six months or whatever.
Lamb: It's heartbreaking.
Wolf: After something like that he doesn't want to hear a demo and isn't interested in signing any new music because it's just like, "fuck, I just invested so much into this artist and then, whatever, they flew too close to the sun." Another difficult part is that we don't really know what the fuck we're doing with anything. We just kind of blindly lead.
Lamb: It's true! Even on this property we're running around in these massive tractors and excavators. I'm this five foot seven guy, and I'm like, "What the fuck am I doing?" You can crush people's hands in seconds with these things, but we're just winging it.
Wolf: Because we got to figure out what to do.
Lamb: Just like everything else.
MM: Do you coach your artists?
Lamb: The A&R stuff is really detailed because oftentimes these kids don't feel the desire to be involved in all aspects of their art, like logos for their name and shit like that.
Wolf: A lot of them just want to make their music.
Lamb: I kind of prefer it that way. It’s exciting as hell to be involved on that level. Strategizing, doing logos, figuring out where all their music goes. All this shit is fucking awesome for me because it’s like I get to do it all over again like we did for Wolf + Lamb.
Wolf: Another bit is often teaching them how to manage their expectations. There are so many motherfuckers out there trying to make it in the industry. Every kid wants to fucking DJ in Belize, which is not how it was 12 years ago. It’s tough to tell artists "guys, I'm really sorry, but it's just not enough to make good music anymore. It just doesn't cut it. You've got to bring your social game up."
Lamb: Facebook or you're fucking out.
MM: Is Marcy Hotel still going?
Lamb: Yeah. There's a new incarnation of it for the last two years, but we’re only throwing parties every 3 months or so. The Black Flamingo is sorta the spiritual successor to the original Marcy Hotel. It’s small, 70-80 people, but it’s beautiful.
Wolf: Intimate, gorgeous lighting, actually has the old wooden walls from the Marcy that Lamb and I brought by hand from upstate New York to build the original Marcy party space. We jacked them from random abandoned cabins almost 12 or 13 years ago but they live on! When we moved out of the old space we literally ripped the walls down. On the way out the landlord was like “Fuck You.”
MM: Who are your idols?
Lamb: Idols are his department.
Wolf: I wouldn't say I idolize them, but I like the hip hop empire kind of thing. The fact that these guys are like, "You like my music? Great. I'll make $200 million off of you." Like JAY-Z, what does he own, a fucking stadium downtown?
Lamb: We’ve got some ducks on a 100 acre farm.
MM: What mark are you two trying to make on the world?
Lamb: I think that's a conversation we were mature enough to have real early on. Once we did, every decision we made would always, always, always build towards our greater purpose
Wolf: Build something that lasts.
Lamb: Trying to become a legendary act in New York is something we're still aspiring to. At every cross-roads you have to re-make that decision because there's always options to say, "Fuck it! Play tech house." We'd get bigger festivals and it wouldn’t be so difficult to book us.
Wolf: The other thing is that we also rebranded ourselves early on. When we were younger we were trying to be cool and underground, but then we switched to more uplifting, emotional music. Trying to inspire joy is something that is easy to put time into while being confident that you're doing good for people. We'll be on the road in some random city, tired as hell, and it’ll be 5 or 6 in the morning, but then we make eye contact with someone in the crowd and see a huge smile on their face. For us, having a moment to touch that joy, you can’t beat that shit.