Jan 27, 2011
Wolfgang Gartner

Joey Youngman, aka Wolfgang Gartner, is an EDM superstar. His meteoric rise is no fluke, though; his passion, love, and commitment to music is unmatched. Step into the mind of this prodigy and find out how it all began in his exclusive interview with LessThan3.

Wolfgang Gartner - Get It (Original Mix) [Ultra]
LessThan3: How did you get started in EDM, and what were your first influences?
Joey: There were these parties in warehouses [in San Luis Obispo, CA] with no age limit. I was like 13 or 14 I guess, and my mom would drive me there and come pick me up. I would just stand up against the wall and listen to the music. I was so young and naive I had no idea what was really going on in there; I just wanted to go listen to dance music. During the day I would take the bus into town, go to the record store, and just listen to music all day. I rarely had any money to buy anything, so I would just hang out in there all day and listen to CDs and records; they probably hated me!
LessThan3: To what do you attribute the electro house movement to, and when did you come to the realization that you were one of the main players of this EDM movement?
Joey: I realized it was quickly gaining popularity in 2006. I didn’t become one of the “top names” until early last year. I think the whole climate of house music really switched over in the early 2000s. Previous to that it was all the Chicago and disco house that was big, at least in the house world, or maybe I was just living in such a bubble that’s all I knew. Then there was this sort of weird lull period around 2002 to 2004 where nobody really knew what the next big thing was going to be, and the music industry was imploding as a whole due to the death of vinyl and illegal downloading. Then electro started emerging and it was obvious that it was going to be the new sound of house. That’s how it seemed through my eyes at least. I didn’t even start doing electro until 2007 when I got really tired of the disco and jackin house stuff; there was just nowhere else to go with it.
LessThan3: Can you tell us a bit more about how your detailed approach to production differs from other major players in the scene?
Joey: In my opinion it all comes down to high standards. Quality control. Not being satisfied with anything less than your absolute best. That’s how I approach it. Somebody who has only been producing music for a year or two is not going to be capable of the same thing as somebody who has been doing it for fifteen years. A lot of people are releasing mediocre music, because now anybody can run a “record label” with absolutely zero investment by just uploading music to straight to Beatport.
LessThan3: Do you feel that a reasonable amount of popular tracks are underdeveloped or overly simplistic?
Joey: The word “simplistic” is a whole different topic. The hardest thing to do, in my opinion, is to make simple music that is extremely effective and consumable by the masses. My music is generally not very simple. It’s extremely complex, and some of it may be a bit cluttered. My music is almost the opposite of simple. I have great respect for and am fascinated with artists who make simple music that really hits hard and does the job. There are very few of them, but when they do it right and hit the nail on the head, they create true classics.
LessThan3: You recently performed at Together As One 2011 in Los Angeles this past New Year’s. Can you describe how that was and what it meant for you?
Joey: Together As One is a legendary party with over 30,000 capacity in my tent. I was meeting up with a lot of old friends that I used to go with to these parties, called “massives,” in LA when I was a teenager. The DJs playing these slots were my idols. Now I’m playing that slot. It’s pretty surreal. I’m trying to soak it in and not take it for granted or get jaded.
LessThan3: What’s something about yourself that you’d like your fans around the world to know?
Dylan: To my fans, the ones that don’t produce or DJ, I’d like them to know that I sincerely appreciate the fact that they just enjoy the music without feeling the need to get involved in it. It seems everybody wants to be a DJ or make music these days, so when I meet fans who aren’t on that trip, who just enjoy listening to my music or coming to shows, it is really refreshing.
LessThan3: If the world were to end in LessThan3 minutes, what song would you listen to?
Joey: Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Joey: House music.
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