Waka Wednesday Archives - Wakarusa Music Festival

Waka Wednesday Archives

    25 Mar 2015

    Waka Wednesday with Wakarusa’s Art Director

    Author: Rebecca | Category: Waka Wednesday | Tags:

    GratefulWeb.com‘s contributor, Michelle Miesse recently had a chance to talk to Wakarusa’s Art Director, Nicholas Tarr. Check out the interview below!

    As art director, why is it important to have art at music festivals?

    Music festivals aren’t just about the music anymore, they’re about the whole experience. It’s not just about the lineup, people want to see and experience things they never have, they want to be blown away. I think the entire festival experience is evolving into a wonderful direction that allows creative collaboration between all mediums. As concert goers, we are seeing more and more elaborate stage decor, live painting, and enhanced visuals, festivals are an open platform where all creativity can collide into something magical, everyone is a contributor.

    Why did you choose to become Art Director for a music festival?

    As an artist, I am wildly inspired by working and collaborating with others artists and designers. As Art Director for Wakarusa, I am given the opportunity to be a voice for the attendees and contributors while creating opportunities for others. We are always trying to evolve the visual impact and interaction on the mountain by creating opportunities for others to create and contribute to the experience. Overall, I feel like the opportunity chose me, I am eternally grateful to be a part of something so beautiful.

    Do you work with other festivals, setting up art displays or anything else?

    Wakarusa is the only music festival I am currently involved with at the moment, but I am always networking to explore new potentials and opportunities. I feel like the Festival industry has so much to offer, creatively and socially. Everytime I attend a festival I learn and see so much, I try to remember those things as I go about my everyday life. I look forward to doing this everyday.

    What types of art do you think work best on Mulberry Mountain? Are there any that seem particularly fitting?

    Mulberry Mountain is such a beautiful gem nestled in the woods in the middle of the Natural State. There is so much natural beauty everywhere you go and the festival is definitely influenced by that. It’s where music meets mother nature, so I think its best not to compete with that. Some of the most successful installs on the mountain are those that interact with the environment and the attendees. Whether it is suspended from the trees in the Satellite stage, or planted in the middle of main stage, it has to work with everything around it. It is also important for everything to be impactful both day and night, lighting is an important element that changes the whole dynamic at nightfall.

    How has art changed your life? How do you think it can change or improve the lives of others?

    I have been creatively motivated all my life, some might say I have art ADD, I am always learning, sharing, and exploring new opportunities and capabilities. Someone once told me, “How and where you spend your time is where your rewards will be,” to me this couldn’t be more true. I have spent ten years chasing creative outlets, yet I feel like I have just now started on my true path. Many people do not know what they are capable of, but through art, music, and the community of the festival, we can help each other explore new possibilities and understandings.

    Who are some musicians that really inspire you?

    One of the best things about Wakarusa, and festivals in general is all the new music I learn about. I am constantly expanding my musical library, everything from bluegrass to hip hop gets me going. Pretty Lights, Xavierr Rudd, The Roots, String Cheese Incident, The Floozies, Primus, I usually just keep it on shuffle, you  never know where the music will take you.

    What are some music festivals you admire for their use of art during during such events?

    There are so many festivals out there right now, all over the world with super impressive installations and visuals. But right here in the U.S, I really like what Electric Forest has Created at Rothbury, such an amazing execution of resources from the lighting, to the performers and the artwork, there is creativity everywhere. I also have my eyes on the more transformational festivals, like Lightning in a Bottle, they have a much smaller attendance than some other major festivals, but they execute their event so beautifully, all the attendees can’t wait to return the next year.

    Who are some artists you’re interested in these days?

    That questions is almost harder to answer than the music question! As an artist and fabricator, I am inspired by everything around me, my motto has always been, “ARS GRATIA ARTIS” which is Latin for “ART FOR ART’S SAKE.”  I am very impressed with a designer named Heather Shaw of Vita Motus, she has designed some very beautiful environmental installations. I could go on and on about 2D artists, some of my favorites are, David Choe, Anthony Lister, Mars 1, & Justin Bower, but just like music there are so many genres and styles, all you can do is appreciate and accept it all for what it is.

    18 Mar 2015

    Waka Wednesday: Plan Your Trip

    Author: Rebecca | Category: Waka Wednesday | Tags:

    Make it easy when planning your travel to Wakarusa! Book your flights, hotels, car rentals and more by using our easy door-to-door travel guide: http://www.wakarusa.com/info/plan-your-trip/

    04 Mar 2015

    Waka Wednesday with Leave No Trace

    Author: Rebecca | Category: Waka Wednesday | Tags:

    We are thrilled to be partnering with Leave No Trace at this year’s Wakarusa! In the next few months we will be sharing more information on the Leave No Trace Campsite Competition, Seven principles of Leave No Trace for festival goers and how to Leave No Trace at Wakarusa.

    For now, check out these tips to use at your campsite to be clean and sustainable!

    25 Feb 2015

    Waka Wednesday with Trigger Hippy

    Author: Rebecca | Category: Waka Wednesday | Tags:

    Steve Gorman is the drummer and co-founder of the band Trigger Hippy. Trigger Hippy will be playing at Waka 2015 and recently discussed the formation of Trigger Hippy, his creative process and love of Wakarusa.

    Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?


    What first got you interested in playing drums?

    I heard the Beatles album “Help” in 1971 and started air drumming immediately to “Ticket To Ride”.  That’s all it took.

    How did you become involved with the Black Crowes?

    I moved to Atlanta in 1987 to start a band with some friends.  One of our roomates was Chris Robinson.  We hit it off, and within a couple of months I switched bands to start playing with Chris and his brother, Rich.  DIdn’t seem like a big decision at the time.  I just felt that playing with Chris and his brother was a better fit for me.

    What are some of your favorite memories of playing with the Crowes?

    Too many to list, but the tour with Jimmy Page always stands out as the most fun I ever had playing music.  So that’s a pretty good place to start.

    How does your creative process work when songwriting?

    I only write collaboratively – I don’t start songs on my own, but I help with arrangements and offer small lyrical/musical ideas as the songs are coming together.  The majority of Trigger Hippy songs are written as collaborations.  Everyone contributes something on just about every one of them.

    You are the host of Steve Gorman SPORTS! on Fox Sports Radio. What are your favorite teams?

    Baltimore Orioles, Michigan football, Western Kentucky basketball, Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators, the entire NBA.

    You are playing Wakarusa 2015 with Trigger Hippy. How did Trigger Hippy come together?

    Nick Govrik, the bassist, and I shared a vision for a rock n roll band and ultimately called a couple of people – Joan and Jackie – that we really wanted to work with to see if they were interested.  They both were, luckily, and after getting together a handful of times to work on song ideas, we all felt we were onto something significant.

    What are you most looking forward to about Wakarusa?

    I’ve already played it with The Black Crowes, so I know it’s a beautiful setting and that the fans there are quite serious about how much fun they’re having.  It’s a tremendous vibe.

    How do you go about creating setlists in Trigger Hippy?

    Like most things with the band, someone has an idea and then the rest of us chime in.  For festivals, it’s a pretty simple concept – get the crowd going and keep them going.

    What have been the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome in your career?

    I started late.  I didn’t get my first drum kit until I was 21, so I had to make up a lot of ground pretty quickly.  As far as the Black Crowes are concerned, our biggest obstacle was always the internal difficulties presented by the relationship between the Robinson brothers.

    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

    Work harder than you ever thought about working at anything in your life, and put all of your heart into it for as long as you can.  If you’re playing music to avoid responsibility and commitment, you’re making a huge mistake.

     Interview By: McClain Johnson

    11 Feb 2015

    Waka Wednesday with SAVOY

    Author: Rebecca | Category: News, Waka Wednesday | Tags:

    SAVOY is a Brooklyn, NY based band and will be playing Wakarusa 2015. They recently discussed SAVOY’s beginnings, creative process and love of Wakarusa.

    Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?

    Our parents weren’t musicians but we they were all pretty passionate about music.  They grew up in the the golden age of rock, so the three of us share that musical backbone.

    How did SAVOY first come together?

    The three of us met in the dorms at college in Boulder.  We used to play together acoustically in hallways and lawns.  The next year we had a shed behind Ben and Gray’s house which became the place where the Savoy sound really started to take shape.

    Did you start DJing or producing first?

    Its a tricky question, but producing came first. We started as a rock band and gradually added synth bass and other electronic layers to really make our stuff sound big on the dance floor.  Over time the music evolved to be electronic music dance music that was based around sequencers and computers.  We then added instrumentation back into our productions and live performances to maintain the live, raw, feel that we love about rock music.

    You put on an amazing live performance. How has your live show evolved since you first started out?

    The answer above touched on this a little, but now our live shows are now a complete hybrid of a rock band and dance music.  We have huge builds and bass heavy drops but we also have the energy of distorted guitars and huge rock drums. We have been touring with singers as well.  Our lighting setup is also a hybrid of the two genres.  We fuse powerful lasers with epic ACDC style lighting. The energy level of the new live show keeps getting crazier and more dimensional.

    How do you approach creating tracks in the studio?

    Our influences and musical styles are varied and this shows in our productions.  I think our appreciation for the old school really influences how we make a modern sound.  If we are working on a house or drumstep track, we will ask ourselves, “What would Zeppelin do here?”  But we wouldn’t pull up a Skrillex song and use that as a reference.

    You are a past winner of Waka Winter Classic. What did winning the Waka Winter Classic mean to you?

    It was a big turning point for us. It was one of the first big festivals we ever played.  It was a time in college when a lot of people were studying abroad or going on spring break trips but we decided to take advantage of opportunities like Waka and make music our priority.

    What advice would you give to the artists competing this year?

    Well aside from playing your best and preparing you really have to bring a crowd.  That’s what all music festivals want in a band, but our strategy was a little more unconventional.  We rented a school bus and filled it with kegs.  The “party bus” took a bunch of our fans and friends from Boulder to Denver which is about 30 mins away.  Needless to say, the show was nuts and we got a bunch of votes and won the Waka Winer Classic.  But it is worth pointing out that the band before us was really talented and despite them loosing the vote they still got to play Waka.  So either way you just have to throw down.

    You are playing Wakarusa 2015. What do you enjoy most about playing Wakarusa?

    Yeah, we are always pumped to come back!  Wakarusa is great because their lineup is pretty eclectic.  We love playing festivals that aren’t based around one genre.  Some of the electronic music festivals are crazy but three days of a similar sound could be a little intense.  But at Waka we are able to stand out and provide something different.  When it gets later in the night and kids want to take it to the next level, we drop the bass and lasers on them and its always insanity.

    What are some of your favorite memories from playing Wakarusa?

    There have been many but for me it was the first year we played a late night slot in the tent. The band before us was great, but pretty mellow.  We went up there with lasers blaring and the tent quickly turned into an all out rave.  The tent was packed and everyone went nuts and really connected with what we were doing.  We had a lot of fans in the first half of the crowd, but you could tell a lot of people were caught off guard and seeing us for the first time. The best music festival experiences are always based around the unexpected.  It was cool to see that happening.

    Interview By: McClain Johnson

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