Interview with Wolfgang Gartner

If you've been involved with dance music to any degree over the last several years, chances are you're familiar with Wolfgang Gartner. DJ, producer, label owner, and one of the pioneers of modern day electro-house, he's been a driving force in the scene since his first EP, 'Shapes,' was released in 2007. We caught up with the San Luis Obispo-born, LA-based artist just in time for his Hounds of Hell tour stop in San Diego this weekend with tour mates CHARLIE DARKER, BASS KLEPH, & TOMMY TRASH (tickets available HERE).


You launched your label Kindergarten Recordings in 2008, the same year in which you produced "5th Symphony." Both being major contributions to your career, were you prepared for everything to take off shortly after?

By the time I had set up the infrastructure of my label, I had already released quite a bit of stuff on other labels, and things were starting to take off which was the impetus behind starting my own outlet. 5th Symphony came a year after running the label and having a lot of chart success on Beatport in the top 10, and I was prepared for everything that came with it. It was a lot of work fielding requests for licenses and everything else that came pouring in but certainly not too much to handle at the time.

Like many other label bosses, you hired someone to do A&R for Kindergarten, as your busy schedule doesn't allow you the time to sift through countless demos. How difficult is it to find someone whose taste you trust in?

Extremely difficult. You'll never find somebody who has the exact same ears as you, but if you find somebody who's got a great ear, even if it's not a clone of your own, the system works. He just casts a wider net when collecting music to sign to the label, so that some things he might not love are included, and maybe I end up loving them and signing them. I could never hand over the A&R reigns to my label 100%, because then it wouldn't be my label. So my A&R basically does the 95%, and then that last 5% is just me filtering through what he presents to me and us figuring out which signings we agree on. Luckily his ear really is very similar to mine and the system flows about as smooth as one could possibly hope for.


Aside from electronic artists, you've collaborated with Jim Jones, Cam'ron, and Eve. Can we expect any future collaborations within the same realm? What hip hop could we find in your music library?

Having no definite projects in the works with rap features, I think I can pretty confidently say yes, you'll see more of them from me in the future. It all depends on the music I make - the music always comes first, and then we decide on what kind of vocal and who in particular we hear over it, me and my manager. My music library is pretty much only hip hop, except my DJ music library of course. You'd find everything from Wale, Wiz Khalifa and Wu Tang to Dipset, French Montana, Slum Village, Nas, Tyga, Vado, Slaughterhouse, I could go on for a long time.

You've mentioned before that you have two indoor waterfalls, and would eventually like to have a river running through your house with a koi pond. If you had no limitations (cost or location-wise), what else would we find in Wolfgang's dream pad?

Hmmmm. An indoor lap pool, a big garden inside with a sunroof, I have everything else I'd want I think. I haven't built the river yet because I know I'm gonna sell this house at some point in the next few years and move somewhere closer to the ocean and more permanent so I'm waiting.


Earlier this year you released a 90s house mix covering an assortment of classic tracks, from Richard F to Olav Basoski. What was your relationship with dance music during that era?

Just a kid in a bedroom playing records making tracks, trying to get my tracks on records.

You recently tweeted about getting platinum status with American Airlines. With so many miles under your belt, you must be near mastering the art of travel. Any tips you can share?

That tweet was a joke because I don't really fly American. If you want travel tips? Don't travel. It sucks. If you have to, bring mouthwash and lots of extra socks. And your phone really doesn't affect the navigational equipment of the aircraft.

What's in store for you once you complete the tour?

Back to the studio to hit it pretty hard for the next few months. Tommy and I play a slew of Hounds Of Hell tour dates in Mexico, I play some sporadic fly-dates throughout the next couple months, and the cycle continues.



$25 tickets still available HERE!



LEDtv Interview: Wolfgang Gartner

LED had the opportunity to sit down with Wolfgang Gartner before his set at I Love This City Festival in San Diego.  See what he had to say here:

Wolfgang Gartner Reveals Collabo With Deadmau5, More To Come

By Lara Kathleen Kelley |

House hitmaker riding high after awards nods, epic Lollapalooza set and working with Tiësto and Will.I.Am.

Is electro-house producer Wolfgang Gartner up next for a Deadmau5-like surge in popularity?

Well, consider this: Gartner's newest single with British house-music producer Mark Knight, "Conscindo," held the #1 spot on Beatport's dance-music charts for two weeks in July, and in the past two years, he's had eight other tracks make it to the top, including Beatport's best-selling track of 2009, "Wolfgang's 5th Symphony."

Then there's his awards nominations: He was nominated in the DJ Awards' Best Newcomer category and also made the top-100 list for America's Best DJ. Voting is under way for both.

Gartner has remixed everyone from Britney Spears to Timbaland and Black Eyed Peas and is currently working with Tiësto, Will.I.Am and Kaskade on separate forthcoming releases. His most recent accolade is his conquering of the dance stage at Lollapalooza last weekend, where he also rocked the Undocumented afterparty at Vision Nightclub in Chicago.

"In one word: amazing," Gartner told MTV News on Wednesday (August 11) of his Lollapalooza experience. "And, to be honest, the most fun I've ever had playing in Chicago. [The afterparty] with Felix Cartal and JFK from MSTRKRFT, who are both under the same management as me, was kinda like a family-type vibe. A lot of friends were there, and I also love hearing those guys play, so it was cool in so many ways."

When describing his newest #1 single, "Conscindo," Gartner said the collaboration was fun, but not easy. "It was a bit of a pain in the ass for Mark Knight, because he had to fly out to my studio in Austin [Texas] to work on it a multiple of times, so I felt bad for him!" he said. "Collaborations are a weird thing for me. I never really realize what we have until a couple weeks after it's over, the track has been sitting around for a while, and then it's like I suddenly have perspective on it and hear it for what it really is. When that moment came for 'Conscindo,' I knew exactly what we had on our hands. It sat at #1 on Beatport for about two weeks, so now we're kicking around the idea of turning it into a vocal track and going for round two with it."

At age 11, Gartner was inspired to begin making music after hearing a mixtape by Detroit techno producer Kevin Saunderson. Gartner said he would lock himself in his room and produce songs on drum machines and keyboards. A few years later, he got decks and a mixer and began spinning at underground parties and nightclubs.

Earlier this summer, Gartner told MTV News about his musical style and how he got started. "It's basically electro-house," he said about the type of dance music he produces. "But I kind of go through all different forms of house music, because that's what I was brought up on. Beyond that, I've got influences from rock and disco and all over the place put together in a dance format. I'm just trying to push boundaries and be forward-thinking.

"When I [first] got into it, I was more on the production end of things," he added. "I just wanted to make this music and listen to it. But then I started realizing this whole other side to it — the DJ side — and I wanted to be a part of that too and learn how to DJ. It kind of organically happened that way."

His newest release, "Undertaker," is a dark and sinister house anthem that sounds like an homage to Deamau5's hit "Ghosts n' Stuff," so it's only fitting that Gartner had some exciting news to share with us: "I just did a track with Deadmau5 that should be out in the next couple of months, which I'm really happy with. It was a really fun one. And there are a couple other collaborations that aren't done yet, so I shouldn't mention them just in case, ya know, they never get finished!"

Wolfgang Gartner is headlining Control at Avalon Nightclub in Hollywood on Friday and is scheduled to play the Electric Zoo festival in New York on Labor Day weekend.




L.E.D. presents WOLFGANG GARTNER at the Wavehouse in San Diego on Sunday, August 29th. More info here.