INTERVIEW: Jonny [Warriors of the Dystotheque]



Warriors of the Dystotheque are a four piece electronic band that have been together since 2015, the problem is that they all live in different places and have never been in the same room together. Their next album Antropause was produced by Howie B (who has worked with Massive Attack, Bjork and more) and was created by band members Sean (Coventry), Jonny (Derry) and Mike & Nick (New York).


Anthropause is the band's tenth release, following outings on BBC Radio 6 (Nemone, Shaun Keaveny), BBC Radio Ulster and RTE 2FM. It's a multi-genre journey through stoner-sleaze, indie-electronic and Balearic oddities, much like the sounds explored in the late Andrew Weatherall's sets.


We've had the pleasure of speaking with Jonny from the Warriors of the Dystotheque gang and this is the result.


Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music?


The WotD project is the brainchild of Jonny Mac from Ireland but the band are internet based and member Mike & Nick Rufolo hail from New York and Sean Graham is in England and so far we’ve 12 Ep’s and we are about to release our second album all of which has been done by file sharing across the internet.

I (JM) got into music at a young age and went to my 1st concert in 86 to see Depeche Mode aged 11 and decided I wanted a career in music and Ive been lucky enough to of been a professional musician / DJ since 98.

How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?


Sound wise we’ve incorporated more live drums and strings into this album also its got a lot more of a jazzy broken beat vibe on a few of the tracks But the album doesn’t reflect the DJ WotD sets at all as they would be on more of a chuggy acid / Indie dance vibe and only really around 116 - 118 BPM so really hazy and trippy sounding techno I guess.

Artists wise James Harcourt, Tronik Youth, Damon Jee, Whitesqaure, Then the sounds of All Day I Dream are something I’m totally into as last decade and more, That terrace /outdoor house vibe is what I personally enjoy listening too as well as Balearic sounds and Sunset chilled tracks. Which I (JM) would DJ at venuses as well and I’m off to Ibiza in June to DJ at the famous Cafe del Mar and Pikes if anyone’s about.


How do you feel that your music influences or impacts your listeners?


Id hope it helps them heal what needs healed and also unwind and energise when required, It's a mixed bag sound we’ve got so its for an eclectic pallet.


What projects are you working on right now? What can you tell us about your last job?


So right now we are just putting the final interviews and press and radio into action for this second album Anthropause this is released all across the usual digital outlets on May 27th 2022 and will also be up on our Bandcamp to download,

From this album we’ve had three singles released and as mentioned above all have been getting plays and interest from major national radio and press.

Id also like to say that this came to fruition after I (JM) won and the Chris Ledger award which is managed by University of Atypical on behalf of Unlimited and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

My last job outside of music that would be in the mid 90’s when I was a Chef at Sea working for shipping companies.

Ive been involved in music since 98 either as a DJ / Promoter or musician in one way or another.


Where are you and what have you been doing now?


Hi Im (JM) in Derry in Ireland and today started well with a nice freshly brewed coffee then went downhill after an hour at physio followed by the dentist, had better days for sure.

Mike & Nick Rufolo hail from New York and Sean Graham is in England I dunno what they are up to, Id guess Mike & Nick are asleep.


Has that sound changed a lot in recent years? What is your musical criteria?


Overall the sound hasn’t changed so much its matured and became more cinematic though and with more live drums than the 1sr album.

We grew from a love of lo-fi music and electronic DJ culture and take in elements of broken beat, jazz, downtempo, house, techno, electronica, noise, psyche, 60’s garage and pretty much anything that sounds and feels right in the studio opposing the usual beige formula of crap music we hear so much of.


Do you feel safe now to play a more experimental sound?


We never played by any rules be it musically or lyrically an older track we done makes that exact statement, Thou Shalt Not Follow.


We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?


I can’t say that it has we grew up with hardware in the studios and watched as the plug inns developed over the years now it makes for a healthy session in the studio cause you have it all, ,though you’ve still got the purists who argue analogue is better than digital and vinyl is better than MP3, who cares and especially from some guys who never leave the studio and never DJ outside the bedroom or release music on a whole, get out there do it however you do it and let the public enjoy it and stop being a fun sponge I say.


Can you tell us what your present and future projects are?


So right now we are just putting the final interviews and press and radio into action for this second album Anthropause this is released all across the usual digital outlets on May 27th 2022 and will also be up on our Bandcamp to download,

From this album we’ve had three singles released and as mentioned above all have been getting plays and interest from major national radio and press.

Id also like to say that this came to fruition after I (JM) won and the Chris Ledger award which is managed by University of Atypical on behalf of Unlimited and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. And as I mentioned above its a summer of WotD DJ gigs in Belfast and Ibiza in June at Plan B, Pikes and Cafe del Mar, also festivals in July where WotD are headlining the Forest stage at Sunflower Festival in Ireland.


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