The Canadian duo, comprised of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jayem and bassist/guitarist Ricky 100, has been on a roll, releasing a string of excellent tracks, the last being “there.” Wotts shared 6 releases in 2023, capping off a year with record-breaking numbers, including over 100K streams for their “Garden” EP released in June.

Since we were extremely curious to find out more about the band and the latest single’s themes, here’s an interview we recently made with the band.

Hi! First of all, how did you start making music? Tell us a bit more about yourself!

Hello friends! We’re Wotts, an indie-pop group from Canada. There are two of us in the band, myself (Jay) and Rick. We started the project about two years ago and I’d say we both took very different paths to get here. Rick started making music about 10 years ago and has been in a few rock and punk bands. I used to make hip-hop but decided to learn how to write, produce, and mix during the pandemic.

Given the state of mainstream culture that permeates how we consume media, how would you introduce your activity to a stranger?

If we had to give an elevator pitch to a stranger, I’d tell them we make happy sad pop music that leans heavily into psychedelic and electronic. They’d leave puzzled, and I’d make a note to myself to get better at talking about our music.

When listeners make their way through your band, what do you want them to feel?

We just hope they can connect with it in a way that gives them some comfort. Whether that means distracting them from a really bad day or letting them know they aren’t alone in how they feel, that’s the ultimate goal. That’s what music does for us, so if our songs can do that for anyone, that’s mission accomplished.

Take me through your sound design process. Is this a quick process, or something you might obsess over and re-visit?

I produce for us and I’ll admit I’m a bit of a weirdo when it comes to process. 99% of our songs start with a vocal melody and then it goes to keys for some basic chords. After that, production starts and I drag Rick into things. It usually goes pretty quickly, but we do get bogged down when we go to mix. There are so many decisions you can make, and I have no idea what I’m doing half the time. But I’d say we’re learning and hopefully getting better at making the process tighter.

How do you even know when a track is ready? Does it ever become difficult to either refine ideas or to stop perfecting?

There’s a well-known quote that goes something like “Art isn’t ever finished, only abandoned”. I think that sums it up perfectly. You could literally spend weeks, months, or even years tweaking something on a song. Won’t say we never get these weird obsessive moments, but I think we just got better at knowing when to let go.

It’s hard to put into words how that happens, it’s just a feeling we get. Then of course it goes out and we hear 50 things we should have fixed up. Instead of dwelling on it we learned to take those lessons to the next batch of songs.

“there”is the latest single you’ve released. Can you introduce us to its creative process? What were your influences on this track?

This’ll sound like we’re late to the game, but we really fell in love with The Beatles, and Lennon and McCartney’s solo stuff over the last year. It’s not that we didn’t like them, but I guess we never really actively paid attention to their music. They were a huge influence on “there”. We usually aim to make bigger pop records, but we wanted to try our hand at making something with just piano and vocals. We were originally going to leave it just like that but we couldn’t resist throwing a bit of extra sauce into the mix. Also, we normally don’t record with all live instruments, but here we did. It was really fun to just do something new, and honestly, it all poured out really quickly. Always a good sign!

With there being such a great set of tracks released lately, is there one you’re most looking forward to playing live for people?

Great question! Honestly, I’d say we’re really looking forward to playing “there” live. We love our fast-paced stuff, but we can’t wait to experience playing this one on stage. And what’s cool is we’ll be able to mix it up and either do a more intimate version with just piano and vocals, or one that’s ‘bigger’ with all the instrumentation.

There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you?

We always go in with a mindset that we can’t force anything and that we have to go wherever the wave takes us. That’s helped relieve a lot of pressure to create something ‘good’ every time we go to lay something down. Having our own studio really helps too since it lets us experiment with things. Plus we can spend as long as we want flushing stuff out. So yeah, an environment where we accept the will of the creative gods, and where there are no judgment rules. Throw in some tasty drinks and that’s heaven on earth for us.

Which of your songs has the most interesting backstory to it?

I’d say it might be our track “LEMONADE”. That song was the first one that ever resonated with a lot of people. What’s cool about it is that it’s made with a bunch of discarded parts that we had left for dead. Rick was sick and stuck in Jamaica, and I was looking to keep the Wotts musical train going. I chopped and recycled these parts in his honor and the rest is history. For the kids out there, let this be a lesson, save all your sessions and go in and check them out from time to time, because you never know.

How is “there” any different than any of the previous works? What is it new that it brings to the table?

It’s a special one for sure because it’s the first time we ever did a more traditional stripped-down ballad. Bands like Tame Impala and Pond inspire a lot of our music, so we tend to throw a lot of effects and stuff into our songs. It was nice taking a more minimalist approach, while hopefully still honoring our sound.

What are the main aims and objectives for Wotts in the future?

We’d love to get back into the live circuit. We’re both used to playing shows and we can’t wait to log some more miles on stage with this project. Also, we feel like we’re only just starting to scratch the surface of our sound, so look out for a lot more music from us!

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