Florida's avant-pop collective, Hundred Waters, are the unlikely folk-influenced electronic act landing on Skrillex's OWSLA label. Taking their name from artist/architect Freidenreich Hundertwasser, the quintet have lived up to their decidedly epic name. With an all-star remix package from the likes of Star Slinger, AraabMuzik and TOKiMONSTA, their 'Thistle' EP out this summer was a stunning release fusing quirky vocals with their weird glitchy folk-electronica. We caught up with them before their tour with Julia Holter and release their debut album in October and giveaway the AraabMuzik remix here...
Dazed Digital: What's the story behind the epic name?
Paul Giese: After weeks of deliberation and trying on different names, we eventually were sitting in our living room one night, grabbing interesting things around us and saying their title, trying to imagine them in the context of our name, as I imagine some groups do in the perils of trying to name the unnameable. We ended up spotting a book on the shelf of art from the Austrian artist/architect Freidenreich Hundertwasser (meaning Peace Kingdom Hundred Waters in German, he is a favourite of Tray and I's) and someone said Hundred Water, Hundred Waters, and we all kind of looked around and smiled. It has a quality of serenity, and also of the natural environment. It also sounds kind of like a wise Indian chief, not that we want to come off like that, but there is an air around that concept which feels mystical. It just feels good, and infinite.
DD: What were the influences behind the rather ethereal sounding album?
Nicole Miglis: I guess we had a million influences between all of us. I just finished school and had a lot of things I wanted to write about lyrically. Tray and I just started seeing each other, so we were both really excited to be with someone who wrote music too, and spent every waking moment just working or talking about songs. Paul and Tray have always worked on music together, and Zach always contributed to their projects too. That was the first summer we all four dedicated our time to writing together. I think there was a huge amount of excitement and inspiration working on music with everyone for the first time. I never considered what we made ethereal, but looking back, it sort of is. I just don't hear it like other people do. To me that album is really grounded. It's like hearing playback of yourself on an answering machine‚Ä¶ It's hard to step outside yourself.
DD: What was it like touring with Skrillex and was he as you expected?
Zach Tetreault: The Full Flex Express Tour was nothing short of incredible and despite being a bit of an outlier on the tour, the crowds were pretty receptive to our music. Upon first meeting Sonny, we all received huge hugs from him. That's the type of person he is; warm/loving/sincere. Once on the train we all quickly took note of the insane amount of dedication that he puts into his craft. Whether playing the official show, the after party, DJ'ing on the train for his friends, or working on new tracks, he was always plugged into music in some way. Collectively, we're the same way in Hundred Waters and it's inspiring to see someone become so successful as a result of it.
DD: What are your favourite sounds (to use) at the moment and why?
Trayer Tryon: Last Christmas, Nicole asked me what I wanted for a gift, to which I replied "a quiet song". She recorded one at her parents house, in their garage, at barely above a whisper. Because it was so quiet, all the noises from the room bled in, mostly fuzzes and whirs, something that she reflected wonderfully in the lyrics. She recorded many layers of her voice, each time also inadvertently stacking a further amount of fuzz and room hum. If you listen really closely to this stacked room noise, particularly when there's no other sound, you can barely make out particular notes in the 'fuzzy silence' and pinch them up to be louder, forming chords out of thin air. This and the opposite- sending chords behind white noise- are what I've enjoyed most the last few days.
DD: What's next?
Zach Tetreault: For the future of Hundred Waters, you can expect a lot of new music, videos, artwork, collaborations, and the like- we're just gonna keep doing what we do. We're starting to work on production elements for our live show that'll bring a complimentary visual aesthetic to the music as well. We'll also continue touring extensively, making our way through all over North America and through Europe this November.
Hundred Waters - Thistle (AraabMuzik Remix)