Behind The Scenes with Mr. Wonk
Q: What kind of music did you listen to growing up? What do you listen to now?
A: I started getting into music when I was about 12 years old. I began taking guitar lessons at that age. I was mainly into guitarists like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Eric Johnson. Those were my very first idols in music. Right around that time I started listening to Jazz, Blues, 70s and 80s rock. Mainly stuff that focused on guitar and musicality, as I was hooked on guitar and wanted to learn as much as I could. Sometimes the enthusiasm was a bit too much haha.
Q: At what point in your life did you make the decision that you wanted to be a producer and not just a listener?
A: I always wanted to have a band in high school but that never worked out. When I was about 17 years old I had gotten a hold of some hardware (synthesizers) my first one was a Korg MS200B. I had been listening to Electronic Music for some years and was interested in creating it. My main interest at that time was making sounds, not so much producing. After messing around with hardware for a year or so, I decided to start producing my own tracks. It had been something I told myself I wanted to do in the future, so I decided to take the first step one day.
Q: Prior to becoming “The Monster in the Green Mask”, did you play gigs under any other aliases?
A: No, actually I had never played a gig in my life. I had been turning down gig offers in 2008 as I was focusing in the studio. Then decided to start playing in 2009, I had my very first gig in February of 2009. It was the first time I was ever in front of an audience.
Q: When you perform live shows, do you stay in character and keep the mask on?
A: In character of course, anything else wouldn’t be me.
Q: I noticed that a lot of your productions (youtube videos, gif album art) are put together on a professional level, which I haven’t really seen from up and coming producers. Do you do all of this by yourself or do you have a team that you pay to put all of this together?
A: Some of the covers etc. are done by the labels. But these days I do a lot myself. I do all my graphic art, which I think is very important for artists as you have full control of the creative process and your vision for your project. I actually worked for an advertising company doing commercials so I know a thing or two, as my duties involved voiceovers, graphic design, music, and video editing.
Q: What artists would you say that you’ve gotten most of your inspiration from/learned the most from?
A: Wolfgang Gartner, Porter Robinson, Pryda, Nero, and Deadmau5. Those are 5 of favorite producers. They all bring something very special with their productions.
Q: You recently released your debut single “NEON” on beatport.com, which is climbing the charts as we speak. How long did it take you to complete this bangin track and what was it like working with Sharam Jey?
A: Neon didn’t take long I would say about a week, but I put in a lot of hours each day. What took long was finalizing it. I would send it to Sharam Jey he would do some adjustments send it back and so on. It was great working with him, hes been one of my idols for a very long time. I never thought I’d be collaborating and releasing my debut single with him. We’ve developed a great friendship, hes definitely been of great help in my career. I feel its very good for young producers like me to join forces with older more established producers. They can help in many ways and already know a lot of people in the industry, which can be key to developing a successful career.
Q: What message do you want your listeners to get from your music?
A: Positive and good vibes, that’s what I’m all about.
Q: You’ve been producing for years now and your hard work is most definitely paying off, especially after “NEON”. Now that you’ve achieved success, do you plan on taking a step back and enjoying the spotlight for a while or do you already have more goals in the making? What’s next for Mr. Wonk?
A: I see this as just the beginning. The plan has always been to wait on my debut single and release it when I felt ready. A lot of record labels had approached me in the past, wanting singles and EP’s from me. But I wasn’t ready, I never believed in releasing a ton of singles or eps just for no reason. I don’t care for quantity; I’m a believer that you can do way more with less. “NEON” has been doing really well; one of my main goals was to get Beatport to support this as they can help create awareness about your release. I’m glad they did, and everything went as planned. This is where the real fun begins. I’ll be dropping my second single soon. I actually started producing it last week, and I should be done by this weekend. So definitely sticking to the singles model, and hoping to continue gaining attention and having Mr. Wonk’s music heard by as many people as possible.
Q: Is there any chance that we could see you at Electric Forest this summer in Rothbury, MI?!
A: Well no plans for that right now. I’ve played all over the US, but never in MI. Hopefully soon
the summit // iowa city
about usCrunchy Creationz is an Iowa based group of music enthusiasts that are dedicated to bringing the Midwest the freshest tunes, news, and shows as possible. With a majority of our focus in Iowa City, we're striving to grow the music scene and help the University of Iowa maintain their title as the #1 Party School in America by bringing in as many talented EDM producers and bands as possible.
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