Interviewed and Written by Fatima Hasan
LWKY is a live electronic music group from Chicago that was originally founded by Zack Harper in 2012. Now, LWKY has evolved into a trio comprised of Zack Harper (production, live arrangement, synth), Joe Grothe (production, guitar, synth), and Kevin Moze (production, keys, synth). These musicians skillfully compliment their electronic production with classic live instrumentation, and with their unique blend of Blues, Funk, and Soul, they add a twist to modern bass music. LWKY has been featured on exciting lineups alongside talent like Manic Focus, Marvel Years, Liquid Stranger, Space Jesus, Boogie T, Artifakts, and Clozee, just to name a few. Additionally, the trio has performed at respected events like The Untz Festival, Foreverland, Basslanding, 515 Alive, Northcoast, Backwoods, Infrasound Equinox, and more. LWKY announced a new single dropping this week, but to hold us over, they recently published a collection of new music titled ‘RESET’ on their outlets!
LISTEN TO ‘RESET’ HERE:
Where are you from? What is the music scene like near your hometown?
LWKY: “Chicago! The scene is very diverse, we are a major touring hub so we get all the major tours, all the tiny tours, and everything in between.”
What initially sparked your interest in becoming music producers? How did it all begin? How old were you when you created your first tracks?
LWKY: “For all of us, music was just in our blood. We all have different backgrounds with music, but the passion has been inside us all from a very young age.”
How did you meet?
LWKY: “We met through the Chicago underground electronic music scene, playing loft parties together with various different projects back in the day.”
How do you split the work while producing music and performing?
LWKY: “We all take turns producing in the studio, we switch off on various instruments and recording duties as well as passing ideas back and forth via the internet when we can’t all be together.”
How would you describe your music?
LWKY: “Live Electronic Jam Bass Music.”
What has been your most rewarding experiencing involving music?
Joe: “Someone told me that they were contemplating suicide and a song that I made (under an old moniker) convinced him otherwise. I felt like I saved someone’s life. It was incredibly humbling. It made me realize this I why I do what I do.”
Favorite thing to do with your time when you aren’t making music/performing at shows? What do you do to rejuvenate your creativity?
Joe: “Going to the gym & skateboarding”
Kevin: “Traveling & cooking”
Zack: “Going to see live music.”
If you were arrested with no explanation, what will your friends/family assume you had done?
Kevin: “Weed Stuff”
Zack: “Weed Things”
What was the best advice you’ve ever received?
LWKY: “To not focus on trying to improve your weak points, but to double down on what you already do well.”
If you could go to dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
Joe: “Jim Carrey”
Kevin: “Ken Kesey”
Zack: “Hunter S. Thompson”
Do you have a “dream” venue/festival/event at which you’d love to play?
Joe: “Red Rocks & Lollapalooza”
Kevin: “The Gorge & Bonnaroo”
Zack: “Madison Square Garden & Shambhala”
Some of your songs are purely instrumental, others feature lyrics. Is this intentional? What do you enjoy most about creating music that is solely instrumental vs. with lyrics?
LWKY: “Some songs we start off with the intention of lyrics, others find themselves into the song later in the process. We just sit down and start creating music and add parts as necessary to what we think the song needs to be a complete idea.”
Up and coming talent / rising new artists we should keep an eye on?
LWKY: “Kromuh, Homemade Spaceship, Kyral x Banko, Deerskin, SoDown”
Do you believe in any conspiracy theories / urban legends?
Joe: “Aliens exist. JFK got shot by the CIA.”
Kevin: “Holographic Universe”
Zack: “BUSH DID 911”
What’s a benefit of working in a group? Any downfalls?
LWKY: “The main benefit is the hive mind mentality; we can use each other for inspiration. The main drawback is scheduling; it’s hard to find time to get together when we are all busy.”
What other artists inspire you?
Joe: “Jerry Garcia, Every Time I Die, Tipper, Wes Montgomery, John Mayer, Northlane, Amy Winehouse, Jamiroquai”
Kevin: “Umphrey’s McGee, N8 Meyers, STS9, Hieronymus Bosch, Herbie Hancock, H.R. Geiger”
Zack: “J-Dilla, Pretty Lights, John Coltrane”
What’s your spirit animal?
Kevin: “Some sort of duck-snake hybrid”
Anything you’re currently working on / anticipating that you’d like to share?
LWKY: “We’re always working on music. Have a couple singles and an EP we’re releasing soon and a couple big collabs on the horizon ;)”
Fun fact about you that many of your fans may not know?
Joe: “I’m left handed but play guitar right handed.”
Kevin: “I was in Nintendo DS ads in High School.”
Zack: “Before I has spinning records, I was spinning pizzas at Papa Johns.”