Will Wiesenfeld, if nothing else, is a musician who is acutely aware of many things. Specifically, Wiesenfeld knows who he is: Focused on the concept ahead of him, he's unyielding to anyone's artistic input but a select few individuals, he has produced some of the most buzzed-about electronic pop records this side of an Animal Collective release over the past four years, and he's about to turn 25 out on the road -- not a place he necessarily wants to be. He plays under the named Baths, and you may know his work already.
That's not to say that Wiesenfeld is ungrateful. Rather, as Baths, he knows what he wants and how to make it, but the rigor of the road life might not gel best with his interests. The music he makes is emotive if nothing else, able to take you from the spacey and syrupy highs of 2010's Cerulean to the darkness of last year's critically-acclaimed Obsidian, yet it's content that's better suited to isolation in terms of both consumption and production.
"I understand it's my means of income and all of that, and it's fun playing the shows when I actually play them but the grind of the thing itself is inescapable," Wiesenfeld explains. "It just kind of gets to you." To combat touring, the antithesis of the creative process for Wiesenfeld, he loses himself in media as both a remedy and inspiration -- "I go home, do all the responsibility shit I have to do, and then I can watch like four hours of Netflix in a night and just kill myself," he says, laughing -- but it plays into a larger sense of self-induced escapism. When you're busy weaving songs that are complex as Baths' tracks can be, getting away can mean coming back with something to better the music and self.
"I think of a lot of music and producing has a visual mindset going on in my head. This one band, Blood Diamond, he has this new sticker that just says 'Fuck The Real Life,' which I think is very great and I think that's where I'm at a lot of the time," he says. "Not maybe that intensely, but that my head is often in fantasy worlds."
It may seem whimsical to some but for Baths, it works. Where he was once lumped in with other L.A. noise-pop producers like Flying Lotus and Daedalus, Wiesenfeld has taken steps to stand alone and divorce himself from traditional classification. It's working: Many eyes are on him, awaiting his next move, something that Wiesenfeld hints will be as calculated as any of his songs. Anticipation has its drawbacks, however. He refrains from talking about new material because he "did that with the last thing then I sort of had to hold myself to keeping up with [expectations]," he says, but as long as he stays the course it's safe to assume that he'll come up with yet another record worth talking about.
"I see people fluctuate a lot of times and become something that they're not, or vice versa, people that tried really hard to be something that they're not and they come into their own now," he says. "For myself personally, I don't think I've been that different of a dude. I've kind of stayed pretty much the same. It's always one thing at a time, and there's always so many things happening that it's sort of day-to-day rather than the broad scope of four years."
Baths is scheduled to play Crescent Ballroom on Friday, April 11.
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