The Many Colours of Will Monotone
Boston’s Will Monotone is a far more colourful character than his name would suggest. His supersized 21-track album ‘In Colour’ just dropped exclusively on Traxsource via his own label Sub Society and features collaborations with the likes of Demuir, Wally Lopez, Confute, Steve Porter, J Paul Getto and D-Lux.
The release has already picked up support from the likes of Richie Hawtin, Hector Romero and Hot Since 82 and with many albums featuring no more than 12 tracks these days, let alone 21, we were surprised to hear the album size was actually cut from an even bigger creative pool of choices. We sat down for a chat with Will to discuss his musical influences, his love for Ibiza and this superb new LONG player!
‘The funny thing is, I had 38 tracks in total and brought it down to 21; 10 collaborations, 10 solo and a bonus track. I spent the last few years reaching out to some friends to collaborate with and slowly brought it all together. An album is something I’ve pretty much had in my head since I first started making tracks back in 2005. I’m pretty sure every artist thinks about it.’
Will’s love affair with dance music began at an early age when he used to visit the local ‘under 21’ night at The Bahama Beach Club in Boston. Even from his early teens, Will was totally hooked to the New York style house music residents Rick Naples and Lenny C were throwing down. Boston’s house scene over the years has seen it’s up and downs, just like many other cities in America. Will said:
‘Boston has gone through so many changes. When I first started getting into it, it was all about super clubs. At that time Avalon was THE super club; it set the standard for clubs in the States. When Avalon closed, the city’s scene sort of fell apart. However, thank God for Rise (where I had my 10-year residency) which kept it going for a long time until it closed this past April after being open for 16 years. As it is right now, Boston is doing all right. The scene is consistent and there are nights striving at places like Bijou, Re:Set, Make It New and others.’
For a Boston native, Will also has a strong connection with Ibiza and is a regular guest DJ on the White Isle. This was also the spot where his biggest track to date really came of age. Released on J Paul Getto’s label Fogbank, ‘Dem Mai Hoes’ (which also has a special re-rub on the new album) tore up the world’s dance floors with seriously heavyweight support from Supernova, Sonny Fodera, Flashmob and a certain Mr. Kerri Chandler. Will explained:
‘The very first supporter of the track was my boy J Paul Getto. I sent it over to him; he loved it and dropped it at Coachella. I 100% did not think it would have even been a blip on the radar. Then Kerri Chandler played it at the Circo Loco opening at DC-10 that summer and the rest is history. I love Ibiza and would have to say my favorite spots on the island are Sankeys, Amnesia, Blue Marlin and Cafe Mambo. I like the island because nothing is really stressful there. It can be super chilled and has a great local culture and food. Most people paint a picture of this insane island where it’s just non-stop parties, but it’s so much more than that.’
Another major part of Mr. Monotone’s Spanish connection is his long-term friendship with ‘In Colour’ album collaborator Wally Lopez. A familiar face to anyone who has visited the best parties that Ibiza has to offer, it’s always a welcome sight to see Wally’s bespectacled face beaming from behind the CDJs!
‘Wally is my hermano! We’ve been in contact for years now and he was a huge help when it came to supporting my tracks. He loved my remix to Roland Clark’s ‘President House’ and pushed that record so hard. He’s also invited me many times to play his ‘Factomania’ parties and many other events in Spain. Secretly he tries to outdo me on my Jordan 1 collection, but it’s not going to happen! Ha!’
With such a diverse mixture of house styles and unique collaborations across the ‘In Colour’ album, we decided to find out more about who influenced Will’s tastes and also who he’s really feeling in the scene at the moment.
‘Right off the bat I would have to say Armand Van Helden. A lot of people don’t know this, but he is actually from Boston and is a true pioneer. He is sort of where I get the idea to flip in some hip-hop into a lot of my productions. Danny Tenaglia is also a huge influence. His dark, ominous Tribal House really had me hooked. I loved hearing his sets and tracks; they always sucked me in. Steve Lawler was known for having a dark tribal sound back in the day but he did it in a different way. He’s always been ahead of the curve when it comes to music trends and his edits back in the day were some of the best. Currently, I’m really digging Walker & Royce. They have done a few tracks that are super bombs. Detlef is always on point along with Anek, J Paul Getto and Richie Santana, plus be sure to keep an eye out for George Vala, B3RAO, Mike Swells & Wil Trahan.’
With the release of this sublime new album alongside a promotional tour, plus plans to promote exciting new and established acts on his Sub Society label, the sky really is the limit for Will Monotone in 2016.