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Q-and-A with 'The Wayves'

Cloquet High School grads Riley Into and Landon Langenbrunner are aiming to make it big in the music world, but they aren't taking what many consider the traditional route. They aren't playing bars or or college campuses or even raves - yet. In fact, the two musicians didn't even start by learning an instrument. That came later.

"We picked up on instruments after the fact, more or less," said Into. "It was our love for the music that got us into this.

Langenbrunner agreed, adding that they "just started producing together."

Then he explains. Rather than starting with a guitarist, drummer, bass player or whatever, the pair started making music with a keyboard and a computer. They would sample instruments, record sounds on the street or at school and make them into music, add lyrics and vocals, find a beat they liked and end up with a song.

"Sound design in itself is amazing, you can do so many different things that weren't possible before," Langenbrunner said.

They call themselves The Wayves. Earlier this year, the two young men caught the attention of, and signed, a manager in Nashville who, in turn, hooked them up with a producer in Los Angeles. They traveled to both cities in recent months and polished up a batch of three songs. The first one, "Late to the Party," was released Oct. 18 and "is being recognized globally," Into said, with over 10,000 streams on Spotify so far. The next song, "Maybe It's Okay," comes out later this month. An EP is expected early next year.

The PKN sat down with The Wayves for a quick interview on a Sunday afternoon last month, when they took a break from their homegrown studio in Moose Lake not long after "Late to the Party" was released.

PKN: How do you describe your music?

Into: it's always going to be more of that electronic sound. That will be our core sound, but we don't want to be pushed into one specific genre because we like the ability to work in other areas: to experiment, to incorporate. We're both inspired by so many different artists and so many different genres.

Langenbrunner: We love the energy of electronic music. And the emotion behind a lot of acoustic traditional elements. We're trying to blend these elements together to get both the energy and excitement of electronic music with the emotion and connection of traditional acoustic.

PKN: How do you make your music, since you don't have a traditional band?

Langenbrunner: When we started off producing we were gonna make EDM (electronic dance music). After a couple months of that we started adding acoustic elements and sampling ... anything you hear in the real world. One of the biggest tools we have is voice memos on our phone. You just record something and then you drop it in and you can mess with it - pitch it up, pitch it down, do anything you want.

Into: And distort it to a point where it sounds like a piano. You can really do anything.

PKN: What was it like going to Nashville and LA?

Into: For us being here in northern Minnesota, it's rare that you run into people that do exactly what we do. When we went to go work with [producer Garen Gueyikian], it was cool to see how similar we work, and how we can expand what we already do. It's building knowledge.

Langenbrunner: It was a really good learning experience. And it was just cool to be in that creative environment with people who have the same mindset and a sense that we do, when it comes to this kind of stuff. Plus working with musicians that have been in the business for 20-plus years.

PKN: Have you ever played live?

Langenbrunner: We're working on that.

Into: That [acoustic and electronic mix] will also be sort of how we do shows later on as well. It's more of like the DJ kind of energy set, or for specific shows we'll incorporate a live vocalist or the live guitar, drums, or whatever. We'll find ways to make it interesting and different every time.

PKN: It feels like things are happening quickly for you. Do you ever need to just pinch yourselves?

Langenbrunner: It's fast, but it isn't. You spend thousands and thousands of hours working on perfecting this or that or the other thing, and nothing happens. And then all of a sudden out of nowhere, "Oh, somebody liked this. They want to help you."

PKN: Are your friends and family supportive of this musical adventure, even though it means you aren't heading off to college or somewhere else?

Langenbrunner: They're very supportive. And they're very excited to see what's coming next.

Into: These past two days have been pretty cool with the release and seeing all that support on all social medias, getting calls and texts.

Listen to the latest single "Late to the Party" by The Wayves, with special guest Sofi Lizzi (Sophie Peterson), by using this link http://hyperurl.co/ju7o56 to find the song on various music streaming services.

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