Who TF are The Wants?

Following the release of debut album Container, we had a chat with Brooklyn trio The Wants and found out a little more about them

Emerging out of Brooklyn with a string of dark and memorable sounds, The Wants are quickly establishing themselves as a act to pay close attention to. Their sound, an uneasy marriage of electronic music, post-punk, pop, techno, and more or less anything and everything in between, is spearheaded by the off-kilter pairing of vocals provided by Madison Velding-VanDam and Heather Elle. Creating, with drummer Jason Gates, a truly unique and chaotic dynamic that revels in both romance and unsettling tension.

All of these factors are captured indefinitely in debut album Container. We had a chat with the trio to find out a little more about themselves and their first full length body of work.

Q: Who TF are The Wants?

Heather Elle:​ A trio of intense and ambitious individuals…

Madison Velding-VanDam:​ …who are musicians based in Brooklyn, NY.

How long have you been making music?

HE: ​10 years on and off.

MVV:​ Since I was 13.

Why do you make music?

Jason Gates:​ Because I grew tired of going to church.

HE: ​To turn myself and others on to new ideas and emotions, to simultaneously bring people together, but also expose them to themes that could make them uncomfortable

MVV:​ I want to listen back to the recording I’ve made and feel that YES I’ve sculpted the sonic creature moving around my brain. This creature has thus far been malformed so I’m still working.

What are your biggest influences?

JG: ​Kubrick Interviews, Antonin Artaud, & certain types of music.

HE:​ the eerie and the unknown, making material out of the immaterial

MVV:​ Creatively productive individuals who have different approaches to making artwork than I.

What would you say has been your best moment so far?

JG: ​We had a good run of shows touring Europe. London and St Malo in France stand out.

HE: ​The last U.K./European tour was pretty magical; we made as many new friends as we saw familiar faces and the record hadn’t even come out yet.

MVV:​ Yeah, the attendance and enthusiasm of our audiences at our UK and France tour this February and March was unquestionably the best moment of this band so far.

What do you want people to take away from your music?

HE: Whatever they want, it’s out of our control at this point.

 What’s your dream “I’ve made it” moment?

HE: ​playing a headline slot at Glastonbury and/or being the musical guest on ‘Saturday Night Live’

MVV: ​Amen.

How would you describe your sound to someone unfamiliar with it?

JG: ​It’s always weird to do. I like to think we are similar to if Gang Of Four happened now, but were influenced by electronic music and the Chernobyl soundtrack.

You just released your debut album Container could you tell us some more about it?

MVV:​ Our debut album ‘Container’ is the culmination of three years of work developing songs that struck a certain balance between minimal instrumentation of post-punk and electronic music, the danceability and dark mood of techno, as well as the experimental electronic ambiance of soundtrack music. The record truly came to life once we began to hone our live performance, as opposed to being just a recording project. Only once those two modes became more interwoven were we confident that we were in business.

What was the process of putting it together like?

MVV: ​Recording “Container” was a back-and-forth between Jason Gates (The Wants’ drummer) and I in our respective bedroom studios and HANJIN, our shipping container rehearsal space named after the bankrupt shipping company. We have, however, started recording in our home studios in isolation, sharing demos via Dropbox. This quarantine has served as an unexpected opportunity to write our second album. We’ll keep you up to date on how that’s going.


Container is available now via Council Records