If you've ever been to an electronic music show in Bellingham, Wash., there's a good chance you've seen Fear & Loathing
perform. The 23-year-old DJ/producer Trevor Weidenbacher (known to fans as Fear & Loathing), has successfully made a name for himself in the Bellingham music scene. Originally from New York City, Trevor lived in Vancouver, B.C. for a a few years following high school where his love of electronic music began to grow. In his time spent outside of making music, you can find him working behind the scenes at the Wild Buffalo or coordinating his own Bellingham-based promo collective, the Bass Area Crew
I was lucky enough to sit down with Trevor and talk about all things music in a recent trip to Bellingham. Here's what he had to say:
: So, first off, where does the moniker Fear & Loathing come from? Do you DJ under any other names/personas?
Fear & Loathing:
I tried a few different names in the beginning but Fear & Loathing is the only one that stuck. I was reading the book at the time and was thinking how Hunter S. Thomson was presenting his own twisted take on the world and I want to present my own twisted take on music. I currently play deep house
under a bunch of silly fake names to open-up and support club nights around town. This was something me and my friends get a kick out of and it helps get people out early. I also just really enjoy doing those genres and not having the pressure of a later time slot. The name we did most recently was “L-Vis Freshly.”
Are there any other members of Fear & Loathing or is it a singular project of yours?
I always perform with a hype-man who I consider the second member of Fear & Loathing but I do all the production, DJing and the business side of it. His name is Aaron and he goes by Aa-Fro or Gahiji. For shows we like to go by Stunta S. Wompson (Me) and the Attorney of Raw (Aaron).
How long have you been DJing? Producing?
I’ve been playing music my whole life but I started producing EDM about two and a half years ago and started DJing about a year and a half ago to showcase my music. I really enjoyed DJing once I started doing it and started playing club nights as much as I could. Starting in May, I began focusing more on production and putting together higher quality and more unique shows. I wanted to play shows people could recognize, have a distinct sound and bring a higher level of production to the shows I was playing. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s starting to pay off and we’ve been having a really great time with our shows recently.
How would you describe your “sound”?
My favorite thing about music is how you can use it to connect with people. Whenever I’m making a track or playing a show, I focus on the feelings I want to share through what I’m doing. I like to carry a slightly dark and intense vibe across my music while making it danceable and exciting to listen to. I really like trap
music and recent trends in bass music because they’ve taught me new ways to reframe popular songs for dance-floors in a more intense and uniquely hip-hop sort of way. Also, I’ve always preferred making really bass heavy tracks. I am definitely a bass-stage-goer and feel as if it’s heaviness is somewhat of a rebellion from more popular music and helps carry that darker vibe I like to convey.
You seem to be pretty versatile with the different genres of music that you play in your live shows- Which of these is your favorite to play and why?
I like to keep things evolving during my sets. Every track I play fits in with a certain vibe and feeling I want to carry across the entire set, even though they may vary in genre a lot. Definitely, the genre I stick to the most is trap. I really like that darker, more thug appeal it has. However, I really enjoy getting to sneak a guilty pleasure throwback in there mid-set. The crowd’s reaction is always really funny when they’ve been going hard to bass music for a good 30 minutes and then the realize Bloodhound Gang or Outkast is playing and they can kick back and do a goofy dance for a minute.
OTB: If the crowd isn’t vibing during a show, is there a go-to track or genre that you’ll play to pump people up?
I used to DJ a lot of Disco and Top 40 nights when I was starting out to earn money for equipment. I had to almost entirely just play to crowds doing that and I learned to get a feel for each crowds preferences. Now, if I’m playing one of my sets and the crowd isn’t feeling it, I usually go to something people are pretty familiar with that’s really bumpin' or just try and focus on what they’ve been liking and go from there. For a long time and even sometimes still, I drop an edit I did of M.A.A.D. City by Kendrick Lamar. M.A.A.D. is just too good to not dance to.
What artists are most influential to you?
It’s hard to say because I have a lot of musical influences but artists I listened to a lot growing up were people/groups like Atmosphere, Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, Pantera and some punk groups like NoFX and Guttermouth. I listen to a lot of guilty pleasure pop throwback and disco, too. I definitely feel going to punk shows influenced how I perform.
Who would your ultimate dream collaboration be with?
My dream collaboration would definitely be with RL Grime
. I’d really like to see what his creative process looks like and I really enjoy his music.
Are you looking to expand the types of music that you play? If so, what genres would you consider?
I’m always looking to keep the music I play in sets evolving. I also really want to pursue a nu-disco project. I miss DJing disco a lot and many of the producers in that scene are really talented and hardworking. It’s also just a really fun genre to DJ and produce.
What can we expect from you in 2015? Any tour dates to look forward to?
2015 is shaping up to be a good year for us. We have a bunch of dates to announce in Seattle and other cities and we are looking forward to doing some more festivals this year and just getting more involved in the scene in general. We will be playing around the Pacific Northwest a lot in early 2015. I post all our upcoming shows on Facebook and Instagram.
Want to hear more?
Here are the links to Fear & Loathing's social media and free track downloads.