Interview With Ignorant Noise
HOLY CRAP ITS BEEN A WHILE.So I contribute to ElectronicaOasis and White Raver Rafting as an editorial voice, so be sure to keep an eye out! Go me!
Anywho, here is an interview I had with Ignorant Noise that I did for Soundgrail (sadly, they do not exist anymore). Because Dwight is a dear friend of mine, I am reposting it here 🙂
An up-and-coming electro-hop / dubstep producer, Ignorant Noise is one of Chicago’s most colorful characters. Hard to miss at a show with his ‘Noise’ hat and spiked leather jacket, his appearance is as unique and individualized as his sound. With his newest EP release ‘Pump The Noise’ making its way up to #40 in dubstep on the Beatport charts, we took some time to sit down and chat with Dwight Poole about his inspiration, and how his career began.
Full interview after the jump
Ragehound: How did you first get started in music production?
Ignorant Noise: I had this group of friends when I was in Middle/High School who were really into Into The Groove and DDR, and they all had really good taste in hip hop and electronic music. One of them, DJ Mango, was really good at sampling and writing beats to make these awesomely spacey and groovy electro hop tunes. One day I brought my bass over to his house, and we spent hours recording drums and bass to make some groovy, unique stuff. After that, I asked for my first DAW, Acid XP or something I think, for Christmas because I was so inspired by what you could do in the realm of electronic music.
Ragehound: Where did you come up with the name Ignorant Noise? Is there a backstory there?
Ignorant Noise: There is! I used to produce/DJ under the name DP (my initials [my last name isn’t Noise]) but people kept asking what that stood for and they would just sort of fill in the blanks…They thought it stood for something really sexual, which makes “fill in the blanks” a really disturbing unintentional pun and oh God why.
So I sort of was cruising along without a name for a while. Ignorant Noise came about one day while I was watching one of my friends bicker with his girlfriend on Facebook about bands. He was talking about a band he really liked, and she described it as “nothing but a bunch of ignorant noise.” MAGIC. She had an obnoxiously narrow view on music to the point where she would only listen to like 10 bands because everything else was inferior. I thought that was hilariously ignorant. With all the music being written across the entire world, and all the artists dedicating their entire lives to a craft, the notion that you could dismiss it as “noise” was awesomely motivating. It took on an added note of significance because being an electronic producer/DJ pre-2009 was sort of like a death sentence, or at the very least an acknowledgement that answering the question, “What kind of music do you write?” would be met with scorn and “Ooooh techno shit.”
So Ignorant Noise is sort of a sarcastic rebuttal that I wear proudly every time I have to hear about how, being a bass player of like 11 years, I don’t play “real” instruments or play “real” music.
Being a sucker for the live experience, what I was most curious about when speaking to Dwight was how he approaches a live set, his taste in venues, and how an Ignorant Noise live experience compares to what most would expect from more ‘mainstream’ DJs. Did he take the ‘crowd pleaser’ route frowned upon by some and embraced fully by others? Or was there a more experimental undercurrent in his performances?
Ragehound: I noticed you have a very individualized style, what would you say is your go-to for every set and why?
Ignorant Noise: When I started out DJing, I had this idea that I was gonna blast electro and dubstep and people were going to go crazy…I learned pretty fast and hard that going into sets with that mentality is disastrous. I learned that if I wanted to play dubstep I had to mix it with hip hop…which in a way means I was playing modern trap music before it was popular. That is a foundation of my DJing to this day. I don’t like the idea of playing to one specific crowd, and my goal is ideally to play music that everyone can enjoy. So I’m perfectly okay with doing something like playing Ye’s All Of the Lights with Bassnectar’s Timestretch. In a sense, I have no go to set. I like to be versatile. Having people dance and lose themselves is more important to me than being able to pat myself on the back and claim I stuck to my DJ principles or whatever that means.
Ragehound: What has been your favorite venue to spin at?
Ignorant Noise: evilOlive in Chicago for Porn and Chicken, without a doubt. I thoroughly enjoy all of the places I’ve played at, but nowhere comes even close to matching the atmosphere of that spot.
Ragehound: Where do you primarily perform (state/city/venue type)?
Ignorant Noise: I play mostly in the Chicago/NWI area for now. I don’t really go for any venue type in general. I think part of the fun is being able to play in any type of venue and bring your energy into it, instead of going after certain places and trying to take their atmosphere.
At one point in our discussion, Dwight mentioned that he had an interest in helping others, reaching out to the community in a meaningful way. Already setting aside a percentage of his show earnings to donate to charity, Dwight hopes to playing future shows and producing select tracks that can directly benefit deserving charitable foundations. In a time where many who occupy the scene talk primarily about their own success, monetary gain, and the accolades they are waiting on it was refreshing to speak to someone who had greater goals than just ‘waking up in a new Bugatti’ and finding new and creative ways to make women gyrate their hips. Taking inspiration from the iconic sounds of Kill Paris, Minnesota, and Tina Dico, Dwights music traverses multiple genres, and is never firmly set in just one.
Ragehound: What has been your favorite project to produce and why?
Ignorant Noise: My favorite projects are the ones that were accidents or had completely unintended results. My track, “Our Love” was supposed to be a stupid Damn Son Where’d You Find This/Upside Down A’s/Ripping Off UZ’s font kind of trap song, and then I made that bell sound in the beginning and it turned into a really chill hip hop song. I’m a fan of that. If I had to be honest though, most of my favorite projects are songs I’ve written in the past that I can’t/wont play live. When I don’t have the pressure to make a track that is structured for live playback, I can write stuff that is, perhaps, not pleasing to others but to myself.
Ragehound: What’s your go-to track for amping up a low-key crowd?
Ignorant Noise: It depends on many factors. Personally, I think too many DJ’s have this notion that if a crowd is dead they need to blast something heavy or popular on Beatport to get the crowd back. I’ve seen people scare away the few remaining people left on a floor because they played something *they* liked instead of what *audience liked*. The wonderful part about being a hip hop/top 40 DJ for so long is that I don’t feel it’s below me to play a pop song and I’ve learned how to weave that sort of thing into sets to ensure that I don’t feel like I’m pandering to my audience. People are always going to go crazy to Lil Jon and Luda and the like. I even dropped an Usher track at a show I played the other night. There are absolutely shows where dropping a beatport top 10 song is going to be the remedy for a low energy crowd. More often than not though, stripping back everything and playing an old school classic is a perfectly reasonable solution. If you know what you are doing you can take that in fun territories as well. I once dropped that Wobble Baby by V.I.C. and ended up looping a drum part in it for like 8 minutes with a glitch track. Not saying that I know what I’m doing.
A question that possibly everyone asks every producer or DJ is the expected ‘what is your favorite venue’ question, to which Dwight replied ‘Spring Awakening’. However what I really wanted to know, was what would Dwight bring to a festival set? When asking him about some of his favorite music, I found my answer:
Ragehound: Do you have a guilty-pleasure song? Which one and why?
Ignorant Noise: Loving You No More by Diddy Dirty Money. I have this fantasy about playing like Ultra or something and breaking everything down and dropping that. Bloggers would be sooooooo mad and that’s awesome. I’m pretty sure people would be falling in love at a show like that and that’s awesome.
One of the more iconic symbols associated with Dwight is a large tattoo across his chest. An array of thick bars across his chest, this symbol is full of meaning, and has sometimes been thought to be an equalizer or an eye.
Ragehound: I noticed the Tattoo on your chest, what’s the story there?
Ignorant Noise: I’m big into this phrase, “What do you see?”, which is a pretentious philosophical thing to sort of challenge people to see beyond their normal perception. That particular symbol is sort of the embodiment of that phrase. It means something specific to me, but to many people it means different things. I’ve heard that it looks like an equalizer, or a pause/play/rewind, or an eye. I like all of those. I like hearing interpretations of that. I even built a light setup for the symbol that I occasionally play with in big shows. The idea is that “the bars” will be this sort of thing that has a personalized meaning for everyone. I got the tattoo to help cope with depression. If this same symbol helped someone cope with theirs or helped them in other ways, then that’s fantastic. Again, what do you see?
If you haven’t yet, you should take a chance to listen to Pump The Noise, and keep an eye out for the upcoming collaboration between Ignorant Noise and The Outerspacerz.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for booking.
(image credit V-DOX)