MP3 TOURS: Jauz’s ‘Wise Vs. Wicked’ Tour
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Jauz is an artist who defies expectations. Since the dawn of his musical career, Sam Vogel, better know as Jauz, has refused to be nailed down to a single genre or style. Instead, he creates whatever sound speaks to him in the moment.
This free-flow of creative inspiration has led to some remarkable, multi-phased projects, including his debut 2018 album, The Wise and The Wicked, which is a musical odyssey that transcends traditional labels of “dubstep” and “house music” in favor of narrative form and creative exploration.
Five years after The Wise and The Wicked released to critical and commercial acclaim (the album topped multiple dance music charts and has accumulated over 50 million streams), Jauz has finally released a proper follow-up, Rise of The Wise, which is a carefully crafted album with an alternative, singular vision and aesthetic: techno and house music. But that’s only half of the picture — Jauz is releasing another album this year. It’s called Wrath of the Wicked, and it’s the hardest bass music he’s ever made.
To celebrate the release of these two projects, Jauz is embarking on the Wise Vs. Wicked tour, which features two distinct sets in each city he’s performing in: a “Wise” set, and a “Wicked” set. But, what does this really mean? Let’s find out.
The Wise Vs. Wicked Tour boasts two unique, completely separate concert experiences in each city you’re performing in. But what’s the main difference between a “Wise” set and a “Wicked” set?
I think the easiest and most prominent difference is obviously going to be the music. If you listen to Rise of the Wise and/or Wrath of the Wicked, you’ll get a pretty solid idea of what to expect from each respective show. The wise show is focused on the housier, techier, more melodic side of my music, where the wicked show is a straight up bass fest — dubstep, drum and bass, etc. Pedal to the metal.
From a production standpoint, how do you approach a “Wise” set, as opposed to a “Wicked” set? Are the visuals and stage design going to be different?
That’s a tough question to answer just due to the nature of a lot of the venues on the tour. We tried to pick rooms that made sense for each of the different vibes of the shows, and also wanted to make this tour have the focal point be the music. That means a lot of the venues probably won’t have space logistically for us to bring us custom production.
This is the genesis of these two worlds — just the seed that will grow into something really amazing. But for now, I wanted to make sure we were in rooms that would feel more intimate, like some sort of epic album release party or something. All of that said, we’ve been going crazy with the visuals for both albums, which I’ve been teasing on socials, and will be featured during the tour whenever we can.
You recently celebrated the five year anniversary of your debut album, The Wise and The Wicked. Can long-time Jauz fans expect to hear those tracks live during the Wise Vs. Wicked Tour?
There are definitely remixes and VIPs I’ve been working on for a long time. Some of these came out on the new albums, and some that are still in the dark. But they’ll all be played on this tour for sure.
How has the Jauz project evolved since you released The Wise and The Wicked in 2018? And how has the Jauz live-experience changed?
I’ve just grown so much since then. I can’t believe I called myself an adult back then haha! I think nowadays I’m much more sure of what direction I want to take the project in the future. And especially from a live aspect, I’ve transitioned to focusing on playing as much of my own music as possible. Back then I just played whatever I thought kids would think was cool, and choose that over my own music.
I realized a while ago that if I wasn’t confident enough to play my own music, why should anyone else care about it? Or why should they come to my show over someone else’s? So I’ve just really learned to stick to my guns and put faith in myself and my music.
Looking back, what does The Wise and the Wicked represent to you, both personally and creatively?
TWATW was the first time I felt like I really put out a body of music that made me feel like an “artist,” if that makes sense. I took some risks, did a lot of things creatively I normally wouldn’t, and put every ounce of myself into making that project what it was. So it’s still a really special moment in time for me.
I always figured that after I put out that album pretty much all of the songs on it would fade away, and it didn’t hit me until this year just how many of those songs I still play in my sets to this day. I always kinda hoped it would have some lasting power, which is tough in the landscape of the music industry right now, and I think it actually has more than I thought it would.
Your latest album, Rise of The Wise, is reserved exclusively for deep house music and club-focused energy. What inspired you to dedicate a whole album to this sound?
TWATW was always supposed to be a metaphor to illustrate the dichotomy of my brain in the creative process. I’m always doing one sound, and then going the polar opposite direction the next day. When trying to figure out how I wanted to approach these follow-up albums, I realized I really wanted to lean into that concept and really create dedicated “worlds” for the sounds I’ve been exploring for a long time.
So when it came to writing the “Wise” album, it was a no brainer to me that it was destined to be the world that my techier, more melodic house music could live and thrive. I’ve been writing this kind of music for almost as long as the Jauz project has been around, but I never had the proper venue to really showcase it. I used the “Off The Deep End” brand for a while as an umbrella for all of that kind of music, but I have such a deeper connection to the concept of “The Wise” and I think the music, concept, and branding all fit together so perfectly.
What should fans look forward to on your upcoming project, Wrath of The Wicked, which promises to explore more traditional dubstep sounds?
Like I said above, it’s all about dichotomy. So where Rise of the Wise was the melodic, techy, house driven records, Wrath of the Wicked is exactly what it sounds like — gnarly, heavy as fuck, dark bangers. There’s still vocals and some melodic moments, but this is easily the most bass-driven project I’ve ever made by a long shot. I’m super stoked to see how fans react to all of the records, I think there’s a few in there that will take them by surprise.