An Interview with Waterfront Dining

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Vaporwave is an expansive and extensive genre, which is kind of odd when you think about it, as it’s actually a “micro-genre.” Anyway, of all the different artists and albums that seemingly drop each and every day, Waterfront Dining is one the more consistent and quality acts out there today. So, if you’re looking for classic Vaporwave sounds, head over to Waterfront Dining’s Bandcamp here and check out what they have to offer. Swag, NOICE and Daydream are staples within the genre, so if you’re looking to break in, these are great places to start. With all that being said, I’ve got the infamous and mysterious Waterfront Dining with us today. It’s a good one. Sit back and dig in.

Andrew:
Hello. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Tell us about your backstory. How did you get into music? What was your musical gateway so to speak?

Waterfront Dining:
Yo! Cool to chat with you. I grew up with music and have a lot of professional musicians in my family. I took up the drums at about age 13 and played in a few bands. Later on I got into production and went to school for audio and have been producing Electronic music ever since, for over 20 years now!

Andrew:
While you are often lumped in with Vaporwave only, in reality your music crosses over many genres. Along with the obvious classic Electronic influences, I hear elements of Chillwave and Ambient throughout your music. Would you agree? What more can you tell us about that?

Waterfront Dining:
I would agree. Ambient and Chillwave music are definitely big influences on my sound. One of the goals from the start of the Waterfront Dining project was to combine all of my influences and musical experiences into one.

Andrew:
Swag and NOICE were kind of genre-breaking in my opinion. You really took things to the next level with those two releases. What can you tell us about those albums? What was the inspiration? Also, any chance we see a vinyl repress of these albums soon?

Waterfront Dining:
Thanks! The inspiration for NOICE was the romanticism of short journeys and the drive. The idea was to do something that was more in line with my Hip-Hop influences as well. Something a little more “street.” It’s more Synth and loop based as a whole, with a lot of 80s sourced Funk and R&B.

The inspiration for Swag was similar, but more about the inspiration for life and love in general. It’s also a story about the past and heartbreak, and how these things make us who we are today. It’s more Pop sonically, with more traditional instruments, but still spread out with other loop based tracks.

Yes! In fact both albums are being repressed on vinyl!

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Andrew:
What are the origins of the Waterfront Dining moniker?

“Waterfront Dining” was just something fun I came up with while working on the first EP FEELS. At the time, I never intended it to go past that first EP, but felt inspired after releasing it to see where I could take it. I liked how it looked and thought it was a cool name.

Andrew:
Who are some of your biggest influences musically?

Waterfront Dining:
There’s many artists across many genres that have influenced me over the years. I’d say Boards of Canada had the biggest influence on me. Their music really inspired me to take my own production seriously again.

Andrew:
There are a lot of misconceptions and confusion regarding how Vaporwave music comes together. Can you tell us a little bit about your process? How does your music come together?

Waterfront Dining:
Waterfront Dining is sample based. I spend a lot of time crate digging and sourcing samples, both real and virtually, and a lot of time editing! Adding minor drum and fx sounds here and there is also something I like to do, but nothing too out front in the mix. The tech I use is pretty standard as far as modern music production goes. Having a powerful digital editor is key for me. Each album, EP or single comes together in a different way creatively, with different inspirations and challenges for each one.

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Andrew:
Thinking back, how have you evolved as an artist today, compared to where you were when you were just getting started?

Waterfront Dining:
I’d say I’m always trying to evolve, or at least having my perception challenged as an artist. You have to keep an open mind. I’ve matured as well, but that comes from age and experience. Not much has changed for me as far as the creative process; I still have to be in the proper head space to create, which for me is about focusing and having the inspiration and positivity around me.

Andrew:
Two of the biggest issues in the Vaporwave community are FOMO and scalpers. These releases are all so limited, and the prices get insane in the aftermarket. What can be done better to help thwart the scalpers that plague the community? What would you say to the scalpers out there?

Waterfront Dining:
FOMO is not just isolated to physical music releases unfortunately. The same thing goes on with limited edition sneakers, concert tickets, or just about anything you can imagine. Physical music is a collectors item now, so naturally with all things that are collectible, things can get pretty crazy aftermarket. It bothers me that someone who genuinely loves and missed a wd physical may have to pay an outrageous scalper price just to own it, but people who are just hopping trends and care nothing for the music they buy I have no sympathy for. I can’t imagine someone paying too much for a wd record in the aftermarket. They’re pretty readily available and affordable to those who want them, and if they aren’t, I’ll repress them eventually.

Thing is, underground music labels are smaller and can’t afford to have thousands of copies readily available, so the limited nature of the music, physically anyways, will probably never go away. That is unless physical media becomes mainstream again. Not sure that’s going to happen anytime soon.

The way to thwart scalpers is to not buy from them. Don’t follow the crowd or buy into false hype. Find out what you love to listen to, follow those artists and support them. Don’t look around for who’s recently “hot” or “trending” or second guess your own tastes just to fit in. That’s what scalpers feed on- desperation.

Andrew:
Shifting gears here, is there anything within the industry that you would like to see change for the better? What improvements would you like to see that you feel would be beneficial to us all within the vinyl community, and music community in general?

Waterfront Dining:
I’d like to see less of a reliance on social media and herd mentality. More positivity would also be beneficial.

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Andrew:
A lot of people try to define what genre you’re associated with. You seem to like to disassemble genres in a way. What are your feelings on that? What are your thoughts on the idea of genres in general?

Waterfront Dining:
I take influence from all of the music I love and grew up with. I think the idea of genres can be good or bad. Good if it helps define something specifically and brings similar types of music and approaches together if they haven’t already. Bad if it does the opposite.

Andrew:
The way I initially discovered your music was through Bandcamp and Reddit. In your opinion, how important have both Bandcamp and Reddit been to the Vaporwave scene, and Indie music in general?

Waterfront Dining:
I think Bandcamp has been absolutely essential in the progression of modern Indie music, Vaporwave music included. I’ve used Bandcamp since they first started out. Reddit I have some mixed feelings about, mostly due to the FOMO and negativity I’ve seen there. But there are some cool people out in those subreddits, so shout out to them!

Andrew:
Vaporwave has existed in digital forms for a long time. What do you think of the rising wave of support for vapor-vinyl over the last few years?

Waterfront Dining:
I think it’s great, as vinyl is a beautiful format, I love it. I remember the r/vaporvinyl community when they first started off. I can see the bubble bursting at some point for some, as a lot of folks are just getting into vinyl for the first time, and the novelty factor may wear off soon. It’s pretty trendy right now. The true vinyl and music lovers will always be there though, and it brings new collectors in as well, so I think it’s an all around good thing. Pressing these records also pushes sample culture forward I believe, which is a very important aspect to it.

Image result for waterfront dining vaporwave Night Lights in Japan cassette

Andrew:
Another interesting development in the Vaporwave community has been the sudden resurgence of cassettes. Did you see that coming?

Waterfront Dining:
Cassette culture has been a huge part of my life and journey as an artist, especially with Waterfront Dining. I’ve always released wd on cassette tape. It’s essential. First wd tape was a home brew Night Lights in Japan in an edition of 7 back in 2014. Most of the wd catalogue has been issued on cassette at this point. I think it’s great, whether there’s a resurgence or it’s always been here! I love tapes!

Andrew:
Do you collect vinyl? Tapes? CDs? Or are you all digital now? If so, what are some albums that mean the most to you? Where do you like to shop for music?

Waterfront Dining:
I collect vinyl and cassettes, mostly from friends. Those are the most special to me. Most of my shopping is for source material on Discogs or local record stores these days, but I’ll go digital for it. I have a few secret spots as well.

Andrew:
It’s been a crazy year. Once COVID-19 dies down, what’s next for Waterfront Dining in the future?

Waterfront Dining:
It sure has. Coming up in the future we have some more vinyl and cassette releases planned! Some represses, some new pressings, and of course new music. I’ve started an ongoing singles series called “The Bubblegum Singles” which we’ve been releasing cassingles for. I’m going to continue to add some more material to that series over time. Maybe some more collabs as well, we’ll see! Lots of stuff!


Andrew:
Last question. You’ve always embraced the DIY approach to music. What advice do you have for young musicians trying to get their start?

Waterfront Dining:
My advice for young artists and musicians coming up is to always concentrate on refining your own craft. Keep doing you, and don’t be afraid of doing something yourself to get it done. Music is not a competition, no matter how many people out there try to make it one. “Competition” and “inspiration” are not the same thing! Stay positive and be patient and the rest should fall into place for you!

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Interested in diving deeper into the work of Waterfront Dininh? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

Published by Andrew Daly

Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, USA, Andrew has always loved writing, music, drumming and collecting music on CD, tape and vinyl. After losing his life-long vinyl collection in 2014, Andrew began his vinyl collection from scratch again when he met his future wife Angela in 2015. Andrew’s love of music only further blossomed as his collection spanned all genres possible. After amassing over 3,000 albums in under two years, he knew it was time to finally follow his dream of being a music journalist, and thus, Vinyl Writer was born.

Andrew’s not only the go-to friend for music trivia, but his intricate knowledge of the ins and outs of the music industry allows him to develop engaging questions that really tap into each artist and individual to deliver insightful and enjoyable interviews. He’s proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict, for fellow music addicts.

Andrew lives on Long Island, NY, with his wife Angela and their four cats, Oliver, Patrick, Charlie and Kevin. Andrew’s collection of over 4,700 vinyl albums, plus several hundred tapes and CDs, tells the story of his passion for all that is music. Andrew works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer website by night. Andrew is also the admin of several Facebook groups dedicated to music.

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