Have you heard of Meow Wolf? Visual art exploration fused in interactive atmospheres feat. The Russ Liquid Test + moreProducer Dojo Team
Have you heard of MEOW WOLF? An imaginative, visual art exploration fused in magical and interactive atmospheres entered reality a couple years ago in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This innovative vision has allowed not only a creative depth, but also a meeting of sound in both audio-visual roots and a deep sense of expanding live performance for rising musical acts for a rare chance to share an intimate experience in a mystery, tripped out environment. Journeying down south of Denver, Colorado into NM, I had the honor of experiencing my first Meow Wolf featuring The Russ Liquid Test, who’s currently on their “World Gone Crazy” Tour, focusing on their latest music release. The Russ Liquid Test is a live trio with an electronic twist – producer and instrumentalist Russ, Andrew being the guitarist and and Deven leading the drums.
Special appearances by CharlestheFirst, Beak Nasty and Gnarwhal, made it a full immersion and worthwhile moments. Massive shout out to Multifaceted Movement. This release was an absolute necessity. Meow Wolf flourishes in all dimensions of the visual arts and entertainment, they’re an art collective since 2008, composing of over 200 artists across all visual realms and creative assortments including sculpture, painting, photography and video production, VR, music, audio engineering, architectural finesse, narrative writing, costuming and performance, and so many more goodies! They create immersive, interactive experiences to transport audiences into storytelling explorations. The Russ Liquid Test put on a dope performance, light into the dark, an opening of a gateway through improvisational energetic feels! See what they’re up to now and where they’re headed with live expansions!
Word on the street, Meow Wolf is entering massive expansion into two major cities: Denver, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada. Keep your eyes pealed for all mentions.
* Their first permanent installation, launched in 2016 with support from Game Of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin, showcasing THEA Award-winning House of Eternal Return! Discovery of multidimensional mystery house with secret passages, portals, magical worlds, climbing apparatus & mesmerizing art exhibits along with a children’s learning center.
A Chat with The Russ Liquid Test
What do you guys feel has been the most mesmerizing accomplishment as The Russ Liquid Test thus far?
Tough question – probably being a successful band living in a DJ would be our accomplishment we are most proud of. Playing Red Rocks is always really cool too.
We live in a moment where technology is shifting and evolving more than ever. Russ, being both a sound designer and instrumentalist ( pianist and trumpet player ), how do you adapt with its fluidity and groove with its progressive innovations while remaining true to your live presence?
(i play sax, trombone and flute as well)
I use the modern pallet of sounds to paint a landscape in which to showcase the organic instruments.
How do you remain focused on stage?
Russ – I fully immerse myself in the music. I become blind to physical world and tune into the metaphysical aspects that make a good show: the energetic exchange between musician and audience.
Andrew – being the guitarist, in what ways would you say your classical rooted energy shapes specific foundations while adding a diverse and dynamic capture?
I play the guitar like a rhythm instrument instead of always playing solo’s and stuff, so for me its a textural thing that im usually trying to add. we’re all about textures.
Deven, you focus on rhythmic gestures and add value to the trio by bringing balance. How does drumming add more movement and value while livening the mood?
To me, the live drums help the music move at a better pace. It brings more feeling to the shows/tracks. There are little things I can do to make the moment bigger or mellow out a bit. Things that aren’t necessarily happening in the track as far as the drums that are already programmed.
You guys are currently based in New Orleans. What do you enjoy most about it?
We love that new orleans lives and breathes music. It is a hotspot for amazing musicians and creates a community of collaborations and art.
Favourite food joints and neighborhood adventures?
Come to NOLA and find out!
Your music takes us to an era of its own filled with a funky focused dose of fluorescent vintage, dreamy atmospheres and a vivid imagination. Congrats on World Gone Crazy. What’s the overall message of this release?
Bringing light to the darkness. Acknowledging the darkness is how to bring light to it. Not dwelling on it, and not being ignorant as well.
Are you guys working on adding more to your live elements, whether visual or in any shape, form and/or feel?
YES! this is just the beginning! We are like a butterfly… currently we in our caterpillar phase. We about to take shape into that beautiful butterfly and fly! The future of our shows will be a spectacle of live music with more musicians less computer while still retaining the glory of produced electronic music.
Reflect on live on-stage performance and the overall communication to improvisation.
We always are communicating in nonverbal ways on stage. We all know how so read each other to see if someone is really feeling it or is really NOT feeling it. The more we tour, the tighter it gets and better the communication becomes.
What were some of your favourite highlights at Meow Wolf? ( to be answered after event )
– Russ – Being immersed in art to create sonic art. The staff were wonderful and the party was like NO other.. we ALL got DOWN TOGETHER!!
– Andrew – That place is incredible. Its kinda hard to pick out just one thing, but honestly, that was my first time in Santa Fe and the best part to me was the crowd. That shit went off!!
– Deven – The art was insane and so was the crowd! Great vibes indeed. The show was crazy!!!
What’s the creative processes like? How do ideas flow and what are the first steps into collaborative efforts?
We have a couple different methods of getting the music made: however our creative process is top-secret classified level G-1zillion clearance to peep…
You each contribute key, signature aspects that makes the whole. What’s your main goal in every set?
– Andrew -Be the glue!!
– Deven – To make the people dance as much as possible.
– Russ – Alchemize sound into love that can transcend all that would keep us from reaching our highest potential.
What is one of the greatests gifts you’ve ever received/given?
– Russ – Life… THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!
– Andrew – My first guitar. The rest is history
– Deven – One of the greatest gifts ever given to me.. when I wanted to get more into producing, my dad GAVE me his MacBook Pro. Thanks pops. I’m actually still using it and that was years ago.
You guys are quite the collaborators! What can we expect with your next sounds? Care to reveal any secrets?
No sorry 🙂 Expect the unexpected
CharlestheFirst, Beak Nasty and Gnarwhal made an appearance at Meow Wolf Dark Matter Photography