Could you share the Mia Wallace origin story?
David: We have been friends since early high school but at the time had different musical aspirations. Mike was a vinyl-head, spending his weekends in the early rave scene. Meanwhile I was playing percussion in funk and groove oriented bands. It took quite a few years till we both started aligning in the techno multi-verse and decided to come together to form Mia Wallace. I would send Mike music I was working on regularly. At first it was funk, then hip-hop and eventually electronic music. One day I sent a track over that had found its way into Mike's musical palette and he was over the next day to work on it with me. The rest is history.
How would you describe your style of music?
It’s tough to put our style into a box but we are heavily influenced by the “Detroit techno feel”, dark soundscapes, machines and metal banging against other metal. We think that in the end it's less about style and more about concepts and ideas such as sound choices, phrasing and progression. As of lately we find ourselves gravitating towards a less melodic, rawer, driving sound.
What influences your music?
The beauty about music and art is that it’s carefully woven into every part of our lives. It’s an all-encompassing experience that draws from everything that is important to us. Our everyday lives, our families, our mood, other art, but most importantly ourselves. The passion and love we have for music is the driving force that keeps us inspired. And as the years pass, music becomes deeper ingrained into our core, layer after layer becoming a huge part of who we are.
Where you find inspiration?
Inspiration is such an interesting concept because you can’t directly measure it or see it in any tangible way. It’s a hidden energy within all of us that can be the cornerstone of something amazing just as well as it can be a total block of productivity. The feeling of wanting to create and being driven to continue doing so can arise from many places. It may come from other music we are listening to at the time or maybe from a conversation we’ve just had. It can come from a superficial idea or from a deep-rooted belief. Music is a magical thing. We can’t think of any other part of our lives that has become so fundamental to our every day. Family, food, sleep -- these are things usually considered to be a necessity as a human. Music for us is just as deeply rooted and has become an integral part of how we experience life.
Who are your music heroes?
David: I’d have to say my parents. They exposed me to music at a young age and showed me the fruits of experiencing music that spoke to me. If it wasn't for them I doubt I’d be as deep into it as I am now. I owe them both more than I can express.
Mike: I am inspired by all differents kinds of music. Michael Jackson, Nirvana, anything from the classic rock era such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin & Janis Joplin.
What was the pivotal and defining moment in your music career?
When we first decided to get together and start Mia Wallace. That was the moment when we embarked on a path that culminated all our experience and drive into one focused push. Though making music separately for years before that, it was that moment that we both took a determined step into creating something special and different. I’m not sure if we’ve succeeded in doing that (yet), I guess you’d have to ask our fans but it was definitely a conscious decision to step it up a level and give it all.
What is your music background/how did you get started in your music career?
Dave: I started off in early high school playing percussion. At first just with friends, but I quickly decided to get more serious and began studying under some amazing players. The wonder of taking lessons from someone you truly look up to is overwhelming and beautiful. From there I started playing in various groups, mainly funk and jazz orientated styles. At the same time I was always into underground hip-hop, which pushed me to start producing. In 1999 I got my first DAW (recording software) and began fiddling around, trying to make hip-hop beats. It was at the same time that I enrolled in MIW and got a sound engineering/reinforcement degree. That taught me a ton about the science of recording and music in general. As time progressed I kept playing in bands, as well as, making hip-hop grooves. It wasn't for a few years (around 2010) that I really started focusing more on electronic music, which lead me to where I am today.
Mike: I grew up listening to a lot of Italo Disco when I was young and my parents would have little parties at their house so dance music was always around me while growing up. I went to my first rave in 95 and never left. I was immediately sucked into the music with sounds that I never heard before.. the vibe and the culture was hypnotizing. I bought my first tables in ‘97 and simply started buying any record that sounded good to my ears. I wasn’t trying to make a career out of this so it was really just about the music and how I felt. I would buy a Farley Jackmaster Funk record and try to mix that with Orbital, Hardfloor and then throw in some Andy C for the hell of it. Throughout the years my love for this music kept growing. I started playing out more, being more involved in the scene and throwing some underground events. It was a very natural progression where I spent many years in front of the speaker, learning the dynamics of the dance floor and then slowly taking that knowledge into the DJ booth.
David: I noticed you have a variety of tattoos. Is there one you can single out that has more significance than the other? I can't really say that one is more significant than another but I guess that my first tattoo is probably the most exciting. The beginning of what is now more of a lifestyle. My mother still doesn't approve but thankfully she is a forgiving woman.
Mike: You have a young son and daughter. Kids have zero filters and view things so differently in their youth. What does she think about dad’s music? They don’t really like my music (yet). Techno is a bit of an acquired taste so for now they are more into melody driven music such as Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga.
Where do you look to for style inspiration?
Style is an art and a chance to express our individualism, a way to represent ourselves to the world. For us it’s less about what's going on around us and more about how we enjoy to be viewed. No matter how normal or strange, if it looks good to us in the mirror than that’s all that matters. Which is probably why you may see us sometimes and be a little taken back. Nothing's out of bounce.
Do you have any style icons?
Anyone that isn’t afraid to push the boundaries and be bold is who we look up to. Artists such as Elton John, Prince, George Clinton, Bjork and Freddie Mercury come to mind. It’s very interesting because one’s style and fashion is usually based around the music they listen to. Generally if you listen to a certain type of music your fashion follows suit. And the techno scene has adopted a very minimal look, black t-shirts all around. To us this is a bit backwards. We are a counterculture of misbehaved rebels yet everyone now looks identical. Where is the fun in that? So generally we try to be more expressive when we can - for better or worse. Take a chance and be as funky as can be.
What does “confidence” mean to you?
Confidence is a state of mind. It’s the ability to not worry about others judgment and instead doing what you feel. We all want to be accepted and to fit in, but sometimes you need to go against the grain and trust in yourself. If it wasn't for people that broke the rules and pushed the boundaries, this would be a sad story. Being confident is strength and having the ability to stand up tall and scream what you think -- no matter the possible outcome. And with the ability to stand against the current comes the gift of creating something new. If someone tells you a rule, find a way to break it.