Forget what you know about dance music. “Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: People nowadays try to corner us as duckstep artists, but we started out in cavecore—we pioneered moombahtron. We’re rolling all over the place,” jokes We Roll Like Madmen vocalist Jordan Young. “Essentially we make dance music that’s occasionally a little sad, often pretty psychedelic.” Really, this is a simple explanation for a very complex sound.
We Roll Like Madmen’s Chris Tollack and Jordan Young have been musically compatible since their days hosting a radio show for Clemson University’s WSBF FM. After some casual jamming, they buckled down and have been putting their spin on EDM for the past couple years. But, don’t pigeonhole them – their style is all their own. “We pull a lot of stylistic influence from dance genres, but the lyrics and arrangement aim for something else,” Tollack explains. “By incorporating more experimental and progressive elements, we’re honing in on a sound that’s truly ours.”
Though they started out modestly in the Upstate of South Carolina, the boys have luckily had the opportunity to spread their beats across the Southeast. From playing WSBF’s annual “Springfest” to Midnight Voyage in Knoxville, and gaining valuable influence from acts like Culture Prophet and Fort Wilson Riot, they have had some incredible experiences with some talented artists. And they couldn’t be happier about the camaraderie they have experienced thus far. “Our favorite aspect about the Southeast scene is the closeness of some artistically prolific people. There’s some real talent being fostered in the South, and you don’t have to look that far for it. It’s amazing to see acts like Jungol and Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun gaining so much momentum regionally and nationally. The only reason we have gotten the chance to work with people like that is the grassroots structure of the Southeastern music scene.”
WRLM have just released their debut via Nophi, titled Who is Heady Crystals?. When asked about the significance of the title, the boys joked in true Madmen fashion: “Say our record’s name in the voice of Mike Jones.” Touché. “Honestly though, Heady Crystals is an alien AI that serves as an interstellar psychiatrist specializing in living relationships. Heady simulates the most poignant, heart-wrenching experiences in the cosmos in search of a universal condolence.” Or, to put it more simply: “Sometimes even the most sentient beings falter when coping with the vulnerability of heartbreak.” Not such a silly joke now, huh?
In all seriousness, the boys have put a ton of effort into Who is Heady Crystals? and it really shows when listening through. Prior to completing the record, they played some of the material for live audiences to get feedback for maximizing appeal and enjoyment. “The project is built around the live experience,” they explain, “and developing that has been a lot of fun for us.” And, really, who doesn’t love an album where fans’ voices matter?
With this strong new album pushing the boundaries of EDM and basking in experimental glory, We Roll Like Madmen are sure to continue spreading their influence across South Carolina and the Southeast. When asked for parting words, the gents proclaimed, “We have been shown a lot of love from our friends, fans, and other musicians. Thank you for your continued support. The Southeast is a great place to be right now! We’re excited about the future of We Roll Like Madmen, and we hope to see everyone at a show!”
LISTEN: Who Is Heady Crystals?
Programming, controllers – Chris Tollack
Programming, controllers, vocals – Jordan Young
Genre – EDM/Experimental
Record label – Nophi
Website – www.werolllikemadmen.com