During a time where the term “house music” is constantly evolving, a new generation of artists are breaking through during what many would perceive to be a transitional phase for the scene, and showing us that it’s still an exciting time for the genre. Whilst the recent tech house ‘boom’ appears to have plateaued somewhat, a duo who go by the name of The Willers Brothers are leading the way amongst a plethora of artists who are championing a deep and brooding, yet wholeheartedly hypnotic sound that’s as addictively groovy as it is minimal in it’s output.
Having initially made a name for themselves in London after landing a weekly residency at EGG in 2013, siblings Sean and Liam have been on an impressive upwards trajectory ever since, and have since taken their passion for deep and minimalist house across to Berlin where they now they now call home and frequent DJ booths across the city on an almost weekly basis.
Taking cues from the likes of Apollonia and John Dimas, the duo’s releases to date ooze in the sort of quality as the sounds we’ve come to the love from the artists they’re clearly inspired by. Yet having been bubbling under over recent years, it’s clear with every new release, show and mix the duo drop, more and more people are beginning to pay attention.
Fresh off the release of ‘Just Us’ on Sante’s Avotre label, and with a relentless flow of shows to come, we caught up with Sean and Liam to find out a bit more about the Brothers behind the grooves, as we discuss moving to Berlin, studio workflow, favourite artists of the moment, and musical interests outside of house music amongst much more.
Thanks Sean and Liam for taking the time to talk to us today! Where in the world are you and what have you been up to?
No worries thanks for having us, at the moment we are in Berlin just at our studio here after a weekend in Birmingham.
It would be great if we could take it back and start at the beginning of your journey. Can you explain a bit about how two brothers decided to get involved in production and the house music scene?
We basically bought a pair of decks in a flat we had together in Southend around 5/6 years ago and got a couple of lucky breaks real early on in our career.
Having spent your earliest years involved with the scene in your home city of Manchester before a 4 year stretch playing in London, can you tell us a bit about your time in both cities? Is there a notable difference between the two scenes (other than size)?
Well we never actually played when we was in Manchester we just grew up there Sean actually lived in Wolverhampton and Liam in Southend in Essex for some years before Sean moved to Southend once he left the Military and then moved to London together. London was such a great time, we were playing at Egg LDN weekly which was lots of fun and where we learnt our craft.
What was the turning point that brought on the decision to move to Berlin and what is it about the city you enjoy?
Well we was playing out here a lot and travelling here all the time, so we decided to move. The city is great it has a great music community with the clubs focused on the music and people that go there to enjoy it rather than the money which really makes a difference, It really is like no other city and a great place to be creative.
For those coming to visit Berlin, what are your hangout spots and what venues do you enjoy the most?
For us it would have to be CDV, Hopetosse and our personal favourite place not just in Berlin but of all clubs has to be Heideglühen it has a vibe like no other, we’ve spent lots of hours on that dance floor.
You recently joined the Amsterdam-based PIV Records roster, can you tell us a bit about why?
Well it seemed the right place to go, we have been on a few agencies that didn’t work out but it was natural progression with the PIV family, first of all we our all friends we spent some time with Prunk and the guys over in Amsterdam and they are great it was so much fun, So we was honoured to be asked to join the agency. PIV is really growing at a fast pace and we are happy to be apart of it
Regarded as a duo with your fingers very much on the pulse, are there any artists who you feel are about to blow this year?
Well first of all Prunk & Chris Stussy are really killing it at the moment with no sign of slowing down so they have a good year ahead thats for sure. There is also lots of good music coming from the uk at the moment with artists like Ray Mono and Casey Spilman also setting the mark and pushing forward with this sound.
You’re coming off the back of a rewarding 2018, with productions on Avotre, Scenario, Ewax and Decay Records amongst others. Between record digging and producing, how much time do you get to work in the studio and what’s your production process like?
Well we have recently just got a new studio which is super nice. We manage to normally get around 3 full days in per week, start in the morning around 10am and will stay until about 8pm or until we feel we are not moving forward for that day. Normally take about 40 mins for lunch to refresh then yeah we are pretty much locked in.
One aspect of your production that we love is how unapologetically groovy it is. Who’s inspired your sound and who would you love to work with?
Well I don’t think we could pinpoint just 1 artist but i think it was the likes of Apollonia and John Dimas that really got us following this sound some years back now, also the Fuse crew have been a massive influence for us and as far as working with a particular artist I guess it’s nice to always nice to have a good remixer but it’s also best to let them things happen naturally
Release wise we love your recent ‘Just Us’ EP on Avotre – tell us a bit about that release, how Rich NxT got involved and your decision to team up with the label.
We have been friends with Sante for some time now after we played on his party at Watergate then we followed with a remix for Toni Varga on Avotre. After that he asked if we would be interested in an EP which of course we were up for, then he suggested Rich as a remixer which we think was perfect for the EP and that’s how it happened.
Barely a week appears to go by before your Soundcloud blesses us with another snippet to a release, can you fill us in on what releases are in the pipeline?
Ha yes of course we have been busy in the studio and we have a vinyl release on Housewax, then a 2 part EP on Pleasure zone, we have a digital release on AMA recordings which is Ray Okpara label with a remix from the legend Marko Nastic, we also have a remix for Ray on AMA which will be out very soon. Another remix for the Neverdogs on Decay. We are working towards a digital EP for PIV which should hopefully be out in the summer and loads of new bits just finished so let’s see where they end up.
Away from house, are there any other genres you guys are into you could fill us in on?
Of course Sean is a massive Hip-Hop fan, taking lots of influences from the likes of J Dilla and Slum Village and Liam a big Drum & Bass fan and was really heavy in to the scene some years back.
Gigwise, where are your favourite places to play, and your favourite set to date?
It would have to be Amsterdam is always so much fun with the whole PIV crew we are excited to be back there in August for Starfwerk festival, I guess we couldn’t pick just 1 set as we always have fun when we play and there has been so many it would be hard to say just one
Can you fill us in on sets you have forthcoming this year?
Yeah things are really picking up now this has definitely been a turning point for us since joining PIV. We have dates coming up in Brazil, Prague, Amsterdam, Manchester, London, Birmingham, Montpellier, Ghent, Munster and that just up until June, really exciting times ahead for us x
The Willers Brothers – Just US EP is available now on Avotre. Catch them in London on 31st May as they play the Metafloor 1st Birthday at Basing House – info here.