A family man with over fourteen years of experience in the ever changing dance music scene Nick Weiller, best known as Bro Safari, has managed to stay humble and driven. With a wide sweeping eclectic taste and a flare for quirky productions Nick’s musical journey has taken him from his youthful party days as a Drum & Bass producer in Evol Intent, to indie side project Minus Music, and finally Bro Safari. As the years melted away Nick continually followed inspiration where it led—today we find a man with a deep passion for music, family and those ever fleeting moments of silence…
Blueprint: When you started DJ’ing with Evol Intent, a drum and bass trio, over fourteen years ago did you ever think your life/career would end up where it is today?
Bro Safari: I’m not sure that there’s any way that I could’ve predicted how things evolved to where they are now. I was a lot younger then, and I don’t think that my perspective was especially healthy when it came to thinking about my future and what it may hold for me. I was kind of just riding the wave and having a lot of fun, socially. Going from playing in bands to being a DJ and being flown around to play shows was a huge change for me, and it blew my mind at the time. Another thing to consider is that I was pretty young then. While I did have goals and aspirations, I didn’t necessarily have enough mental fortitude to really see a lot of things through. I wasn’t thinking about a career, I didn’t have kids and I was enchanted with Drum & Bass.
Blueprint: In terms of artistic evolution how does the audience Bro Safari attracts differ from the crowds you were pulling a few years ago—even with Evol Intent back when this all started for you?
Bro Safari: I think that my audience is really diverse, and I couldn’t ask for more. I don’t want just one type of person to be attracted to what I do. With that being said, I think the audience grows, alters and evolves with the scene that’s behind it. When I started out with Evol Intent, we appealed to the Drum and Bass crowd, and had a bit of crossover success as well. That was over 10 years ago though. The scene has exploded since then, so obviously the audience has changed somewhat drastically. The crowds are younger. The vibe is looser. The music isn’t as serious if you think about it. While I miss some characteristics of the old days, I think we’re all in a much better place now.
Blueprint: Do you ever find that the over-the-top party hard and then party harder image projected by the very scene you are a part sits in contradiction with your main focus of continuing to be the best father and husband you can be?
Bro Safari: Is that really what’s being projected though? Or is that just what people take away from it. I see people partying just as hard in other “scenes.” I think that it’s obviously a stigma for rave culture, and it certainly exists for a reason, but that isn’t what defines it. Not everyone is going to these events to get wasted and make terrible decisions. Sure, a lot of people do that, but it isn’t something that I can concern myself with. Meaning, other peoples decision making abilities. Like I said, I could just as easily play in a cock-rock band and be surrounded by people doing Heroin. In regards to my family, I know that I’m doing my best as a Father and Husband, and that’s all that matters to me. The scene plays absolutely no part in that.
Blueprint: What is your biggest indulgence when on tour?
Bro Safari: Well, I don’t get much of it, but just having personal time I guess. I will sit in a hotel room for a long time and be totally content. I can get work done, rest, zone out… whatever. Everyone needs that personal time.
Blueprint: Recently you said, “I know that when I’m an old man, I will look back on my music stuff, and say, “Wow, that was cool,” but I know what’s more important [family].” Following in this vein, both musically and personally, what legacy do you want to leave in your wake?
Bro Safari: Musically? In a perfect world, people would remember me as someone who tried to push the envelope and as someone who had a lot of integrity. If I’m being totally forthcoming, I’ll admit that I’m anal to the point of being annoying when it comes to my music. I take it very seriously—to the point where I lose my sense of humor sometimes. On a personal level? I think that any certain opinion or view that a large audience has of me won’t be very accurate. The only people that truly know me are my friends and family, so they’re the ones that I’d ultimately like to have some sort of lasting impact on.
Blueprint: How much of the Bro Safari moniker reflects who you are as an individual and was it always your intention for this particular project to take on such a zany over the top style?
Bro Safari: I started Bro Safari before there was any sort of branding behind it. I didn’t adopt the “face” logo until well after I had started the project. So no, I didn’t have that in mind initially. I think the Bro Safari guy kind of contradicts who I am, maybe. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have a good time, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become way more uptight and far less zany. Ha.
Blueprint: In a recent interview when asked about how you managed to balance your personal with all of your projects you replied, “it’s really difficult…I think that I might actually be going insane.” How are things currently and is there a certain point where you give up touring in favor of a more quiet lifestyle?
Bro Safari: Absolutely. I don’t want to be DJ’ing for my entire life. To be honest, does anyone truly think that they CAN do that? Aside from a few people, this is not a real life long career. Being a DJ, I mean, for me, I envision it being just a part of my career in music. If I could make a living by making music from home, I would probably not play nearly as much as I do right now. What can I say? I’m a homebody.
Blueprint: Touring and producing can get hectic and sometimes those frustrations come out in social media. While you prefer to stay focused on what matters and let the music speak for itself others use their brand power to wield controversy and insure the spotlight remains on their manufactured persona. What are your thoughts on the triumphs and pitfalls of social media within the world of modern dance music?
Bro Safari: I try to avoid being negative on Twitter and other social media platforms. It does come out sometimes, but for the most part, I censor myself heavily and efficiently. I do this because of how unbelievably annoying it can be to see people acting like total babies on the Internet: whining incessantly, bragging, boasting, and all of that. I don’t want to be one of those people. That’s a major problem with social media though; you basically become two people when you involve yourself in that world. There’s the person that you want to be, and then there’s the person that you actually are. In “real life” you don’t have the chance to edit yourself, or get out of situations by ignoring them. Online, you give the world a version of yourself that just isn’t entirely accurate, and that’s kind of scary if you really think about it. I just try to avoid being a part of that. I feel like I have been online since it was worth being online, and I can definitely say that it took me over a decade to realize that most things are simply better left unsaid on the Internet.
Blueprint: Getting back to the music, you are big on fusing genres—are there two particular sounds you are specifically fascinated with mashing together at the moment?
Bro Safari: Recently, I’ve been hovering around the 170 bpm range. Not necessarily Drum & Bass, but I’ve definitely been bringing in elements from the genre. I’ve fiddled with 100 BPM stuff, but to be perfectly honest, it hasn’t resonated for me yet, in the studio. I play a fair bit of it in my DJ sets though, so I’d like to maybe keep chipping away at that until I fully realize my approach to writing it.
Blueprint: To date which set in Vancouver stands out to you as the most memorable & what can fans look forward to hearing at your upcoming show at Victoria’s 9ONE9 and Vancouver’s Celebrities?
Bro Safari: Well, within the US, the Northwest is my favorite part of the Country, so hopping over the border and spending some time in Vancouver and Victoria is a real treat for me. I love the scenery, the people, and the vibe in general. It’s honestly difficult to pick one single show that was more memorable than another up there, but I’m really looking forward to both of these shows. I’ll be playing all sorts of tempos and testing out some of my new stuff as well. I’m really looking forward to it!
– Ryan Hayesget tickets