Hailing from Mons Belgium, Benjamin “Bamby” Bayeul & Charlie “Erwan” Dodson are best known as the wobble masters Ganja White Night.
Nearing a decade of building their iconic bass discography, last month saw Ganja White Night release their ninth studio album Dark Wobble. The next building block to their ever-growing mini universe, this latest addition to the storyline did not hesitate to remind listeners where their roots truly lie with their own musical inspirations. Dark Wobble is a massive ten track, bass-filled release, featuring collaborations with the likes of SubDocta and Boogie T showcasing some of the heavier tracks the duo have blessed their listeners with and divulging the dark side of the group’s highlighted animated character Mr. Wobble. Combining forces with the notable artist Ebo, the group has built their community around the animation of Mr. Wobble to demystify the story and full experience of Ganja White Night’s vision.
UKF had the chance to sit down with Ganja White Night to dive deeper into Dark Wobble, their universe and the backstory behind the Belgium bass duo…
Let’s talk about the album. How long has it been since Dark Wobble was conceptualized to actually see the light of day?
Ben: Actually it’s been a while. So we moved to the US in July 2019 and we released the previous album in October of 2019 right before we went on tour. We had the focus back on Mr. Wobble with The One, we wanted to enlarge the universe. For the tour, I started working on a couple of tracks that were a little bit more dark, a little bit more deep and more on the roots. So I’m not going to say typical Ganja White Night vibes, more like dubstep, pure roots, but with more modern sounds. We played a couple of the tunes and I think that was the start of the album. We saw crowd reactions over those work-in-progress tracks during the tour and they were great. So in the back of our heads we said yeah, it’s time to bring back those dark vibes and make an album or EP focused on that kind of sound. When the pandemic hit, everything was like a puzzle being put in place. We ended up having our first studio built, so we said fuck yeah, we’re going to make this happen the right way, especially being able to work on it and dedicate the time we wanted to make it right. So it’s been a year and a half since we had that idea of working on that Dark Wobble album.
I can imagine you don’t normally have so much time at home to be able to work on an album uninterrupted. So this last year made it easier to put it all together?
Ben: For Dark Wobble, the vibe is kind of dark, but I’m not really like a dark person. To set myself into that dark place, to make that kind of music, it was slightly challenging. Actually, Dark Wobble is just a portion of what’s been produced during the pandemic. There are a good amount of tracks that were just too happy or too uplifting to fit the album, which could be surprising because of the pandemic atmosphere and all that. The challenge was to put myself into that dark zone, which was probably more easy than any other period for sure, but still was challenging.
So there are more tunes ready to be used for the concept of the storyline. Have you started to picture what that next step is going to be in this whole Ganja White Night world and experience?
Ben: There are many side stories that we’ve been discussing for a while. Once the music comes, we attach it to a certain part of the story. With that music, it’s time to focus a little bit more on that side of the story or a character that we haven’t talked about much yet. That’s how we evolve and put new puzzle pieces of the universe together, like reveal a new character or unleash a new side of the story. We have a lot more of the story already built in our heads than what has been shown so far.
So are the album releases for the character Mr. Wobble or are there different creatures made around the albums?
Ben: It’s an original universe, it’s not focused on one specific character. We want to build a whole universe, introducing new characters and making sure that everything can be linked up pretty easily. The coolest thing when we read the fans talking about the universe and connecting every piece of the puzzle to each other. They’re pretty good at guessing what’s going on.
Are there any hidden breadcrumbs that they’ve found out or are close to figuring out?
Ben: We cannot really reveal anything specific, but yes, I’ve seen a lot of theories and people are very creative in how they connect all the pieces together.
Erwan: Sometimes they are super far from the story as well.
Ben: It’s just super cool to see how into the universe some people are.
How much of the universe do you incorporate into your live settings?
Ben: The visual aspect is the main focus we try to put on. We have the luck to work with Ebo, which is a genius artist and so talented. He actually did the first cover of our first album back in 2010. His art is enlarging the universe, so the visual aspect of the live performance is growing. We are only at the beginning of where we want to go.
I’m sure fans will love it, especially after not being able to experience your music in a live setting for so long. Now you guys have three nights at Red Rocks, congratulations. Did you ever think that you would be having a three night run at one of the most iconic venues in America?
Ben: A few years ago, if you would have told us that we will be living on our music, we would not believe you. So you can imagine how crazy this is to us. We’re from Belgium, it seems so unreachable for us to be where we are right now, knowing where we’re from. It’s a fucking dream.
I want to touch on your background next. What inspired the production style you embody today?
Ben: So we are from the same town, Mons. Erwan was one of the cool kids who had an electronic machine that he was always carrying around in a small suitcase. He would bring it to anyone’s house, plug it in, put on the headphones and stay on that machine for hours. We were listening to weird music at that time.
Erwan: I used to listen to a lot of Aphex Twin, some stranger stuff.
Ben: We were teenagers, like 16 or 17. From there, we wanted to be more on the electronic side of music. So we started to hang together and go to raves in Brussels. We fell in love with drum and bass, breakbeats, UK garage and grime. When the Skream album hit, we fell in love with dubstep right at the beginning. We were spoiled with dubstep and since then, we never really jumped off that 140 bpm train.
In these early years of your career, did you start realizing that you could build a worldwide career?
Ben: Oh, I had no idea. It was so underground back then that even the DJs that were playing every weekend were just doing it for the love of music. They were not making that much money. It was so new and so small.
What has been the biggest lesson that you can take away from this last year?
Ben: The biggest lesson, I would say, everything and anything can happen. Nothing is guaranteed. I always tried to remember the love we have for being able to walk on stage and perform, but next time it will have a much more significant meaning. You just have to enjoy that moment and the privilege of being there. Just be grateful.
Just to kind of wrap things up, if you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out or looking to start their music career, what would that be?
Ben: I would say just be true to yourself. Don’t try to be like anybody else and know in advance that it might take time.
Erwan: Don’t have fast expectations.
Ben: Right, it took us ten years of us working on the project to see it accelerating a bit. So stay true to yourself and keep it going. No matter how long it might take for you to succeed.