We had the good fortune of connecting with John Wlaysewski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, how do you think about risk?
In our career, risk has been one of the most important aspects of what we do. Risk forces you to commit fully to what you are creating. When you see the riskiness of what you are doing and jump in and do it anyway, it sets you on a path towards new possible futures.
You can either let risk paralyze you, or spur you forward with everything you’ve got.
In my business (music production, band leader) you end up having to walk into situations where you don’t have 100% control over who’s doing what and how it’s all coming together. The trick is to not let the natural flow of complicated undertakings turn you into a control freak or push you to quit. Risk is how you know you’re asking more of yourself and life in general.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a multi instrumentalist and music producer. I’ve been writing and performing with my music project Late Cambrian since 2011. What I am currently most proud about is that Late Cambrian’s forthcoming record, Future Snacks, will be released on a cool indie record label on September 23rd, 2022! It’s been a long and winding road to get to this point, and we couldn’t be prouder. As Late Cambrian we have put out 4 full length records, One EP and numerous singles. Our first record three records were released in Japan through This Time Records, and sold really well in Tower Records and HMV’s across Japan. In 2014 we toured the UK, Ireland, Wales, The Netherlands and Germany opening for the rock band Wheatus (Teenage Dirtbag). In 2016, we were chosen by the Converse Get Out Of The Garage Music Contest to compete in their battle of the bands, opening for Best Coast and putting on a wild show. On July 3rd, 2022 my new song with Late Cambrian, The Last Wave, won the John Lennon Songwriting SUMMER SONGS Contest. It is a tremendous honor, as I was raised on The Beatles and love John Lennon’s songwriting.
It was during the Covid-19 lockdown that I started writing and recording the record that would get Late Cambrian signed to Mifflin Street Music. The lockdown was a true existential nightmare for everyone on the entire globe, and the solitude nd sense of impending doom definitely pushed the forthcoming Late Cambrian record to explore darker themes and creative musical shifts and movements. One thing I’ve learned about being a music producer and band leader:
Stay open to new possibilities in music and in life. We made a pact to say yes to all opportunities for the first two years of the band, and it lead to many cool experiences we wouldn’t have had if we over analyzed the possible outcomes or approached the opportunities with a sense of fear or distrust. This doesn’t mean be gullible, it just means if you are open to changing your life trajectory, the universe will present you with life changing moments to seize.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a music lover & performer, I’ve always had a fondness in my heart for Amoeba Music. I would definitely take anyone who came to town to the Hollywood location and bask in the memory of a time when waiting on line for the latest release was a commonplace thing. Big record stores always feel very nostalgic and emotionally comforting in a world of streaming platforms. Being a movie lover as well (I got my bachelor’s degree in Film and Broadcasting) I would also try to catch a movie at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. I am aware that it’s a very touristy destination chock full of tour guides and snap happy vacationers, but my love of film is too great to not bring a friend to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame and catch a cool movie. I would suggest you all see Everything Everywhere All At Once as soon as you can, before it leaves theaters…
When I am in New York City, I spend a lot of time in Bushwick and Williamsburg Brooklyn. These areas of Brooklyn have a very cool urban vibe that changes and evolves as you walk around. Always visit Joe’s Pizza when in Williamsburg. Definitely go to Prospect Park when you can, and take in the lush fun atmosphere of huge lawn with picnic revelers and kite flying.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who I’ve met / collaborated with along this rocky road that helped me stay on the path, or even to see the path through the weeds. Olive Hui, my bandmate and romantic partner, is the first one to come to mind. Her huge well of empathy and courageous spirit have always been there to help me see things clearer. I probably would have given up on Late Cambrian (Future Snacks LP out September 23rd on Mifflin Street Music) were it not for Olive’s infectious enthusiasm for the music and her excitement for each new opportunity we embrace.
Other: Record Label: https://www.mifflinstreetmusic.com
Photographers: LiAnn Grahm Zhen Qin Simon Ackerman Conrad Bischoff