Bass Area Crew: Bringing baas to the Bay

by Daniel Roth

Trevor Weidenbacher is busy almost all the time. Besides spending nearly 40 hours a week putting on shows with his EDM collective, Bass Area Crew, he works as a sound technician at the Wild Buffalo and studies marketing at Western. How does he balance all his various duties and responsibilities?

“By having almost no social life and barely sleeping,” he said, laughing.

Weidenbacher’s hard work is paying off, though. Over the past two years, Bass Area Crew has gone from an idea in Weidenbacher’s head to an established name in Bellingham’s burgeoning EDM scene.

Weidenbacher has only been DJing for a few years, and Bass Area Crew grew out of his desire for an easier in to performing at local clubs.

“When I moved to Bellingham, there was this feeling of ‘where do I play?’” Weidenbacher said. “I went around town talking to promoters, and either the shows were full or they weren’t too interested in giving someone who hadn’t played club shows a shot.”

After getting a feel for the local scene, Weidenbacher frequently noticed the same people organizing shows, though he remembers the planning was something of a mess. Weidenbacher saw this as something that he could change.

“The idea was if we could put together a core group of dudes, we could do more shows more effectively,” Weidenbacher said. “We just got together one night and branded ourselves the Bass Area Crew.”

Altogether, Bass Area Crew now contains 17 different DJs, lighting and sound technicians, promoters and more.

As for his own position in Bass Area Crew, Weidenbacher calls himself a “marketing coordinator,” though he’s a bit hesitant with that title. Weidenbacher’s responsibilities extend far beyond what his title covers. Of the 40 hours he spends each week on Bass Area Crew’s shows, Weidenbacher said he is involved in almost every step of the process.

“I’m helping set up the light rigs, doing all the marketing work, setting up all the advertising and promotional work, booking the shows, and then actually being there for the show and running sound for the show,” Weidenbacher said.

He added the name Bass Area Crew is a homage to the Bay Area as referenced in countless Too $hort songs, as well as a reference to the Bellingham Bay.

As for Fear and Loathing, the name he goes by when DJing, Weidenbacher said the works of Hunter S. Thompson inspired him.

“What I really liked about his books was how he captured the world through his eyes and recreated it for people,” Weidenbacher said. “What I wanted to do through music was capture and recreate the world in a similar way.”

Despite the growing popularity of the EDM scene in Bellingham, success wasn’t immediate for Bass Area Crew.

“We were doing shows on Wednesdays, and we’d be lucky if 40 or 80 people showed up,” Weidenbacher said.

It wasn’t long before things turned around for Bass Area Crew, however.

“The first three times we hosted [Lifted], it literally doubled in attendance each time,” Weidenbacher said. “Now those shows are just packed out.”

Currently, the Crew puts together two monthly shows, Leveled and Lifted, at the Wild Buffalo and Rumors, respectively, as well as a weekly show at Glow, Twisted Thursdays.

Even with everything Weidenbacher has on his plate, he finds time to make music of his own, which he posts periodically on his Soundcloud page. He’s teaching himself to use the music software Ableton, and every now and then he sneaks one of his own compositions into his DJ sets, to gage the crowd’s reaction to his own work.

“I get the most stoked when I get to play my own songs and people respond to it well,” Weidenbacher said. “It means I connected with the right people and got the right people to the show, and I was able to make a play and song for them that they liked.”

LIVE SHOW: Bass Area Crew DJs Fear and Loathing and Shadow Variable perform at FilthFest 5 on April 4 at Eagles Hall. Follow www.facebook.com/BassArea1.

Published in the April 2015 issue of What’s Up! Magazine