In 1997, Little Brother Love was the debut performance project from John Williams. LBL abstracts the infectious groove minimalized in Detroit techno. The lyrics (some sung, some spoken) are pure coffeehouse addiction. The vocals are given an almost dub feel, saturated with reverb and echo effects.
“I have been influenced by so much music. I remember living in NYC as a kid and constantly hearing ‘Rapper’s Delight’ on the radio during the birth of hip hop. I even roller-skated at the Roxy! I remember hearing ‘Numbers’ during the days of breakdancing. I stood in front of my parent’s stereo listening…and realized that ‘Numbers’ has the same beat as ‘Planet Rock’. Music never sounded the same since then. I began picking music apart in my head…listening to each instrument separately.”
Being a “military brat” John has had the opportunity to live in Virginia, Minnesota, NYC and Detroit, due to the obligations of his Coast Guard dad.
“NY was the most influential residence in my life. I lived there from the age of 6 through 13. It opened up my heart and soul culturally and my mind musically. We had a piano in the house since the age of 8 but I didn’t get serious about songwriting until High School while in Detroit. I was involved in a youth group and was inspired by an older guy that would write and sing his own songs at a piano and was self taught. The girl’s loved him! I went to the library and got a book that showed the fingering for basic chord structures. I memorized those and improvised the rest. I met Dale Lawrence (Theorem, Plus 8 Records) in the same group. He too wrote and performed his own songs for the group and I saw all the attention he was attracting. We became friends and formed an electronic duo a few years later. I sang and he did most of the music. In High School he had an impressive studio in his bedroom-it was all gear! We collaborated on a single called ‘Graviti’ which is on his debut Plus 8 album.”
During college, John joined a ska band called The Exceptions and was appointed the arduous lead singer position. The band consisted of seven members- four of which were High School buddies. Two CD’s and various compilations have been released with John belting out JamaicanJazzPunkRock.
“Soon after joining the band, I was introduced to club life and the taboo pleasures of after-hours culture. I had been DJing school dances and weddings and had just learned how to mix records. With much practice, persistence, and tons of support from friends, my DJ career took off. In ‘92 I dabbled in the fashion biz with a friend named Robert Barnett. We formed a group called Bileebob Wearables ( a synthesis of William(s)/Billy and Robert/Bob). Rave hats were our first product. But due to scheduling and lack of transportation, it was hard for us to get together and I did most of the work myself. I initially kept the name Bileebob as a means to promote the company. I started getting a few more gigs and made a few T-shirt designs. Soon Djing consumed me so I put my ‘fashion passion’ on the shelf.”
Late ‘93 he met his future wife, Sarah. They formed herzenhiz and hosted annual Christmas raves at small venues.
“We debuted Traxx (Chicago) and Marshall (AKA Marshallito) (NYC) to Detroit in ‘94 and did a DJ tag team Xmas party featuring all techno bass jocks in ‘95. I hope to expand the herzenhiz group in ‘97. Sarah and I are now family and that’s the basic philosophy of the group- all involved become Family.”