Indy: A lot of articles make it sound like you and bandmate Adam Bravin started out hip-hop, then evolved into the synth-pop kind of sound we hear on your self-titled debut album.
JW: We came together to write songs for other people, really great hip-hop tracks. But once we did that, we also were like, there's so much more that we're not able to express in this type of music, that we started writing songs just for the sake of it. They were songs that became ours because we put so much of ourselves into it.
Indy: You've been criticized for sounding too much like such '80s synth-pop bands as Bauhaus, New Order and the Cure. Does that bother you?
JW: We knew our music sounded like a certain time period. We wrote honestly in an attempt to express ourselves musically and lyrically, and in doing so, we made a record that bears the mark of our influences. But there's no doubt that we've done something and taken it in a new direction, in a way that those artists didn't back then. We're completely immune to the criticism.
Indy: You tour as a four-piece band with drums. How is your sound different live?
JW: It still feels like the same music and the songs, but it's got an energy that's exciting to play as well as witness live [in a way] that it probably wouldn't be if it was a machine plus a human or a DJ situation, or just two people on stage. ...We reinterpret it in a way that it's the record, but then it's the record with a little more passion and energy and sweat and excitement.
At the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins, Sept. 21.