Hotstar: It’s Ludachrist! Kill The Noise & Bro Safari Team Up At Ultra

In the late ‘90s, the underground rave scene was hitting its stride. The genre had not yet gone mainstream, with shows discovered via word-of-mouth or off flyers in corner stores. Nicholas Weiller (44, best known for his project Bro Safari) was a member of drum and bass group Evil Intent. Jacob Stanczak (43, known as Kill The Noise) was booking shows as a promoter, and describes himself as “just some guy from Rochester, New York.” He booked Weiller for a party he threw with friends, and the two hit it off. Stanczak was also looking into making music, and he and Weiller eventually decided to start a collaboration project together, called Ludachrist.

As Ludachrist, the two primarily focused on mashups with the mid-aughts resurgence of electro, and they led the project with “no rules, mashup, extravaganza,” according to Weiller.

“That was the most fun I’ve ever had working on music with somebody ever, hands down,” Weiller tells Pollstar.

They eventually parted ways, Stanczak focusing on his project Kill The Noise, and Weiller releasing trap, moombahton and dubstep as Bro Safari. Kill The Noise is represented by United Talent Agency’s Ben Hogan and Wilcox Weaver in North America. He’s managed by Blood Company’s Jeff O’Neill. Bro Safari is represented by UTA’s Ben Hogan and managed by Vector Management’s Henley Halem. Kill The Noise has 28 headline reports submitted to Pollstar Boxoffice with an average gross of $12,364. Bro Safari has 30 headline box office reports submitted, with his average grosses reaching $35,859.

While they are no longer collaborating as Ludachrist, Stanczak and Weiller describe that project as something open-ended. They maintain their free-spirited philosophy with Kill The Noise and Bro Safari. As they prepare for next week’s Ultra Music Festival, where 65k people per day are expected, the two maintain their fun-loving ethos with their new collaboration, Kill Safari.

Rather than bring back the Ludachrist moniker, they opted to combine their respective projects for this new iteration. Weiller and Stanczak say it allows their audience to know they’re the ones performing, rather than starting with a lesser-known name and building up a fanbase from scratch. With today’s social media climate, they knew their pre-existing fans would have an easier time figuring out what Kill Safari is, and that it would work better with algorithms.

“When you introduce a brand-new idea to people it’s like, okay, now we’re going back to what we’d all like to see, which is curated, human stuff going on,” Stanczak says. “Everything is algorithmically pushed, right? So, people need to try to come up with ideas that already seem like they’re exciting, which is a circumstance of the time that we’re living in. Our feeds are all algorithmic and music is all algorithmic. We’re trying to fight against that in a lot of ways. You’ve got to try to figure out how to harness the benefits of social media, and the way people think about media.”

Their first set as Kill Safari took place at SVDDEN DEATH’s Summoning Of The Eclipse that took place in the 1,200-capacity venue The Caverns in Pelham, Tennessee, from Oct. 13 to 15. They focused on Bro Safari and Kill The Noise’s back catalogs, the two figuring out the best places where their sounds collided. The set catered towards the festival’s bass-heavy audience, but Stanczak and Weiller emphasized they didn’t want to be pigeonholed into being a heavy dubstep act.

“Our set as Kill Safari is going to be an evolving thing over time,” Weiller says. “Who knows, it could end up sounding very much like Ludachrist eventually, but if it does, it’ll be a natural progression to get to that point.”

In the lead-up to Ultra, Stanczak and Weiller are preparing for what they want their second go-around to look like. They say they plan to do something entirely different than their first set at The Summoning. Rather than tell fans what to expect, they hope to revive the exciting feel of rave culture from when they first met in the late ‘90s, when people heard of things through word-of-mouth. That mindset has permeated dance music in recent years (see leadoff), encapsulating dance music in this particular day and age.

“Going back to how people listen to music and understand what’s happening, I try to remind myself that back in the day when I was just DJing and there was an underground rave scene, how did you find out what was cool? People were talking about it. I still feel that word-of-mouth is the strongest way that people find out about things,” Stanczak says.

While rehearsing for their set, they’ve been experimenting with different ways they can approach their performance. They say their main goal is to have fun, which was at the core of their original project.

“I like those ways of subverting people’s expectations, so that’s what we hope to achieve with Ultra,” Stanczak says.

Stanczak and Weiller aren’t worried about the audience’s potential expectations for their Ultra set. Both have played the festival before, with Kill The Noise taking the Ultra stage in 2013 (reported festival attendance of 330,000 over two weekends, according to Forbes) and 2022, and Bro Safari in 2014 and 2017.

“I have really fond memories of Ultra with Bro Safari sets,” Weiller says. “The crowd was so great both times I played it. They’re really open-minded. They’re there to have a good time. It’s energetic, yes. But the open-minded part of it is really great to me. They just want to hear cool music. They don’t care what genre it is, it really doesn’t matter. And I think now, in 2024 more than ever, that’s the case where genres don’t seem to matter quite as much. For someone like myself and Jake, the idea that we can get on stage together and play whatever we want is really liberating. It just makes it fun. We’re putting it together and every day I’m having a good time. I’m just looking forward to the audience itself.”

Kill Safari’s set takes place on the TBC/Worldwide stage on March 23 at 4 p.m.