HigherFrequency  DJ Interview

JAPANESE INTERVIEW

Trentemoller Interview

ďThe most important thing is to believe in your own sound and not to listen too much to what the top DJs are playing or whatís hip right now. Just make the music that you feel yourself and try not to listen to other people telling you what style you should do.Ē

6 years after he quit club culture to become a kindergarten teacher, Anders Trentemoller sits right at the top of the dance scene, both as a DJ, producer and remixer to the stars (including the likes of Royskopp, Moby and the Pet Shop Boys. However, following his newfound maxim, his debut album ĎThe Last Resortí is anything but dancey, instead pursuing a cinematic, almost ambient vibe, at least compared to his dance tracks.

ďI was quite aware as soon as Pokerflat asked me to do an album that I wasnít going to do a simple dance album with 13 pumping dance tracks because I wanted to do something for listening to at home or in your Ipod rather than on the dance floor,Ē he explains.

ďIt was also important for me that the whole album told a story from the first track to the last track so I could lead the listener on a journey.Ē

Aiming the record at Ďall you dreamers, lovers and spacers out thereí, Anders admits heís exposed himself fully on the record, reflecting Ďmy life, my thoughts, my needs, my insecureness, my longingsí, though, perhaps wisely, heís kept it entirely instrumental. The result will disappoint DJs, though as heís quick to point out- ĎI donít care what DJs think of ití.

> Interview & Introduction : Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

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Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff) : Do you find it trickier making these instrumental emotional songs compared to club tracks?

Trentemoller : Some of these tracks were actually easier because they were much more personal as there were less limits. When youíre making dance and techno tracks you always need to consider the DJs placing 16 bars at the beginning of tracks for example, whereas for this album I had total freedom to do whatever I liked. Then again this is my debut album so I was also conscious that I wanted to do it as well as I could.

Skrufff : Are you more enthusiastic about music made for listening to compared to dance music?

Trentemoller : Yeah, because there are many more layers in this kind of music. Dance music is functional; itís made to get people dancing whereas with this kind of music you can express far more feelings, such as melancholy. Thereís also more potential for expressing emotion than there is in a dance record, I canít see why youíd put melancholic emotions in a dance track as people donít want to feel sad when theyíre dancing.

Skrufff : Speaking from a DJing perspective, I would have loved to have 10 more dance floor killers...

Trentemoller : Iím not making music for DJs, this album was made from my heart, much more than my dance music. Because making dance music involves more workmanship in a way while this was much more personal to me, if people are disappointed, I donít care.

Skrufff : I read about you taking a break from music in 2,000, what did you do in that period?

Trentemoller : I was actually having writerís block and I was not satisfied with my own sound, I decided all my tracks sounded terrible. I was actually afraid to even go near my computer for two years, because somehow I lost my inspiration. A lot of things happened in my life. Slowly after two years I began making music on my computer then after two years suddenly one of my older tracks ended up being signed by Naked Music. That was a bad period in my life, those two years.

Skrufff : Did you lose your confidence?

Trentemoller : It was a combination of losing confidence and also some personal issues, in a way I felt that I was beginning to repeat myself musically so when I look back I think taking a break was a good thing for me because I had some kind of wake-up call. Having that two year break made me start trusting my own sound. Because even during that period I was still listening to a lot of music and thinking about it a lot of the time.

Skrufff : Did you get a regular job?

Trentemoller : Yeah, I was actually working in a kindergarten as a part time job just to earn some money. The children were from 3 to 6 years old, I was making some drum sessions with them, with bongo drums.

Skrufff : Did you other teachers know of your DJ life?

Trentemoller : No, I never told them about it as it was a whole different atmosphere and world to my kindergarten. I stopped because I started DJing again and made some money from the Naked tracks and things suddenly exploded and I was able to make a living from music.

Skrufff : On your press release you talk about expressing your insecurities in the music, are you confident today about doing that?

Trentemoller : Yeah. Iím very proud of this album. Normally when I make music I rarely go back and listen to it again once Iíve finished it whereas with this album I can still enjoy it. Iím very happy that Iíve finally got the chance to show people that I can make lots of different styles of music, that Iím not only a techno/ house producer. Iíve actually always made this kind of music Iíve just never released it before.

Skrufff : In an ideal world, if the album does well beyond your wildest dreams, would you give up dance music altogether?

Trentemoller : No, Iíd still make dance tracks, Iím still interested in making all sorts of music, whether itís techno or whatever., as long as it has my sound.

Skrufff : Youíre associated frequently with the minimal tag, Christian from Ame told us recently heís bored of minimal...

Trentemoller : Iím also getting bored of it, but Iíve always been a bit bored of it. Some people have said that my music is minimal but Iíve never seen it as minimal. With my dance tracks Iíve always tried to add layers and small details making the track develop and that is not quite what I think of minimal as being. I also think that the minimal scene needs a fresh kick.

Skrufff : Youíve stayed based in your hometown of Copenhagen, did you ever consider relocating, for example to Berlin?

Trentemoller : Iím very happy living here in Copenhagen, itís a small city with big city qualities and you can walk from one end to the other in one hour and bump into people you know. I could live somewhere else for a year but Iím quite happy to stay here as a base.

Skrufff : Are you hoping to perform your music live?

Trentemoller : Yeah, though not right now. Iím more concentrating on my next album so maybe later, for example next summer at festivals because playing this album in a club setting wouldnít work. Itís not for dancing though as festivals where people listen it could work.

Skrufff : Youíve had loads of success with remixes and your own productions in the last two years, how much has this success helped you handle your insecurities?

Trentemoller : I donít think success has made much difference for me itís been more about working for myself and also actually doing this album because itís been like a therapy, because I had the chance to express some of the feelings that Iíve had with music. Even if that sounds weird; it was a way for me to get some of my emotions out of my body.

Skrufff : Looking back to when you quit the business for two years, what should people do to avoid making the same mistakes?

Trentemoller : The most important thing is to believe in your own sound and not to listen too much to what the top DJs are playing or whatís hip right now. Just make the music that you feel yourself and try not to listen to other people telling you what style you should do. Itís also helped me enormously to start believing in my own sound, thatís the key.

End of the interview


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