My skype interview with Mr Trentemøller is set for 12:00pm. After consulting ten people, I am now almost sure about the time difference between Greece and Denmark, I've gone through my questions a hundred times, I have placed tape-recorders all over my desk just in case the skype recorder breaks down, today of all days (wouldn't be impossible with my luck…), and I'm now listening to his music to get into the right mood. Oh yes, among everything else, I must not forget to ask him, on behalf of my friend,Thodoris, about the story of 'Miss you'. I cross my self and behold...
Hello Mr Anders. Thank you very much for your time and the interview. I have a few questions but I am not a music expert so I am sorry if something is misunderstood.
Well… It’s quite a success to have already become established in the music industry before you even released your debut album ‘The Last Resort’. It sounds very difficult… How did you manage this?
But I was actually only established as someone that maybe can do some remixes, and some techno staff, so for me it was very important that I also had the chance to do my own album, and also being able to release all that music that I was also doing… that was maybe not that club-orientated you know. So for me, doing the first album was not that difficult, it was more like a natural development…I was a little bit tired of only doing house and techno and I also play a lot of indie-rock and other stuff, so it was great for me to try to release some stuff that were not so… yeah.. club-minded.
What does music offer you? I mean aside from the financial profit… What does music mean for you?
For me… it’s not about the money of course, not at all actually, it’s because music is my biggest passion, and since I was a little kid I’ve been playing the piano, the drums and I really love this thing, that you can dive into music, and music is kind of a global language, so for me music means a lot, it’s a way of expression for me. I really cannot see life without music. So music is something that is very very important… also in my daily life, I think.
You offered a new turn to the minimal techno-sound. Could you describe the so-called “special trentemoller twist”? In a few words. I mean, it sounds as something very special, alternative, unique…
Yeah… I think it is always hard to describe your own sound, but for me, I’m trying not to think too much about what it is that I’m doing. I’m just trying to make the music that I have inside my head, so for me it is about trying to make some good melodies and have something melodic, and have some dynamics in the music, also because a lot of electronic music to me is a little bit boring because it is based on loops, and it is getting a bit the same, it is repeating itself very much, and that is the sound and style, but I really listen to a lot of different music, from classical to folk to indie to electronic, and I’m trying to put all those elements into my music, and then it maybe gets this trentemoller twist…(laughs) I don’t know…
Do you like classical music?
Yes, very much, Liszt and Satie, I’m really happy about his piano works, and also newer staff like Steve Reich, there are also new composers that are doing kind of modern classical that I really love so… Philip Glass is also one of my greatest inspirations.
A number of famous artists such as the Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Moby, etc. have approached you in order to remix their singles. Could you make a distinction between them? Which one was your favorite collaboration?
There have been many that I really loved remixing. I think one of the bands that I really loved remixing was Lower Dens, one of my latest collaborations, and I really think that you know… if you know Jana Hunter, she’s the lead singer in the band, I am really happy about that remix also because I am a big fan of their music and the track Brains is really something that means something to me. I also really love remixing The Drums, this band from Brooklyn was also really fun because I think their lead singer has a really, really cool voice, and it was something that was pretty easy for me to do because I really love the music that they were doing … so yes.
You debut album ‘The Last Resort’ (2006) has been characterized as a mystical story, as a soundtrack for a movie. The song "Shades of Marble" from your second album ‘Into The Great Wide Yonder’ was played in the trailer for Pedro Almodovar's “The Skin I Live In” and in the film itself. You have also composed the soundtrack for a Danish movie “Det Som Ingen Ved”. Do you have a special thing for cinema? Do you have any favorite movie-director?
Yes, I am a big fan of Pedro Almodovar, I really love his movies, so for me it was a big honour that he was asking me to give him the rights to use my music in his movie, and it was also used for the trailer, as you said, so that was really special to me, and yes of course I am also a big fan of David Lynch, and Woody Allen, and there are really many great directors, and movies have always inspired me, also soundtracks… because my music also sometimes has this kind of cinematic feel, so of course soundtracks is something that really inspires me, also because it is without any words, it is only the music that has to kind of describe an atmosphere and a special vibe, so film music is something that I also very often listen to.
In the Roskilde Festival 2009, you performed a show in front of more than 50.000 people… Could you tell us a few things about this exquisite experience?
Yes, Roskilde was something really, really special for me to play, because it’s the biggest festival in northern Europe, and playing in Roskilde was amazing! We were playing for 70.000 people so it was really, really big. And I had been using three months to build up the whole show, and we had a lot of special design staff working on stage. Our drummer Henrik Vibskov is also a fashion designer… he was doing all the stage design for the show, so Roskilde will always be something special for me also because when I was a teenager I was always going to Roskilde festival every year to see my favorite bands. I remember that I saw the Cure on the same stage as we played. We were playing in the biggest main stage so it was really strange suddenly to be on the same stage as you were looking on when you were a little kid, so Roskilde is definitely something special for me.
You first album is much different compared to the sound of the second one which has rather indie-rock references. Your next album is supposed to be released in September 2013… What kind of expectations could we have about this new creation?
Actually, it’s funny, because I don’t think that the second album is totally different compared to the third one, but of course there are some differences, although for me it’s just a natural development to just make music that I feel like, and of course I am not doing the same music as I did two years ago, because I am also kind of developing my own taste and style, so I don’t know what the new album… what kind of style you should say it is. It’s really hard for me to say. I would just say that it is probably good quality music (laughs), and then it’s a mix of my own songs and this time I have also worked with some vocalists so it will be a mix of vocalists and some instrumental tracks. But it will not be similar to the latest album. I am always trying to make new music and trying not to repeat myself too much… I think…
Do you know the name of the album yet?
I don’t know the name yet because I am really, really bad with coming up with titles for my albums and stuff, so normally I am finding out what the title should be at the very very last moment. Last time I can remember, my record label asked for the title and they were like “you have ten minutes to come up with the title because we are going to print the album now…”, so I think that I will find out very soon… hopefully (laughs)
I have read in one of your interviews that "most of the time when you compose, you are just sitting at your piano, and not in front of a computer…” How do you approach the creation of a new song? Could you tell us a few things about the music process? Do you write the lyrics for example?
No, no, I am not writing the lyrics. It is totally up to the vocalist that I am working with because I think it is much more kind of strong and honest. It is the vocalists that have written their own lyrics so it is not something that I am dictating. It is much more… of course we can talk about what the song should be about, and what the theme is, and what the mood is, but it is definitely up to the vocalist to come up with the lyrics, so it feels right for him or her, to know, sing it, but my working process is very much in my studio and I have this old upright piano and most of the time I am sitting there, so it’s actually without the computer, but I’m just sitting at the piano, trying to make melodies and find out some nice chord-progressions, and then it’s just later that I go to the computer and try to recreate the melody that I wrote on the piano, so that is the way that I really like to work, not having the computer monitor in front of me but sitting at this old piano because it really inspires me much more.
Could you tell me the story behind the track “Miss You”? Is there a special story about this track?
Yes, it is actually a quite old track, I think it is ten years’ old, because even if it was released six years ago in my first album, it was already back then quite old. It was a track that I did very very fast, I think it was about one hour for writing it and recording it, and back then I was really having… my girlfriend had left me back then, and I was really sad, so I really wanted to make a track that kind of captures my feelings and my mood back then. So it was written in under one hour, it was recorded and then I actually didn’t work on it after that, because I was quite happy about that, it was so simple and very kind of naked, there are no beats underneath, and it is just this melody and some pads in the background, so yes, sometimes one of your best tracks is done very quickly and then you can sit for hours, or weeks, or a month trying to do a track that you know…never will work so that’s the story about ‘Miss you’.
Which song of your own do you love the most?
Yes,…so many…(laughs) of course, I am very happy about “Miss you” because that was one of the first tracks that I did, and then I am also very happy about some of the tracks from my new album, of course… but, of course, no one has heard them yet. It is always hard to tell. Because after I am doing my album, I very rarely listen to my own music, because then I am totally, you know, hooked on playing live, and when I am having a day off I always put other music on, never my own stuff. I really get tired of it, (laughs), to be honest…
Which is your biggest expectation, considering music?
For me, I don’t know if I have any goals, but the most important thing for me is just to be able to continue doing the music that I really love, and, you know, being independent, and not having a big major label telling me what to do, but really being my own chief, my own boss, and just doing the music that I feel like. It is not so important if I sell some albums or earn some money. I am only doing music because I really, really love it, and, of course, it is great if people also listen to the music, but, to be honest, it’s really a personal thing for me being able to make music, so, as long as I have the freedom to do that, I am totally happy.
Is there any hope that you will come back to Greece to play again?
Yes, it could be really, really nice! I don’t know if we have any plans, because we are going on a tour. I think it’s in November, because the album is coming out in September, so hopefully we are also coming to Greece, but I don’t know the exact tour plans yet but I’m really hoping to go back. I was playing there, a few years ago, in Athens, and it was really, really great, so it could be nice to come back.
Any message to your Greek fans?
Just that I really miss playing for you, and I’m really crossing my fingers that there might be a festival or something…. maybe a cool venue that once will have me there.
Thank you very very much for the interview…it was a pleasure and I hope everything goes super wow with your new album…
Me too (laughs.)
… And all the best .Thank you and have a nice day!
You too… bye…
INTERVIEW : Eleni Mark