Interview with Trentemøller: “I enjoy music”

On the occasion of Rock en Seine 2022, we met Trentemøller, the Danish prodigy of electronic music. With darkness and introspection memoriahis longest-running album, took us on board to conquer the infinite space of sounds.

Legendary producer and composer of electronic music and clubbing personality, Anders Trentemüller has been pursuing his successful solo career for fifteen years now.

Known for his personal, spacious and intense atmosphere, he shares the very dark vision of Joy Division music, Depeche Mode or Siouxsie and Banshees, which he cites regularly. During his career, he has worked with Röyksopp, Moby, The Knife, Low and many others, and founded his own brand, In My Room.

Fifteen years after the success of his album the final destination (2006), Trentemøller, who will soon turn 50, released his sixth studio album last February, memoriaWhich, far from being a pure electronic music album like his recent work, oscillates between Synthpop, Empaint, New Wave and Schwegge, and acts as a true talisman.

We met him on August 26 at the Rock en Seine Festival, in the Parc de Saint-Cloud in Paris, where he performed the same evening with his new group. Relaxed, very talkative, he told us about his European tour, his upcoming projects and his past as a kindergarten teacher.

Are you happy to play live again?

Yes, really, it’s very cute. After corona virus, all these closets were really annoying and boring for all artists. Because we wanted to go out and play our music… and when my album came out three years ago [Observe, sorti en 2019, ndlr]And that’s when the whole world stopped. Then my new album arrived this year, but many dates have been canceled or postponed, especially in Europe… Since the start of our tour this year, we’ve only had fifteen concerts since February. After Europe, we will go to North America.

Who are the artists who will be playing with you on stage tonight? Is this your usual group?

not at all ! It was started by a new band. I’ve played with the same band for the past 10 years, so I really wanted to do something completely different. And you have new energy. And I chose these people because I really love what they do. They all have their own music project, and they all come from Copenhagen – except for the singer [Disa Jakobs], which comes from Iceland. I love what this band does when we play together.
When I first started making electronic music, I didn’t like playing in groups because there were too many compromises to make. But that was sixteen years ago. Now, I’ve been playing with a band for fifteen years. On the other hand, I like the idea of ​​playing live with a band, but I prefer writing the music myself. So I’m not really with the band when I write the music.

But we’ve talked about it: Since we get along so well together, we might consider renting a house in the country and trying to write music together. Because up until now, I’ve always been writing on my own, and I really love it, but maybe it’s time to try and get out of my comfort zone, and do something new.

In addition to this latest album memoria It was completely personal to you. I’m also thinking about the fact that your partner, Lisbet Fritz, is the only singer on the album, while you’ve always worked with five or six singers usually… This also reveals how much work was more “intimate”, right?

Yes, of course. It was also very different because it was the first time I had written the lyrics and vocals for Lisbet on her own. This time, I really wanted to be in 100% control of my music. Usually when I work with a singer, she writes the lyrics and we write the tunes together. But this time, I had a lot of ideas for music!

So I decided to write the words myself, but it was scary because it was so completely new to me. And I was very hard on myself: It had to be really good. But I am very happy with the result, and it came quite easily. After a few days it got easier, I don’t think much about stress anymore. For my next album, I’ll definitely try to develop that, but maybe also write something with my band this time! I don’t know yet what I’ll do.

There are a lot of contrasting elements in your album. Moments of cool and sometimes comforting warmth, something totally icy and a little more bodied… what would you want to highlight? Is there a how-to topic in this album?

When I’m working on an album, I try not to have any plans at all. I try not to lock myself in the rules, because I feel like I also need a space where I’m allowed to make mistakes. This is also where there can be happy accidents. I have a lot of ideas and then I can choose what will end up in the album. Or something that could be fun, but I can use later, maybe for the next album! So I enjoy music.

Again, I try not to think about it too much, just be in the moment. After that, I really wanted to focus to try to write good melodies… It was very important to me that the melodic part be strong. It was also important to me that the songs be played with the acoustic guitar.

Do you think melodies are the best way to express feelings?

To be honest, I think music is the most effective way to express feelings. That’s also the magical thing about music: there are no limits. We played in China, the United States, Iceland… and we always got the same reactions from the fans. Especially with instrumental music, when you don’t need words to dictate the theme of the song.

What materials did you use for this album? Was it old or new?

It’s actually a combination of the two. I write most of my songs not with my computer in my studio, but in front of an old piano. Because I like to focus on writing songs. I try things, and I have my iPhone to record them. So I have thousands of ideas on my phone that might work.

I also have a lot of stuff I never use. and others, if I don’t save them but remember them the next day, that’s a good thing and I try to reproduce them from memory.

Many of your songs have been used in movies and series because there is something very cinematic about them. Do you intend to write movie music again?

No, not because I did it several years ago. I was writing music for a movie, and it was fun but also a lot of work. I think it took me a year. So I like to take the time to make my own music and use it in my albums. But my music was often used in films: Pedro Almodovar, Oliver Stone, Jacques Audiard used it …

It’s a lot easier for me because the song is over, but they can still use it. I don’t feel the need to do that again now. But maybe later, when I’m tired of doing what I’m doing now.

How did you want to move this album onto the stage?

I really wanted this tour to feel like I’m not playing with a band, but an entire band. I see myself as the person at the keyboards. By the way, with singer Desa Jacobs, we made a new single that’s coming out next Friday! We started playing music together and that was really good, she really brought my music into her world and it fit perfectly.

Do you still live in Copenhagen? Do you feel the Nordic environment inspires or influences what you do?

To be honest, I think I can play my music anywhere. In fact, what inspires me is not so much the city as it is nature. I remember I was once in Iceland, and I’ve been back a few times since then: it really inspired me because it’s a really different and very exciting sight. It’s like being on the moon.

It really inspired me to do something dark and dramatic. I was also there in the winter, and at that time it was great! Nature inspires me more than being in a big city. Copenhagen is very beautiful, but it does not inspire me much.

trentmoller @eva doc
I know that you also worked in a kindergarten …

Yes, that was twenty years ago! I have already done it for 7 years. It was fun, but at the same time it was very difficult… I was playing my music at the same time. But the good thing is that I only work 3 days a week. And the rest of the time, I can turn on my music. It was perfect.

Have you ever played music with them?

Yes, they were kids from 3 to 5 years old, so they were little kids. I happened to record their voices and do something different about that: it blew them away. In music, I always look for fun things. I should never feel like it’s a job or something I should do. This is also why I don’t go to the studio sometimes.

Sometimes I’m just too tired, or I just want to do something else. It mostly comes down to how I feel, and I know that’s a privilege. I no longer need a regular job to live off what I’m doing.

What is your next step with your band?

We’re going to Nijmegen, the Netherlands… Our last European concert will be in Berlin. Then we will have three weeks in Copenhagen and then go to America!

#Interview #Trentemøller #enjoy #music

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