For those unfamiliar with Anders Trentemøller, we’re huge effing fans. Generally considered an electronic musician, the music of Trentemøller definitely jumps around and in between formally defined musical genres. His produced tracks provide low-key, sweeping sounds and incorporate melancholy vocals and western rock instrumentation. The result is a perfectly blended sound that gives off a haunting vibe, like something that you’d put on on rainy days and during dark, contemplative moments (“Miss You” is one of my favorite tracks). Not to say, though, that Anders is a one-trick pony. He also has a few tracks that kick the tempo up a bit. With funky background synths and constant drum kicks, it’s stuff that would appeal to the darker raver dwelling within our recesses (see: “Into the Trees: Serenetti Part 3”).
And then to top it off, the artist tours with a full-sized band consisting of two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer, with Trentemøller himself jumping between synth & percussion duties. With only the first quarter of 2011 having elapsed, it’s already been a pretty big year for Anders and the band. Riding the coattails of a successful March 2010 album release, Trentemøller has already played across multiple countries and at varying show sizes this year, with some of the biggest being Ultra Music Festival and Coachella next week.
Amidst all the active flurry and controlled chaos, the man behind the music, Anders Trentemøller, was able to sit down with us and answer a few questions post-UMF. We were delighted to tap his brain for a bit!
So you’ve recently done a few shows in Mexico and of course Ultra Music Festival in Miami. How were those shows?
It was very fun. Really wild because it was the first time we’ve ever played in Miami, and the monitor mix caught on fire! The audience was a great mix of people too. Techno fans, indie fans, and ravers together.
How was Ultra? With the sold-out crowds, it must have been a wild time.
It was really lively. The music seemed to be well accepted.
Did you get to see or experience much of Miami while you were out there?
Actually we went to the beach on the same day that we played. I got to see a little bit of the beach life there, but no, we didn’t have too much time. When the show was over, we had a great after party on the band bus, but I guess that’s not seeing Miami. (LAUGHS)
What’s coming up in the next few months for your tour?
We will be going to Canada and the US, playing LA, San Francisco, New York, and smaller cities as well. It will be great to be back in the tour bus and see every city. It’s really interesting to me to see how the music changes from the first show to the very last one on tour. Throughout the tour we are developing the music, and it’s always exciting to see how it changes.
Where did you find your band members? Did you conduct an open audition?
They are all part of the Copenhagen music scene, and they are all my friends. We’ve been playing together for a while, and they are all connected to me in some way. My drummer, Jacob, plays with the Raveonettes, which is great because they are one of my favorite bands. The music scene in Copennhagen is tight-knit. The singer is my girlfriend’s little sister.
Please talk to us about Coachella. What can we expect to hear from Trentemøller’s set at this year’s festival?
We are playing only one album. I will definitely play a more dynamic set than in Miami or Mexico. I think it is possible to do that at a festival like Coachella. It’s going to be a really visual experience. We build up the stage with all kind of visuals for a 3-dimensional effect. We were touring that way in Europe, and now we have the opportunity to show the same thing to people at this festival!
Have you ever attended anything like Coachella where you’ve camped out?
I’ve camped out at Danish festivals, which I think are a bit wilder. I camped out at the Rokslide festival when I was a teenager, and now I’ve played it about 5 times.
I recall you saying that you’re extra excited for Coachella? Why is that?
For me, it’s a legendary festival. My favorite artists and bands have played there. I’m really grateful to have the chance to perform there as well.
We’d like to know a little more about your creative process when you remix a song. Do you usually have the melody in your head first or the drumlines?
The most important thing for me when I remix a song is that I try to take it in a completely different direction than it is. I pull something from the song that catches my attention, whether it be a hook line or interesting guitar riff. I like to take a remix to a new place. Building it up and then breaking it apart again. If it’s a quite pumping track, I think it’s interesting to make it quiet and just transform it into the opposite of what it was.
Could you give us some insight into your musical background (classical training, when you first started DJ’ing, etc.)?
Dj’ing is not really a big part; I’ve only been doing that for the last 5 years. I think when I was a kid I didn’t really care much for recess, and I stayed in and played piano. My teacher heard me play and encouraged me. It was the first thing I realized I was actually good at. I played with several bands growing up and then explored electronic music and bought my first sampler. I decided to take the risk and start making music on my own. It’s always been something I’ve been really passionate about.
What’s your favorite song or remix that you’ve produced?
That is difficult to say, but I am very happy with my newest remix by Unkle, “The Answer.”
Which do you prefer, DJ’ing or playing live?
Playing live. Definitely.
Can you give us 6 words or phrases that would describe you?
-Impulsive (when it comes to music)
Thanks Anders. Best of luck with Coachella and your upcoming tour!
To listen to one of his singles from the album Into the Great Wide Yonder, just press play!
For more on Trentemøller: