It’s been awhile since we first spoke to innovative Danish producer/songwriter/artist Anders Trentemøller. For that interview, we talked about his musical background, personal life, and what his upcoming plans through the spring and summer festival season would be. With fall here and the cold Denmark winter months approaching, Anders allowed us to tap his brain again for some insight on the work he’s been doing, namely the release of his Reworked/Remixed album, a mega-stacked, two-disc compilation of his favorite remixes for other artists and some of his own tracks that have have been remixed by other producers.
Trentemøller’s LA debut performance is tomorrow, October 27th, at The Music Box. Doors are 7pm. Set at 10pm. Xylos and Summer Twins will be opening. Tickets are available through Goldenvoice promotions.
Anyway, here’s the interview!
Hi Anders. It’s good to speak with you again. Any updates you can provide to us since the last we spoke? How was Coachella for you?
It was fantastic! It was one of our best gigs that we had our last time that we were touring.
And your summer schedule, have you been doing a lot of touring or has it mostly been studio time?
We’ve been doing a lot of festival gigs in Europe. I think we did 20 different festival gigs, so we were pretty busy. I haven’t had time to work in the studio, but after this US tour, I’ll go back to the studio to work on my next album.
Last time you told us you were extra partial to your remix of “The Answer” by Unkle. Does it still remain your favorite track of this album?
Yes, it’s still one of my favorites because there was a bit of a funny story about this remix. It was done around the last time that we toured in Europe, about a year ago. I was past my deadline for it, and the only way I could do the remix was on my laptop on the tour bus. It’s the only one that’s done purely on headphones on a laptop on the bus, which is why I made it simple and easier to mix.
A lot of the tracks on the album definitely project a more somber mood. How reflective is that to your personality when you’re working on music?
People often tell me that my music has this melancholic vibe. It’s not something I really think about when I’m doing music. I don’t walk around being sad all day! Those blue vibes and feelings are just more appealing to me when I’m trying to sit down and write music. Even if it’s uptempo and has a club thing going on, it’s still often blue and mellow. It’s not something I plan; it’s just how I make music.
My personal favorite is the Modeselektor “The White Flash” remix with Thom Yorke. The percussion on this track is just intense. Could you give us some insight on how you constructed this particular piece?
It’s often the same way as when I start on a new album. I don’t really have a plan for where I’m going with it. It was the same thing with this remix as it is with many others. I just simply start with the vocals. It was fantastic to work with Thom Yorke’s vocals, of course. I build it up from there and try to build up something around his voice and change the chords, the way the bass played and putting together a more steady groove because it has a dubstep vibe to it and I wanted it to build up to a climax for the dance floor. It wasn’t something I knew before I started this remix, but it very often happens when I’m inspired. This happened sitting with their vibes working with it.
What about the percussion and rhythm parts (and this goes for your more rhythm-based tracks as well)? Do you go through instrumentation bit by bit, or do you work with a big picture in your head of how you’d like a track to sound?
It’s a bit of both. I’m always doing what feels right at the moment, but I look at the whole picture too and what is or isn’t necessary in the mix. It’s important for me to take out elements that I don’t think are needed. That’s usually the last step in the process, and it’s quite difficult. I feel like I end up taking away 60% of the mix in the end, but it seems to work out to how I like it that way.
How about instrumentation selection for an electronic-heavy track like that. Do you prefer working with presets and modifying or creating your own sounds?
I never use presets because I don’t like most of the ones that synthesizers or samplers use. I’m always doing my own sounds. That way I can master how it sounds because I’ve got some kind of idea of how the sound should be. It’s much easier for me to go straight to my synthesizer and incorporate bass, guitar, and real drum elements. It’s never something that’s prefabricated.
What’s next for you in the upcoming months?
After the tour, we’re going to do 3 final shows in Denmark and then I’m going to focus on writing material for the next album. That’s my main goal. I have 4 or 5 sketches/ideas so far. I have some ideas on my laptop, but they’re skeletons right now. When I finish this tour, I’m going to work on 9 or 10 tracks.
Anything else you’d like to share with the fans about your upcoming LA show?
We are really looking forward to playing a whole set in a venue since our set at Coachella could only be 50 minutes and we weren’t allowed to do a proper LA show. Now we’re performing for 1.5 hours, so we’re excited to play the more experimental stuff that people couldn’t hear previously without it being a full set. We’re all really looking forward to doing that in a proper venue in LA. We have one new track we’re trying for the first time, and a few of them have changed a bit since the last tour. It’s going to be fun to try those new songs out!
For more information on Trentemøller, check out his Facebook Page!