PHOTO: Jonas Bang
He has worked with Röyksopp, The Knifte, Mikael Simpson, Henrik Vibskov but tonight it’s all about Aarhus for one of the most talented danish artists. Anders Trentemøller has been touring, touring and touring and tonight his kingdom will conquer Voxhall in town! GO grab you coat and get moving down there NOW!
SOA: So Anders, how has touring with lost been so far?
T: Yeah, it’s always great to be able to play your own music. It’s one thing to sit in the studio and work on the record for 12-14 months and a completely different thing to get together with the band and play the music for a lot of different people. Not only in Denmark but a lot of other places, it’s really rewarding. I think it’s incredible.
SOA: Has the album been well received?
T: Yeah definitely! The shows have been sold out in practically every city so far. We just played some shows in… What was it? Germany, Iceland, Italy and Greece, the next show is in the Netherlands and we’ve just recieved incredibly good feedback on the album. It’s great, especially when I’ve been locked away in my studio for that long. People actually want to come out to the shows and listen to it live. Not only keeping to the album version of the music but experiencing the songs with the band as well.
SOA: You were support act for Depeche Mode on their tour. Can you tell us a bit about that?
T: Yeah, it’s been incredible! Depeche Mode was a band that I grew up with while I was a teenager, so it was kind of surreal experiencing that with some old heroes of mine. Playing in a stadium in Berlin where there was around 60.000 people standing there. That was completely surreal to me, ’cause Martin Gore’s lyrics have really meant a lot to me, the way he could write pop music with a certain kind of dark twist is something that has inspired me a lot. So it was huge to be able to play with some of my favourites. It was also really great for me to see that they we’re still doing this act and playing because they thought it was fun.
SOA: Anders, I can’t help but notice that you seem very talkative and willing to share a lot about the tour and the music. This is quite different the image most people have of you as this shy-guy who hides and works in the shadows. Have we gotten it all wrong? Give us the scoop
T: (Laughs) Yeah, I actually think it’s pretty weird. I think both me and the band are really outgoing during our shows and during interviews. I don’t really know where that idea came from but it’s probably because the music has this dark side and melancholia to it. That doesn’t mean that I go home and cry myself to sleep every night (both of us laugh at this point) and that I’m depressed all the time. But perhaps I would be a bit more sad and melancholic if I couldn’t channel my emotions through something, in my case music. People who have been to our shows know that we always go full out and give our everything. I always try to make sure that there is not only a connection between the band and me but also with us performers on stage and the audience. That way we don’t just deliver a dark and mysterious performance with the crowd just staring at us, it gets to be a thing of community. That’s very important to me.
SOA: One thing you notice about ‘Lost’ is the variation in moods. I guess you can interpret the word in a lot of different ways. Is that why you chose the title?
T: The title, as you said, is a word you can kind of play around with, you can understand both positive and negative context. I think it’s incredible how music can make people get lost in the moment and just make you let yourself go to the sound. It’s something you can experience with different types of art but music just works as a language without limits if you get me? (We got it Trente, don’t you worry). Again, as you said, there’s a variety of moods and emotions on the album, and some of them or quite contradicting, which just made the title seem fitting for the vibe of the album to me. Hopefully there’s still a silver lining throughout the thing and people are able to see the vision for the album
SOA: You’ve worked with quite a lot of artists, not only on this album, but throughout the years. How do you “translate” your studio albums into your live sets?
T: I’ts one thing to sit in the studio and produce the albums and a completely different thing to perform them live and as band, take them from studio to the stage. It’s also a whole new process, taking the 6 or 7 styles from the different vocalists on the album and working on them with my on-tour vocalist Marie Fisker. We work on the tracks and process them in a way that suits her and in a way that makes them sound almost like tracks of her own. It was very important for me that she didn’t just fully take on the sound from the other vocalists on the album. That just wouldn’t feel right to me. The goal with me in working this way was for the tracks to sound like they were written for her. We sat down with an acoustic guitar and broke the songs down to the basic and essential parts and from there we sort of made them into new tracks. That’s why some songs from the album sound completely different live and others haven’t been altered too much.
SOA: Does than mean you have any considerations about the live performances when you piece everything together in the studio?
T: No not at all. It’s important for me to separate the studio and the performance work process. When I’m working with my music I try not to keep anything but the music in mind. I don’t worry about what others would want me to do, expect or what would help the album sales. The whole challenge of the live-set just has to come later, after I’ve left my work solitude. The next step is letting the musicians in on my vision for the album. After that, I get feedback and a lot different opinions as opposed to just mulling things over by myself. That’s really exciting to me, ’cause they’re not just my backing band for the tour but are people who actually help take my music a step further.
SOA: Do you think your distinctive sound has changed? ‘Lost’ has a lot of indie elements in it and, correct me if I’m wrong no one has agreed with me so far, it’s a bit more cheerful than what you usually do? There’s not as much of a melancholic vibe to be felt.
T: (Laughs) I agree! I feel like there’s a bit more light and a sense of hope that has crept into the songs. I probably still have that melancholic feel throughout the whole the thing but it’s not as evident as previously, which was really important to me. There has to be something to guide the feel of the record in another direction. That takes us back to the duality in the album title. I think my latest record is less indie than my previous one (Into the Great Wide Yonder red.) but it definitely has some indie elements, which is probably inspired by the artists I worked with on ‘Lost’. The direction of the sound usually changes with the way I’ve been working on the tracks.
SOA: Thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule and letting us ask you these question. We look forward to seeing you in Aarhus!
T: For sure! I think the last time I performed in Aarhus was in 2006, so we are really excited!