10 Questions with ... Eric Prydz
February 23, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1) Earlier this month, your first artist album came out, called, "Opus" ... when we think of Opus, we think of a composer -- Beethoven, Bach -- where does the album name Opus come from?
When we decided to put a name on this album, we named it after the title track, which is "Opus" the track. I thought it made sense for many reasons. One would be that it's a brand new track, for me it really feels like the culmination of everything I've been doing, especially on the album; the tracks are made for the album that has been leading up to that point, so it made sense for me to name the album OPUS. Also, you know it's going to irritate a few people, and it might make them think is this his magnum Opus? So you know it's fun to annoy people sometimes. It's a cool name though ... Opus. I like it.
2) I read on your Facebook page that writing, and compiling the album was a very challenging process for you. What was the biggest challenge?
I think the biggest challenge is to narrow it down to the final track listing. Starting out, we were looking at hundreds of tracks, and then trying to determine that some tracks had to go. The closer you get to the final product, the harder it is. You have all these tracks that you love, and then you have to make the decision that maybe this fits better with that title, etc. It's a hard process, I have to say; it really is. But I'm really happy with the final result; I'm super-happy about it as an album.
3) You mentioned you started out with a hundred songs or tracks that could be on the album; you end up with 19. How hard is it? Do you take the fan feedback that you think they'd want to hear in the midst of this album?
Obviously, I do hear and read what the fans have to say, but it's individual fans, not like you get a group of a thousand people saying the same thing. Throughout my career, the decisions that I've made musically, and with my shows, with all the direction, like with my record companies and stuff like that, I always try and listen to myself. I try to please myself and make things I can stand for and that feels right to me. It really has worked for me over the years. Compiling this album is no exception. I wanted to make an album that makes sense to me, and I do feel confident in that if it makes sense to me, it's going to make sense to other people as well. Not everyone. People who are in tune with what I do musically, we kind of feel the same thing when we listen to the tracks. The feeling I had when I made the track is the same that they get when they listen to it. Obviously it worked. People love the album, from the initial feedback, so yea.
4) The current radio single is "Breathe" featuring Rob Swire; how did you end up teaming up with Rob?
The track "Breathe" was made as an instrumental, then we were making a vocal demo on top of it and when we listened to it, it really sounded like Rob Swire, but obviously Rob Swire would've sounded much better than what we had, so we asked him to play on the track and if he wanted to come on board and do the track with us. He loved it and he recorded it, adding some of his own personal touched to the track as well. The result is like ... I love it! It's a great track. I'm very happy to have it on the album.
5) You are on your Epic 4.0 tour. Can you tell us about it?
I can tell you that I'm kind of terrified at the moment. You know, where we're sitting down now, it's Thursday, and the first show is tomorrow in New York, one of three nights in a row; it's like 24 hours away ... Epic as a concept is very large-scale production and everything is done live -- not only the music, and so many things that can go wrong. It also can go much more right if everything is preprogrammed. I'm stressed but also super-excited about it.
6) Are you as stressed as when you did Madison Square Garden? Or is this a different kind of stress?
It's the same. It's not really about the venue; it's more about me getting it right and everyone else getting it right. There's so much work and preparation that go into the show from the whole team, and every one is feeling the stress. They're super-excited as well. After the first show, it's going to feel better. Then we do the second and third one and we go off to the West Coast to do two shows in LA, and then two shows in San Francisco.
7) From the New York, L.A., San Francisco dates, we fast-forward to March where you'll do Ultra [Festival] and you're also doing a day club the day before Ultra. What's the biggest difference for your fans in doing a day club, which may be a limited amount of people, versus Ultra, which is a tremendous [100,000] amount of people?
Well, you have the classic nightclub theme going on there. I love doing festival and doing clubs. I do feel that in a club environment, it's a more intimate place to play and obviously you can play a type of music that doesn't make sense in a big festival with 40,000 people. That's the thing I love about doing them. A big contrast - two very, very different kinds of sets. I'm building this band in a few days in Miami. Very much looking forward to that. That's going to be really cool.
8) Do you prefer one over the other? Or are they both equally important?
That's hard to say; they're so different. Doing festivals is great fun because you go in there and the energy is finished on a high. You have to go on that high and carry it through and maybe take it up a little more. You have the next one and the next one. Festivals are festivals. You don't [go] there and play for an hour or an hour-and-a-half and take people on a journey. That's not what festivals are about. Whereas in a night club, that's exactly what it's about. Taking people on a journey and you get more time to do your thing.
9) Talk about taking people on a journey, throughout your travels, what would your fans be surprised to hear you're listening to?
Well, I don't listen to music when I travel because I am too busy making music - it's when I have the time, now, for example, we took a tour bus straight from L.A. to New York, and it took about 50 hours. It's the perfect opportunity for me, with no distractions or anything, to sit down, I have my lil' studio set up, and just make new music.
10) A lot of your music has a lot of Classical elements, very orchestral. Growing up, were you a fan of Classical Artists? What did you listen to?
No, I didn't listen to any Classical music when I was a kid. Basically, anything. I mean, I grew up in the '80s and '90s, and my mom had a big music interest. She loved to go out dancing and stuff like that. Loads of Disco, also a lot of Italo music, and I found my own way through the whole Break-dance movement in the '80s that came to Sweden with this newly fresh electronically made music that really sparked my interest in the electronic side of music. I started listening to bands like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Alphaville, Erasure, even Madonna and all these bands ... they definitely made a mark on me.
When you started 10, 15 years ago ... and fast-forward to now, how has social media allowed you to get your music out there, or interact with your fans?
The whole Internet thing revolutionized the whole thing for any business, or any artist, or anything you want to make people aware of certain things. These days I can just make a post online, and it reaches millions of people and I think, fantastic! When you think about it, it's crazy!