Trentemoller Interview transcripts

Reaching a packed club is always an interesting experience, noticing the line ups and the array of attire that people sport. Venue’s Trentemøller show provided an interesting assortment of fans.

Before the set, the crowds were thick, packing around the stage and securing the best viewpoints from the balcony. Before long, Trentemøller and his band began at the Vancouver, BC club and entered into their performance filled with eclectic moods and powerful light shows.


With Trentemøller’s music, songs tend to be a lot longer than what people typically expect. Those in the audience that were unfamiliar with him, but had his music recommended by others were treated to an amazing first exposure.

Anders Trentemøller and his band have solidified a live experience unlike any other group, and the Dane has accomplished a lot having been making music in various capacities for nearly two decades now.

After the set on April 13th, 2011, I went back to have a few words with Anders Trentemøller about his forthcoming set at Coachella, how the Ultra Music Festival went and which music videos (check out “Sycamore Feeling” and “…Even Though You’re With Another Girl“) and live performers influenced him.

MVRemix: You’ve just come from the Ultra Festival, how was that and how did it compare to tonight in Vancouver?

Trentmøller: As you just saw it’s a bit more of a rocky concert combined with a sort of clubby sound, and the Ultra Festival was a lot more pure techno [with] a lot more of the other bands I think. So for us it was fun, but maybe we were not in our right element. I think it was much more fun tonight actually [in Vancouver] because it was…

MVRemix: So you prefer the smaller groups?

Trentmøller: Well not smaller, we also play really big stages. But I think that we first play more rock festivals because that fits this sound better. It was fun (the Ultra Festival), it was great; we had a good time and people had a good time. I felt that people were listening to the music a little bit more here – at Ultra it was more about dancing, and that’s fine. But it feels sometimes that you feel you can play whatever and it’s just [raises his arms like a fist thumping raver]…

MVRemix: What sort crowds were you played to at Ultra?

Trentmøller: It was definitely more clubbers and more commercial maybe. Yeah, but it was fine…

MVRemix: Going from that, how is this going to translate with Coachella? Are you going to be doing more of an Ultra type vibe or more like what Vancouver saw tonight?

Trentmøller: I think we’re only going to play 50 minutes, so we actually have to take out a lot of tracks that we played tonight – we played 1 1/2 hours tonight. But I think that we will definitely play the tracks that are more indie kind of sound. I’m not trying to fit too much to what people expect. I really like to surprise people a little bit and just play whatever we feel is right in the moment. We can always change the set-list during our show, and we often do that. It will really depend on how the crowd is.

MVRemix: When you make your music is your sound planned out? Because your soundscapes vary a lot. Is it something that you come up with on the day or is it something you go into planned and with rigorously thinking through?

Trentmøller: When we’re recording it, no, I don’t really have any plans. It’s always very loose and I just do whatever feels right and sounds cool. I don’t really plan too much. It’s much more of what I feel is right in the moment. Of course there’s a lot of layers in the music, but I try to still have this kind of spontaneous attitude to it so it still sounds a bit fresh. I still like also when I’m listening to albums to go back on the fourth of fifth time that you’re listening to that album, you suddenly find new details and new layers that you maybe didn’t hear the first time you were listening to the album. I’m trying to put that into the music also.

MVRemix: Do you create a specific ambience when you create your music? I’d read that you don’t want to be under the influence of alcohol or anything else – you want to be very sober when you do it…

Trentmøller: Yeah, actually because I think when I’m sober when I make music, I’m still on a trip. Because music takes me on these trips, but still I try not to think too much about the whole process because if I think too much about it I might feel a bit of pressure and trying to do what people would expect or something… I don’t know. So I’m just trying to let music talk. Just.

MVRemix: I’ve also read about your different influences movie wise, do they play a role with regards to making your music. I know you’re a Lars Von Trier and David Lynch fan, do you ever watch their films and try and make something after that?

Trentmøller: [wincing] Yes, sort of. Not always. I’m inspired by soundtracks because instrumental music can do something that music with lyrics cannot do. It’s very open and you don’t have an illusion, so to speak, to think what you should feel. Making instrumental music makes it possible to make your own inner movie in a way. Sometimes I make my music to a soundtrack that is not existing… [correcting himself] to a non-existent movie.

MVRemix: A la “Fight Club” “If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight”?

Trentmøller: [ponders] As a joke? Someone that I would really smash? If “Fight Club” was recorded in the 80’s maybe Ronald Reagan? He was a Hollywood star, wasn’t he?

MVRemix: Yeah he was

Trentmøller: That could be a possibility.

MVRemix: The main question is though, would you win?

Trentmøller: Of course I would.

MVRemix: Your music videos are always really interesting to watch. Which are the music videos that really influenced you?

Trentmøller: I think that I’m not that much inspired by music videos, but much more cinema or art. This guy who has done my latest video for “Sycamore Feeling” is a really good video artist and I’ve been a big fan of his work for the last three years. He’s called Jesper Just. He’s Danish, but he has done some really, really cool stuff and it has this sometimes a bit like David Lynch. I know it’s a cliche. But the video has these many layers to it so you can watch it as a… Sometimes he does some work that nearly looks like a Hollywood movie, but it has some really real layers underneath. So this subconscious is a really big part of his work and it’s something that I really like. I cannot really point out one specific music video that I loved.

MVRemix: That makes sense.

Trentmøller: Maybe actually if we talk about a simple music video, if you’ll remember the “Unfinished Symphony” (Massive Attack) it’s one big, long take and that’s simple stuff. Also Fatboy Slim did a video with some people dancing in an airport. I think that something that has a very simple idea is something that often works. What’s better than a big Michael Jackson budget? A Hollywood music video…

MVRemix: Which shows influenced the way you perform? Are there any artists that influenced you?

Trentmøller: I think then I have to actually bring in my guitar player [Trentmøller beckons in Mickael Simpson, his guitarist/bassist] I think Mikael can best explain it.

[Trentmøller gets up to grab a drink]

Mikael Simpson: You’re not leaving me with this! What was the question? Sorry. I’m the guitarist.

MVRemix: Which are the artists that have really introduced you to these live experiences?

Mikael Simpson: I’m not sure…

Mikael Simpson: For me, I’ve got nothing to say in the [Trentmøller] project. But for me it was bands like Spiritualized. I know that Trentmøller

Trentmøller: I’m too young, even if I’m older than you…

[Both Mikael and Trentmøller begin cracking up at clearly an inside joke, with drink in hand Trentmøller then rejons]

Mikael Simpson: Can I just say something? The cameraman on the “Unfinished Symphony” video that Trentmøller’s talking about is actually the cameraman that recorded the whole of “Twin Peaks.”

MVRemix: Oh really?

Mikael Simpson:Serious. Yeah.

Trentmøller: I didn’t know that. That makes sense.

Mikael Simpson: And the whole thing about the “Unfinished Symphony” video that we really like, well I think it’s the only thing that we really both like, is that you can’t see the reflection of the cameraman in the window.

MVRemix: I never noticed that actually.

Mikael Simpson: Check it out.

MVRemix: Are you working on any remixes at the moment?

Trentmøller: Recently I did a remix for UNKLE, and they also remixed me. It will be out very soon. That was a very cool remix that they did. Now I’m concentrating on touring. This UNKLE remix is actually possible to download for free for two weeks more, then it will be out on iTunes. It’s a track called “The Answer” and it’s free when you go to UNKLE’s website, you can download it there.

MVRemix: Do you have any last words to your fans?

Trentmøller: To just say that we had a beautiful night tonight and the [Vancouver] crowd was perfect. For us it was the first show on our US and Canada tour and it couldn’t be a better start. It was really great.

For the video version of this interview, click here

Trentmøller is currently touring North America, dates include:

4/21 – USA, Chicago, IL, The Mid
4/22 – Canada, Toronto, Mod Club
4/23 – Canada, Montreal, Le National
4/24 – USA, Brooklyn, NY, Music Hall of Williamsburg
4/25 – USA, Boston, MA, Royale

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