Blende Interview: We Talk Swedish Pop, Remixing & Time Travel + Free Villa Download
Today marks the release of Blende’s ‘Fake Love’ EP via Eskimo Recordings. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that his latest EP is probably one of the best we’ve heard in 2012. While the world seems to be going crazy for one-dimensional EDM, producers like Blende show a different side to electronic dance music.
Sure it shares a lot with its American counterpart; it’s loud, brash and in-your-face, but his productions never fall into any of the obvious EDM traps of being one-dimensional, cheesy or bland. Somehow the Swedish producer manages to navigate the minefield of throwaway hooks, obvious drops and bland production to create something genuinely exciting.
We caught up Blende to ask him some questions about Sweden, time travel, who he is working with at the moment and whether he has plans to make a Blende album. It went a little something like this…….
HBF: Sweden has always had amazing pop stars; whether it’s ABBA, The Knife or Robyn. What’s the music scene like in your native Sweden? Are you a big Abba fan? What do you think is the secret behind Sweden’s pop success?
Although I’ve only lived in Sweden sporadically since the 90s, these days it seems to be a all about the big room house sound from what I’ve noticed. I do find it a bit hard to call it just house though as it’s not the kind of house music I know and often has got more in common with trance from back in the day, but then again I suppose it’s evolved like everything else always does. I can definitely see the appeal for people, but I’m not that into it myself so can’t really comment much on it either.
When it comes to Abba I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan, but they’re definitely something to be proud of, being Swedish. I actually took on a remix not too long ago for the son of Benny Andersson’s band, just because it was him, haha. It’s probably as close as I’ll ever get to do a remix for them, unless they reunite and then ask me to do one.
Ultimately I do think it’s down to Abba’s success though why people look at Sweden as, and respect them for, being a leading nation when it comes to creating pop music. And within the electronic music scene I think the success is down to it being a rather small country, population wise at least, and people help each other out. There’s less competitive mentality than I feel there is in the UK for example.
HBF: You’ve moved to London, what was the reason behind this?
Actually I lived in Stockholm for a year in 2001 and also in 2004, but been in London other than that, since. I initially moved because of studies, but eventually got into the music scene as I realised what I was studying was not for me. The subject was actually music management, so the step wasn’t too far, anyway I sucked at doing management so it was a good thing I didn’t stick with it. It’s better for me to live here, it’s easier to get everywhere when travelling and it’s also a lot more exciting as a city compared to Stockholm.
HBF: What was your interest in music before developing “Blende.” Did you have prior experience in other genres of music? Did you ever try and make Dubstep?
I’ve been doing music as Blende for quite a long time actually; a lot longer than people seem to think. I suppose its been a slow grower. I used to make quite noisy bangers back in 06-07, but eventually got bored and moved on to making what I’ve always been into – but was never confident enough to make – disco and funk-like music. Dubstep was not around when I started making tracks, back then it was called garage or hip-hop even. But no, never liked it much, and never really got it. Having said that I do like garage and hip-hop. But what I perceive as dubstep these days is just plain awful. It’s noisy and melodies are all over the place and too much going on sonically – it just gives me a headache. Each to their own, I guess.
HBF: You have definitely established yourself as a go-to remixer. Are you working on any remixes, originals or collaborating with any other producers right now?
Yeah, remixing have always been my thing, most of my fans in the past have been from within the industry so maybe that could be a reason why. The one I can mention at the moment as it should be coming out soon is one I’ve done for my friends Rebecca & Fiona. Not sure exactly when, but it shouldn’t be too long until it’s out. But there are others as well in the works, I’ll announce them as soon as I have the release dates. I try and not to take too many on at the moment as I want to focus on original works as that bit often suffers due to me doing too many remixes.
For originals I’ve got loads in the works now though, I’ve started planning a follow up to ‘Fake Love’ and got a few ideas that I think will be really good, all I need is to find the right vocals for them, or I might just keep one or two instrumental. Nothing has been set in stone just yet. Also I’m doing a collaboration with this new Turkish artist Surrender, which I think you might have heard of already. I’m very excited about that as all tracks we’ve done so far are sounding rather good, even if I do say so myself.
HBF: What’s the first thing someone should do/visit when they arrive in Stockholm?
If it’s during winter, take first flight out of there, haha.
HBF: If your studio was on fire and you could go in a save one thing, what would it be and why?
My laptop, without a doubt. Or if I had backed everything up just before the fire, then just the backup hard drive. I’ve got a fear of someone stealing my laptop actually, not because of the value of the machine but for what’s on there, would just feel like it’s irreplaceable. And I’m always rubbish at backing stuff up.
HBF: Are there plans to do a Blende album, if so what would that be like?
No plan, no. Would be great to do one, but if you want to make a great album it would be very time consuming, so I wouldn’t do it unless a label approached me with a reasonable advance to do one as I can’t see how I’d make it work financially otherwise. I have been approached to do one a couple of times in the past but it just wasn’t financially viable. But who knows, might happen at some point soon.
HBF: What’s you favourite dance album and pop album?
Oh, that is almost impossible to answer. I’m going to say dance albums on both as there are too many good pop albums, dance music albums are easier to narrow down. Actually, I’ll say Metro Area’s ‘Metro Area’ for dance album and Daft Punk’s ‘Discovery’ for pop, as it is a pop album, really. Or vice versa, whichever works best.
HBF: If you were Marty Mcfly and you could go back in time and remix one song, what would it be and why?
If I could go back in time I wouldn’t bother remixing, I’d play the winning numbers on the lottery! In fact, isn’t that what Biff did? Can I be Biff?
HBF: You can be Biff.
HBF: When can we expect more of your edits? What the perfect type of track to try and edit?
Don’t really know at the moment, I started doing those for my own pleasure to have and play at gigs, but eventually decided to share some of them. There are a bunch of songs I’ve thought of doing an edit of, but for now it’ll just be for my own sets. The perfect track is probably something that is almost a dance track but just need that little push to become a club track – and that’s where I come in.
To celebrate the release of ‘Fake Love’, which is out today, the fine folks at Eskimo Recordings are giving away the ridiculously amazing remix from Belgian disco duo Villa.
Direct download link -> http://soundcloud.com/
Buy the EP now here: http://itunes.apple.com/album/fake-love-remixes-ep/id558510291