Prolific DJ and producer Eric Prydz makes his Atlantic City debut at HQ.
Two-time Grammy nominee Eric Prydz is a Swedish DJ and producer who has made quite a name for himself in the popular world of Electronic Dance Music (EDM). Months before his 37th birthday, Prydz’s resume looks like that of someone three times his age. Along with his Grammy nominations — he lost out to Skrillex in the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category for his remix of the M83 track “Midnight City” this past Sunday, Feb. 10 — Prydz makes music under an assortment of monikers (including Eric Prydz, Pryda and Cirez D.), operates several recording labels, including Pryda, and hosts a widely successful podcast called “Epic Radio.”
Putting aside his long-time fear of flying, Prydz has recently relocated from Europe to Los Angeles. After a successful U.S. tour in 2012, Prydz recently announced his first U.S. residency (called “Black Dice,” which will include a slate of shows at Wynn in Las Vegas). Before that he comes to Atlantic City for an appearance at HQ Nightclub at Revel on Friday, Feb. 15. It’s a show that promises to deliver a little something different than the typical EDM show as Prydz is known to “build a mood” with his music, “controlling a crowd” without relying on the typical “easy” hit tracks and using his skills as a studio producer to create something whole and unique. Although Prydz has toured the States a few times before, this will be his first appearance in Atlantic City. He took some time to chat with AC Weekly.
(WEB EXTRA! See more from this interview following the first five questions)
Some of your songs have no names, I think I read a quote from you saying: “Just listen to it and enjoy.”
Song titles have never been important to me. I make so much music all the time, and obviously when I’m working on a track I have a project name for it, you need one so you can keep it organized. Tracks like — there’s one off my recent Eric Prydz Presents Pryda album called “Agag,” which is one of the names; it was basically me just throwing my fists at the [computer] keyboard because I was upset about something and it wrote in “Agag” so that became the project name for the track, which then, because it was there for so long, when I finally got to release the track, it felt strange to call it anything else, so that’s what it was. Another time I was at IKEA and we had this new release off of one of my labels, Pryda, and my manager was calling on the phone to tell me, “Eric, we desperately need a title for this track,” and I’m standing there in the line and they have these big boxes of the small white candles, and they were called Glimmer. So I said: “Glimmer.” It was the first thing I saw [and] that’s how it happens sometimes. I think it gets a bit pretentious sometimes when people put a little bit too much effort in the track title.
“Epic Radio,” how and where do you create those podcasts?
Up until now, we’ve been doing it from the road because I’ve been touring so much. I have a portable studio that I can take out in a hotel room or the tour bus or even at a club. With today’s technology it’s really easy, to be honest. So yeah, it’s all done on the road. I’m very rarely in the studio, only when I have tracks I feel need special attention, but usually I’m on the tour bus with a laptop and headphones.
Do you work from scraps of paper or ideas that might come to you as you’re working or traveling?
Sometimes. The music I make is all based around melody and [grooves] and tension, there aren’t really words and such. But it happens sometimes where I get this melody idea in my head and I just record it on my iPhone. There are a lot of clicks and hums from me on my voice memos (laughs). Speaking of this, I have this recurring dream that I’m in a situation and I come up with this melody and it blows me and everyone else away. This is the best piece of music ever written, and I always wake up, and I can’t remember the f***ing melody (laughs).
Will you sometimes be inspired to start working on a track from a train ride for instance, just from seeing something out the window?
Well yeah, when I was in Europe, going show to show I would use the train system there because it’s so easy to get around. You can just sit there and looking out the window you’re in the Swiss Alps and a few hours later you’re on the Spanish countryside. It’s super inspiring. A lot of the music I make on trains they are almost like a journey within themselves. I think the environment where I make music colors it a lot.
Have you ever started a track and finished it on the same journey?
Yes, many times. The whole thing, ready to go. It could take one or two hours, it could take 10 months. Sometimes you’re lucky and everything just comes natural. For me, I always work on maybe five to 10 tracks at the same time. I feel it’s very refreshing to work on something for maybe 15 minutes and then I switch to something else and I can come back to it with fresh ears.
WEB EXTRA! Read more from Jeff Schwachter's interview with Eric Prydz:
How would you describe the evolution of the DJ today, who has much more of an acceptance within the music community, getting nominated for Grammys, like you just were for the second time, and even in terms of listeners who now see DJs as artists – who have videos, have chart hits, etc.?
"It’s a great time for us, and a great time for me. I’ve never really saw myself as just a DJ, I saw myself as a performer and being technically involved. I’m in my element right now.”
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