Kategoriarkiv: Interviews

Interview: Above & Beyond

It’s HERE! The long awaited interview with Tony McGuinness and Jono Grant from Above & Beyond bejbi.se, together with Viktor Kidson did, earlier this year when they visited Sweden on the Scandinavian leg of their We Are All We Need-tour.

CONNECTION. If one word sums up the phenomenon of Above & Beyond then that is surely it. Whether it’s the thousands of A&B fans singing their lyrics back at them at gigs from Beirut to Brixton, or the millions that tune in for their weekly Group Therapy radio show, connection – real human connection – is at the heart of all things that define Above & Beyond.

Above & Beyond find themselves embedded at the heart of their fans’ lives. Some walk down the wedding aisle to their songs, others ink their bodies with their lyrics, often a proud couple will choose to get engaged at one of their gigs. All that pledge their loyalty to them are moved in a way that goes beyond most electronic music out there.

Above & Beyond is Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamaki and their story is one of constant movement. From their early days as hotly tipped producers to their current global standing, Jono, Tony and Paavo have remained as down-to-earth and determined as ever – always focused on the next goal. Over their 13-year history, this dedication has continually paid off.

We caught up with Tony and Jono right before their gig in Stockholm. We get a deep down, intimate chat with them about their music, and how it feels to create something that touches hearts all over the world. Ours included.

Learn how they see and love the ’Anjunafamily’, and how they don’t produce for people but somehow manage to produce with people. Get a view on their careers before they were Above & Beyond, how both Jono and Tony were in different bands. And how Tony still is! Find out what the music sounds like.

In the summer of 2013 Jono, Tony & Paavo launched another bold musical project, Above & Beyond Acoustic. Rewriting a selection of their back catalogue for a 15 piece ensemble, complete with a full string section, a harp and even a broom, they sold out three intimate shows at the impressive Porchester Hall in London, and in October 2013 will bring Above & Beyond Acoustic to Los Angeles.

Find out how frightening that really was. And what they have planned for the future.

And like just about everything they turn their attentions to, it is a labour of love as well as a collaboration of the trio’s energies. De La Soul weren’t wrong. Three really is the magic number: and in Above & Beyond’s case the magic is spreading faster than ever before.

Bejbi.se & Kidson Media Production presents Above & Beyond!

Interview, research & article: Viktor Kidson, Kidson Media Production
Production & editing: Patric Franksson, www.bejbi.se
Sound: Lars Johnsson, www.bejbi.se

Thank You Jono & Tony of Above & Beyond.

Also thanks to:
Universal Music
Caroline International
Stockholm Waterfront Building





If you want to see the pictures Patric took during the concert, check them out here

News: Bejbi.se & Kidson Media interview with Above & Beyond

So, if a record company calls you and ask you if you want to do an interview with one of your highest ranked groups in music, what do you answer?
Of course Patric, from bejbi.se, answered YES!

Bejbi.se & Kidson Media Productions are proud to announce that we have made an exclusive interview with the legends Jono Grant and Tony McGuinness from Above & Beyond when they visited Stockholm last weekend.
The interview is currently in the editing, but we can guarantee that it will be something extra when it will be released.


Here is a short sample of it :D

Interview: Marius Andries

I caught up with Marius Andries on a bustrip to Västerås to an event called Stockholm Invasion which was put together by our friends at Kollektivet and we did an interview on a crowded bus full with drunken party people.


State your full name:

Marius Andries.

You are known to the public since the 90’s as a part of Pinocchio. Can you tell us some info on your previous career.

Wow. Well, I started around 96 together with Antiloop and we built our own studio in Lidingö. We rented a villa and built 2 studios. Both acts were into electronic dancemusic (or modern dancemusic as it was called at the time). And we decided to start up and try to put our effort into the sequence.

If you listen to the music that was out there at the time in the same ”genre” as you, like Antiloop, you and for instance Earthbound which all had that harder trancesound with that drive or edge to it, almost to the goa-trance or psytrance style.

When I listened thru your early works which were faster and edgier and compare them with the later (2002) sounds, you can hear that your productions were a bit calmer. Was it something that the market sought after or did you change the sound yourself?

(laughs) Well, I think that came with age.

If you look back at the top of your career, the years 1996 to 2002 and look at your accomplishments. What are the things that you are most proud of?

Well, that was a hard question. What I was most proud of… Well actually, what I do now is more fun. Back then, everything was so controlled by the record company, down to what niche you should concentrate your song to. This was pretty boring as you didn’t have free hands to do what you wanted, and that’s pretty negative.

Absolutely. But If you look back, is there some track that you think ”shit, this is something that i’m really proud of”

Well, yes. I would say Hypnotized in that case. This was the track that I and Erik Färnert, which was a part of Pinocchio back then were most proud of. Both technical and on the production level.

You also did quite a few remixes back then. You remixed artists like A-teens, E-type and 666 just to mention a few. Was it any particular remix that you were especially proud of?

Well, most often it was productions that came from Dee Jay Promotions, and Giovanni, who had some artists like Solid Base and 666 on license from Germany. The stuff we made for them was probably the most fun remixes.

If you look back on which remix productions you were least proud of, is there any specific remix that comes to mind?

Yeah, there were probably quite a few. The thing was that, in 1999 to 2000 we mass-produced remixes, probably 35 to 40 remixes, and at the end of that period you could hear that most sounded pretty generic and we didn’t put our best efforts into the work. We just wanted to finish them quickly, and that’s not that fun.

Nowadays when you produce, do you rent a space in a studio or produce at home?

Well, nowadays you don’t need to be in a big studio to produce. Often it’s easier to put together a computer, a midi-keyboard and some software-synths which wasn’t the case back in the 90’s. I prefer to sit at home and do the groundwork and if you decide to finish it, you usually take it to a bigger studio to put the finishing touches and master it.

When you sit at home in front of your computer and are producing, is there some special software-synth that you MUST use, or most often use or your productions can’t be without?

I would say Nexus in that case. Then there’s Trillian and the moog-sounds which is in it. But I’d have to say that Nexus is my favourite synth.

You recently signed up with Future Sound Of Sweden. How does it feel to restart your career with them?

I don’t see is as a career, more as…. What’s good with Future Sound Of Sweden is that they don’t say anything about your productions. You have free hands to do what you like and they don’t try to form your tracks into something mainstream to fit the radio etc. I like to have free hands, especially when you are a musician like me who…. It’s more like a hobby for me, and nothing else.

You do it because it’s fun, not as before, to earn some money. You do it because it’s fun and you get a warm feeling when you ’re sitting there and creating the music.

Exactly. Besides producing, you’re also a DJ and a promotor for your own club, Club Noize, which resides in Snaps. You usually get the local dj’s to play instead of yourself. I haven’t seen you play yet.

No, my first gig will be on the 28th of September. I haven’t done it so far because i’ve thought it would be the best to take strong, local dj’s which already are established to get the club going. Me, myself ain’t established as a DJ but…. As i said, I’ve tried to get some DJ’s that is already established in Stockholm.

Absolutely. But under the height of your career, 1996 to 2002. Did it ever happen that you DJ’d abroad?

Well, I’ve played some in Romania. And also, we were on tour around 2000 all over Europe but we played more as a live-act, not as a DJ.

How many were you on stage? One, two or three?

On stage, we were only two. Erik and me.


Was it large gigs or smaller clubs back then?

It was both. The biggest was the Malmo-square which was over 10.000 people.

Wow, exciting!

Yeah, that was pretty exciting.

There was a period after 2002 where you disappeared from the music-scene. What happened then?

I had kids.

Congratulations! How old are them today?

They are 10 and 8. They are 2 girls.

Do you have any fun memories from your tours that you want to tell us about?

Well, there was a tour in Lysekil with Bomfunk Mcs, Richi M, Earthbound and Antiloop.
We were a pretty tight group which partied a lot and made music on the tour bus. Loads of laughs and a really nice atmosphere.

Did any fun stuff happen? Any awkward situations?

No, we were actually pretty mellow which felt really good.

You talked about making music on the tourbus. Did any cool collaborations come out of it?

No, it was more like someone showing off what they just done.

If you look back on the height of your career. Who was your favourite dj/artist?

Well, what got me into making music was probably the Age Of Love-track (by Age Of Love). But i’ve always liked Jam & Spoon. Otherwise, I can’t really say that i’ve had any big idols, it’s more that you listened to everything that was released back then. And you thought that most music back then was pretty good. So you basically were influented by all music that was releases

Sounds right. But if you had to compile a list of your ”all time top 5”, is there any track or tracks that you want to mention as favourites?


Yeah, there is one track which was popular back when I started to produce. It was Energy 52 – Cafe Del Mar. That’s probably still my all time favourite.

When you are at a club or a pub, is there any special drink you always order?

If you ask everyone that knows me, the will know. It’s Whiskey and Red Bull.

You actually sung on some of your productions…

I didn’t sing, it was more like reading text from a paper.

Did you come up with the texts yourself (except for Da Da Da which was a remake)?

Well, most often, it was only a couple of words. In the case of Hypnotized, I was influented by Billy Idol’s track with the same name. But it wasn’t exactly texts, it was more that you said anything spontaneous.

The most fun was Flower On The Moon, which was a pretty early production.
We were sitting drunk in the studio one night and watching the moon and trying to figure out what to say and had no idea. Let’s write about Flowers On The Moon, and most people say ”what did you smoke that night?” But we didn’t smoke, that I can tell you. It was too many drinks, as usual. And from that you get pretty wierd texts.

You were active back in the day when infamous rave-club Docklands had it’s peak. Were you ever there partying?

Well, I can tell you that I wasn’t that active on the partyfront back in the days, but I was there when I was playing there. But the feeling was great. Oh that’s right, we recorded the video for Abletarte, my first track was recorded there. Docklands had a reputation and people thought…. Actually the government associated it with drugs, people went there only to do drugs, it wasn’t for the music. So it was somewhat of a taboo. I don’t know….

How many times did you play at docklands?

We (Pinocchio) played only once. But we also DJ’d separately on one occasion.

Where does the name Abletarte come from?

Well, there were a schnaps back then that everybody drank. Apple-scnaps, and one night we came up with the name aebletarte. It was one of those drunken nights.

Back on the same EP, Musical Expressions, there were a track called Down The Basement, which later came with a 2000-remix. And that 2000-remix sounds more like Antiloop.

Well, it was pretty influented by their sound, and that was because the record company wanted that special sound which was really sad. But… I can say that I did a version of it and went to the A&R and he something like said ”try to get it to sound more like a mixture of 666 and Antiloop” and I said, ”I can’t do it and I won’t do it, I want to do something of my own” and ended up putting a guitar-loop as main instrument on the track which eventually sounded pretty near Antiloop which is pretty sad. Well, Antiloop is really good but it’s sad that my production sounded like Antiloop.

marius3 Antiloop had a really cool sound but it’s better to find an own sound

Yeah, that’s what every producer wants, their own sound. It’s harder today as everyone uses the same software-synths so much music can sound pretty alike. What you should try to do (and what I try to do) is create a sound with more defined melodies, put that personal touch on it which doesn’t sound like anyone else out there. I try to play alot with the chords and the build of the track so that it doesn’t sound like something already out there. It’s sometimes difficult but….yeah. That’s what you do.

If you listen to your sound today and want to try to explain to someone who hasn’t listen to your productions, how would you explain it?

(laughs) Unfinished

No, but, haven’t decided or found what I want to sound like. It has been more like ”you spontaneously create a loop and try to do a track around it”. But a sound, Well, I can’t say that I have that yet. What I think is more fun is that you can mix your niche more today. Sometimes, I have created a harder track, and after that a more trancy track, and after that a more housy track.

I don’t have any special niche, but if I have to label myself, i’d say Electronic Dance Music. Can’t say that I only do trance, or tech-house or techno. You get to where your loops take you.

Do you set a special tempo when you create your tracks?

I usually start around 126 bpm but everything depends on what the loop sound like.

When you produce, do you use studio speakers or headphones?

I use studio speakers, can’t recall the name. Just bought them 2 months ago. (Found out the name a few days later, they are called Tapco S5)

Have you gotten any release date for your first single, Holographic on Future Sound Of Sweden?

7th of October.

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Do you produce on PC or Mac?

PC. I used to use mac, it’s more stabile but it’s harder to find good plugins.

Is your studio computer in your bedroom?

It’s really near the bed. You often run to it at least 10 times a day, as soon as you come up with something new.

Which program do you use for your productions?

Cubase 6.2

Do you have a special computer just for producing or do you use the same computer for everything?

I have an own computer just for producing. There is nothing else on it except what you need to produce.

Have you won any prizes or awards?

Well, i’ve got a few platina records and gold records for the sales that i’ve been apart of. Like E-type, A-teens, Pain and a few others. There is like 7 of them. They are on the wall at my bar at home.

Which of the remixes did sell the most?

A-Teens – Mamma Mia and E-Type – Campione.

And of your own productions?

Well, that must have been Hypnotized. But It didn’t sell that much.

Have you ever tried any other genre, like hardstyle?


Never done a chillout-track?

I actually did a chillout-version of the Holographic.

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Have you gotten any requests to remix any other of Future Sound Of Sweden’s other artists?

No, not yet. My contract with them is still pretty fresh.

What is your feeling about the signing to Future Sound Of Sweden? Will you release loads of tracks?

Well, i’ve signed a 4-year contract and I can do as many tracks as I want under these 4 years as long as I feel that it’s as good as I want it. It’s not important how many tracks I release under these 4 years.

Future Sound Of Sweden has their own singer, Chase. Do you consider doing tracks with his vocals?

I’m actually looking to release somthing with vocals, maybe not this track or the next but i’m trying to find someone who can write texts and sing.

I know that on some of Future Sound Of Swedens upcoming tracks, they have sent a track to Chase and he’s sent it back with vocals. Is that any way you want to work?

That’s how you usually work nowadays.

Would you consider a collaboration with the other Future Sound Of Sweden-artists like Christian Rusch or Kim Svard?

Absolutely! It’s exciting to work with other artists as they have another view on music than you, and also have another sound than you do.

Have you learned anything music-wise from the touring-days when you shared bus with Antiloop and the others that you still use today?

You learn all the time, it’s like a progressive learning curve.

What kind of music do you listen to at home?

Well, that varies. Sometime it’s house, sometime’s it’s trance and sometimes it’s techno or any other electronic dance music?

Does it happen that you play for instance soul or reggae at home?

No, no reggae, no pop. It’s usally EDM of some kind.

Do you listen to commercial radio at home or at work?

No. The only radio station I listen to is Radioseven.

We talked about Club Noize before and your first gig in forever. Are you looking forward to playing?

Well, not that particular. I don’t really know what to play. I’m playing pretty early, between 21 and 22 and there is probably not that big crowd. I’ll probably play Deep House.

We like deep house. As long as you stay away from the commercial sound of Swedish House Mafia etc. Do you have any favourites in deep house?

Deep Dish.

Thank you for the interview

It was my pleasure

I caught up with Marius again for some additional info since some time has passed since we did that interview.

What do you plan to release over the next coming months?

Perseid Jam will be the second release and will be released after Holographic, probably with a 2 month window. I have a couple of more tracks that is waiting in the pipeline. My plan is to release an album within a year but everything eventually is depending on inspiration.

You and Lily V Nine collaborated on a track called 650 for a competition set by Armin Van Buuren for the next A State Of Trance 650-anthem. Will more collaborations come out of it?

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I feel like there will be more collaborations, talked with Steve Sundheden and Jay Van Kay for collaborations and is really looking forward to working with them. When it comes to the A State Of Trance-collaboration, we are currently keeping a new collaboration open, but it was really fun to work with Lily V Nine

Last time we spoke about you eventually releasing vocal tracks. Has anything happened on that front yet?

I haven’t done anthing when it comes to finding a vocalist, and must admit that I haven’t spent any time on it either. We’ll see what the future brings.

Related links
Pinocchio on Spotify
Pinocchio – Down The Basement
Pinocchio – Da Da Da
Pinocchio – Hypnotized

Short Interview: Millaway

We hooked up with the predicted superstar, Millaway, in his studio in Stockholm for a quick interview.

Hi, Millaway, how are you?

I’m fine, thank you.

Are you working on something new that is soon up for release?

Yes, I have a couple of remixes that is already done and just waiting for a release date. I think some of them will be released now in December and the rest in 2013.
I’m actually working on a couple of original tracks for the next year. None of them are really finished yet since I’m working full time I’m having a hard time finishing them right now, but I will get there, eventually!

Tell us about your newly released mix of Christian Rusch’s Numb

Yeah, Future Sound of Sweden and Christian Rusch approached me, actually just a week before the deadline of the remix requests. And when I got the package I really enjoyed the track and I have enjoyed Christian’s productions in the past as well. It was really nice working with the track and I actually finished the track in time as well, one week is actually quite good for being me. It was really fun and I’m really satisfied with the result.

How long does it generally take for you to produce a tune?

It’s really different from time to time. I still have a track I started with back in 2009 and I’m still not finished with it. I’ve reworked it four times and now I have four different versions of it. I still love the melody but it’s not yet the standards I expect from myself.
I think my speed records for a track is three days. But I had to go back to it a week after and correct some minor details of it.

What inspires you the most when you’re composing: people or places?

I think it’s a mixture of both. If I leave the studio for a couple of days just enjoying the environment around me, meeting people, attending clubs usually do it for me. When I get home after a great evening and I’ve heard a really great tune with a massive drop which I like and want to reproduce myself.
I think the environment is the main source of inspiration, you can work a lot easier when you got a feeling after an experience.

Do you remember where you were when you first heard one of your own productions on the radio? How was that feeling?

It was a great feeling. The first time was on a radio station called Digitally Imported, some dj played one of my track, and it was an amazing feeling hearing a live set on a MondayBar Cruise when the dj played it.
I also had a fun experience at a store called Webhallen here in Stockholm where they played one of my tracks in the radio system in the store. I was standing in the queue waiting for the service and of course no one else noticed it, but that was the first time I actually heard it in a store and in an environment I didn’t expect.

What is the most radest support you’ve got up until now?

I think some of the biggest names is still Markus Schulz and Paul Oakendfold. But what means the most for me is actually the support from Rank1. They got me into trance several years ago. I started to listen to another of their alias, Dutch Force, and their famous track Deadline. It got me into trance, I’ve seen them live and several years later they supported my tracks in their radio show which meant truly a lot for me since I still admire them so much, it was quite unbelievable to hear them commenting on my tracks and play it.

Do you aspire to hit the decks someday, or are you pleased with the producing?

Right now I’m pleased with the producing part, cause I want to climb higher before I start DJing more. Several years ago you could actually hit the decks as a DJ and work your way up and then start to produce your own tracks.
Nowadays you have to make really good music before you start to DJ and not the opposite way around.
I’m focusing on my tracks and hopefully it leads me to more time at the decks in the future.

Thank you very much for taking your time to meet us!

Thank you for coming to my studio and visit me, hope you’ll and everyone enjoys the track!

Interview and pictures by Patric

A version of this interview and Millaways remix of Christian Rusch’s ”Numb” can be listened to in our podcast, Podgressive ep. 36.
And if you want to know even more about Millaway, check out the mix he did exclusively for bejbi.se back in 2011.

Interview: Lily V Nine

Lily V Nine, photo: Patric Franksson / bejbi.se

We continue our interviews here on bejbi.se, this time with the talented Lily V Nine!
Tatsumi and I, Patric, got into Tatsumis car and drove through a colorful landscape, all the way from Stockholm to Hedemora.
When we got there we sat down with Lily in her studio and had a great interview.

Before we start can you tell us a little more about yourself, on a non musical front?
Where did you grow up? where do you currently reside?

I grew up South of Stockholm with my family, and about eight years ago we moved up to Dalarna where I currently live.
Besides my music I’m studying graphic design at college, and I work extra in a store.
I see myself as an ordinary girl, but I guess if I didn’t have my music, I would seem really boring.

It’s really difficult to make it as a successful woman producing especially when EDM is still reaching other parts of the world. When did the fascination with knobs and production begin?
It was early, I started to play the piano when I was nine years old, but I thought it was boring to play alone.
But then I heard my first EDM song when I was around 14 years old. It was Infected Mushroom, and I couldn’t help wondering how they did that wonderful music, so I started to research and I began producing music with Propellerheads Reason around 2005, not at a professional level but I learned a lot. But I switched to Cubase last year after a friend recommended it because I wanted to produce more trancier tunes, rather than the hardstyle and psytrance I did before, and Cubase has a lot more to offer with all synths and addons that is available than Reason.

Did your parents get bothered with your music making?
Yes they actually did! Since I grew up in a musical family, with my father being a rock musician. He thinks I should play the piano as it should be played, with Beethoven and such. He thinks that ”techno” just sounds like a lot of noise, but he doesn’t have any problems with me making the music on the computer. I, on the other hand, think it’s more fun to combine the piano sound with the trance-beats, it’s more my style rather than the classical tunes I’ve learned to play when I was younger.
My mother is very proud of me, she thinks I’m really strong to take on this all by myself.

Can you take us through your current studio set up? What does it consist of and what pieces of equipment/software would you say are most essential?
I use Yamaha HS5, it’s the worlds most honest speakers. In these everything sounds like crap if you can’t master the tracks right. I also have a M-Audio Fasttrack Pro, it’s a very cheap studio sound card but it works like a charm. The computer is a heavy loaded PC, and there is this (she says and points at a CME M-key midi-keyboard), which I won’t even mention because it broke down on me last week.
I really can’t live without my sound card and the speakers. It’s the most important part of a studio, you can’t make music without a pair of decent speakers!

We can see you have a old beautiful and huge Grand Piano in your studio too, tell us a little more about this piece.
Yes, this is a 200 year old Grand Piano made in Germany by Friedrich Wieck and I got it from my father when we moved to Dalarna.
I was a teenager and I really hated to move from everything I had back in Stockholm, so he bought me this so I could concentrate more on the music and less on the life I left in Stockholm. It has a really beautiful sound, but it can be difficult to play on because the keys are really hard to press down. I love it, cause the sound is so unique!
Everything I write I write on this piano, but It’s hard to get the sound of it to match the trance-style so I can’t use it in a faster track.

As a female Producer in the male dominated EDM scene, how do you draw the line with your productions? We’ve found your productions emotionally gratifying as well as banging too!
I want to be as characteristic as possible, and since I’m a classically trained pianist I want to show it in my productions with a lot of uplifting sounds. I don’t want to be mainstream as everyone else seems to want to be. I want to give the listener a emotional feeling of the track, just like the one I had when I produced it.

Diving into the creative process for a moment, can you tell us how long does it take to produce a track for you and where you get the inspiration from?
I get most of my inspiration from my life, people I’ve met and from places I’ve been to. Most of my titles comes from my everyday life. Like my upcoming track ”My love story” is about my boyfriend.
It takes about a week to make the production, if I’m in the studio for a whole week that is. But the mixing and mastering of the track could take longer. I’m not that good at that part yet, haha.
But music should take time, it’s about feelings, not technique.

If you get an idea for a track when you are running about in the city, how do you bring it to life?
It’s hard to write a melody down, so I record it on my phone, singing the melody. Then I go to the studio and listen through the recording and try to recreate it on the piano. Sometimes the idea isn’t a melody, like a feeling, so I’ll write it down like: It’s dark, lost in the woods.. just words that helps to create the feeling I got for the idea.

If you were given the opportunity to work with any producer as well as to collaborate with any vocalist who would it be and why?
I think Raphael Frost is a really good producer, he mixes his music with a emotional melody, but I also like darker music to, like Indecent Noise and John Askew.
There are some persons I would like to work with, but it’s a little hard since they’ve all been dead for the last 200 years. Names like Chopin and Schubert would be a dream to work with but it’s of course impossible. Therefore I rely on the talents of the modern times instead. I also listen to a lot of women to, just to see how they work, like Claudia Cazacu.

I want to work with vocalists, like Jonathan Mendelson. I love his work and I think his dark voice would fit my bright melodies perfect.

How do you define a beautiful voice and melody?
– Do you record your own vocals for your tracks, or have you made a vocal track?

I have humblings in productions that I’ve recorded myself. Although I have done one vocal track, I think my own voice is to dark to fit my own music and I really had to tweak the vocals with reverbs and such.

How do you feel about chopped vocals? Is it a cool effect or a butchering of the vocal talent of the singer?
I love it! I think it gives a better effect than a synth sometimes. I want to use it in some of my own tracks but I haven’t found any good vocals to use yet. I think it works as a teaser for the real vocals that comes after in the chorus. Really cool!

Since Hedemora is a small town in the countryside of Sweden, do you have the possibility to collaborate with other producers and do you have a mentor, or are you the mentor for someone?
I don’t have any mentor. If I want help I ask my old teacher, but he can only help me with the technical part on the computer, not the musical part on how I can sound better or do a thing differently. If I want to make a collab with someone, everyone lives in Stockholm so I have to plan weeks before to match their schedule.
I actually did a collab with Novaline, but that one is put on ice since we both got a little short on time.

Many artists find themselves stuck to one genre throughout their careers, simply because their fan base refuse to accept anything else. This can sometimes push our artists in to a corner that prevents future growth. How important do you feel it is for an artist to stand their ground, evolve and play around with as many genres as they can?
If the audience expects Armin van Buuren, for example, to produce one style, and he does something that doesn’t fit the expectations from the crowd.. he should change his name.
If you are a product, as most of the producers of today is, you should live up to it. And if you want to make another style, you should come up with another product name.

So when Ferry Corsten remixed Justin Bieber did he sold his soul to the devil or is he just trying out some new grounds?
I think Ferry Corsten is a great musician. I think he heard this song and made an remix of it cause he liked it wanted to do something with it.

Anything you would like to tell us on your upcoming projects? You actually have “My love story” open in Cubase on your computer in front of us. Can you tell us more about it?
It’s a really big production, it’s about the story of when I met my boyfriend.
I sat by the grand piano, just playing around, a normal day in the studio and the melody just came, my fingers did all the job and I didn’t have to think much at all.
So I thought it was love, and it is a really uplifting track, but with a lot of different parts in it.
It’s more like a story than a regular “trance” buildup, and I did it like this to tell the specific story of this track.
Regular trance is very much thinking inside the box, but this is a bit different, even if everything is in it.
It’s a nice track to listen to in your mp3-player, but it’s a little to slow and emotional for some dancefloors.
When I’ve showed this for people, they are both “too much emotions”, “it’s awesome!” and “I’ve got goosebumps from the piano melody”. It makes me want to continue and to eventually get it to be played on a club.
I work with both “happy parts” and “sad parts” in this track, since I love classical music from Mozart, Chopin and Schubert, and they work a lot with this technique. It took one minute to complete the piano melody and I think it’s really cool that my fingers did all the work, like if they were under a spell.

Here’s rather a strange question – do you aspire to spin behind the decks some day?
Yes, I really want to be a DJ someday, but I have a little stage fright. But I have no gear and I have to practice a lot before I go out and do it in front of a crowd.

If you could listen to just one record for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
Wow, that is a really hard question. It won’t be a trance track, but I think it would be Chopin’s Nocturne Opus 9 No.2. A classical piece.

Listen to music in the club or relaxed home listening, which do you prefer?
If I listen to music at home, I hear the details in the music and I can understand the story the artist is trying to tell, but I love to listen to music in the club to, to feel the beat and to just go crazy.

Do you attend to party’s to? Which do you prefer, the Swedish party’s or the party’s in other countries?
I prefer the Swedish party’s any day! The party’s outside Sweden is bigger, louder and cooler, but the Swedish party’s are more about meeting the friends and to listen to really good music.

If Electronic Dance Music didn’t exist, and you were given the key to create it and the scene around, would you make it as it was in the beginning with the PLUR (Peace Love Unity and Respect) everywhere, or as it is today where PLUR more or less doesn’t exist and a whole lot of different variations of styles, or would you do something completely different with it?
I think the beginning of the culture was really good but I think I would’ve made the scene a little bit more public, and not have kept it away from other people. The music would still be the same, the beat would still be the important part of the tracks.
If I could rewind everything I would do so much techno, I love every kind of EDM, but techno, I really love it!
But if I created everything I could never have guessed that it would be this big. I think it’s because other peoples preconception with EDM and the history of it that have made it so closed for the outside world, and I would have made it more open, so people would see that it’s more about the music and scene rather than the drugs and shit.

As you’ve grown and matured as a person, do you think this has reflected in your music? Why your style has changed for example?
When you start making music everything is fun, and you just play around. But when you grow older and listen to those tracks you think “Oh My God, this sounds like crap!”, and you think that no one would buy this.
When I make a production today, I feel that I have to be more critical to myself. I really want people to like my work. It hurts to hear other people to criticize your work but you can take the criticism and work with it.

If you were converted into a song, which one would it be and why?
Haha! Does it have to be a song, can I be a sound?
In that case I would be a base drum. Everyone would love me!

Do you prefer to use hardware or software?
Software, since I don’t have much hardware, but I would love to have a Virus-synth!

What is the best comment you’ve heard when you’ve uploaded a new tune on the social networks?
“You’re better than Swedish House Mafia!” hahaha.. It was strange to hear that.
But when someone told me that my music gave him goosebumps it was really satisfying for me.

Have you been given support for your tracks from a big DJ/producer?
No I don’t think so, only from friends here in Sweden who has their own podcast and smaller radio shows.

If we look way into the future, when you are old and talking to your grandchildren, what would you say was the biggest goal or achievement with your musical career?
That I wanted to show the world my music, and my feelings around it. And I hope I will get there.. I will! Someday!

Do you create other styles of music too, under another name than Lily V Nine?
Yes! I am the pianist in a recently created pop group, but I use my own given name in that group.

Have you ever done something music wise that you feel ashamed of?
I have done a lot of bad tracks, but I don’t feel that I have to be ashamed of anything. I’m only a beginner so far.

Which is the song that changed your life?
Infected mushrooms “Frog machine”. It was the track I heard that got me interested in everything about making my own music.

When you are not doing music what can u be found doing?
Painting and drawing a lot on the computer, I edit and manipulate a lot of pictures that my brother and sister takes.

Name 3 things you absolutely can’t live without?
1. My computer and internet
2. Music
3. All of my family and friends and my boyfriend.

One thing you would like to change or develop about yourself?
I want to have more power to believe in my own music creations.

Most embarrassing moment?
I walked straight up to Sean Tyas and asked him to marry me. I was drunk.

What was his answer?
He just laughed. I think he is used to it, he has probably met a lot of crazy woman.
Hopefully he doesn’t remember me if I ever run into him again!

Best hangover cure?
An iced lolly called “Twister”, with fruit taste. I eat three of those and then I’m cured

What´s the first record you bought?
I think it was a Swedish group called Caramell, “Om du var min” on single. I was so young, I went to the store and listened to music every day and that was the first one I bought.
My father was a DJ back then, so he had a lot of music at home that I took and listened to it in my room.
I think the best Greatest Hits Cd I bought was “Replay Dance Mania 3

Thank you so much for this interview!
You are very welcome, it was fun!

You can hear a short preview of this interview and the full version of her track ”My love story” in Podgressive ep. 35.

– Patric

Interview: Johan Vilborg

Johan Vilborg [Photo: Patric Franksson @ bejbi.se]

We continue our interviews of talented Swedish producers and dj’s, this time we sat down at a cafe in central Stockholm with Johan Vilborg to talk about his music producing and thoughts about life.

Before we start can you tell us a little more about yourself, on a non musical front. How is a typical Johan Vilborg day?
A typical day of mine starts with me waking up early, getting ready and then off to work. I work with computers here in Stockholm. After a long day at work, I get home and and start to produce music, or sometimes I just hang out with friends. But it’s all about music when I get home. I spend like 4-5 hours on music every day in some way. Either producing, listening or just scouting.

You latest single ”Altara” has become a huge favorite on Beatport. What does ”Altara” mean?
I think there was a thread on the Anjunabeats-forum where there were many that claimed me to have stolen the name from a Adam Nicky-track also called “Altara”, but when I’m producing music words often spring to my mind, whereas they are often the most obvious names for the tracks. The word Altara comes from a fantasy book by Robert Jordan called “Wheel of Time”. It’s the name of a country in the book.

If you get an idea for a track when you are running about in the city, how do you bring it to life?
I try my best to remember it. I don’t record anything when I get them in my head. All my music really do happen in the studio. I work a lot with chords and my synths. Unfortunately I also have a lot of ideas that didn’t get there… But I guess that’s life.

What would be the perfect recipe to make a hit trance tune ‘today’?
It must be catchy and easy to remember. Something that really gets stuck in your head.
I think it have to sound “new”, not like something from 10 years ago. Something melodic, some vocals…
At the moment I’m actually doing some deeper stuff, where it’s more about getting a lot of passion into the tracks, and to really make it from the heart.

Do you think that your dreams are in any way connected to your music?
Yes, my dreams are often connected to music. I’ve had dreams when I’m at a studio together with some known producers and making music. I think, when you meet someone you tend to get a much more realistic image of that person, and thus they can appear more realistic in the dreams to.

Please tell us something about your forthcoming releases!
I have two releases at Silk Royal Records. One original track that I’ve already played out at dj gigs. Also there is a remix of a track by the owner of Silk, Jacob Henry, that I recently finished. It’s quite different from the original, the name isn’t released yet though, but it’s pretty exciting to have it released.

Who or what do you get your inspiration from?
I get it from my life and how I feel. I’m mostly happy and satisfied with my life, except I don’t work with music full time. But I get a lot of sound influences by Mat Zo and Arty, but mostly life is my inspiration. If I have a really bad day I sit down in my studio and make something. It does not sound good every time, but it’s great to get the emotions out of my system.

Do you have a mentor, or are you the mentor?
I’ve been producing for eight or nine years now, but I’ve never had the same mentor all the time. I’ve always had people around me that’s given me tips, but it’s been various people all the time. When I started out I got a lot of help from a guy in the US called Michel. He helped me out to get things started, but up until now I’ve worked alone except from a few tips from different people around me.

Which is the dream artist or singer you want to work with?
Hard one! Dream artist, would definitely Mat Zo, he is my absolute favorite right now. Can’t wait until his new album comes out!
Dream singer is a bit harder. Usually when I listen to music I don’t pay attention to the vocals that much. I’ll have to think about that one.

Can you take us through what your current studio set up? What does it consist of and what pieces of equipment/software would you say are most essential?
I recently rebuilt my studio at home. It consists of a digital Tascam DM3200 mixer, which is the heart of my system. I use a computer with Fruity Loops-studio. Then I run all the sounds trough the mixer. I want to apply all the compressors and equalizers with my own hands. I also have a Roland JP-8080. It’s one of the first synths that did a supersaw, but I have never used it in my productions so its more of a toy. It sounds too metallic to have in my tracks.

Which is the most essential VST-synth you use?
My favorite is the Z3ta+, then I use the Sylenth1 and the FM8. I also like a lot of FL-studio’s built in synths, but those three are my favorites.
I always create my own sound. I hate the feeling that I didn’t do the track by myself from the beginning. However, if I do use a preset, I try to mix it so the sound is a bit more like my own.

As a producer you’ve produced both vocal and non-vocal tracks. Which do you prefer producing and what are the challenges of producing a vocal track as well as the challenges of producing non-vocal track?
The two vocal tracks I’ve done so far. The first one I did with Aneym, and it’s called Mistaken. I made the track first and then Aneym did the vocals after. For my current track Altara I got a sample pack from my friend Adam Szabo, which I cut and rearranged to get the special vocals in that track.
I’ve never worked with a singer from the beginning of a track’s progress, although I’m actually working on one with a friend of mine right now, where we take an idea and we work out the rest during the creation of the track.
Often a vocal track has a gap between the track and the vocal. I want to have the vocals in early to create a tighter track.

As you’ve grown and matured as a person during your nine years of producing, do you think this has reflected in your music?
When I started, I was a completely different person. I had a hard time in school and started to make music. I’ve always had a huge interest for music. My personality is always about music. I think of it all the time, I listen to it all the time. It’s like an addiction.
I want to work with music full time. I don’t know if would be trance or some other genre, but I want to create music. I’m going to study music at a sound engineering school called SAE pretty soon.

You are a DJ too, how come you started DJing?
Actually it was the first thing I did. My dad was a DJ when he was young, and when I turned nine years old, I got his turntables and mixer. And so it started back then.

So you’ve been a DJ since you were nine!?
Yeah, but I didn’t really know what trance or even dance music was back then. I just scratched with the vinyls. And still today I love vinyls.
In my youth I always had turntables at home. I played at school parties and I think it was when I was in my middle teens I started producing music.

Tell us three classics that you always keep in a CD case while at a gig.
I mostly play new stuff that I like at the moment, but classics.. I like the Oceanlab’s old Satellite and the mash up that Mat Zo made of that track. Mat Zo mashed his track Synapse Dynamics with Satellite and therefore he brought the vocals from Satellite into a whole new track. I play it quite often.
I also like a lot by The Thrillseekers, Oceanlab and an favorite track is the Ehren Stowers mix of Misconceptions.
Otherwise there is a lot of old tracks on Anjunabeats , but the sound I play nowadays don’t fit into a set with older tracks since I don’t want to bring down the tempo too much.

And three must-have current ones!
I’ve been speaking a lot with the Swedish producer Johan Malmgren lately and I really love his sound, and his remix of Thrillseekers “The Last Time” is so good.
And the Mat Zo remix of Tritonal’s “Lifted” is a given newer favorite, and also the Arty mix of Trapeze by Ferry Tale.

What is the best comment you’ve heard after a gig?
Awesome set is the most common I think. I like that word; Awesome!

Do you produce other styles to, under another name than Johan Vilborg?
At first I called myself Feeltz, but when I noticed that DJs where supporting my work and they said in their radio shows “This was a track from Feeltz..” I didn’t feel like it was me. So I decided to use my real name, Johan Vilborg. I want to be remembered by my real name.
I also produce chill out tracks and I’m going to release three of them on Silk Textures later this year. I love the mood in chill out tracks.

Many artists find themselves stuck to one genre throughout their careers, simply because their fan base refuse to accept anything else. This can sometimes push our artists in to a corner that prevents future growth. How important do you feel it is for an artist to stand their ground, evolve and play around with as many genres as they can?
I think it’s very important as an artist to create whatever you feel like. You make music because you want to, and when you are in a corner it just stops. If you get stuck in a corner with something cause you must do it, I don’t think it comes from your heart. I’m quite bad at making remixes since I feel that if I’m stuck in that corner and I can’t get out from it because I cant change what I want in the track. It’s probably because I can’t make it from my heart.
And that is an important thing, because if you don’t create your music from your heart it shines through, and I think you can hear that in some artists’ music.

What do your parents think of what you do?
Both my parents are happy and support me, but my mother doesn’t really understand it as much as my dad does.
Actually my dad didn’t know I was producing music until after four or five years after I got my first record deal. He had just heard some noises coming from my room and didn’t really understand what it was. So he was really surprised when I told him and he was like: “What? Are you making music!?”

If you could listen to just one record for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
Trentemøller – Take me into your skin. I have it on vinyl and I love it.

If you were to put your money on a country for its growing trance scene, which one would it be?
Trance is more underground nowdays. Housemusic is taking over now.
However, Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union have really created some great artists the last few years. It’s great to see the countries over there loving trance as much as we do, especially since they almost recently got out of wars. They really do look happy when they party.

The Fast questions

Three things you absolutely can’t live without.
My Speakers, my friends and my happy mood. I always see the bright side of life.

Your favorite possession.
My Tascam mixer. I really love it, it took almost four month to get it to work.

Own Productions or own Remixes?
Own Productions.

Other favorite genre after trance?
Progressive, and uplifting.

One thing your fans don’t know about you.
I don’t know what they know really, I just recently made my facebook profile more private. It’s a bad thing when people goes through my old pictures and like them.

Your favorite item of clothing.
I’m not into clothes at all, but I like to wear jeans.

One for all your adoring female fans – blondes or brunettes?
I love when you can see people. Blondes really do stick out from a crowd. If we look out of the window in front of us right now almost everyone is blonde. I like brunettes more though.

Best hangover cure?
Drink water and eat, or drink or eat.. basically keeping yourself awake.

If you weren’t a DJ/producer you’d be a…
I’ve been thinking about that, I work with computers and I think it’s something like that I would do if I didn’t produce music.

What’s the first record you bought?
I think it was Eiffel 65 – Blue

What was your worst gig?
When I was 14-15 or something I had a gig here in Stockholm and no one showed up. That was kinda boring.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve heard about your music?
I got an comment on Altara on YouTube with someone writing: “If he keeps on like this he would be one of the best producer of this year”.
That is quite interesting, I just do what I do and if someone write something like that I’m really glad hearing it.

Which big music style plaguing EDM would you like to cancel right now?
Hardstyle. I really don’t like it at all. I like it when I’m drunk, but otherwise, nah.
I hate the melodies, that brain dead melodies and the beat. I like the older Hardstyle tracks, but the new Hardstyle is too non-serious.

Thank you so much for your time, Johan!
Thanks, it was fun to talk to you Patric!

If you want to hear what Johan can do as a Dj, we got his latest guestmix for Captured Radio here:

[powerpress url=”http://www.bejbi.se/mix/Johan_Vilborg-Captured_Radio.mp3″]


Novaline – Exclusive bejbi.se mix


1. Johan Vilborg – Fall (Original Mix) [Silk Royal]
2. Martire pres. X&Y – New Beginnings (Solid Stone Remix) [Alter Ego]
3. Mango – Good Morning Track (Tom Fall Remix) [Silk Royal]
4. Johan Vilborg – Altara (Original Mix) [Silk Royal]
5. Johan Vilborg – ID (Original Mix) [CDR]
6. Johan Vilborg – Leaving Home (Original Mix) [Silk Royal]

And if you want to hear some of his productions, feel free to check his Soundcloud, where he puts a lot of work in progress.