LessThan3: Tell us a little bit about your experience at TATW 350. How did you find the crowd, venue, and overall show compared with other events of 2010? Did your preparation for this massive event differ from smaller, more traditional events?
Øistein: That was undoubtedly one of my favorite gigs of 2010. Being a sold out Anjuna event, I was pretty optimistic to begin with but I have to say the crowd exceeded my expectations, as did the venue. The downside of big events is you sometimes feel detached from the crowd, but the Hollywood Palladium is surprisingly intimate despite its size. It doesn’t hurt that the lighting was so good either. I remember spotting a guy holding a poster upside down. When I made him aware of it, we both had a smile on our faces. How can you not love moments like that?
LessThan3: What’s it like being a part of such a powerhouse label as Anjunadeep? Do you have any stories of observing other label partners at work that inspired you to write some of your songs?
It’s a poorly kept secret in Anjuna circles that Larry Mountains 54
was a big inspiration behind Come Play Perfect
, my first Anjunadeep
release back in 2006. I’ve been a happy member of the family since. Not having released any 4/4 originals on any non-Anjuna label in the past 5 years should be a testament to that. Needless to say, touring with Above & Beyond
has been really good for my DJ career. The boys and the employees at Anjuna HQ are good people and in terms of musical direction, there is no other label I feel more connected to.
LessThan3: What do you think it is about your sound that allows you to fit into the Anjuna family so perfectly?
Øistein: I think all Anjuna artists influence and inspire each other. Personally, I don’t think it hurts that I prefer to inject my music with musical, melodic content. Being an old jazz enthusiast, it wasn’t until I was in my mid 20s before I started enjoying dance music and even then, I had a tendency to isolate anything with exceptional production value. The transition between contemporary jazz and “DJ food” was fairly long, beginning with jazzy jungle and drum’n’bass, eventually leading up to polished, musical 4/4. I think Anjuna is home to many artists who come from a diverse, musical background. A manager in LA once called Anjuna “the musician’s label,” and I’m inclined to agree with that.
LessThan3: What is the most ridiculous studio story you have in recent memory?
Øistein: The phone rings on a Sunday morning. I open my eyes and try to come to my senses. Turns out to be a bit of a challenge as I realize it must be very early and I’m far from sober. I’m in the studio, lying on a pillow under the studio desk, wearing a t-shirt and a hoodie, buck naked from the waist down. I crawl out, involuntarily using my genitalia as a broom, get up and discipline myself to call back. At the end of an embarrassingly incoherent conversation, I realize I’ve been politely asked to do sound design and mixing for a corporate video presentation as soon as humanly possible. I proceed to do so successfully, if I might add, wearing a t-shirt and a hoodie, buck naked from the waist down.
LessThan3: Could you elaborate on your time spent in the commercial film and TV industry? What lessons did you take from your experience in these fields that have helped you in your music career?
Øistein: By the time I decided to try my luck as a recording artist, I had already been producing professionally for the better part of my adult life. It’s easier to learn a recipe than to learn how to cook. My previous experience obviously helped me getting started, although I still had to learn the do’s and don’ts. Doing customized music for media can be very demanding and requires a high level of flexibility, both creatively and stylistically. A client may want modern, traditional, fast, slow, happy or sad at any given time. There’s always a deadline and nobody takes your daily mood or level of inspiration into account. Sometimes your work can be exposed to millions of people without bringing any notable appreciation, recognition or fame. I’d rather have a handful of genuine fans than 20 million listeners who don’t give a sh*t.
LessThan3: Back in the day you were hired to do the musical scores for video games. Today, if you could do the music for any video game, what would it be and why?
Øistein: Doing music for a big budget video game these days is very, very hard work. If you concentrate on what you’re being offered, it looks tempting, but when you know how much work it is… I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind doing individual tracks for games like Trifonic and I did for Need For Speed: Shift, but I’d think twice about scoring a full game.
LessThan3: Given that progressive house often transports listeners to an uplifting positive state of mind, do you ever feel the need to explore darker or harder types of music to keep yourself balanced?
Interesting question. I think on some level that’s probably true, but I think the desire to explore must come naturally. To be honest, I did enough hard, edgy music before Boom Jinx to last me a lifetime. I was really happy with To The Six
but went on to explore other, less emotional styles which escalated all the way up until Quadcore
with Andrew Bayer, Matt Lange, and Trifonic. At this point, we’ll probably circle around and do something more emotional again.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Øistein: I wouldn’t mind having Stanley Meyer’s Cavatina played in my funeral but I don’t think an iPod would be of much interest if I knew the human race was coming to an end in 180 seconds.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Øistein: True to self.