Jul 10, 2013

Jonas von der Fehr, aka Fehrplay, has an impressive summer tour ahead of him with stops at Electric Zoo, Burning Man, and Creamfields UK. July also sees the release of groovy summer tune “Monte” on Pryda Friends. We sat down with the Norwegian to go over his inspirations, adjusting to a touring lifestyle, and working with Eric Prydz.

Fehrplay - Monte (Original Mix) [Pryda Friends]
LessThan3: Your sound has been compared to epic film scores. What movie would your music fit well with?
Jonas: I love movie music! When I’m producing I’ll start a film and play my music over it to see what interesting emotions are sparked. I find myself producing to Bladerunner a lot, so I would have to say my music fits the best with Bladerunner. I’m a big fan of the composer of the film, Vangelis.
LessThan3: Sounds like you’ve dedicated a lot of time to your craft.
Jonas: I’ve been a bedroom producer since I got my first computer when I was 12. I had very easy production software and built it from there as a hobby. Whenever I had the time, I worked on music production. Other kids were playing video games; I was producing music. There’s a saying: “It takes 10,000 hours to become a professional at something.” I believe in that. It’s easy to be good at something if you were born with massive talent, but for most people it takes hard work and dedication.
LessThan3: How did you and Eric Prydz link up?
Jonas: I sent music to him, and when I didn’t get a response, I kept trying. One day I got an email from Eric’s label, and they told me that liked my music and invited me to come onboard. It’s been the greatest moment of my career so far.
LessThan3: You must be learning quite a bit from working with him and being a part of Pryda Friends.
Jonas: Prydz is very hands-off; he doesn’t want to interfere with my creative process. If I have questions he’ll answer them, but he’s not forcing me to produce or sound a certain way. It’s been a great experience spending time in the studio with Eric, but for the most part he’s taught me how the industry works and how to work on the road. He teaches me more about the business side of things rather than specific technical skills.
LessThan3: You’re a part of a new generation of Norwegian producers. Do you see a friendly Scandinavian rivalry starting between the Norwegians and Swedes?
Jonas: (Laughs) Maybe! The Swedes have loads of great artists doing quite well internationally. But who knows? There’s some exciting talent coming out of Norway–it’s time for Norwegians to get in the spotlight!
LessThan3: You’re relatively new to touring, having started just last year. What aspects of traveling the world to play music did you not expect?
Jonas: I had never experienced jetlag before, so it was a bit surreal doing a gig right after a 12-hour flight when it’s 10 in the morning in the timezone I just left. You get used to it though–traveling is a great adventure.
LessThan3: What stereotypes about the United States were confirmed when you began touring in this country?
Jonas: America has so much fast food! I’ve never been to America before, so I never got to try places like Taco Bell until I started touring. I love it!
LessThan3: How do you approach constructing your DJ sets?
Jonas: I like to start out deep and go from there based on what the crowd wants. I love building it up, going down a bit, then building it back up again. Sometimes I’ll miss, I’ll play some techno and the crowd isn’t feeling it, so I’ll adjust. As for song selection, I have tracks that I always play that fit nicely in my gigs. Besides those, I take a couple hundred tracks with me so I have that freedom to respond to the crowd. I’m always experimenting with music to discover songs that go well together.
LessThan3: Would you rather fight 100 tiny horses or one giant duck?
Jonas: 100 tiny horses! (Laughs) I gotta mention that I’m a big Redditor, so I’m familiar with the question.
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?
Jonas: Beat It by Michael Jackson.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Jonas: Progressive. Euphoric. Groovy.
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