Jun 20, 2011
John Dahlback

Swedish DJ/producer John Dahlback has been a name associated with a sound that seems to meld all aspects of the word “house.” Now with a grit to take on the house and trance arenas, expect big things from John and his new label, Mutants. Learn more in our exclusive interview.

John Dahlback - Back to the Dancefloor (Original Mix) [Joia]
LessThan3: . Your latest album, Mutants, was released in early March 2011. What distinguishes this album from those that came before it? Any new production techniques or sounds you were really pushing this time around?
John: Mutants was a compilation I used to kick off my label of the same name. Basically the idea was to pick out my favorite tracks of my own and put it out as the first release; a sort of “this is what I’ve done and now I can start fresh.”
LessThan3: Some of our team members saw you open for Ferry Corsten last year in New York; do you often do shows with trance producers? How do you feel this changes the audience perception of your mix?
John: Trance crowds are often very open to music; they seem to have a broad taste and don’t care too much about genres. I’ve done a few shows with trance DJs like PvD, Corsten and Tiesto. It’s a lot of fun!
LessThan3: Sweden is quite the breeding ground for house producers these days; any up-and-comers we should know about?
John: There are a few very talented guys coming from Sweden. Alesso is someone I like!
LessThan3: You’re a representative of the next generation of young EDM stars. What kinds of new techniques and technologies do you think this next generation will bring?
John: DJing has changed so much; when I started I played vinyls and almost no club had turntables in their booth. I use CDs now, but will change to USB-stick in a bit. One thing I’ve discovered is that the length of mixes has changed a lot. It’s all about squeezing the most tracks in the shortest amount of time now.
LessThan3: Everyone wants to be a DJ these days. Do you think it’s getting out of hand or do you welcome the competition?
John: Well, there are pros and cons. What’s good about it is that you need to have great music coming out in order to get gigs, so not everybody can make a living out of it. I think many young people out there want to be a DJ just because of the “look” instead of the passion.
LessThan3: What are you thinking five minutes before going onstage? What about right after your set?
John: I try to relax as much as possible before a gig. Five minutes before I’m probably there checking out the vibe in the crowd and figuring out which track to start with. Right after my set I normally go right to bed since there’s probably an early flight to catch.
LessThan3: What do you think the future for EDM in America is? Will it finally break through to the mainstream, and if so do you feel that trance, techno, dubstep, electro, or house will take over? Will it be a combination?
John: I love the current situation in America. I love the enthusiasm from the crowd. European crowds have been kind of spoiled with the whole scene over here the last couple of years. It has already hit mainstream, and right now it’s all amazing, I just hope it doesn’t become “too much.”
LessThan3: A great deal of your family members have been musicians. What role has your family’s involvement in music propelled you forward in your career?
John: I’ve been spoiled with amazing music throughout my life. My parents also gave me the opportunity to try out all these different instruments which has helped me out in the studio. I play a lot of my music for my parents to see what they think of it as they’re coming from a completely different angle.
LessThan3: If you were not a DJ/producer what would you be doing right now?
John: I studied advertising, so I guess it would be in that area. Game creator would be quite amazing too!
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?
John: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
John: Edgy, beautiful.
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