Filed under: Interview
Petter Nordkvist reigns from that winter wonderland that can be found tucked snuggly between Finland and Norway. His music has been eminating from Scandinavia and beyond ever since the release of his first single ‘These Days’ and later his “Six Songs EP”. A year after its release, ‘These Days’ appeared on Sasha’s “Involver”, and in the same year Petter was to sign with James Holden’s Border Community.
Fast forward to 2006 where thanks to the release of his latest single ‘Some Polyphony’, and the unprecedented success of the Border family, Petter is now riding high on a wave of international appearances. We chatted to Petter in his modestly sized hotel room on his first visit to Japanese shores.
Interview & Introducion by Nick Lawrence
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : So are you jetlagged at the moment?
Petter : No, but I haven’t had much sleep the last couple of nights. But no jetlag, I have quite a fucked up sleeping rhythm anyway.
HRFQ : When you are on the road to you do much recording at all?
Petter : Rarely. Just playing around I suppose. But nothing like a whole track or anything. It’s difficult on the plane because I need power for the soundcard, and it’s noisy as well.
HRFQ : ‘These Days’ was released in 2003, since then has everything gone really quickly? Did you suddenly find yourself with a lot of gigs or has it been moving quite slowly?
Petter : I’ve sort of had kind of a slow pace. There wasn’t really much happening after ‘These Days’, I played a couple of Border Community nights. After “Six Songs EP” it was still pretty quiet but I got some other gigs related to Border Community. But after ‘Some Polyphony’ was released this summer it was just crazy. Border Community skyrocketed and I got like ten requests for gigs in the first week. Yeah, so that was crazy, I don’t really want to play that much. It was good after the “Six Songs EP” playing around twice a month around Europe. But I mean it’s fun now, doing a tour like this is great.
HRFQ : So back around the time of “Six Songs EP” you were just touring around Europe?
Petter : Yeah, it was mostly Europe. But I mean I went to Russia in like 2004 which was strange, a strange place. I don’t think anyone knew of me, it was just a big sponsored event in Russia so they had the money.
HRFQ : Earlier in the year at the Miami WMC you at James Holden were even sharing a hotel room, so is working with Border Community a whole lot of fun or is it like an office environment?
Petter : No no no not at all. It’s just fun. In Miami it was James, Gemma, James’ girlfriend, and me staying in a tiny room. It was kind of shabby but it was fun. The events that James and Nathan and everyone enjoy playing the most are the Border Community nights because we get together and it is always fun. The audience are always big fans so you don’t really have to adapt to the crowd.
HRFQ : Nathan’s album was a few months ago and James’ is just coming up now, are you going to…
Petter : (Laughs). I don’t have any plans for an album right now. I wouldn’t know what to do really, if it would be dance music or something else. One day I’d like to put out an album but I don’t know if it’s going to be on Border Community.
HRFQ : Nathan Fake made the dancefloor tracks and then made a non-dance album. Is that something you are considering?
Petter : I have a bunch of stuff that isn’t dance music but it isn’t finished and I don’t really know if it would be…Because you can’t really dance to it and it is not really song based enough to listen to it at home. So I just have to find a mix between the two. But I have quite a lot of ideas, so one day.
HRFQ : You and Ozgur Can were friends at school, are you planning to produce music together in the future?
Petter : We tried a couple of years ago but we are both just complete fascists in the studio. But we DJ together sometimes which is fun but nothing planned production wise.
HRFQ : So are you playing a lot of DJ gigs at the moment?
Petter : In Australia I did both. First the live and then the DJ which was really fun. But on the first night in Sydney my laptop wasn’t working five minutes before I was supposed to play so I just DJ’d for 4 hours and that was really really fun. It is usually just the live sets but I enjoy DJing as well.
HRFQ : When you were making your music to start off with were you picturing playing it live?
Petter : No not at all. I think I was inspired by Nathan’s live set, the first time I heard it was really cool. But I have never made tracks for the purpose of playing them live. It is difficult with the arrangement and everything to adapt them to the live environment.
HRFQ : But you are doing ok with it at the moment.
Petter : Yeah, I like to think so. But I have been playing more or less the same live set now for six months and it’s getting a bit boring to play the same old tracks. It’s difficult to find time to relax and make new stuff but eventually I have to (laughs).
HRFQ : Have you got a lot of material at the moment that is ready to be released?
Petter : I was supposed to put out a record on Pickadoll, John Dahlback’s label, this summer and he’s been on me about it all summer. It’s nearly finished but I hate going back to old tracks and trying to finish them. So I’m not sure if it’s coming out.
HRFQ : Is that a Thunderpants release?
Petter : No it’s just a solo thing. Oh yeah, Harald Bjork, who is the other half of Thunderpants, has just been signed to Traum for like a three record release, which is really cool.
HRFQ : Are you guys going to do more together or will those Traum releases mean you won’t?
Petter : No no no no. Eventually I think we will but he is studying in a different town so it is a bit difficult to find time at the moment. But definitely in the future.
HRFQ : So how did you meet Harald and how did you meet John Dahlback?
Petter : Me and Harald have been friends since we were little kids and John that was just through the music. Someone contacted someone and we just started talking. It’s fun because I have sort of gotten to know everyone in the whole techno scene in Stockholm like Adam Beyer and Joel Mull. There all really nice people and it is sort of like a community of producers in Stockholm. There is actually like a secret web forum were everyone who is a producer from Sweden discusses things.
HRFQ : Do you think you’ll ever move away from Sweden?
Petter : Well I did move to Germany a year and half ago but then I moved back in May this year. I was getting a bit homesick I think. I was just meant to stay over the summer in Stockholm actually but it was such a nice summer that I just decided to stay. But I don’t think that I’ll ever permanently move anywhere else. I like Stockholm very much.
HRFQ : Because a lot of artists are moving to Berlin, did you got to…
Petter : Well it was with Harald and it was only because it is nearly impossible to find a flat if you don’t buy. In Berlin it is super cheap and very easy to find a flat. But then back to Stockholm.
HRFQ : For everyone who doesn’t live there anyway Stockholm sounds like a pretty cool place.
Petter : Yeah? It’s not that cool. It’s nice. It’s warm in the summer and very cold in the winter of course.
HRFQ : Is it Sweden making all you guys produce great music?
Petter : I don’t know actually. I grew up like ten minutes from the centre of Stockholm so I was basically living right near the forest in really nice nature. I think the other guys as well most of them were from the suburbs as well so they were close to nature and stuff. Umm I don’t know where I’m going with this (laughs). I don’t know where they get their influences but the techno guys are really close, they’ve known each other for like ten years so they bounce ideas off each other.
HRFQ : It seems important to have a good community with a sharing of ideas. It seems to be the case in Berlin.
Petter : Yeah but there is too much sharing of ideas in Berlin. I think it all sounds the same.
HRFQ : But not in Sweden?
Petter : (Laughs). No, not in Sweden.
End of the interview
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