In a rare interview, Swedish progressive master Eric Prydz opens up about his career. Going deeper than a usual Prydz interview, Eric sat down with Resident Advisor to be picked apart and goes into detail about his career history, openings in electronic music such as DJing at school parites in his early teens and his inspirations growing up in Stockholm in the 80s such as Kraftwerk, Depache Mode and even Kiss.
What strikes us hardest is how genuine, humble and most of all personal Prydz shows himself off as in this interview. He’s a man who makes music for himself, and doesn’t follow trends or go after what’s popular. The use of his main 3 aliases, Eric Prydz, Pryda and Cirez D allow us to explore multiple sides of the Swede from the more mainstream appealing tracks of Prydz to the darker, dirtier techno of Cirez D. Prydz also distances himself from the popular “EDM” and it’s main labels through the use of his Pryda label which he runs. It’s reasons like this which are why he’s been long considered one of the best in the electronic music world.
We’ll cherry pick the significant quotations with contexts from the conversation :
On the 10th anniversary of his Pryda label:
“It’s been 10 years..that’s f**king crazy, it’s a label that I started up back when I was kind of fresh..and back then when you released music, it was all about releasing music on other people’s labels and big record companies and stuff like that and everyone had some kind of input like ‘oh we don’t really like track like this, you shouldn’t do that, oh that’s weird – like we’ve never heard anything like that before. And the artwork should look like this’ and blah blah blah. You didn’t really have full control…which I hated. So starting my own label was like the obvious thing to do because I could do whatever I wanted to..the way music was promoted, sold etc.”
“I’ve never really treated it as a record company..it is just a forum for me to do whatever I want artistically. It’s only about the music not about promotion…And it’s been 10 years so we celebrated by releasing an album called Pryda 10, which is 22 tracks.”
On why the tracks weren’t released before:
“I don’t make music with a purpose to release it, I never have. I make the music that I think is missing from my record box and I make music to play out. Obviously I do release music but that’s just what I feel like ‘Oh, hey, this track should be released!’ but I never sit down and say ‘okay, I’m going to make a new Pryda release’. It’s more like ‘I need more new music for my sets, let’s make it’.
On the releases part of Pryda 10:
RA: So, how far are we talking with some of these [tracks]?
EP: Quite a few from like 2005 and 2006. Yeah so you know, they’re all from this 10 year period really.
RA: Have you been retouching these tracks or do you just dust them off in this sort of complete form?
EP: No, I haven’t touched them.
EP: Yes, there is a time, and a place and a sound for each track and if I take something that I made in 2006 it had a certain production sound and a way that I worked in the studio and stuff, and if I were to take that track and reproduce it now then it would lose its magic.
I think touring has always been very inspiring to me. You know, doing shows, meeting new people, playing music for people all across the world and the energy and feedback you get from them gets you very inspired to go back into the studio and make more music. So the whole touring and being in the studio feed each other.
On the three aliases he uses:
“Cirez D is similar to the Pryda..Pryda releases music on the Pryda label and Cirez D on Mouseville..musically the labels are different. I mean, Pryda is very melodic and experimental and I can just do what I want..while the music on Mouseville has been very club oriented..kind of influenced by European Techno…[in the context of labels having complete control and using only commercial music for releases] Eric Prydz has always been the more commercial viable music that comes out from me, you know.”
On playing at clubs as against playing at big festivals:
“…Playing more intimate shows verses playing big festivals and stuff is obviously is a very different kind of gig, you know. For me, I prefer playing clubs..if I had to choose, that’s where I feel that me and my music comes across the best, works well not ninety minute slot”
On making music since he was 9:
ER: Yeah, no, I think it was earlier. I think it was about 6-7. Growing up in Sweden in the 70’s and 80’s was very different. Like the government would put in a lot of money into infrastructure for kids to make sure that they had like stuff to do. So after school you could go to these places and they had all the toys and music instruments, pianos and drums. So I got into it and its just something that I started using. You know I wrote my first track when I was about 8 years old, on a piano in school and it kind of escalated from there I guess!
RA: I mean, were you receiving music training as a young kid?
EP: Well actually I did. My mom sent me to this piano practice, because my parents saw it interested me and I could play the piano, but it was just the most ridiculous thing..and I just went once because of all these stupid rules. “Oh the pinky finger needs to go there” – I’m like no. I’ll do it like this. And you had to play all these really boring tracks and stuff..yeah so I’m not musically trained. I can’t read notes and all that..If you, as a creative person, want to create something then I don’t think you need to read about what these other people have done before you. That’s like irrelevant. It’s more interesting what you can do and these are the instruments and try and learn how to play them in your own way, your own style.
Trademarks in his own music and musical style:
It’s kind of hard to analyze yourself…I think it’s the melodies and harmonies..that has kind of a melancholic or sad..but has hope and I don’t know how to explain. This is what I’ve got from all the synth bands from the 80’s and 90’s and mixing that kind of sour and sweet.
Source: Resident Advisor