Eric Prydz voices more than normal with The Guardian
Eric Prydz’ latest interview provides a lot more opinion than the titanic Swede usually gives. Sitting down with ‘The Guardian’ newspaper, the Pryda leader doesn’t hold back in his considered and applied revelations on the genre and scene as a whole.
While his latest string of shows, ‘EPIC 4.0’, have received over-whelming admiration and praise from fans and distant observers, the manner Eric Prydz conducts his work continues to impress, perplex and bemuse many. Since moving away from “Call On Me”, as in refusing to play it for the past 10 years, he’s gone on a journey of exploration to find what he’s after. Having called the hit single “super lazy”, his dislike of the current consumer-based scene is apparent.
Obvious since he turned down lesson’s to self teach himself piano, the individuality of Prydz sources from a blend of arrogance, confidence, commitment and drive. Seemingly frustrated by the commercialization of DJ’s, with residency’s such as those in Las Vegas (of which he’s had first-hand experience), his stubborn approach to working with others causes such rare collaborations to come with honour for the other party. And while many may say his qualms and controversial opinions stem from the fact his genre of music is under the same umbrella as associated acts such as radio-friendly Martin Garrix and David Guetta, it’s hard not to listen to, understand and sympathize with the man himself. Especially with the knowledge nearly every EPIC show is run at an economic loss, which contrast’s so much with the ‘cash king’ mentality of a number of headlining DJ’s.
Check out the full extract of The Guardian’s article and interview with Eric Prydz himself below where he even compares EDM to weed and McDonalds, along with giving rich, yet relaxed, insights in his stance on the genre as whole:
“Musically it’s very accessible, quite cheesy and very pop,” he tells me as we recline in the LA sun outside his sprawling house situated beneath the Hollywood sign, a couple of weeks before the Palladium show.
“It’s not house or techno. It’s pop music with a four-four beat.” As for the fans still wanting to hear Call On Me? “I call it iTunes fans – it’s normal consumers who listen to the radio and they like the top 10 on iTunes so they like that song one week and then the next it’s something else. It’s like fast food, week-to-week music consumption.”
He’s also out of step with the stereotypical superstar DJ life, his fear of flying meaning he often spends hours on tour buses (“Most of those private planes don’t even have toilets you know,” he offers meekly). You get the sense that Prydz could knock out an EDM chart-gobbler in his sleep, but rather than immerse himself fully in that world he remains on the periphery, happy to take headline slots at lucrative dance festivals buoyed by the EDM boom, but not succumbing fully to the world of “molly” and “drops”. With one sensible trainer slightly in that world, Prydz is able to straddle dance music’s underground scene, often DJing small clubs under his aliases Pryda (melodic, experimental house) and Cirez D (harder-edged techno).
For Eric Prydz, dance music’s mainstream success has helped galvanise the underground scene. “The EDM thing is almost like pot,” he says, popping a lump of dipping tobacco under his top lip. “Like when people say ‘if you’re going to smoke pot, then you’ll start doing heroin soon and moving on to stronger things. More refined.’
“The whole EDM thing is very accessible, it’s like McDonald’s or something. You go to your first festival and you see these acts and it’s the confetti and it’s the boom and the screaming in the mic and the big melodies, and I can see how a 16-year-old kid at their first festival would get hooked on that. But you’re going to get older and your music taste will get more refined. You’ll develop a genuine interest in music.”
With the final thrums of Opus’s title track ringing in my ears, and the Palladium crowd spilling out into the 24-hour diners nearby, I’m keen to enjoy some refined musical heroin. Skidding along the freeway in his PR’s BMW, we make our way to LA’s downtown arts district, a labyrinthine cluster of industrial buildings that are probably used for filming new Amazon Prime TV shows in the day, but that look suitably decrepit at night. Prydz is due to play a two-hour set, starting at 2am, as Cirez D in a small club opposite what looks like a disused barn.
Inside, the retina-destroying light show of the Palladium has been replaced by a few spotlights and black walls that seem to already be oozing sweat. Backstage – well it’s a loading bay with a fridge and toilet – Prydz seems happy with how the main show went, although he tells me the screens he uses weren’t working, so he couldn’t actually see the crowd’s reaction through the bank of lights, relying instead on texting people to make sure everyone was still there. He seems relaxed and almost giddy at the prospect of the Cirez D set. Suddenly a pony-tailed, very LA-looking friend arrives and promptly flicks Prydz on the penis, which seems to be part of an ongoing prank (“I can’t have any more kids now,” Prydz shouts). With all-blokes-together bonhomie at a high, someone else then suggests the friend pull Prydz’s trousers down mid-set, which everyone decides would be quite funny.
Fortunately for Eric Prydz the trousers stay on. Not that the sweaty crowd pushed up against the barrier at the front of his decks would notice, so enraptured are they with the darkly pulsating, multilayered swirl of noise that bounces around the room. Some are even wearing Pryda and Cirez D T-shirts. With both aliases having always run parallel to the music released as Eric Prydz, their existence doesn’t feel gimmicky, more just another outlet for his creativity. In his own quiet way, the seemingly unflappable Prydz just enjoys making a shitload of music. “It’s like the way I meditate almost,” he says. “And tonight I can go to this sort of dark underground hole and do this musically totally different thing for a few hundred people. But that’s just the way I am – I love this and I love that and I’ve found a way to do both.”
H/T: The Guardian