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Thursday, July 08, 2010

EQ Interview With Basshunter - "I'm 25 years old, I'm single, I've never been this happy with my haircut in my entire life..."

Basshunter

And what a lovely haircut he has indeed...

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Basshunter.  Love or hate his music, I've always appreciated that he helped bring fun techno (or what he calls euro-dance) back to the forefront and made it a bit popular again.  Coupled with the fact that he was just a normal guy from Sweden making computer music and sort of fell into his place in the music industry, Basshunter is proof positive that any musician with a little bit of ambition and an internet connection can take their laptop songs off the desktop and get them played throughout the world.  Having garnered a huge number one with "Now You're Gone" and having produced a few albums now, Basshunter is now ready to show the world who he really is with new single "Saturday".  What I loved about this interview with Basshunter is how he explains that he's not the guy you see in his music videos - he's kinda "what you see is what you get" and that is a funny and excitable 25 year-old guy who enjoys the good times, earning some dough and most definitely keeping it real with the ladies.

If you want to know more about what Basshunter is up to with his next album and why he chose to change his sound a bit for "Saturday" then read on!  Basshunter also talks about his time on Celebrity Big Brother and why he enjoys spending so much time here in the UK...

So "Saturday", is quite different for you actually. When I first saw the video, I thought it was a bit of change for you - in the good way...
Yeah - it's different in a very good way if you ask me. I've been producing dance music and euro dance music for 8 years now and this is it. I'm quite proud of the song.

Whose idea was it to give the Basshunter sound a little bit more of an electro-pop feel?
A lot of things that I've produced never get released. If you listen to my unreleased folder on my computer you'll hear a lot of different kind of stuff. There's some stuff that I produced two years ago that will be on the new album and it will be a little more "poppy". To answer your question on whose idea it was - it was no one's idea. It just came out like that. We decided to end the video storyline with Aylar and all that with "I Promised Myself" as the closing chapter. I've been represented as kinda like "a high school kid" - an innocent high school guy that ended up with the prettiest girl and had love problems and all. But seriously, that never happened. I'm not like that. I haven't had a girlfriend in five years. I love my freedom, I love my parties, I love the girls. This is actually the first time in my commercial career where I am representing myself. And as you can see in the video, there is a lot of partying, a lot of girls. That's what "Saturday" is all about". Going out partying, going out with girls, hanging out with your friends, drinking, having more drinks with more girls and hopefully end up doing something else when the sun comes up. I feel great.

I always refer to you as "the man who brought fun techno back" - how do you feel about that branding?
You call it techno, in America they call it techno. Judging by the beats and the bass-drums and bass-lines I am using - it's not euro-dance, it's electronic music with very melodic melodies. I wouldn't refer to it as techno - I would say dance music generally...

What did it feel like when you released "Now You're Gone" and it became massively popular and you then started to see more acts doing the same sort of music?...
I get that question a lot - there wasn't anything like it at that time and the years before it was mostly pop and R&B. So yes, when people say I brought back a new era of techno/dance music, I must say that I am proud, very grateful and happy. There has been so many producers who have just been waiting for this and if you're telling me, I was the one who opened up the doors again, I'm very honored and very very happy for anyone I might have opened a door for...

Basshunter+2692

So are you working on a new album with the release of "Saturday"?
Yes, technically it's my 5th album. Right now a new album is just on the sketch board. I'm producing demos and writing lyrics every day. Every week I produce about two or three demos. So at the end of the summer tour in August, that's when I'm going to sit down with the label, friends and DJs who have good ears so they can tell if I have a hit on my hands. Maybe then, I'll have 40 demos and I'll pick the best 14 songs for the new album...

In terms of what your aiming for with the new album, is it going to be more of the electro-pop sound like "Saturday" or is it going to more euro-dance like what you've done previously?
I have a lot of people to satisfy. I have the old hardcore fans from 6 or 7 years ago, then I have the UK fans that's been following me since "Now You're Gone" and the "Bass Generation" sound and now I have the new listeners who are fans of the "Saturday" record because it's not really a dance song - it's more a pop song. It's dancey - you can still listen to it in the nightclubs but it's not as hard. It's only 128bpms...

It's not a "get your glowsticks" out track is it?
It's not... (at this point Basshunter does a little 10 second rave for me...) There will be critics who will comment "Basshunter - is he a genius, creative or schizophrenic?"  Let's put it this way. If I buy and album and there are a lot of different styles that are still kinda dancey, I would say that that it's just interesting and very listenable. So it will be a little bit poppy, electro-house, hard dance and hopefully if I get my way, I'll produce two really wicked trance songs. In the UK, people will probably refer to them as "so German". But I don't really care. If there are 14 or 16 tracks on the album and there are 2 tracks that aren't suitable for the UK market, then that's a fair deal - that's what I'm aiming for.

I can't wait to hear it.
I can't wait to produce it!

I noticed Aylar has a new single out...it doesn't surprise me that she's gone into dance music. Did she seek any advice from you beforehand?
I'm producing and writing most of my stuff myself and I started out as a nobody who didn't know anything about the music industry...I still hear names I don't know and people are like "oh my god you don't know who that guy is - he's a legend"...but four years ago, I was playing computer games - that was my life. I wouldn't be the best mentor, but I've given her some suggestions and a bit of advice. In general she's just a really cool girl...

Do you think she gets a lot of shtick for being "the girl in the Basshunter videos"?...
Of course she will.  James Bond was James Bond....oh that was a bad example. I mean she had a career before my videos. She was singing and touring before working with me. I just wish her the best of luck and hope she can make a proper name in the music industry for herself. Not just as a glamour model or as an actress, but as a singer. If she wants advice, Aylar knows who to call...

 Basshunter_aylar 

Basshunter and music video co-star Aylar

You have some interesting views on the US versus UK music markets don't you...
I would say if you compare the American music market with the UK, of course the American music industry is bigger. If you get a number one in America, you don't have to work for a couple of generations unless you handle your career and your money like a fucking retard...but the reason why the UK market is so huge is first of all it's the very center of music. You have all different kinds of styles here. Whatever happens here, will happen in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, America and all the European countries. They look to the UK market. Whatever happens here generally will start to happen elsewhere. There are so many eyes on the music market here. That's why I'm here. Well the last two and a half years, I've been in the UK an average of six or seven months of the year. My career is very UK based now - I love it. I made so many good friends here. It's so easy to find a good party. I love the ladies. You know in Sweden we are quite blessed with beautiful women. There are a lot pretty British girls here though. A British girl knows what she wants - I like the mentality. You can go out find a pretty girl, you spend all night with her, buy her drinks, spend like 200 or 300 pounds on her and then at the end of the night she's like "oh here's my boyfriend, gotta go" and you're like "what the fuck, how did that happen?" You have to play your cards right...

The same thing must happen in Sweden though...
Well yeah, but in Sweden when the girls say "I'm sorry, I have a boyfriend" you then just say "well, I'm not jealous, so get in the car"...[laughs]

Now you said that in the UK lots of doors have been opened for you...why go on Celebrity Big Brother then?
Well, people kinda know me as a very honest person. I'm a very aware person, I don't live in a dream world. I'm very aware of the reality. My mom was the last person I spoke to before I had to turn in all my cell phones and stuff and she said "Jonas whatever you do, just be yourself, you'll be fine...".  I learned a lot about myself in there, things we take for granted, like if you're bored, what do you do?  You check your Facebook or text someone...

You can't do that on Big Brother...
No you have to be creative or be social and you have to find your own way to entertain yourself. You realize that these things like Facebook play a big part in your life. So that's why I have a little extra smile on my face when I check my Facebook still! [laughs]  Of course this show gave me a lot of attention and a good boost in the career.  You can't ignore that, people know that. It's just ridiculous if I sit there and say "I didn't care about the fame or the money from going on Big Brother."  Let's just put it this way - I've got rent to pay.  I got bills to pay and I want to build up my future.  Maybe in two or three years no one will care about me anymore and I'll be very glad that I saved and earned the money I did. To be honest, let's talk about women again...I love the attention, especially after Big Brother. [laughs]

It seems to be a central theme every time I talk to you.
Always!  I'm 25 years old, I'm single, I've never been this happy with my haircut in my entire life and I'm actually gaining some muscle weight now...life is good!

Let's take another look at the video for "Saturday" shall we?  The single is now available to pre-order on iTunes.

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