Todd Terje interview: "Nerds make the world go around"
Ahead of this year's Slide and Get Diverted NYE party at Brixton Clubhouse, we caught up with Nordic DJ, producer and master of edits Todd Terje to talk new releases, synths, and being a self-confessed nerd.
Date published: 14th Dec 2012
Hi Todd! Where do we find you today? Good morning. Sitting in my living room, looking out on Oslo.
You've had a busy old 2012. What was the best bit? Definitely buying a flat. Ever since I was a kid I always thought THAT's the moment I grow up. So, here I am, a grown-up.
Were you surprised by the recent huge successes of 'Inspector Norse' and 'Ragysh'? Well, every time I get crazy feedback from my yes-man Gerd Janson of Running Back, I know it will go down well. He's been caning both 'Ragysh' and 'Inspector Norse' months and even years before others. He's my unpaid A&R.
As someone who's perhaps better known for edits, how does it feel to have so much success with original productions? And has it spurred you on to make more? Edits have always been left hand work, but I've done so many of them because they're so damn fast to make, and they're great for DJing. That I was gonna build a career almost on edits was a surprise to me, and now that I'm actually making more original music than edits, I feel I'm finally in the right place.
You're regularly put into the so-called 'nu-disco' camp… what do you think of that term? What's the most apt way you've ever heard your sound defined? I don't think highly of it of course, nobody likes getting tags on their music, it sounds like my music is that, and only that. Which it's not. The DJHistory crew named us “scandomed” a few years ago, which I quite liked, but it doesn't really have that same ring to it, hehe. AOR, scandomed, silly wave, whatever works.
What's the strangest thing you've ever read about yourself? Sorry, can't think of anything, it's too early in the morning for me. Anti-jetlagged after coming back from Australia...
You're a self-confessed technology nerd. What's your latest obsession, equipment wise? I am indeed. Nerds make the world go around. Or actually, nerds oil the wheels and jocks run inside it. Last thing I got was a Cwejman S1 mk2 semimodular, which is a bit like a miniature portable arp2600. Gonna use it for my live shows this summer.
Your studio's on fire. What do you save? Definitely the 2600, my hard drives would be a good choice and I'd also take my kitschy new age Vangelis type painting that hangs in our toilet. So bad, but so good.
Your It's The Arps EP was recorded entirely on your Arp 2600 synth. Why did you decide to do that and were you pleased with the result? It was a matter of justifying this expensive purchase, but I realised it was actually a great way to work. I thought first that it was gonna sound forced, but all the sounds went brilliantly together. Can't complain about the feedback on Inspector Norse!
What's going on with letsnerd.com? It's been a little quiet of late - can we expect any new interviews soon? I just forgot about it to be honest. I'd like to start up again now though, exactly one year since my last post, hehe. Am working on a few, but it's nothing I prioritise, it's just for fun.
Tell us about your label, Olsen. What's the ethos of the label and what are your plans for it? Very easy; it´'s only gonna be my own music (hence the name) and there will be a couple of singles and an album hopefully before summer.
Your real first name is Terje, not Todd - is that right? Where did the Todd come from? Nobody knows...
We've had some debate over this in the Skiddle office… can you settle the argument and tell us the correct pronunciation of 'Terje'? Ter-YEAH!
You must have been inundated with offers for NYE. Why did you choose Slide/Get Diverted? What do you like about this night? Are you asking me to sell your night here? hehe. Actually the NYE weekend was more a result of practical issues, like how to play a lot without travelling too much. It´s gonna be a BUSY weekend! (PS. Last Slide gig was great!)
What do you have planned for your NYE set? Will you be bringing out any new material? Always. There are at least three new works in progress that I play almost every gig just to see how they sound on different sound systems. NYE is a tricky one though, always expected to play something REALLY REALLY good without being too obvious, gonna have to think a bit on that one...
Do you have any new releases in the pipeline that we should be looking out for? Yep, a few singles hopefully before summer.
Thanks Todd! (and Merry Christmas!)
Interview: Jayne Robinson
Catch Todd Ter-YEAH! at Brixton Clubhouse this NYE for Slide & Get Diverted. Tickets are available below.