Eric Prydz sits down for a 45-minute interview with RA’s Exchange
Resident Advisor’s Exchange podcast series sits down with artists, label heads, and promoters who steer the (primarily underground) course of electronic music. The usually reticent legendary producer Eric Prydz was the subject of the most recent interview, where he revealed some of his early influences, current projects, and future plans.
The native Swede came to LA permanently at the end of 2012, with plans to stay just six months or a year. Three years later, he still remains stateside with his family, citing the Southern California sunshine as a factor that has made him “a happier person.” When asked if Los Angeles has a different energy than London or Stockholm, Prydz noted that LA was a “like heaven and hell… and there’s a lot of distractions,” but he has found he is making more music than ever before.
This is a milestone year for Eric Prydz; his landmark label Pryda Recordings is celebrating its tenth anniversary. “Pryda- it’s been ten years, that’s f*cking crazy. It’s a label that I started up back when I was fresh, and back then, when you released music, it was about releasing music on other people’s labels and big record companies… and everyone always had to have some form of input. Like, ‘oh, we don’t really like the track like that, that’s weird, we never heard anything like that.’ You didn’t really have full control, which I hated. So starting up your own label, for me, was the obvious thing to do, so I could do whatever I wanted to. It’s been ten years, and I haven’t really treated it like a record company. It’s just an artistic forum for me to do whatever I want.”
Those familiar with Pryda Recording’s ethos know that there is very rarely promotion surrounding releases. Pryda 10, the 22-track collection celebrating a decade of the label and its groundbreaking releases, is “99% tracks that Pryda fans have been gagging about for years.” When asked why it has been ten years before some of the records have been released, Prydz answered point-blank, “I don’t make music with the purpose to release it. I never have.” It’s a rarity for an artist to withhold the majority of their body of work from streams or downloads, and makes the experience of a live Prydz performance among the most transcendent in electronic music today. Some of the tracks on Pryda 10 are from 2005 or 2006, and released in their untouched form. Prydz revealed his belief that reworking a track that was from a particular period in his life would be a breach of the sound’s integrity- “it would lose its magic.”
When asked if Prydz had techniques for cultivating creative headspace or if inspiration just struck naturally, he nodded to the latter. “For me, it’s not work, it’s a creative process.. the way I do it is if I’m in the mood, I’m in the mood, and I’ll go out and make some music. Otherwise, I do something else. I don’t think you should force it.. for the sake of making something creative.” Touring has been an inspiration for Prydz, and the energy and feedback from his live performances has been a driving force for him to get back into the studio.
Eric Prydz has three prominent aliases- his own name, Pryda, and Cirez D. The artist revealed that Eric Prydz was the first signed to a label and is subject to contract, and thus is reserved for his most commercial releases. Pryda is his more melodic outfit while Cirez D is technocentric, but that’s not to say there isn’t a crossover between them, as seen with Four Tet’s recent remix of “Opus.” The British artist asked via Twitter to remix the record, which Prydz calls “a banger” and Four Tet now plays out in sets. Eric prefers clubs to festivals, as he feels constrained by 90-minute sets, but enjoys the freedom of arena tours and picking his support, as “artists I look up to” like Maceo Plex, Sasha, and Claude VonStroke.
Is the Swede classically trained? He went to a piano lesson once as a child, but eschewed formal training after sitting through “boring” exercises and rules. “‘Oh the pinky finger needs to go there’ – I’m like no. I’ll do it like this. 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.”
Is there an Eric Prydz ‘signature,’ identifiable in every track? No, but a common theme is “the melodies and harmonies, kind of melancholy, kind of sad.. mixing the sour-sweet in a way.” Whatever the secret ingredient is, we’re privileged to be privy to it. Listen to the full interview below.
H/T: We Rave You