Trentemøller: Found - Music Interview with Anders Trentemøller | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Trentemøller Discusses His New Album, Touring with Depeche Mode, and the Importance of Housework

Trentemøller: Found

Oct 04, 2013 Photography by Petra Kleis Trentemøller
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On a recent tour opening for Depeche Mode, Anders Trentemøller (known professionally by his last name) discovered that he has a fan in the band’s chief songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Martin Gore. “That was crazy for me to hear!” the Danish musician says, incredulity still ringing in his voice, as he recounts the extent of Gore’s appreciation of his work. “It is me that is a big fan of Depeche Mode, not the other way. I was very honored. Martin also mentioned several tracks. It’s a dream come true, talking to this guy who has written so many great songs and talking about my music.”

Trentemøller admits that as a former kindergarten music teacher, it was difficult to ever imagine he’d be in a position to be complimented by a childhood musical herolet alone tour alongside him. After releasing his debut album The Last Resort in 2006, he struggled for almost two years with the idea of a follow-up, and spent another two years recording. During that time, he found himself flirting with the dangerous question of what the audience might expect. In 2010 Trentemøller went on to release Into the Great Wide Yonder, a dark, industrially-driven album that folded everything from Dick Dale-style guitars to Nine Inch Nails-worthy feedback into its sprawling, Goth cinema tracks. “People really like to put music into boxes,” he says, now realizing the folly of waiting so long to follow his creative muse in between his first two albums. “I don’t really care about boxes. It’s a little bit boring.”

Work on Trentemøller’s third album Lost began after a U.S. tour in the fall of 2011. He describes his mindset at the time as hungry; eager to get back into the studio and begin fleshing out the sketches he had been toying with while on the road. An adroit solo artist who primarily produces instrumental tracks, he was surprised at the direction the material started to take early in the process.

“Suddenly, I was writing some tunes that demanded that there were some vocals on it,” he says. “It was not something that I planned.”

The songs on Lost expand Trentemøller’s boundless blueprint. Each track was written with a vocalist already in mind (“If I hadn’t, we restructured them,” he says), and the musician called upon Low, Jana Hunter of Lower Dens, Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead, Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes, Ghost Society, Marie Fisker, and Jonny Pierce of The Drums to write lyrics and perform vocals for his compositions, which ranged from crystalline folk (“The Dream,” featuring Low) to 1980s industrial pop (“River of Life,” featuring Ghost Society).

“He knew exactly what he wanted,” Pierce recalls of their collaboration on sprawling album centerpiece “Never Stop Running,” where the two musicians would pass ideas back and forth via email. “He would send me back my vocals, auto-tuned to where he thought I could go with it. I’ve never experienced that before. But you’ve got to admire a control freak. I didn’t get angry at all…the music world, it’s so full of assholes, probably myself included. It’s so refreshing to meet someone who is sweet. You can see that he’s in it because he loves making music.”

Thankful for the opportunity to forge a career in music (he peppers the conversation with references to his luck in the matter), Trentemøller says that even after completing album number three he still feels restless. Well, at least musically.

“When I’m home, the best thing is actually to do the dishes,” he laughs sheepishly. “Just listening to talk radio…. It’s important to do something that is not about music all the time, and seeing people who are not in the music industry. Just living my life inspires me.”

[This article first appeared in Under the Radar’s August/September 2013 print issue.]


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