Varg: “Techno scene is like an ouroboros - a snake eating its own tail”

"I’m not a part of a Swedish society, fuck them all!” says Jonas Rönnberg, one of the leading artists of Northern Electronics and Posh Isolation, and moves to the island of Gotland into a city of forty people. He doesn’t care about the techno scene, criticism and your opinion. And if you ask him what is the secret of his success, he would advice to: "Fuck the system, quit a job, stop being normal and do whatever you feel!”

Varg: “Techno scene is like an ouroboros - a snake eating its own tail”

"I’m not a part of a Swedish society, fuck them all!” says Jonas Rönnberg, one of the leading artists of Northern Electronics and Posh Isolation, and moves to the island of Gotland into a city of forty people. He doesn’t care about the techno scene, criticism and your opinion. And if you ask him what is the secret of his success, he would advice to: "Fuck the system, quit a job, stop being normal and do whatever you feel!”

Varg: “Techno scene is like an ouroboros - a snake eating its own tail”

"I’m not a part of a Swedish society, fuck them all!” says Jonas Rönnberg, one of the leading artists of Northern Electronics and Posh Isolation, and moves to the island of Gotland into a city of forty people. He doesn’t care about the techno scene, criticism and your opinion. And if you ask him what is the secret of his success, he would advice to: "Fuck the system, quit a job, stop being normal and do whatever you feel!”

Varg: “Techno scene is like an ouroboros - a snake eating its own tail”

"I’m not a part of a Swedish society, fuck them all!” says Jonas Rönnberg, one of the leading artists of Northern Electronics and Posh Isolation, and moves to the island of Gotland into a city of forty people. He doesn’t care about the techno scene, criticism and your opinion. And if you ask him what is the secret of his success, he would advice to: "Fuck the system, quit a job, stop being normal and do whatever you feel!”

Varg: “Techno scene is like an ouroboros - a snake eating its own tail”

"I’m not a part of a Swedish society, fuck them all!” says Jonas Rönnberg, one of the leading artists of Northern Electronics and Posh Isolation, and moves to the island of Gotland into a city of forty people. He doesn’t care about the techno scene, criticism and your opinion. And if you ask him what is the secret of his success, he would advice to: "Fuck the system, quit a job, stop being normal and do whatever you feel!”

Varg: “Techno scene is like an ouroboros - a snake eating its own tail”

"I’m not a part of a Swedish society, fuck them all!” says Jonas Rönnberg, one of the leading artists of Northern Electronics and Posh Isolation, and moves to the island of Gotland into a city of forty people. He doesn’t care about the techno scene, criticism and your opinion. And if you ask him what is the secret of his success, he would advice to: "Fuck the system, quit a job, stop being normal and do whatever you feel!”

Varg: “Techno scene is like an ouroboros - a snake eating its own tail”

"I’m not a part of a Swedish society, fuck them all!” says Jonas Rönnberg, one of the leading artists of Northern Electronics and Posh Isolation, and moves to the island of Gotland into a city of forty people. He doesn’t care about the techno scene, criticism and your opinion. And if you ask him what is the secret of his success, he would advice to: "Fuck the system, quit a job, stop being normal and do whatever you feel!”

Hi, Jonas! It’s your second time here in Kyiv, right? What impressions do you have about the city after your last visit?

          Last time I woke up two days after my show and I had no memories of it at all. Someone gave me very strong ecstasy pill and the day after, me and Yung Lean were locked in a strip club because his fans were screaming so much outside that we couldn't go out. But Yung Lean has really psycho fans. They were picking up shit and throwing it in the windows. So I was trying to smooth things over and bought a bottle of cheap champagne. When I opened the bottle I got the cork pop into my eye. I had seven internal bleedings and lost 34% of eyesight. It’s really fucked up! So that’s my last impression from Kyiv - I fucking loved it. Also, I lost my phone.

I guess when you're alone you do without such adventures. Last time you paid a visit, you were with Anthony (Abdulla Rashim). Does it make difference for you to travel alone or in a company of friends?

          So, when I’m alone it’s faster. I like that. Also, I work a lot, so I need time to think or time to make music or time to do anything. When I travel alone I’ve got the time to use my brain. It’s yoga. Also, I like walking in the middle of night, doing shit like that.

Hi, Jonas! It’s your second time here in Kyiv, right? What impressions do you have about the city after your last visit?

          Last time I woke up two days after my show and I had no memories of it at all. Someone gave me very strong ecstasy pill and the day after, me and Yung Lean were locked in a strip club because his fans were screaming so much outside that we couldn't go out. But Yung Lean has really psycho fans. They were picking up shit and throwing it in the windows. So I was trying to smooth things over and bought a bottle of cheap champagne. When I opened the bottle I got the cork pop into my eye. I had seven internal bleedings and lost 34% of eyesight. It’s really fucked up! So that’s my last impression from Kyiv - I fucking loved it. Also, I lost my phone.

I guess when you're alone you do without such adventures. Last time you paid a visit, you were with Anthony (Abdulla Rashim). Does it make difference for you to travel alone or in a company of friends?

          So, when I’m alone it’s faster. I like that. Also, I work a lot, so I need time to think or time to make music or time to do anything. When I travel alone I’ve got the time to use my brain. It’s yoga. Also, I like walking in the middle of night, doing shit like that.

But still, considering Northern Electronics approach or your activities as a curator at Atonal, it seems like friendship makes up your comfort zone. Is it common for you to welcome new people in this closed community?

          It really depends. It’s a good question because I think about that a lot too. For example, when we decide on what to release on Northern Electronics, we never actually take this decision. It comes naturally and we never look for anything. It’s never strategic and it’s never thought through of who will be involved in different part of things. 

          If you look at Gore-Tex City, it was the first collaboration that I did with a bunch of people. It ranges from well-known to really unknown people. I don’t care. As long as I like a work of someone or like the person I think it’s really fun. Some people really don't get down to that. And I understand it, people invest money in this stuff and I’m really weird when it comes to that point of view.

I recently got an offer to play a main stage at a really big techno festival with one of the biggest names of the techno world and I declined. Why the fuck would I? Do I have to spend time on the stage because someone is a famous techno DJ. Shit not.

          Then I came with a suggestion for a festival to get this guy and they were like: “Ugh, who the fuck is that guy?”, and I said: “He is great.”

When I saw Ecco2k at Atonal, I thought: “Wow, who is that guy?”

          Yes, he is fucking amazing. He is in the hip-hop world. It’s about finding the balance. I don’t think that there is a need for any borders in this kind of projects, or it might end up really limited, very boring and framed. When I grew up everybody thought that I was weird and fucked up. I came from a very small town where you do things as everybody else in your family, and I’ve never thought of doing that. I was born against. It’s been really rough. My friends’ parents were banning their kids from seeing me and shit like that.

 

What do your parents think about your occupation now?

          My parents love what I’m doing. They work in school. I guess all of my family does that. I used to be a teacher too, which was pretty intense. Now I play at the raves in Stockholm where some of my old students sell drugs. Time so fucking changes. Yeah, my parents went to Atonal two years ago or so. It was really nice. They were hanging out at the backstage with me and all the Posh Isolation people, having cocktails with us. It was amazing! They are 65 years old.

Let’s go back to the community. What mutual quality unites all these people?

          That’s a weird thing. I don’t feel like a part of a community. I would never consider myself being a part of anything, like, a Stockholm thing. People always ask me about the scene, because it looks like a community from the outside. But it's not. I used to do my work at home. Basically, I never left my apartment. I live with AnnaMelina now, we share a house and we make a lot of music. So, me and her have a kind of community now, but it is the first time I would come close to calling anything a community.

But still, considering Northern Electronics approach or your activities as a curator at Atonal, it seems like friendship makes up your comfort zone. Is it common for you to welcome new people in this closed community?

          It really depends. It’s a good question because I think about that a lot too. For example, when we decide on what to release on Northern Electronics, we never actually take this decision. It comes naturally and we never look for anything. It’s never strategic and it’s never thought through of who will be involved in different part of things. 

          If you look at Gore-Tex City, it was the first collaboration that I did with a bunch of people. It ranges from well-known to really unknown people. I don’t care. As long as I like a work of someone or like the person I think it’s really fun. Some people really don't get down to that. And I understand it, people invest money in this stuff and I’m really weird when it comes to that point of view.

I recently got an offer to play a main stage at a really big techno festival with one of the biggest names of the techno world and I declined. Why the fuck would I? Do I have to spend time on the stage because someone is a famous techno DJ. Shit not.

          Then I came with a suggestion for a festival to get this guy and they were like: “Ugh, who the fuck is that guy?”, and I said: “He is great.”

When I saw Ecco2k at Atonal, I thought: “Wow, who is that guy?”

          Yes, he is fucking amazing. He is in the hip-hop world. It’s about finding the balance. I don’t think that there is a need for any borders in this kind of projects, or it might end up really limited, very boring and framed. When I grew up everybody thought that I was weird and fucked up. I came from a very small town where you do things as everybody else in your family, and I’ve never thought of doing that. I was born against. It’s been really rough. My friends’ parents were banning their kids from seeing me and shit like that.

 

What do your parents think about your occupation now?

          My parents love what I’m doing. They work in school. I guess all of my family does that. I used to be a teacher too, which was pretty intense. Now I play at the raves in Stockholm where some of my old students sell drugs. Time so fucking changes. Yeah, my parents went to Atonal two years ago or so. It was really nice. They were hanging out at the backstage with me and all the Posh Isolation people, having cocktails with us. It was amazing! They are 65 years old.

Let’s go back to the community. What mutual quality unites all these people?

          That’s a weird thing. I don’t feel like a part of a community. I would never consider myself being a part of anything, like, a Stockholm thing. People always ask me about the scene, because it looks like a community from the outside. But it's not. I used to do my work at home. Basically, I never left my apartment. I live with AnnaMelina now, we share a house and we make a lot of music. So, me and her have a kind of community now, but it is the first time I would come close to calling anything a community.

I don’t feel like a part of a community. I would never consider myself being a part of anything, like, a Stockholm thing.

I don’t feel like a part of a community. I would never consider myself being a part of anything, like, a Stockholm thing.

          We don’t have a scene, we don’t have anything. Maybe they do, but I got apart of it. I just have my friends, Oli XL, Ecco2k, all these people. We never talk about making music, we don’t work on it together. We see each other and cook fancy dinners, talk about troubles, love, relationships and where to eat the best pasta in Stockholm. We never talk about what is the next move, should we plan a party or whatever. We are just a bunch of creative fucks that do it by yourselves. I don’t tell anybody about what I‘m going to make next, except for AnnaMelina, who I live with, because we have some kind of a creative space at home, where stuff happens all the time. Other than that, I don’t have any sort of community. It is just a bunch of friends doing their own shit.

          I’ve been given power, money and trust from promoters and festivals, so I can take it and share it with my friends. For example, Oil XL, he was playing Atonal last year, and he never played a live show before. He was mistakenly announced to play live and he was like: “OK, fuck it.” I never asked him: “How is your live set going, what are you going to do?” I don’t give a fuck. I don’t care even if he is going to make a fucking fool out of himself, it’s him. I only give that slot and I trust to make a masterpiece or make something that is horrible. I think that’s how it should work on an experimental scene, when you can be honest to everyone.

          We don’t have a scene, we don’t have anything. Maybe they do, but I got apart of it. I just have my friends, Oli XL, Ecco2k, all these people. We never talk about making music, we don’t work on it together. We see each other and cook fancy dinners, talk about troubles, love, relationships and where to eat the best pasta in Stockholm. We never talk about what is the next move, should we plan a party or whatever. We are just a bunch of creative fucks that do it by yourselves. I don’t tell anybody about what I‘m going to make next, except for AnnaMelina, who I live with, because we have some kind of a creative space at home, where stuff happens all the time. Other than that, I don’t have any sort of community. It is just a bunch of friends doing their own shit.

          I’ve been given power, money and trust from promoters and festivals, so I can take it and share it with my friends. For example, Oil XL, he was playing Atonal last year, and he never played a live show before. He was mistakenly announced to play live and he was like: “OK, fuck it.” I never asked him: “How is your live set going, what are you going to do?” I don’t give a fuck. I don’t care even if he is going to make a fucking fool out of himself, it’s him. I only give that slot and I trust to make a masterpiece or make something that is horrible. I think that’s how it should work on an experimental scene, when you can be honest to everyone.

In autumn Melina and you arranged anti-festival at Atonal. In the interview for Borsch mag you said that: “It is also cool to come to Berlin for some reason, because this is the capital where people sit on the high horse and judge about what experimental music is.” How did the audience perceive your performance?

          It was chaotic, but the audience seemed to like it. I don’t know. I never look into the audience when I play, I keep away from all the info, I try to stay as uninfluenced as possible. That is hard, if you read something, it is really, like: “Oh, fuck!” You get affected, even if you try not to. I keep off everything, no eye-contact, I’m in my own bubble, do my shit, then I leave and I don’t listen to what other people say. Still, I think the show was well-perceived.

It’s amazing how you blend different kinds of music. Though, AnnaMelina, who has poppier sound, or Ecco2k, both use elements of trap music. What're your thoughts on the genre?

          I’ve been listening to it. I think it’s like a modern-day punk. Recently, there was a documentary released about Swedish punk history in three parts. I watched it and there was a big fuss about it as they dramatized about the young girl who died of a heroin overdose in this documentary. We have a really big hardcore scene and they say: “Oh, it was so tragic!” Of course, it’s tragic: a young girl died from heroin! Then I started to think about the way they spinned it up, as it was one girl who died and all of the Swedes cried in the 70’s or 80’s.

          I think I’ve been to 15 funerals of friends who died in the recent years. Starting from are 17, when I had to bury my best friend, I’ve seen so many people die, lose their lives and this is nothing to do with a punk movement or shit like that. So if you look at a punk history and people refer to it, saying: “Oh, they are so fucked, take heroin or die or whatever”. Every youth culture, trap music or whatever is the same thing — it’s a youth movement. I would say trap is punk today. If you look at how it’s perceived today, it doesn’t sound like punk music, of course, it isn’t Sid Vicious screaming about how he hates his parents, but it’s based on the same things. They are rapping about shit, it’s fucked up.

So, trap is a modern punk?

          I would say so. It’s tired people who’ve never finished school, but reversed it and still make money out of a system you are born into. It’s like going to school, get a fucking job, get kids, get a wife. I never did that. I’ve never finished school. I’ve been to a school of course, but I was kicked out, I was missing years and I have no fucking degrees to show. Still, I make more money than my mother, and she is a head of a school office. You can turn all the fucking system around, flip the script and do something that is out of ordinary.

Especially in Sweden, where you have the strict rules about everything.

          I’ve been thinking about this, Sweden is leading in fashion, music, etc. We have so much of that shit going on. It changed a lot during the last couple of years. All of the sudden, it’s easy to choose your work in music or maybe in fashion and still getting support from the system and so on. But still, Sweden is a leading capital of being normal. At the same time, it’s a big privilege to come from Sweden. We’ve never been in a fucking war, we dodged Second World War, we dodged almost every war. It was super chill to live there; everyday is cool, I feel safe at night, and it’s so fucking boring.

          A lot of talented people are also like: “Oh, I’m going to keep my normal day job and chill. Maybe, I’ll do a little bit of what I’m good at on the weekends,” or “maybe, I’ll try to make a track.” If you can’t believe enough in yourself, why are you doing that shit or invest your time into it? I’ve been living without any money at all, you just need to try. I think it’s very important to never let down, never be afraid of trusting yourself. Fuck the system, fuck a job, fuck being normal, fuck all that stuff, do whatever you fucking feel.

It sounds idiotic, but you don’t need any money, do something like riot, do it yourself instead of doing what the world wants, because, eventually, you will die.

As I can understand a lot in your career happened unintentionally. You’ve started making music without any pretentious goals, just to see what is going to happen. But in general, do accidents mean a lot to you?

          I never meant to start making music, it was just because I had been arrested so many times and I was really fucked. I got thrown in front of a subway train and then two months later, when I started walking again, my friend got run over by train and died, while we were painting the subway in Stockholm. I couldn’t really do anything, so I started making music instead. It just went from there. It wasn’t intentional, no aiming for something.

You often mention that you don’t like techno, don’t listen to it and have never felt like fitting in the scene. Have you ever thought that everything goes so easy just because you don’t take it seriously?
In autumn Melina and you arranged anti-festival at Atonal. In the interview for Borsch mag you said that: “It is also cool to come to Berlin for some reason, because this is the capital where people sit on the high horse and judge about what experimental music is.” How did the audience perceive your performance?

          It was chaotic, but the audience seemed to like it. I don’t know. I never look into the audience when I play, I keep away from all the info, I try to stay as uninfluenced as possible. That is hard, if you read something, it is really, like: “Oh, fuck!” You get affected, even if you try not to. I keep off everything, no eye-contact, I’m in my own bubble, do my shit, then I leave and I don’t listen to what other people say. Still, I think the show was well-perceived.

It’s amazing how you blend different kinds of music. Though, AnnaMelina, who has poppier sound, or Ecco2k, both use elements of trap music. What're your thoughts on the genre?

          I’ve been listening to it. I think it’s like a modern-day punk. Recently, there was a documentary released about Swedish punk history in three parts. I watched it and there was a big fuss about it as they dramatized about the young girl who died of a heroin overdose in this documentary. We have a really big hardcore scene and they say: “Oh, it was so tragic!” Of course, it’s tragic: a young girl died from heroin! Then I started to think about the way they spinned it up, as it was one girl who died and all of the Swedes cried in the 70’s or 80’s.

          I think I’ve been to 15 funerals of friends who died in the recent years. Starting from are 17, when I had to bury my best friend, I’ve seen so many people die, lose their lives and this is nothing to do with a punk movement or shit like that. So if you look at a punk history and people refer to it, saying: “Oh, they are so fucked, take heroin or die or whatever”. Every youth culture, trap music or whatever is the same thing — it’s a youth movement. I would say trap is punk today. If you look at how it’s perceived today, it doesn’t sound like punk music, of course, it isn’t Sid Vicious screaming about how he hates his parents, but it’s based on the same things. They are rapping about shit, it’s fucked up.

So, trap is a modern punk?

          I would say so. It’s tired people who’ve never finished school, but reversed it and still make money out of a system you are born into. It’s like going to school, get a fucking job, get kids, get a wife. I never did that. I’ve never finished school. I’ve been to a school of course, but I was kicked out, I was missing years and I have no fucking degrees to show. Still, I make more money than my mother, and she is a head of a school office. You can turn all the fucking system around, flip the script and do something that is out of ordinary.

Especially in Sweden, where you have the strict rules about everything.

          I’ve been thinking about this, Sweden is leading in fashion, music, etc. We have so much of that shit going on. It changed a lot during the last couple of years. All of the sudden, it’s easy to choose your work in music or maybe in fashion and still getting support from the system and so on. But still, Sweden is a leading capital of being normal. At the same time, it’s a big privilege to come from Sweden. We’ve never been in a fucking war, we dodged Second World War, we dodged almost every war. It was super chill to live there; everyday is cool, I feel safe at night, and it’s so fucking boring.

          A lot of talented people are also like: “Oh, I’m going to keep my normal day job and chill. Maybe, I’ll do a little bit of what I’m good at on the weekends,” or “maybe, I’ll try to make a track.” If you can’t believe enough in yourself, why are you doing that shit or invest your time into it? I’ve been living without any money at all, you just need to try. I think it’s very important to never let down, never be afraid of trusting yourself. Fuck the system, fuck a job, fuck being normal, fuck all that stuff, do whatever you fucking feel.

It sounds idiotic, but you don’t need any money, do something like riot, do it yourself instead of doing what the world wants, because, eventually, you will die.

As I can understand a lot in your career happened unintentionally. You’ve started making music without any pretentious goals, just to see what is going to happen. But in general, do accidents mean a lot to you?

          I never meant to start making music, it was just because I had been arrested so many times and I was really fucked. I got thrown in front of a subway train and then two months later, when I started walking again, my friend got run over by train and died, while we were painting the subway in Stockholm. I couldn’t really do anything, so I started making music instead. It just went from there. It wasn’t intentional, no aiming for something.

You often mention that you don’t like techno, don’t listen to it and have never felt like fitting in the scene. Have you ever thought that everything goes so easy just because you don’t take it seriously?

I’m going to take music seriously, I just don’t care who is who and so on. I never sit down and think of what should be my next move. I guess a lot of people do that and it distracts.

I’m going to take music seriously, I just don’t care who is who and so on. I never sit down and think of what should be my next move. I guess a lot of people do that and it distracts.

          The main thing people talk about is how productive I am. But I was getting to the studio (when I had one) maybe once a month maximum. I haven’t been recording an album for 4 or 5 months and I still have 12 vinyls coming out this year because I don’t sit down and think of what people would appreciate or what would be the next big thing, or can I do this and if it is OK. I just do whatever I feel like and if you have this goal and move forward, it’s easy. So I think the fact that I don’t give so many fucks about the scene helps a lot.

Have you ever faced criticism and prejudgment among other players of the scene? How do you react?

          I get a lot of criticism all the time and I find it hilarious. There has been criticism in so many ways — you released too much, you are not good at making music or you can not do this or this is not allowed and so on. Whatever they say, I find it funny, because I think it has a lot to do with jealousy, the fact that a lot of people are stuck in frames. That is kind of a funny thing. The people you expect to have “rough” opinions on music are often like stiff techno dudes, you know, 35 years old “white man”, who is into brutalist architecture or whatever. I find it hilarious, but I don’t care. 

In your opinion, is it important for the audience to know how the music was written?

          No. Nowadays the scene is so focused on that. You need to have a certain sense and you need certain things to be good. But you don’t have to wear a fancy dress to be beautiful. These are the same people who buy all that shit to make music and I can record a live album on iPhone. That’s why it’s important to mention that you don’t need to have all this gear to make a record.

I can make it on iPhone or iPad and press it to vinyl and a lot of people would buy it and comment on whether it’s a modular sound or whatever. No, this is actually my iPhone that sounds here. Those people get down with it, put it high on the charts, take a release as a “release of the year”.

         It’s not made on fancy equipment, it’s made on the iPhone. That’s the only reason why I make a point on how it is recorded, otherwise, I don’t give a fuck. I really don’t care.

What about the medium it is consumed through?

          It’s problematic for people that need to get every single one of my records, but don’t get all of my records. Fuck it! You can download it on a torrent sites, you can listen to it on Youtube. I think music is for everyone; if you can’t afford it, then fucking download it illegally. I really don’t care how you get the music. You get it on streaming services or you want to have it on vinyl, I don’t care.

          The main thing people talk about is how productive I am. But I was getting to the studio (when I had one) maybe once a month maximum. I haven’t been recording an album for 4 or 5 months and I still have 12 vinyls coming out this year because I don’t sit down and think of what people would appreciate or what would be the next big thing, or can I do this and if it is OK. I just do whatever I feel like and if you have this goal and move forward, it’s easy. So I think the fact that I don’t give so many fucks about the scene helps a lot.

Have you ever faced criticism and prejudgment among other players of the scene? How do you react?

          I get a lot of criticism all the time and I find it hilarious. There has been criticism in so many ways — you released too much, you are not good at making music or you can not do this or this is not allowed and so on. Whatever they say, I find it funny, because I think it has a lot to do with jealousy, the fact that a lot of people are stuck in frames. That is kind of a funny thing. The people you expect to have “rough” opinions on music are often like stiff techno dudes, you know, 35 years old “white man”, who is into brutalist architecture or whatever. I find it hilarious, but I don’t care. 

In your opinion, is it important for the audience to know how the music was written?

          No. Nowadays the scene is so focused on that. You need to have a certain sense and you need certain things to be good. But you don’t have to wear a fancy dress to be beautiful. These are the same people who buy all that shit to make music and I can record a live album on iPhone. That’s why it’s important to mention that you don’t need to have all this gear to make a record.

I can make it on iPhone or iPad and press it to vinyl and a lot of people would buy it and comment on whether it’s a modular sound or whatever. No, this is actually my iPhone that sounds here. Those people get down with it, put it high on the charts, take a release as a “release of the year”.

         It’s not made on fancy equipment, it’s made on the iPhone. That’s the only reason why I make a point on how it is recorded, otherwise, I don’t give a fuck. I really don’t care.

What about the medium it is consumed through?

          It’s problematic for people that need to get every single one of my records, but don’t get all of my records. Fuck it! You can download it on a torrent sites, you can listen to it on Youtube. I think music is for everyone; if you can’t afford it, then fucking download it illegally. I really don’t care how you get the music. You get it on streaming services or you want to have it on vinyl, I don’t care.

I see that there are a lot of things that concern you, from capitalist underground scene to racism and politics. How are you using music to broadcast these essential topics? 

          That’s the tricky one because there are two ways around. People like Rihanna or Justin Timberlake, or any of these people have millions of followers. They are the influencers for the whole world. If they use their voice and speak about politics, things might change. For instance, Beyonce voiced a support to Hillary Clinton to take an active stand against Donald Trump. People listened and Hillary Clinton probably gained tons of votes because of that, so when you are a big star and you turn your voice into politics I really respect that. But it’s been two-faced for me, as I’ve been really trying to avoid it. I find it problematic and weird because many people use politics to make themselves big in music. It’s trending which is really good. Things like gender equality, racism, and gun crime get much attention and it’s great. What’s also trending is that a lot of people that don’t really have that sparkle themselves can use politics to get benefits, mark themselves as a political musician and use it to become a big artist. Fuck that. I’m not true political when it comes to music, but I’m true political when it comes to being a person.

I can’t help mentioning song titles on your EP (on Elektron Grammofon) that looks like a protest: No Borders, Anti Government, Anti Everything. Is it a reflection of your own political position? What did you mean by it?

          I was just pissed. I never mentioned it publicly, but that whole EP was made because I had a trip from Copenhagen back home. Sweden never closed their fucking borders, we never fucking close our borders, even in Second World War, we let nazi Germany run metals to build guns. You know, we didn’t shut them out, we never shut our borders for anyone but we closed our borders a couple of years ago when the refugee crisis happened all over Europe and at first, I was like: “Really? You are shutting them now?” It’s really worse than during the Second World War, we couldn’t shut nazis, but we shut these people. What the fuck is happening?

          One night I’ve been in Copenhagen, where I’ve been chilling with Posh Isolation crew and as I always do, I took the morning train from Copenhagen to Stockholm which is like six and half hours long. We have a new stop at the first station in Sweden, where you go from the bridge and you have border cops that come on the train and I’m the white guy so I sit there and I’m fucking drunk, I’m sleeping and I’m tired as fuck. So I put my hand down on my bag and grab the first fucking card that comes out and give it to the cop. They didn’t even look at it, said “fine”, and gave it back. I looked at the card and it’s my friend’s fucking driving license. The guy is a redhead with super curly hair; we don’t look the same at all. But the cops were “yeah,” and gave it back to me. I was, like: “Really? Fuck off!” That’s why I made that EP. It was just because I was pissed.

 

Your social media alter-ego is also an essential part of your ethos, somewhat of an allergic reaction to the existing system. Is it important for techno artists to use social media?

          It’s up to you. It’s a highly personal thing. It’s both important and not important, it is whatever you want. For me, it's been important, because I have so many other shit to express.

Has it helped your career?

         Kim Kardashian once said: “I really love social media. I totally attribute my career to social media.” I actually had that sample in my Resident Advisor podcast, exactly that quote. Yeah, it really helped me and it helps a lot of other people, as well. It’s not always necessary, because 95% of people use it to post photos of, like, whatever. I think that is not important at fucking all. I’ve seen enough of that shit.

You took part in a panel discussion about social media at Unsound festival this year. What topics did you discuss?

          We talked a lot about the things like #MeToo campaign, the power and the impact of social media — the negatives and positives, and stuff like that. For instance, if you blame someone for doing something wrong, how fast can it hang someone up? Then someone shows up and say that it isn’t true; no one really cares about it, because it’s not that juice of news. We were talking about that as one angle of social media, that adrenalin kicking. If I break up with my girlfriend (if I had one) in public, I would be like: “Fuck you, you suck, you’ve cheated on me with me best friend!” People will be: “Wooo, this is so crazy!” But if she texts me back: “Sorry, I love you”, no one will give a fuck, because it’s boring. Social media became some sort of a drug.

Finally, the last one, you once said: “I don’t know where is the techno scene today, I know about the future, for sure, but I don’t know about the past.” So, what is the future of techno scene?

          It can go two ways. It might stay as it is, just like the snake that eats itself, ouroboros. It is reinventing itself but never inventing. Otherwise, it will crash and burn. Right now it sticks in so many influences, it’s so much drama. Everybody is, like: “Oh, that is not techno, that is not cool.”

It’s either stays the same, and all of us that are just trying to fight against it will just get bored out and do something else, and leave these people do it, or it will go fucking insane, which I hope it will. I hope it’ll go really crazy. Let’s see.

At least, it’s going to be fun. But I don’t know, tragic fun or actual fun. 

I see that there are a lot of things that concern you, from capitalist underground scene to racism and politics. How are you using music to broadcast these essential topics? 

          That’s the tricky one because there are two ways around. People like Rihanna or Justin Timberlake, or any of these people have millions of followers. They are the influencers for the whole world. If they use their voice and speak about politics, things might change. For instance, Beyonce voiced a support to Hillary Clinton to take an active stand against Donald Trump. People listened and Hillary Clinton probably gained tons of votes because of that, so when you are a big star and you turn your voice into politics I really respect that. But it’s been two-faced for me, as I’ve been really trying to avoid it. I find it problematic and weird because many people use politics to make themselves big in music. It’s trending which is really good. Things like gender equality, racism, and gun crime get much attention and it’s great. What’s also trending is that a lot of people that don’t really have that sparkle themselves can use politics to get benefits, mark themselves as a political musician and use it to become a big artist. Fuck that. I’m not true political when it comes to music, but I’m true political when it comes to being a person.

I can’t help mentioning song titles on your EP (on Elektron Grammofon) that looks like a protest: No Borders, Anti Government, Anti Everything. Is it a reflection of your own political position? What did you mean by it?

          I was just pissed. I never mentioned it publicly, but that whole EP was made because I had a trip from Copenhagen back home. Sweden never closed their fucking borders, we never fucking close our borders, even in Second World War, we let nazi Germany run metals to build guns. You know, we didn’t shut them out, we never shut our borders for anyone but we closed our borders a couple of years ago when the refugee crisis happened all over Europe and at first, I was like: “Really? You are shutting them now?” It’s really worse than during the Second World War, we couldn’t shut nazis, but we shut these people. What the fuck is happening?

          One night I’ve been in Copenhagen, where I’ve been chilling with Posh Isolation crew and as I always do, I took the morning train from Copenhagen to Stockholm which is like six and half hours long. We have a new stop at the first station in Sweden, where you go from the bridge and you have border cops that come on the train and I’m the white guy so I sit there and I’m fucking drunk, I’m sleeping and I’m tired as fuck. So I put my hand down on my bag and grab the first fucking card that comes out and give it to the cop. They didn’t even look at it, said “fine”, and gave it back. I looked at the card and it’s my friend’s fucking driving license. The guy is a redhead with super curly hair; we don’t look the same at all. But the cops were “yeah,” and gave it back to me. I was, like: “Really? Fuck off!” That’s why I made that EP. It was just because I was pissed.

 

Your social media alter-ego is also an essential part of your ethos, somewhat of an allergic reaction to the existing system. Is it important for techno artists to use social media?

          It’s up to you. It’s a highly personal thing. It’s both important and not important, it is whatever you want. For me, it's been important, because I have so many other shit to express.

Has it helped your career?

         Kim Kardashian once said: “I really love social media. I totally attribute my career to social media.” I actually had that sample in my Resident Advisor podcast, exactly that quote. Yeah, it really helped me and it helps a lot of other people, as well. It’s not always necessary, because 95% of people use it to post photos of, like, whatever. I think that is not important at fucking all. I’ve seen enough of that shit.

You took part in a panel discussion about social media at Unsound festival this year. What topics did you discuss?

          We talked a lot about the things like #MeToo campaign, the power and the impact of social media — the negatives and positives, and stuff like that. For instance, if you blame someone for doing something wrong, how fast can it hang someone up? Then someone shows up and say that it isn’t true; no one really cares about it, because it’s not that juice of news. We were talking about that as one angle of social media, that adrenalin kicking. If I break up with my girlfriend (if I had one) in public, I would be like: “Fuck you, you suck, you’ve cheated on me with me best friend!” People will be: “Wooo, this is so crazy!” But if she texts me back: “Sorry, I love you”, no one will give a fuck, because it’s boring. Social media became some sort of a drug.

Finally, the last one, you once said: “I don’t know where is the techno scene today, I know about the future, for sure, but I don’t know about the past.” So, what is the future of techno scene?

          It can go two ways. It might stay as it is, just like the snake that eats itself, ouroboros. It is reinventing itself but never inventing. Otherwise, it will crash and burn. Right now it sticks in so many influences, it’s so much drama. Everybody is, like: “Oh, that is not techno, that is not cool.”

It’s either stays the same, and all of us that are just trying to fight against it will just get bored out and do something else, and leave these people do it, or it will go fucking insane, which I hope it will. I hope it’ll go really crazy. Let’s see.

At least, it’s going to be fun. But I don’t know, tragic fun or actual fun. 

______

Text: Maya Baklanova

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