Following on the heels of Eric Prydz‘s debut album, Opus, The Guardian‘s own Michael Cragg recently spent time with the progressive house grandfather to learn more about his take on the current state of dance music and his involvement in its constantly evolving growth. During a night of several different live events thrown in Los Angeles, Prydz opened up about the accessibility of mainstream EDM and his conscious efforts to remain on the outskirts.
“Musically it’s very accessible, quite cheesy and very pop. It’s not house or techno. It’s pop music with a four-four beat.”
As for the fans that follow it, he says that most of them don’t take the time to study or appreciate the art for more than a week or two’s time. As opposed to his own music, a tempered and clean-cut brand of progressive house, he implies that the top radio hits are fleeting and uninspired enough for him to want to avoid them as much as possible.
“I call it iTunes fans – it’s normal consumers who listen to the radio and they like the top 10 on iTunes so they like that song one week and then the next it’s something else. It’s like fast food, week-to-week music consumption.”
In almost every aspect, Prydz treats his music career differently than the cookie-cutter brand of modern dance music contributors. Despite his often hectic touring schedule, he frequently chooses to take a bus due to his fear of flying. Even though the vehicles seldom have onboard bathrooms, Prydz enjoys the the comfort and ease of his own approach, and manages to work his schedule around whichever methods most suit him.
“The EDM thing is almost like pot. Like when people say ‘if you’re going to smoke pot, then you’ll start doing heroin soon and moving on to stronger things. More refined.’ The whole EDM thing is very accessible, it’s like McDonald’s or something. You go to your first festival and you see these acts and it’s the confetti and it’s the boom and the screaming in the mic and the big melodies, and I can see how a 16-year-old kid at their first festival would get hooked on that. But you’re going to get older and your music taste will get more refined. You’ll develop a genuine interest in music.”
Being able to straddle the line between more mainstream crowds and the underground is something that Prydz has mastered over the course of his career. Under the pseudonyms Pryda and Cirez D, he has opened up the dance music community to his variety of tastes of expressions that fall outside the Prydz banner. Experimental house music and techno enter the spotlight when he resides over places like Los Angeles’s warehouse circuit and similar spots, events that the average EDM listener may not attend or know about.
“It’s like the way I meditate almost. And tonight I can go to this sort of dark underground hole and do this musically totally different thing for a few hundred people. But that’s just the way I am – I love this and I love that and I’ve found a way to do both.”