INTERVIEW: John Dahlbäck on New EP “Saga”

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John Dahlbäck is a Swedish house music producer and DJ currently based in Stockholm, Sweden. He is also known with other stage names as Hug, Huggotron, Jetboy of Beckster and Kaliber. With the boundaries of progressive-house widened to encompass a field where outright pop songs are as much at home on the dancefloor as their grittier, more “underground” cousins, Dahlbäck sees no reason to limit himself to just one style.

I recently caught up with Dahlbäck to talk about his latest EP “Saga” on Armada Music. We talked about “Saga” and the scary truth of hearing loss in the music industry.

Raquel Richards: With “Count to Ten”, you and Alexx Mack are dipped into a great pop banger, with hands-in the air vibe, yet you released it in October rather than the summer. Why is this?

John Dahlbäck: I guess it’s because I made it during summer and it was too tight releasing it this year and I didn’t want to wait until next year.

RR: What do you feel sets “Saga” apart from your previous two albums?

JD: It’s a much more experimental album. I’ve played around much more with different genres to try to make it more interesting. I feel like it’s my best one yet!

JOHN DAHLBACK press-1 color_credit Chris Davison

RR: You are not afraid to cross genre boundaries and styles; do you feel this allows for longevity in the EDM industry as an artist? Do you feel being versatile is the key to success?

JD: Maybe and maybe not! I feel like a lot of the more successful people do one style and one style only. I wouldn’t be able to do that because of boredom. I can make one track and one style and then on to the next one. I don’t know if it’s been a bad business move, but it feels important to stand your ground and show people you can do a lot of different stuff, rather than just one.

RR: Your cousin experienced hearing loss at an early age, which forced him to scale back from his career. An average nightclub dB is 110dB, while a quiet room at night is at 20 dB. Do you wear earplugs? How do you, if you do, take care of your hearing?

JD: Wow! Even I didn’t know this information about my cousin, which is sad because maybe I should have asked him. It’s also a bit weird because he seems to always have worn earplugs! I wear them when things are “ridiculously loud”. If the sound system is great, then I don’t have to.

RR: What Atari game did you and/or your father play? Do you game now? If so what is your game?

JD: I played this bombing game where you wrote in the X amount and Y amount and this catapult threw bombs against a castle. It was very fun THEN, probably quite whack now. Right now I’m playing Battlefront, perhaps the best looking and funniest game right now.

LINKS:

John Dahlback
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Raquel Richards – EDMTOR

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About Author

Miss Raquel is referred to as Toronto's “Queen of the Dancefloor”. She is the Host/Producer of The Miss Raquel Show, Founder of Scenester Magazine and Channel, and writes a blog called “Poppycock!” on gayguidetoronto.com. She’s well-known for being the beloved VJ for electronica on the now closed bpm:tv channel. She is a staple host of the Toronto Pride stages including World Pride 2014. Lawrence Chau of Toronto’s Metro News wrote, "She’s been crowned Toronto’s Paris Hilton of club culture, but unlike the hotel heiress, our blond scene-stirrer… actually works". She’s interviewed many international and local DJs and producers which has made her one of the most notable and respected interviewers in Canada’s EDM scene.

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