A good song is a good song!
People often think that pop music needs to divided into different genres and generations and never the twain shall meet. But artists never think that way. It would be fair to describe Swedish-born Berlin-based electronic music producer and DJ Axel Willner (aka The Field) as part of the modern day pop scene & fail to appreciate the fact that Willner is inspired and influenced by music from all genres and all generations. Critics may have labelled The Field under the ‘minimal techno’ genre but throughout his career he has resisted been pigeonholed to such an extent that he has utilised different monikers (Eg. Cordouan, James Larsson, Loops of Your Heart, Porte and Hands) to escape the straightjacket of critics’ and fans’ limited expectations.
As part of the effort to promote The Field’s performance at Neon Lights Festival at 6.15pm, we had an email exchange with the forward-thinking artist.
What would you say was your greatest motivation for becoming a musician?
There was no strong motivation really but I’ve always made music since my pre-teens and at that time I think it was more alluring and a bit of a dream to become a musician but the older I got, the more that faded while I was continuously making music for fun, in a band and by myself. That I’m actually doing what I’m doing today was more of a hit or miss, I sent out 1 demo and that was to Kompakt and then here I am 10 years later.
I love how eclectic your references are – from Lionel Richie to The Korgis – can you explain why that is?
I have a very wide taste in music and I’ve always had. A good song is a good song! You can almost always find something that attracts you in all music.
What’s with the different monikers/personas – e.g. how is Hands different from The Field?
As I had already made music on a smaller level under a lot of different names I just stuck to it after The Field to keep the output a bit more suitable for each moniker. I think a lot of people would’ve been surprised if that Hands album that came out would be under The Field.
Your music is more than dance music – what is its message or concept?
The messages for me is for me and the messages for someone else might be completely different, I don’t like to preach. for me its the concept of how far can I push it, like loops and so on.
How do you decide on a song title?
It’s often very random, something thats been on my mind for a while that colours the track or something that my brain think its hearing in a loop on repeat while creating a track.
Why is it important to have an emotional connection to the music?
Music is emotions, at least for me, and it can trigger everything in me. Back to question number 2, actually music that lacks emotions is probably the music I stay away from.
You have been accused of relying on formula (loops) – what is your response to that?
Sure, its loop based and I guess every musician/band have their formula. It’s more of reinventing it again and take it in another direction but still stay on the same path. Listen to all stuff on the radio, isn’t that all formulas too?
Ideas for loops – where do they come from? Say, for e.g., “Black Sea”
That is also very random, I try more to catch a feeling more than a sound and it can be shopping and hearing something played in the store that triggers that or thinking of tracks and so on. Anything actually?
Is there still a place for guitar, bass & drums – or is there no turning back from electronic music?
It all goes in cycles, soon we’re there again!
In the 70s/80s, electronic music was seen as futurist but now that it is so dominant, what is the future of music?
Everything feels like revivals nowadays so soon grunge is back maybe?
What will your live set at Neon Lights be like? What will be the stage setup?
It will be me, Elektron Octatrack, Elektron analog rhythm, Elektron analog 4 and a delay! And I hope its gonna be good!
Tickets now available from http://www.neonlights.sg/tickets