I've been joking that the secret of creating highly successful pop-music lies in the Swedish DNA. ABBA, Avicii, Max Martin… I still can not believe the phenomenon of Max Martin (for those unfamiliar with what I mean by that here's an insight - ed.)
TM404 - It is so strange.
Do you have any ideas why is it so? Do you think it's somehow related to the general education ?
TM404 - I don't know how it is in other countries but in Sweden you are more or less obliged to take music classes when you are in the third grade or so. Almost every kid is playing a recorder - the simple flute…
So practically everyone is exposed to mastering an instrument at an early age?
TM404 - I think so. There are also so many engineers in the music business that come from Sweden - Teenage Engineering, Elektron, Propellerhead (developers of Reason - ed.), Softtube, Cwejman, DinSync and so many more. I remember when I started to tour, going to Spain or Italy for the first time or even Miami - I knew there is no way I am going to sit indoors. I wanted to be outside, drink a beer, smoke some weed. Because in Sweden - same as in Latvia I guess, for 6 months a year it's too cold to go out. Therefore it's so much easier to spend time in front of your computer or with your instrument. If I would live in Jamaica…
You might have been making reggae.
TM404 - I'm a huge fan of reggae! I definitely would not be sitting in front of my computer making electronic music. I guess it's also the fact that one needs a role model. ABBA has been around since forever, Roxette were super successful in the 80s - they had like 10 huge hits that were featured in Hollywood movies. Then Ace of Base in the 90ties. But I guess you can see the same pattern in Germany - it's a huge amount of electronic music that comes from here. Probably the biggest globally. And they too had so many of the pioneers - Karlheinz Stockhausen, Kraftwerk, NEU! and all the others who at the time were considered to create strange experimental music. So the kids that are 45 years old today grew up hearing that music. I grew up hearing ABBA. The kids that will go to Berghain tonight probably grew up hearing Kraftwerk. I have a memory of one time when I played in Berghain - the driver had his kid with him and the kid who I sat next to would sing ''pam pa pa pam, Autobahn'' - he was 4 years old or so. And he would sing it repeatedly, all the time.