Steve Angello Talks "I/O" Interactive Music Video, MiO Energy Partnership, New Album, and More
Thu, 13 Jun 2013 11:14:45
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Steve Angello is a man of the people. That's exactly why he's engaged his fans as much as possible with the release of the music video for "I/O". Not only did he incorporate their submitted Instagram photos, but the clip itself is totally interactive. Fans can essentially "choose their own adventure" with Mr. Angello in the passenger's seat. It's kinetic and propulsive energy remains infectious throughout, and it's a true EDM banger of the highest order. Would you expect anything less from one-third of Swedish House Mafia though?
"I'm up for anything," he smiles.
He most definitely is, and it's a wonderful thing riding with Steve in the "I/O" video.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Steve Angello talks the "I/O" music video and how MiO Energy helped make it happen. He also shares some of his favorite rock bands.
Was it important for you to tell a story with the music video for "I/O"?
Yeah, I think it's important with anything. You want to do something that's very realistic, especially when it's interactive like this. You want it to be a little of a fantasy, but it also has to stick to reality. That way, it's not too cyberspace.
It also starts off funny.
It does! You always try to find something to have a little fun with. You can't keep it too serious. You want people to feel comfortable and not scared about something.
What encouraged you to engage fans more in this capacity?
Everything I do is based on my fans somehow. I think it's very important to involve them as much as possible and incorporate them from stage one until the final product. A lot of artists don't really show appreciation to the fans. A lot of artists don't communicate with the fans. Social media is fun very robotically from many artists' perspectives. It's important for me as a person. I just want to talk to my fans, engage them, and connect with them in a way. We're creating something together. Our focus has been the fans for the last couple of years. We're going to keep doing that and pushing it. Hopefully, we can do more things like this.
Has it been fun for you to watch the video and try out all of the potential paths?
Yeah, it is! It's a long way between having an idea on paper and the finished product. Every time you're creating something, you go through the whole creative process, and you throw ideas at each other. You sit down with the team who does all of these things, you disconnect until the final product is in front of you. Then, you go, "Okay, nice!" You can always imagine something, but it's different to make it look and feel right. It's very hard to create an interactive video that feels "interactive". There are a lot of interactive videos that play out themselves. You put in your name, and all of a sudden, it happens. This was great.
It's rare to see a music video that resembles a movie these days.
I'm a very big fan of movies and cinematic photography. If I look at a picture, I always imagine a little something happening there. It's very important for me that there's a story, something will happen, there's a punch line, and it's got a different ending. Anybody can do a video with 900 sexy girls dancing and play a dance record. You film that. You do a couple of slow-motion scenes and you're good to go. Videos have always been a very big passion of mine so it's important that something special and spectacular happens within the video.
Does music tend to evoke imagery for you?
This is going to sound really weird. I'm actually the opposite. I need visuals to make music. For example, before I finish an album, I need to see the final artwork. I'm weird with that. I need to visualize something. I need to do my show visuals before I decide which track to put there. Then, we can tweak it afterwards. I need that vision before I can go anywhere. Sometimes, I'll sit with a blank pad of paper like, "I don't know what to do". Then, I'll start talking with my creative guys and throwing some ideas around. They'll have an idea for artwork, and I'll think, "Great!" All of a sudden, I'll make a track based on that artwork. I work a little differently.
What was the curation process like for choosing the fan Instagram photos in the video?
There were a lot of great pictures that came through. There were very emotional from shows. There were a lot of great memories. Sitting and looking through them was a great experience for me as an artist. I got to see people actually capturing me. They still keep those pictures, and they have them in-store. When you ask for them, all of a sudden they're there. It's a little emotional, but it's also a lot of fun to see. A lot of guys sent some really funny pictures. Some were crazier than others. There were a lot of great tour pictures. A lot of people took pictures of themselves during the shows. There was a lot of fun stuff like that. It had some real emotion to it.
What was MiO Energy's involvement in the video?
It's really hard today to find other brands you want to collaborate with or products you actually like. I spoke to MiO, and we had this great idea first and foremost about the track, obviously. Then, we developed that into the whole online campaign. That became the show we did in Miami. That became the video. They have been super open for creativity. They've been up for anything we've done together. It's really relieving to find a company open for creative collaborations. Usually, it feels very corporate, robotic, and stiff. This is all us, and it represents us. It's a great collaboration, and we've had a fantastic time working together.
It's embedded seamlessly in the EDM world.
Exactly! The electronic space has always been very based on fans, emotions, reactions, impressions, shows, and visual aspects. This checks all of the boxes. We did the record from scratch, put it online, did the party, and then the video. It's been amazing.
Has this inspired new music?
Everything inspires me. One thing can lead to another. I've been really inspired in seeing how this develops and what it turns into from a little piece of paper with some scratched ideas. These kinds of campaigns make it more fun because you're engaging your fans. At the end of the day as an artist, you should really be appreciative of your fans because without them you're nothing. It was nice to be able to give something to the fans and have them involved. They were really engaged.
What's on the horizon for you now?
I'm working on the album right now. I've worked with some amazing singers and songwriters and great bands. We worked with a lot of creative people, and this album is a little different. It's not the typical electronic dance music album. It's the soundtrack to my life. It has a deep meaning to me. All of these tracks were written for a purpose. They have a meaning. I'm collaborating with a lot of different artists. There are a lot of interesting indie rock artists on the album. I'm a huge fan of the indie rock scene so I'm happy to be a part of it.
What rock bands do you come back to?
I like everything from The Rolling Stones to Metallica to Coldplay to The Temper Trap to The Killers. There are a lot of amazing bands. There's a lot of good music out there. I like everything from movie soundtracks to heavy metal. It's been a nice process.
Heavy music and dance music continue to come together.
At the end of the day, it's a crowd pleaser. It's big arenas. It's stadium music. Electronic dance music and rock are both stadium music. Rock was never produced or meant—especially the heavier stuff—for you to sit at home in your chair and chill with a glass of wine and listen. You're out having a great time with your friends raging. That's all you did. It goes hand-in-hand. It's nice to see how the show aspect is going hand-in-hand. If you look at a lot of old rock productions and see the performances, you can see similarities in today's dance music with stage lighting, effects, and design. That comes from the rock scene. I saw rock bands use fireworks, CO2, and confetti twenty-five or thirty years ago. There's definitely a similarity.
Jump into the interactive video for "I/O" at MiOnights.com!
What's your favorite Steve Angello song?