Steve Angello Talks MiO Energy, New Album, And More
Tue, 02 Apr 2013 12:43:10
Imagine Dragons Photos
Steve Angello Videos
The fans are always on Steve Angello's mind.
That's one of the reasons he's teamed up with MiO Energy in order to unveil an exclusive track. One third of Swedish House Mafia, he just finished up One Last Tour, and now he's deep into the creative process behind his next solo album. Angello remains a leader in EDM because he continually raises the bar, and that's what he's doing with both MiO and his new music…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Steve Angello talks MiO Energy, his next album, and so much more.
What drew you to MiO Energy?
I've always been interested in working with brands that give you creative freedom to do something more than simply being an endorser or involved in a product. When MiO came up, I thought it was a great idea. We were able to do something for the fans that incorporated music and the actual product. We got to get creative in giving back to the fans. I think MiO's a great product, and it was a cool opportunity to work with them. To be honest, I love it. I don't drink soda. I don't drink other energy drinks. I haven't had a sip of alcohol in over six months. There are so many different tastes for MiO. It's a big part of my album process now!
Was it your idea to unveil the track via the brand?
We always look for opportunities to do something that works for both parts creatively. I don't think I'd ever be involved with a brand that wouldn't bring something like that to the table. I think it's important, as an artist, to work with people you create with. I don't want to just get on a poster and sell kids something that doesn't actually connect with me or them. It's pretty transparent. The way we did this is the ultimate way. We worked together and did something creative all of the fans could benefit from.
What's the story behind the song?
I've been in the process of doing my album. During this process, we teamed up with MiO. I felt I wanted to put out a record at Miami time. I've been thinking of ways to do it. I thought, "Should I just post it online and give it away for free?" When we started to talk, I saw a really nice opportunity to do this together. I basically finished the song after this was done. Doing this meant a lot to me.
How does a song typically start?
It's always different. Sometimes, you start with the beat. Sometimes, you start with a melody. This one began with a melody. I built around that. Obviously, I changed it a couple of times until the product was finished. It depends on the mood and the vibe. Sometimes, I'll play guitar or piano, and that adds to the sonic aspect. This song started with an old sample I had. That got deleted because I built other things around it. Then, I created something new around what I built. The track is super full-on. It's got a lot of energy. It fits perfectly into my sets. When you're in the middle of making an album, you always do these tracks you want to put out straight away. It's one of those tracks. I didn't want to wait until the album was done. I just wanted to get the song out.
Is it going to be on the album too?
I haven't gotten that far yet. I'm going to start playing it soon, and we'll see how the reactions are. We'll see how everything goes.
Do you often test the music in the clubs live?
We have the best testing grounds in the world. We play large events with ten-to-fifteen thousand people every week. I can easily test songs without people noticing. However, with today's technology, they still notice [Laughs]. All of a sudden, there are YouTube clips of you playing something nobody has ever heard. You're stuck to that structure or sound of the track. As soon as you begin changing things, people are like, "Oh, that wasn't the version we had five years ago". For the song I'm working on, I haven't tried anything. It's taking things one step further past everything I've done before. I don't want it to get out there in any way. I want to keep it to myself until it's done.
Is this track a good indication of the album's direction as a whole?
I think the album is going to feature a lot of different genres of music to be honest. There's a lot of downtempo stuff. There's a lot of high energy stuff. There's a lot of acoustic stuff. There are a lot of collaborators. It's a real artist album. It's not just twelve dance tracks. It's a proper album. Even though one track sounds one way, the second will sound different. I'm trying to get a feel and catch a bit of energy to finish this record.
What are you listening to outside of your music?
Imagine Dragons! It's everything from A$AP Rocky to Miike Snow and Lykke Li. I listen to so much music. There are soundtracks and dance records I like. Then, there are guys like Ry Cuming. It's pretty much a million artists.
So you're really all over the place.
I'm a huge fan of music in general. I breathe in a lot of rock records, pop records, and hip-hop records. I've produced every genre of music. I'm used to doing things differently and changing my production style for what I'm working on. I'm a huge fan of music in general so making an artist album that reflects your personality is the way to go instead of trying to write ten hit records and put them out. I tried to capture something here. It's a story of my life caught on twelve to fifteen tracks. There's going to be a lot of diversity.
What's next with MiO?
We're talking! As soon as I click with one company, we're always open for more. Hopefully, we can do something very soon because it's been a pleasure and an honor to work with them.
Would you ever want to get into film scoring?
It's always been a dream of mine. I'm a huge fan of a lot of soundtrack guys and movie score composers. It's really been a dream since I was a kid. I feel like it would naturally happen whenever I have time to do it. With my schedule now, I couldn't take a big job like that because I'm constantly touring. If nobody wants me to score their movie, I'd probably make my own and score it myself [Laughs].
Have you seen Steve Angello live?