There aren’t too many names in dance music as iconic as Steve Angello. The legendary Swedish DJ/producer has been around for decades now, birthing some of the most timeless tracks in the genre and making up one third of supergroup Swedish House Mafia for five extraordinarily successful years before their eventual split.
Now, the tastemaker is in the process of redefining his solo career with an album set to drop on January 22nd. With half of the tracks already having been released, we’ve had a good taste of what Angello’s been up to over the past couple of years, and we’re definitely happy with the results. What’s been released off of Wild Youth so far has been nothing short of fantastic, and we’re giddy with anticipation to hear what the producer has in store for us with the rest of the album.
Last week, we had the chance to catch up with Angello and ask him a couple of questions about his latest effort. Though his time was brief, he ran through several topics, such as why he decided to split Wild Youth into two chapters and if a Swedish House Mafia reunion is on the cards.
Check it out below, and enjoy.
We’re big fans of Wild Youth. Since you’ve done more in the more mainstream arena of dance music, it’s impressive that you’ve been able to redefine yourself so successfully. Tell us, though, what prompted your decision to split it into two chapters?
Steve Angello: I felt that I needed more space in between the music and the visual content. It’s a new time now and people consume music differently than a couple of years ago. Each song tells a story and if you want that to be told you have to give each song its time and space. It’s hard enough to penetrate the masses of information coming though on daily basis. My choice was simple. Let’s give it more time, let’s tell the story the way it was meant to be told.
Not too long ago, you mentioned somewhere that this album has been three years in the making, but after you were most of the way through the first time you scrapped everything and started over. From an artistic standpoint, does it feel like this time you’ve achieved what you set out to?
Steve Angello: I wasn’t satisfied with my creative attribution to the album. It had such an important meaning that I felt like I hadn’t given my all and therefore I scrapped almost of half of the album and re-did most songs. I have 20 years of experience and I want to hear it in the music. Imagine being one of the biggest chefs in the world but you still go work at McDonalds. It’s kind of like that.
Let’s talk about the term progressive house. You’re in this cool little club of DJs who had a career in both what progressive house used to mean as well as what it means now. What do you think led to it changing so dramatically?
Steve Angello: I think it’s the social media and the reach music has now that cause all these changes. People don’t know what they are listening to anymore and that’s good and bad. It’s up to us artists to educate the fans. A lot of music today is hard house, but labeled under electronic because some DJ plays it in his set. The issue I’m having is the lack of originality in artists today.
One of the tracks that really got you noticed was your early Eric Prydz collaboration, “Woz Woz Woz.” Obviously, he’s been doing some pretty amazing stuff in the realm of progressive house, too. What are the chances of you linking up with him on another track?
Steve Angello: We’ve been friends for almost 18 years now and Eric is one of the best electronic music producers our world has ever seen. He’s incredible and has always been since the beginning of our careers. We won’t collaborate again though. We do, however, still have some unreleased music from 2001.
Obviously I’ve gotta ask a Swedish House Mafia question. None of you guys ever give a definitive answer on whether or not you’d do a reunion, so let me rephrase the question: What would it take for you to be onboard with a SHM reunion?
Steve Angello: [Laughs] Well, isn’t that part of the mystique surrounding the question and answer – we haven’t discussed it. We haven’t even thought about it. We haven’t said we’ll never tour again, but we also haven’t said we’ll tour again, either. We’ll just have to see what happens.
That concludes our interview, but we’d like to thank Mr. Angello very much for his time. Be sure to check out his upcoming album Wild Youth, as it’s now available to pre-order on iTunes.