Switching Vocal Tracks
Trentemøller’s third release “Lost” taps into the collaborative spark of recording with his favourite vocalists.
Anders Trentemøller has an innate ability to bestow his tracks with many lives. The producer casts a strikingly diverse range of vocalists on his recent release “Lost”, each of whom steer a track course that diverges completely from the next. The album’s diversity is bridged by Trentemøller’s alluring production style whereby vocal, electronic and instrumental elements align into an ever-changing constellation of harmonies and melodies. Trentemøller’s band transforms “Lost” from a fully produced studio album to a live performance that reflects the album’s collective air parlayed by the stunning voice of Marie Fisker, Anders’ long-time friend and collaborator, whose take on each track resonates with Trentemøller’s own multifarious spirit.
We met up with Anders Trentemøller and Marie Fisker one cold November evening before their live show at Astra in Berlin-Friedrichshain.
You’re on tour performing your recent album “Lost” with your live band, how do you translate the energy of a studio produced album to the stage?
Anders Trentemøller: It was not something I gave that much thought to as I was doing this album because I don’t want to think too much about if it’s possible live or not.
For me it’s much more about what suits the album and what the music is demanding so to speak. While I’m working in the studio it’s only later that a whole new process starts to capture the idea of each song and maybe new ideas for the band.
Chords for heroes.
Your working process for “Lost” was unique because you completed the album entirely before adding vocalists on the tracks. Did you have their voices in mind before going into production?
Anders: I definitely had the artist’s voice in my mind before I wrote the chords, so it was also a little bit of a nerve-racking thing for me to contact those people – but luckily for me they all said yes. Of course it was fantastic to work with Marie, we’d worked together on my previous album and Marie often sings with me live. Working with some of my other heroes like Low and Blonde Redhead was also fantastic. Maybe it was because they felt that those songs were written for their universe and their way of singing.
Did you push each other collaboratively to explore new beats or vocal styles?
Anders: I was doing a tune with Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes, a Danish rock band that always has this surf pop sound with a lot of guitars, and it was fun for me to take him out of that comfort zone and put him on top of a much more clubby track without any guitars and see how it played out.
Were there any recording surprises that came from that crossover?
Anders: I was talking to Kazu Makino from Blonde Redhead to discuss going into a pro studio, but in the end her voice was actually recorded in a bathroom because there was something about the sound in there, and some of those natural sounds came into the recording.
That is of course kind of an error, but the whole spirit and energy of it was so great that we actually agreed on keeping that recording instead of going to the studio.
Creating another world.
You and Marie Fisker are studio neighbours, long-time collaborators and friends, what happens musically when you come together?
Anders: The funny thing is that I’m working with Marie kind of in the same way that I’m working with all the other artists that are far away on the other side of the planet. We’re not sitting together with a guitar and a piano. It’s pretty much separate working processes that then melt together in the end.
Marie Fisker: When we’re working long hours we go into each other’s studio, so it feels like we’re on the same wavelength to give each other new ideas. I love to work alone as well so when I get a track from Anders I go into my own studio. I did that with the song “Candy Tongue”. I get into this zone where I don’t do anything else other than try to build up a world of what this song is all about, and all of a sudden something fits. I love that: creating your own little world.
A whole new energy.
Marie, you sing the other vocalists’ parts from the album on the live tour, how did you bring your own voice to each one of those songs?
Marie: Once you take on the song it obviously becomes very physical. Like in the song “Never Stop Running”: on the album it’s a boy’s voice you hear, albeit a very soft and high pitched one. But the register is still different for a girl’s voice, and because it’s such an energetic song I’m pushing it and almost screaming it a bit. So that’s how I found a way to sing the song in a way which was natural for. I think each song has involved a working process and even “Candy Tongue” has changed a bit from how I sing it on the record to how we perform it live. The energy sometimes changes when you do it live, that’s the wonderful thing about it. The live experience is not always the exact same thing as putting it on the record and that’s fun for the audience I think.
Thank you two for the interview!