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Feature: Fehrplay [Interview + Premiere]

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With an encyclopedic musical knowledge and records that are supported by arena selling talents as diverse sa Deadmau5, Richie Hawtin, Above & Beyond & Pete Tong, there’s a long line of Artists trying to follow in Jonas Fehr’s Footsteps however there’s not many that can demonstrate the skill and knowledge Jonas does in his productions or build his performance to blend effortlessly between dark techno monsters and uplifting progressive hands-in-the-air moments to leave the dance floor both mesmerized and eager for more and its this combination that has gained him the approval of further industry flagships in Billboard, Mixmag, DJ Mag (print & digital) and BBC Radio 1.

2018/2019 see Fehrplay combining his inspirations and strengths in a unique way to present Mood Of Mind into the live space. This new melodic techno imprint and live show, bolstered by further releases on Mau5trap and Anjunabeats and a World Tour.

Hello Jonas, I hope you’re having a good day and thanks for joining us, what are your plans for this week?
Hey! My pleasure. This week I’m working on finishing Mood of Mind 009, as well as doing some final touches on some new material to try out in New York next week!

Tell us about growing up in Norway, how did you find your way into the world of electronic music?
Growing up in Norway was great, but I can’t really say I owe any of my musical development to the norwegian music scene. When I got in to trance music at the age of 12, there wasn’t really any radioshows, or any shows I could go to (obviously). And my friends were more in to hip hop through my early teens, so I got my influences from CD compilations such as ‘In trance we trust’ etc. It wasn’t before I moved to Manchester in the UK at the age of 21, that I really discovered the dance music scene. The clubs there blew my mind, and they would have top notch bookings every weekend.

Early in your career you were best known for being part of the Pryda camp along with Jeremy Olander, how has your career and music changed since then?
It has changed a lot I think. I think I have found more of my own sound, and obviously starting my own label contributed to that a lot.

You’ve also released a few times on Mau5trap, what is working with Joel like? He’s certainly a hilarious twitter follow. 🙂
Yes, it’s been great releasing on Mau5trap. And Joel has been nothing but nice, contrary to his sometimes naughty twitter persona hehe. Enjoyable it is, indeed though.

Following a lone EP in 2015 you seem to have found a home on Anjunabeats again recently, what makes the label such a great spot for your music?
Anjunabeats is an amazing label, and they have spawned so much talents over the years. They really have an amazing machinery running things, and some of the nicest guys in the biz behind the wheel. hard to say why it makes a great spot for my music, but most time I’ll have something that feels right for them, and if they feel the same, we release it. 

You’ve also toured with the label a bit, how has that been?
Always a great experience touring with the Anjunabeats team. Whether it be with Grum, or the A&B boys. Atmosphere is always top!

You worked with fellow progressive house giant Grum on ‘Spirit’ which was released on Anjunabeats earlier this summer. How did that partnership come to be? And do you enjoy collaborating? It’s not something you do often is it?
Me and Grum have been friends for a while, and when your touring around together, your destined to mess around with some ideas together. we made ‘Spirit’ in my hotel room in Seattle last year. we played it out for a bit, and it always went down well, so we decided to release it.

Collaborating doesn’t always work. You both have to equally give up some right to the track, which isn’t easy, but some people get that, and it makes the whole process a lot more easy and most important, fun.

Tell us about your own imprint Mood Of Mind, what eventually led you to start it and what vision do you have for it?
I started Mood of Mind last year, with one thing in mind, to release my own music at my own pace, and with full creative control. Obviously I want to release music from other artists, but I think its important to firstly cement the sound of the label, and I think it’s getting there!

The labels artwork is quite lovely, i gather this is something quite important to you? It’s a refreshing change from brand pushing and oversized text which seems to dominate the majority of progressive house imprints out there?
Thanks! Yes artwork is important. I wanted it to represent the organic feel that I also feel the Mood of Mind sound should resonate. My mom is a painter, and she really wanted to try and paint the artworks. She paints them while listening to the specific release. I feel she nails the vibe of the music with her paintings. I have also painted quite a few of them my self.

Thus far it has strictly been an outlet for your own music, is the label open to demo submissions? And if so what advice would have for someone hoping to get signed to the label?
I’m on  the look out for music to release for sure! I’m being picky though. I would rather have quality over quantity. My advice would be, listen to what it already released – If you think your music relates to the Mood of Mind sound, then I would love to hear it!

When you finish a track or even an EP what is the thinking process behind deciding if you send them somewhere or release them on your own label?
I have a pretty solid feel on what to do with the tracks allready in the beginning stage of it. I try to make each EP have a theme in a sense. So I will work on the tracks for that EP simultaneously. If I only have one track that feels like its done, I’ll wait until I have another track that completes it for an EP. Sometimes I will have a track or two that I feel could fit on a different label though, and I will send it to them specifically.

You have a new EP out due out shortly on Mood Of Mind entitled ‘Zeitgeist’, we’ve proudly premiered the title cut, tell us about the inspiration and production process behind it?
Yes! Thanks for that, very stoked about this release. I had that lead synth breakdown laying around for a while. then I made that bass groove while on tour, and got a friend of mine Will (ZEHV) to record the baseline with  his bass guitar while in San Francisco. Really happy with how it all came together. I love making these tracks where the groove and drop is in minor key, and then the breakdown is in major key and super upfliting.

Is that typical of your studio process or do your projects differ in terms of where they start and how they reach a finality?
Every track is different right up until the final 10-20% where a few lock-in days in the studio is necessary. I usually like starting the tracks or ideas on my laptop, on the road, gathering inspiration from wherever. then go in to the studio, replace some of the channels with my hardware, then let them rest for a while, then finish them some time later. Sometimes though I can make a whole track in the studio in a week.

How much road testing is done before you’re ready to say ‘it’s done’?
A lot of road testing is done. It’s crucial to get that low end sounding fat and tight in the club. Im getting very confident with my studio set up though, so less is needed.

How important are track titles to you? And is there a distinct connection with all your tracks and their respective titles?
Track titles are important I guess, but if it doesn’t come to me straight away, I usually wait until the end with finding that special name. Definitely a distinct connection with the tracks and their names a lot of times! Often I name them in regards to how or what inspired me to make it.

You are certainly a globetrotting DJ, where are your favorite places to play and why? Is Stereo still on that list?
Well I still haven’t played Stereo hehe, if you are referring to the one in Montreal. 

Taking the gigs or nightlife out of the equation would your answer to the previous question be the same?
My favorite places are probably New York, and San Francisco, with a close 3rd from London. All have such healthy club scenes.

Hehe well then Stereo is deinfilty up there. Same with Output in NYC. Just awesome clubs to go have fun at. Also, the glory days of Sankeys in Manchester are unbeatable. 

How much production work gets done on the road?
Quite a lot gets done on the road. Until my laptops CPU can’t take it anymore haha.

We know you’re a huge Hans Zimmer fan, if you had to pick a favourite soundtrack of his what would it be and why?
Ah yes, Hans Zimmer is the best. My favorite from him is without a doubt the Interstellar theme, then close second is the music for ‘the thin red line’ such suspense. 

Is there a movie you would have loved to have produced the soundtrack for? And if so why?
I hope to one day produce music for films. If there is one I would have loved to produce for it would have to be the new ‘Bladerunner’ One can dream hehe

How much of an influence does music outside of the electronic spectrum have on you?
Very much. I almost dont listen to electronic music when i’m not working. I like to get inspired for other types of genres, jazz being one of them.

Apart from ‘Zeitgeist’ what does the remainder of 2018 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?
Yes. I think I’ll have a new Mood of Mind release out every month until the end of the year. Also working on my first ever sample pack, which will be out through Sample Magic. very excited for this!

Let’s end with a hypothetical, if the final DJ set of your career was this weekend, what track would you close with?
Hmmm good question. Maybe something from Röyksopp. I think maybe ‘Röyksopp forever’ Such a beautiful and majestic track, and what a set ender that would be.

Zeitgeist EP’ is released August 31st through ‘Mood Of Mind Records’

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