Avicii: “EDM has so much more to offer”

Future Music Festival knew what it was doing in adding Avicii to the bill last week. Sure, the festival already had its dance contingent comprehensively covered. From the untouchable headliners The Prodigy to cult hero Boys Noize and turntable whiz A-Trak with his new live show, plenty of the genre’s biggest names were already locked in across its three mainstages, not to mention the mighty Cocoon Heroes techno tent led by Sven Vath and Cosmic Gate’s own arena.

When it comes to pulling a huge crowd, though, Avicii has fast become the go-to guy. While Levels was his watershed moment, Tim Bergling’s repertoire is ever-growing. Capping off 2012 with the release of his Nicky Romero collaboration I Could Be The One on the LE7ELS label, he’s now stationed in L.A. to make more music. Given how much his DJ sets lean on his own productions – “60- to 70-percent my own unreleased solo music,” he told inthemix – you can expect to hear those next Avicii anthems this March. On the eve on the Future’s big announcement, we got the festival’s newest headliner on the phone for an all-too-brief catch-up.

Just to kick off, I wanted to ask about the Aviici x You project where you’re getting fans to collaborate with you on a track. Where did the idea for that came from?

That was…oh, I don’t even know. I think my manager got presented with the idea and we just kind of evolved it from there to the point where it is now. I got involved when my manager brought it up with me and asked if it was something I wanted to be a part of. It sounded like so much fun, so I definitely didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity.

It’s a very 21st century way of making music, getting your fans involved on the internet.

I would have loved that shit three, four years ago when I was just dying to get someone to notice the DJ stuff, to have something like this. I used to love these sorts of competitions.

When we spoke late last year, you said you were going to set aside the first part of this year for making music. How’s that going so far?

So far so good, actually. I’m in L.A. now. I haven’t got really settled down, I’m still in a hotel. But for the past two weeks, I’ve pretty much been in the studio every day and I have a lot of new material. I had more on my computer, but it got stolen.

Oh yeah, I heard about that.

That stuff sucks. The first week it was kind of slow until I got my set-up back to where it was, but now I’m really getting back into it.

Are you ever able to make music while you’re on tour or do you need to be fully immersed in the studio?

Well, I’m not really recording; I use a lot of virtual instruments. I’ll have my meta keyboard with me and I’ll come up with small hooks, but then I’ll kind of paint the notes in the program, if that makes sense. I’ve gotten a lot better at doing that on the road as well.

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