Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Interview: Summer Heart
Hold On by SUMMER HEART
Summer Heart is a one man band from Sweden that makes gorgeous chillwave. Every song has a nice nostalgic feeling, but still retains coherence and driving force. Unlike some projects, Summer Heart makes sure to always keep your attention. I talked to him about how he makes music, Sweden, and social media apps - check it out!
Tell me about how you make music. Do you mostly do it on a laptop, analog synths, etc.? Do you collaborate with people or do you prefer solitude?
I am writing my music in many different ways. Sounds from different instruments give me ideas and inspiration to make music. I guess you could give me almost any instrument, and as long I can get a sound out of it, it is very possible it could give me an idea to a new song. I do record everything on my laptop, and most often I use synths, both analog and software synths. On the track “Hold On” I have only used guitar and drum machines though.
I love the thump on "Come With Me", it has a certain driving quality, while maintaining a nice distance. How did you make that and is that where you see your music heading? I can definitely see why people have been describing it as a sexy tune, the synths and the sentiment of running away with the one you love.
Come With Me by SUMMER HEART
Thank you! “Come With Me” was first written on guitar as a very simple song with only two chords and voice. But when I started to record it I got so many ideas that I had a hard time deciding what the song should sound like. After testing some different synth patterns and decided which ones I should go for it was quite easy and I tried not to think too much! I have no idea where my music is heading but at the moment that’s the sound I am into! It was never my intention to get any attention to this project. But I really appreciate all the good feedback my listeners are giving me. It gives me inspiration to continue making music!
On Facebook you list an influence as Summer, yet you are from Sweden. How influential is summer after all those long cold winters? I can definitely see how the idea of warmth and sun would be inspiring in January. Are there any music act you would describe as particularly influential on your music?
Summer is very important for me. It is what gives me some hope a cold day in January! Haha! All seasons has it’s own charm. But January and February is not my favorite months of the year if you know what I mean. One of my favorite bands from when I was younger is Smashing Pumpkins. I think they have influenced me more than I think. Especially their record “Machina”, which I still love! Other than that I would say that I am the most influenced by the Raveonettes and the Knife. They are the bands I’ve been listening to most frequently the last ten years!
"Girl on the Moon" has a great darker quality to it, is space something that you are inspired by? I personally find stuff like space and astral topics incredibly interesting. I am also a sucker for the syncopated back group hand clap, stuff like Rich Boy's "Drop" is always played when I dj. Your songs have very vivid moments in it, little details that really make me think of particular things. Are the little details important to you?
Girl from The Moon by SUMMER HEART
The overall feeling of a song is the first thing you listen to, so that’s the most important. But I would say the small things are keeping you interested in a particular song, so they are also very important for me! They are also the most fun stuff to do. I don’t know if other people are listening to my music the way I am (I guess not!)? But I would say there’s a lot of small stuff to hear in the background of the soundscape on many of my songs. And yes. I find space quite interesting. I felt the space theme could fit very well into one of my songs so I tried to play around with some space ideas I had!
What is the Swedish music scene like? Other than some indie pop, America does not hear much Swedish music. Are there a lot of chillwave/indie bands where you are from? Are there any local bands that you are particularly excited about?
There are many good bands from Sweden. Too many I would say. As a small band or artist it’s very hard to get any attention over here. As far as I know there are no chillwave bands from Sweden. Well except me then! I had actually never heard any chillwave at all, and never even heard the name of the genre when I started this project. Some bloggers told me that the music I was doing was chillwave so I looked it up and after that it seems to be everywhere! Maybe that’s just because my mind is open for it now!?
You play live shows, how do you do this? Is it just you up there? Would you ever want a full backing band to expand the sound? Any plans to tour, would coming to America be a goal of yours?
-At the moment I use computers and loops that I control with pads on live shows. Sometimes I bring my friends to play synth or bass or just sing a little bit or something. I really enjoy being on stage with my friends so I the future I might put together a live band. At the moment one of the problems are all the expenses that comes with playing live with a full band. This fall I am doing some shows around Europe. Something I am really looking forward to. I would love to come to America as well and am at the moment looking for a booking agent over there to work with. Hopefully I can come over for a small tour during next year!
What do you look for in a remix? Do you primarily remix your friends or tunes you like? What challenges does a remix present that an original does not?
So far I have only done two remixes. Work Drugs – Rad Racer was my first remix ever. I did it the same day I was going to play my first live show. I was supposed to rehearse my own songs in the morning, but instead I started doing that remix and sat with it until I was finished. Then I went to the venue and played my show! Making that remix inspired me much more than rehearsing so the show turned out very well! I am not really into doing remixes so I haven’t really thought about it too much. It was something very unplanned. I guess remixing my friends tunes will be the most inspirational and what I will be doing if continuing doing remixes!
As a side note, I love your twitter and Instagram. Both are very entertaining and love seeing where you have been.
Thanks! I’ll try to capture interesting thins in daily life on both my twitter and instagram.