Interview: M.E.E.O about Rise & Fall in love
An in-depth interview about M.E.E.O’s highly anticipated EP ‘Rise & Fall in love’
With a recent sublime release up the shelves, we wanted to talk to a man who is into emotionally intelligent house and techno. We are talking about a freshly wed (yes girls, he is off the streets) Swedish producer M.E.E.O. Here at Tanzgemeinschaft we have our radars on quite a few artists and every time we see work, whether it be a remix or own production, passing by from this artists, we almost certainly know what to expect. Does this mean his work is predictive or boring? Hell no, we know how much time and effort M.E.E.O puts in his work. But yes, he has a distinctive sound which we really like.
So we sat together for an in-depth interview about his highly anticipated EP ‘Rise & Fall in love’, that already got quite some attention from the industry finest. We also dug a little deeper to find out about the production process and his career thus far. Enjoy the read.
Thank you for your time. How are you doing lately?
I´m very good, thank you! Lots of stuff in the pipeline, so I´m feeling very optimistic.
Life can’t be bad with your new release ‘Rise & Fall in Love’ getting quite some good comments from the industry finest? Want to tell us a bit about your new work?
Oh, yeah! When you get that kind of feedback it´s hard not to get your head stuck in the clouds. But it feels very good I have to admit. What can I tell you about “Rise And Fall In Love” … Well, I´m a sucker for emotional and especially melancholic expressions in music. I think that music is the ultimate carrier for this kind of melancholy where you can feel sad and happy at the same time. This is also where music has its most potent factor, so for me when you combine these things with the intensity of techno and house it becomes this burning point that I was working towards with ”Rise And Fall In Love”.
Any personal meaning we need to look for in the title of the EP?
I think this title has a meaning in both a personal way and in a wider sense. I got married this summer, so love is in the air for me personally. I think that to really fall in love you have to put your self at risk and become vulnerable, so that’s kind of the meaning of “Rise” as in rising up to the challenge of falling in love. But in a wider sense, I think this is also important not only in a romantic kind of love, but in the love of people around you. Rise up to the challenge and dare to open your self to new people and their way of living, ideas or culture. Being brave and loving is the opposite of fear and hate.
We think this is a really sublime work. You keep true to your sound but yet you always manage to surprise. A profound progressive sound with an explosive yet fragile touch. Want to tell us a bit how you came to create this kickass production?
Thank you for those warm words. I had the melodic theme and overall concept of the track done pretty fast. I knew in my head what I wanted from this release production-wise, but couldn’t quite get it all the way. I finally gave up and sent it to Michael who really liked it, he signed it and arranged for the remix with Thomas Gandey.
When I got the remix back I realized that this release was going to be too huge for me to just pass up on the opportunity of making the best I could from the original track. So instead of settling for what I had, I decided I wasn’t going to give up until I was a 100% happy with it. What I didn’t like with the first version was that it was lacking the energy and drive and some of the arrangement was counterproductive. So basically I kept the melodies, pads and some of the percussion and remade the rest from scratch. This was really time-consuming, and I went through about 10 versions before I ended up with the final result. I don’t regret this at all though, I learned very much throughout that process and ended up with what I was aiming for in the first place.
Re:sound label boss Michael Hooker got us really excited about the release. As you already mentioned, Thomas Gandey, known for his work on Get Physical, Noir, Suara got his hands dirty and made a total make-over. He did a fabulous job according to us. Did you give him free play or some directions?
Fabulous indeed! I gave him completely free play, but I was pretty confident the remix wouldn’t end up as a disappointment. Also, I think that setting the boundaries as wide as possible when working with others will bring out the best in them.
What do you think about his version?
He did exactly what I had hoped for, regarding elements picked from the original etc.. And I love it! The style of his remix was a complete surprise to me, but at the same time, he reused the elements of the track in a very musical and fresh way. At the same time, it made me feel like I was hearing my own track for the first time. That was a really pleasant experience. He is a very talented musician and totally the right person to do the remix.
There is a version of the track that could fit in a lot of different DJ-sets and it can be appreciated by a lot more dancefloors and a whole lot more people.
Also, Michael made one of the remixes. His signature sound can also be heard in this version. Total different approach and a welcoming addition to this release. Any words to add?
Yes, I love how he did that interpretation. He took it more to the techno side of things and still kept true to the original track. For me, the production style isn´t as important as the musical content of a song. I love all kinds of music, even tho I prefer techno and house of course. This is exactly what I had hoped for in an EP. Now there is a version of the track that could fit in a lot of different DJ-sets and it can be appreciated by a lot more dancefloors and a whole lot more people.
What’s the next thing we can expect from M.E.E.O?
Next up is more music from me and Michael Hooker. We have been collaborating for a while now and we’ve got some really nice stuff ready. I also have a techno EP coming up early next year.
TGMS: We are looking forward to that one. Seeing another side of M.E.E.O, productions-wise.
Moving on to you as an artist. You go way back. How did the past 20 years shape you as an artist?
I started making music in my early teens, at that time I was heavily influenced by Members of mayday, Dr Motte, and stuff like that. I then spent up till my mid 20´s mostly producing psy-trance. When I later rediscovered techno and house I had come to appreciate the diversity there is in these two huge genres. This musical journey has taught me where I want to be today, and where I want to put my focus. I do have a restless musical soul that wants to take me in all kinds of interesting directions, but if there is anything in particular that I’ve come to understand it is that you need to focus on one thing at the time.
If you set out to big of a goal, you might miss the whole thing. Don’t forget that it’s a long bumpy road to get there, and you might want to have some actually achievable goals on the way to your end destination.
How did you get people to take you seriously as a musician? Was there a point in time you had the feeling: “yes this is it, I am on a roll”?
That was probably when Drumcode released one of my tracks, “Bergsjön Eternal”. That’s when I felt that something was starting to brew. It wasn’t really a kick start to any kind of career, but it made me realize that with some hard work and commitment it could happen again. And from that point on I’ve given a lot of time and effort to make better stuff. That release was a co-production with two other really talented acts, John H and Petter B. I felt that I needed to reach the point where I can stand on my own and do something like that.
What are typical mistakes people make when trying to pursue a career in the music industry? What were yours?
I probably did all of the mistakes. But, the biggest one for me I think has been setting up proper goals for my self. If you set out to big of a goal, you might miss the whole thing. Don’t forget that it’s a long bumpy road to get there, and you might want to have some actually achievable goals on the way to your end destination. This might still be the wrong way to do it, so if anyone out there has a better way, please give me a call.
How do you want people to describe you as an artist?
I have tried to label myself and came up with something that seems to be more or less true in most of my music is ”a producer of emotionally intelligent house and techno”, since I sincerely put my soul into my music and most of all I want the listener to feel that connection, whether it’s a heavy techno track or something softer.
Will we be seeing M.E.E.O at Amsterdam Dance Events, playing or visiting?
I’m just starting up a new studio build, so there won’t be much time over this autumn to have that kind of a good time. If there is be a crack in the space-time continuum I’ll be there in a jiffy!
Life can’t be all bad when for 10 Euros you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for at least ten years. What did you buy with your last 10 Euros?
That would be an energy drink at the hardware store accompanied by some screws and timbre.
Thank you so much for your time! Really appreciated.
Thank you for having me on!