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From a normal life with a nine to five job to the feelings he had in anticipation of his first North American debut tour, we caught up with Swedish superstar Mikael Weermets just before opening night of the Generation Wild Tour in Chicago. We talk about his life, his passions, and his overall outlook on music as an art. Here is the raw and honest Mikael Weermets.


UPC: What was your life like before all this?

Mikael Weermets: Boring. No! Seriously, it was… very normal. Actually, I had a 9-5 job.

UPC: Doing what?

Mikael: Doing like, uh, janitor work. If you can believe that…

UPC: I can believe that.

Mikael: So, yeah, it was pretty boring. That was my life actually. I did like 9-5, but I was still always a music geek. Like way, way before.

UPC: What sort of goals have you set for yourself in 2013?

Mikael: Actually, I don’t set goals. I just work really hard and hope that good things come out of it. So, I’ll leave the goal parts for the management, I think… [Laughs] I believe they can take me to where I need to be.

UPC: In your opinion, what is it about Sweden that allows them to foster some of the greatest electronic producers in the world?

Mikael: I have no idea; people keep saying that it’s like something in the water over there. I have no idea actually. This is probably going to sound pretty weird, but the thing is our weather is so bad. Last summer, we had like five days of sun. So, I think the guys who are into music just lock themselves into the studio and just hammer. And I think that’s where the magic happens actually… I think so.

UPC: You first entered the music world early in your life, how have you been able to share those experiences with Mr. Avila to ensure that the primary focus is music and not age?

Mikael: Yeah, that’s a pretty difficult question. Especially today because there are so many people going on about ‘Yeah, wow! Look at this kid! He 16 years old and blah, blah, blah… and he is 17,’ But, I think the main thing is not to focus on the age, just focus on what they are capable of doing. There are producers today that are 15 year olds that can do the same things that I can, or that Deniz can. It’s all about technology and what you want to do with it. So, in that matter, I think that age is just a number, especially, in this business.

UPC: What were some of the amazing places you visited as a resident DJ at international events for Ministry of Sound?

Mikael: To be honest, the touring with Ministry of Sound is not as glamorous as it sounds. Half the time, you were playing really weird venues, like in the size of this tour bus. But, we did a lot of good parties. A lot of strange places, too. Like Slovenia, and Slovakia, and you got to see a lot of different cultures, which was good. But, like the best venues? I don’t know if it was like… not the best venues I ever played, but experience-wise it was really, really good.

UPC: You played LIVE @ ZOUK – SINGAPORE. Can you please further elaborate your feelings on this trip, the crowd of that show, and its impact on your career?

Mikael: The thing is Zouk is so legendary and you have heard so much about it before, so it was really fun to come there and play. And, the crowd over there, they are really enthusiastic about everything you do, and I think Danny [Avila] felt the same because they are really like, whatever you play, they are into it. They really love everything you do. They are listeners. They are a real, real crowd. Some places where you go in the world, they come to see you, but they are not ‘there’ all the way. But, the Singapore crowd was just totally amazing.

UPC: Your Twitter bio states “Random airplane musician with no interest in genres or BPMs.” How do you feel this mentality has positively changed your dynamic as a live performer?

Mikael: I think it is a very positive thing because nowadays, there is so much music out there, so many DJs, especially if you are from Sweden. People expect me to play like a Swedish House Mafia medley every time. So, in that matter, I think it’s really a positive thing for me because if people don’t know me from before, they never expect it. They are like, ‘Oh, a Swedish DJ. Now it’s going to be Avicii “Levels” on repeat,’ and stuff. But, I think it’s a good thing. I come from hip-hop, and I always listened to different sorts of music. I think it’s a natural thing for me to just try and combine it. I like to educate people in what’s new stuff, and all of this. I believe if you have a crowd that is listening to what you are doing, and as long as you keep the quality up, it doesn’t really matter if you jump between genres or BPMs, or whatever you do. I think that it is a really positive thing.

UPC: So is your “techno-alterego Tim” making an appearance tonight?

Mikael: Oh yeah, he is!

UPC: Oh yeah?

Mikael: He is. He is.

UPC: And, where did that start?

Mikael: Uh, I actually … I am not sure if I am going to say this on the record yet, I should. I am not going to say the names, I’m never going to confess, but under seven years of releasing music, I did releases under maybe 20 different names. And a lot of them were like techno/techie. Really experimental stuff. So, every time I get the chance, I just pull Tim out and let him have his peace out. After like 5 or 6 am, he usually just pops out. And then I am gone.

UPC: I understand this is your first time in the United States, what are some things you have heard about us and hope to encounter on this nationwide North American tour?

Mikael: First of all, I heard from all my DJ friends, that you have the best crowds in the world. So, I am expecting a lot, actually. But, we’ll see. There are so many shows, and I’ve got to give some big props to management and AM only for putting this together because to start a US debut with 21 shows in a month, is just silly, silly good. So, I am expecting a lot from it. It feels good. I mean the whole vibe of the tour has just been insane from the beginning and people have been buzzing about it like crazy.

UPC: It’s just starting, too…

Mikael: Oh, yeah!

UPC: What are some hobbies and interests you have outside of melting a dance floor?

Mikael: Melting ice. No! Eating. No! Not either. The thing is… outside hobbies; I’m a real soccer nerd. Like real soccer. Not that I play.

UPC: Football.

Mikael: Yeah, football. A few guys say soccer …

UPC: You can call it football. I play fútbol.

Mikael: Yeah, you do play football. But, American …

UPC: No, I play soccer and I am missing a game.

Mikael: Wow! And, you are here with me! I’m so honored!

UPC: [Laughs] It’s just regular season.

Mikael: Ok, that is good, man. That’s about it because then there is really no more time for anything else.

UPC: Football and music.

Mikael: Yeah.

UPC: Sounds pretty good.

Mikael: Yeah, I’m not complaining.

UPC: What is the one thing you hope your fans take away from your music?

Mikael: When people come and listen to my sets, I want them to really give into what I am. I want them to come with an open mind because I always try to change stuff. I never play the same set twice. I always try to interact with them, in one way, and I always try to see what works, and what works less. I had like a perfect sentence for this but then I lost it somewhere… I just want them to come with an open mind. I’m like this, if they don’t like what I do, they don’t like it. But, hopefully, they understand my vision of music because I don’t want people going like, “That’s Mikael Weermets. He’s a house producer.” Well, you are going to see that in the next couple of weeks, hope I don’t scare you away with my new releases, [To Danny] our new releases. But, I want them to come with an open mind. And, I think the whole EDM scene, especially in America, is very good because people are extremely open-minded here, like if they like electronic music, they like all of it. In some parts of Europe, they are like ‘HOUSE. That’s it!’ But, people here are extremely open-minded and I think that is really good. That’s what I want from my fans.

UPC: Since you said you generally like to play house, are there types of genres of music that you like to explore outside of those bounds?

Mikael: Everything

Danny Avila: Trapstep.

UPC: I saw you dropped that Flosstradamus and R.L. Grime in Singapore.

Mikael: Underground. Exactly, I always try to just sneak it in there. It’s my hip-hop self that like plays something.

UPC: It was just a second of Flosstradamus.

Mikael: Yeah, just a second, like ‘here you go.’ [Laughs] And then pull it back. No, actually, I try to play everything because sometimes I’m at like 85 BPMs during my sets and I end up, in final, at like 175, sometimes. So I try to play everything. That’s the whole point of my radio show, Sound of Now. It’s not a genre. If this record is good, I’ll play it. Even, if it is like classical music. If I like it, I’ll play it.

UPC: So you like to kill you crowd?

Mikael: Yeah, exactly.

UPC: And you like to play a lot of American DJs, like Floss, Baauer, …

Mikael: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That part. And Baauer. These guys are just like superheroes to me. They are just revolutionary in a way that I can never imagine. Like I said, I come from hip-hop, and the way they transform that hip-hop sound into electronic music is just legendary. It’s going to be around for a long time thanks to these guys.

UPC: Do you think so?

Mikael: Lets hope so.

UPC: Any final thoughts?

Mikael: No.

Danny Avila: Mr. Weermets.

Mikael: [Laughs, to Danny] Tell them about our kick ass remix! [Leaves]

Danny: Kick ass remix!

Be sure to check out our review of the Generation Wild Tour Chicago and our interview with Danny Avila!