Back in Business: A mix and interview with Skatebård

Over 3 hours of uninterrupted Skatebård recorded live from our sauna.

You couldn’t keep Skatebård out of a DJ booth before the pandemic hit. The Bergen DJ was playing at least three times a week, travelling all over the world to some of the scene’s most revered and established venues.

Observations from his vigilant agent, queried the sustainability of Skatebård’s work ethic, with Bård dismissing suggestions of “taking a break” with playing more, and more frequently. By the time the pandemic hit he had been one of the most in-demand DJs on the scene. His amenable personality in the booth, where accessibility and function permeates with hedonistic pleasure, has secured Skatebård as one of the most prominent fixtures on the DJ circuit.

Then the pandemic hit, and Skatebård, like all the other DJs, was forced into the hiatus that followed. His indelible presence in the DJ booth, before proved to be prescient, and while DJs scrambled to social media streaming platforms, the Bergen-DJ could comfortably retire to his sofa with a good book and wait out the storm.

He kept at it, consuming new music where it informed his sets and honing his craft even further from his home-based hi-fi DJ set-up. He continued to play select dates, even making an appearance in Jaeger’s basement in 2020 for what turned pout to be the last night we could be open until 3am. Ultimately travel restrictions and lockdown rules had forced everybody, including Skatebård into forced hibernation.

Efforts to get him back to Jaeger when we could were left unsatisfied as quarantine measures and lockdown rules got more extreme during the winter. Eventually we had to take a page out of a Skatebård’s book and resign ourselves to the sofa, to wait out the storm.

The storm eventually dissipated and when we opened up the sauna in May and by Skatebård was on a very short list of guests we wanted back. By June he was int he sauna again, back in business, answering the call to the dance floor in pure Skatebård fashion. As our first guest outside of Oslo, there was a noticeable anticipation in the air and as Skatebård he didn’t disappoint. We pressed record and sat back and listened in awe at the enduring DJ.

It’s with great pleasure that we can present this recorded mix to our Mixcloud select subscribers today. Listen to over 3 hours of unadulterated Skatebård, while catch-up with the man behind the controls in a brief Q&A.

How does it feel to be back in business?

Feels really, really good to be playing again. But… It’s a while yet before full on travel will be possible.

What’s been the most challenging thing coming back into it after such a long hiatus?

It’s just a joy, I’ve been finding a lot of music to play in the last few months, that’s all I’ve been doing, so I’m just so ready to play all these tracks.

What did you have planned for this mix at Jaeger?

I entered the booth (tønna) with an open perspective, I can always go in many directions. But you know, my style is pretty eclectic most of the time anyway.

Did it go as planned?

It was a lot wilder actually, I was expecting maybe a more laid back night, I didn’t even know dancing was allowed in the backyard yet! With one meter distance though, mind you. But was a super energetic vibe.

I don’t think I ever saw you not smile throughout the night. What is it about a good night like that, that just makes it all worthwhile?

I was super happy, my first visit in Oslo since last August, and even a few of my band colleagues that I hadn’t met for almost two years showed up!

There’s a bit of everything in there. Was there a phase or a track that was a personal highlight? 

I was especially looking forward to playing Pais Tropical – Melodya. That piano riff… And a couple of other newly acquired italo house records. Well of course also some brand new tracks from friends!

Do you feel you’ve had to adapt or change the essence of a Skatebård mix in any way to accommodate the situation?

I always adapt a wee bit to any kind of party I play, but I mostly just play whatever I feel like anyway.

I saw a post on instagram suggesting that you’re ready to hit the road again. Is that the thing you’ve missed most?

Suggesting yes, but I also think I wrote something about that I don’t rush it either, so in the next couple of  months it will only be like a gig or two abroad a month, and outside Europe will be difficult for a while, I guess. But I appreciate everything! If you’re reading this and would like to book me, just contact my agency and we can work something out.

How do you think the DJ scene will change going forward from this, and what are you personally looking forward to in the near future?

I think that from both travel restrictions and economic perspectives, that parties will stay a bit more local for a while. That’s been my thought during the pandemic. In the near future I’ll enjoy the Norwegian summer, and I’m also very much looking forward to a festival in the Faroe Islands in the middle of July, then Trevarefest (Henningsvær), Summer Contrast Festival in Poland and Dekmantel Selectors in Croatia.

I can also add Festifest, Amsterdam, DGTL, Amsterdam, and Night Tales, London to my list of stuff looking fwd to. All in August/September.