“Shouldn’t we all be having futuristic sex?” That question seems to have more relevance than ever when I phone Brede Rørstad on October 21st 2015. It’s on this date that Marty Mcfly and Doc Brown made that fictional trip into the future in Back to the Future and found flying cars, hover boards and lace less shoes, a post-modernist utopia for any child of the eighties. Although it would be a bit of “a stretch of an imagination” to say that Brede’s lyrics might have been influenced by this movie’s entertaining vision of the future, he does find some poignancy in the reality of our future prospects compared to the film’s. “For me that song is about taking a step back to look at ourselves. Sometimes we think that we’ve developed so much, but we still make the same mistakes and we are driven by the same impulses. Hence the question: If we had gotten that far ‘shouldn’t we have futuristic sex?’
It was Brede’s second single as is eponymous Rørstad moniker, a name he adopted shortly after putting his Heartfelt alias to rest, and follows a new age of music from the classical composer and pop musician, in which he attempts to make music with the emphasis to “create something that reaches out to people.” He creates a transmittable danceable brand of electro, disco-pop in this way, music that takes his classical motivations and strips them down to their core where emotive expressions lie, with a universal appeal. It’s in an electronic aesthetic but then Brede argues, “isn’t all pop music electronic today.”
It’s found its way in live show too, a live show that Brede will be bringing to Jæger this Friday, packing an extra long chord to get down at the audience’s level. We caught up with him just before his show to find out more of the man behind the moustache.
Where did start for you.
That goes way back for me. I started playing guitar when I was eight or nine. I started taking lessons, got into classical music and played in bands in junior high. I went on to studying composition and classical orchestration, while playing in bands all along. A few years ago I started making electronic pop music and developing what is now Rørstad and the music for that project.
Why did opt to go into pop music and not forge ahead in the classics.
Even though I’ve been in classical music circuits for a long time and studied classical music, I’ve never really felt at home there, and I think I’ve always been a child of pop music, growing up in the eighties and nineties. So for me, I’ve always had that pop gene even in my classical pursuits. Even in the symphonies I write, I feel like I always create something that reaches out to people, you know communicates on an emotional level with people. I guess, what I’m doing now is music in its purest form. What I’m doing now is trying to make and produce good pop song to get people excited and get their dance moves on.
Is this why you had to get the longer guitar lead for your show at Jæger?
Is it always about having a connection between you and the audience?
To me creating music is such a solitary process and experience, at least working the way I do. From the point of conceiving a song or an idea and bringing it to completion for recording is a long process and for me working with a co-producer that’s not in Oslo, it’s a very solitary thing. So playing live is a reward in a sense. Music for me is about reaching out to people and there’s no more direct way of doing that on stage and in front of an audience and even better if I can get a good connection with the audience and have a good time while we’re doing it. It’s all about having a good time.
You mention your co-producer is not in Oslo. Is that the Paris relation?
One of them. I’ve been working in France and Paris on and off for a while and parallel to that I’ve met a French producer. It’s an interesting process and it’s becoming more and more French, from different angles.
Is any of the work you do in Paris of a classical nature?
That’s quite sporadic. I think the last thing I did with classical music was in 2011, when I had my first symphony premiered. And that was in Norway. But I haven’t pushed the classical thing that hard. When I write music of that nature it involves a lot of people and that’s part of the reason I started playing pop music, a situation where I could play and create the music on my own.
A few years back when I lived in the States I founded my own chamber orchestra, and we played concerts around town. It was like twenty other people and me, a big ordeal to keep that going. For me right now it’s all about electronic pop music. There are plans and ideas to bring the two together in the future, but it has to be the right time and place for that.
Has classic music and pop music every occupied a common ground for you?
Yes and no. There’s definitely an intersection between the two, but I feel that they are both musical to so many different premises. Finding a common ground between the two is possible, but listening to classical music can be such a different thing than the immediacy of modern pop music. With classical music there’s a much greater degree of nuisances that may not be as clever to bring into pop music. I think there’s definitely an interesting meeting point between the two.
What I’ve also been doing recently is writing chamber music arrangements of my own songs. For instance, performing with a string quartet or a woodwind trio’s completely stripped down chamber arrangements of my pop songs. It’s a fun exercise.
Do you play any other instruments?
Guitar is my main forté. Primarily, I’m a singer. I have studied a few instruments and I can make my way around other instruments a bit, but I try and stick with guitar, keyboards and vocals.
And so far there’s been two singles.
Yes, it’s been a long process. I used to play under the Heartfelt moniker a few years back. I then went through a writing period where I took my own name. It’s been a long process, not of re-inventing myself, but of getting to the core of my music. It’s been a long process and so far there’s been two singles out and a new one coming soon that we’ve just shot a music video for and there’s an EP in the pipeline for January/February. There’s a lot of new music in the works for 2016.
You mentioned the video. I believe you had to learn some choreography for that?
It was really fun. I got to work with a choreographer and a total of seventeen dancers. I love going into a process of stretching out of my own comfort zone, which I was at this point. It’s quite fascinating to work with people that are really good at what they do, and I can get a little taste of that and maybe join in a little bit. It’s definitely something I want to do more of.