An in-depth interview with Ticon aka Filip mardberg & Fredrik Gilenholt. 🙂
Self-Portrait: Paint your soul!
- What influenced you to get into your field?
Both Me (Filip) and Fredrik was drawn to electronic and experimental music at quite a young age. Back in the 90´s we went to underground warehouse raves and danced in front of a pair of speakers almost every weekend. The decision to start making music and expressing our emotions thru music came natural for us.
- As an artist, what role do you think you play in society?
I believe that every composer, artist, producer, writer (and everybody else in this world for that matter) has an obligation towards other beings. When we create in the studio or on stage, we aim to get people into trance, together as one. Music has been the driving power of unity for mankind for many thousands of years and this is still our goal… To bring people , nature, sound, emotions, senses together as one. The fact that we on earth defy borders and nations, ethnicity, language, politics to come together and dance as one is why we still are working so hard with what we do!
- Creating on a regular basis can be a bloody tough job, so what motivates you to press yourself into the workstation every single day?
We don´t sit in the studio every day. The process of inspiration is a tricky one…. We can spend a whole day just wander around, discuss ideas and when we really feel motivated to go into the studio we do it with full force. Ever since we started making music 20 years ago we have been chasing the feeling and emotion of a song, this is what drives us, to create new approaches to trance music and how to improve both technically but also to challenge yourselves. Out of all the hits we have had with Ticon it has always been the ones that we thought nobody would like. As a musician and producer it is really important to believe that change and different approaches is a good thing.
- Do you get nervous before a performance?
Always terrified and bit shaky, but its a good thing, it keeps us alert. But in the second we go on stage the nervousity transforms into energy.
- What’s the story behind your artist name and project?
We have had many different names through the years but the first name that we could put on a record was Tripticon back in the 90´s. We were making some really hard goa trance music back then. We live in Malmoe in Sweden and Son Kite was just starting up their new label Digital Structures in 2000 and were looking for new talents. We knew them from parties here in the area and Fredrik was also working in a music store selling synthesisers at the time and the guys came up one day and asked us if we could make some music which was not in 150bpm 🙂
They gave us a dat tape with some music they liked and asked if we could try and make something like it (the music on the tape was Massimo Viviona, Der Dritte Raum and such). We made a track and they signed us emediatly.
Then we had to make a new name for this project of corse and we used our old Tripticon and remove the “trip” and left was Ticon.
Our side project Chritical Choice (Ticon & Dj Emok) was a quite easy name to chose , It was a critical choice to put us 3 crazy ppl together!
- Has the process of making music transformed you? In what way?
Absolutely. Music takes up almost every second of our lives and we are in some ways “damaged” by it. Not in a negative way but we always think of new opertunitys to create new music in every situation we´re in.
- What is your muse? What inspires you? Tell us about your favourite piece of music, and the source that inspired it.
Still, to stand in front of a pair of good speakers on a field. That is our muse and have been so from the beginning. When we create in the studio we try to keep that in mind, “would this work when you have been sleeping in a tent for 3 nights (or not slept at all for that matter)? As a studiomusican i we think it is really important not to get to carried away with techniques and tricks, in the field (the dance floor) it´s the main idea and the feeling of the music that matters, not how great you are as an engeneer of building the best break buildup in the world.
We put this idea to the test just recently as we went out to the swedish forest with our side project Critical Choice and dear friend DJ Emok from Iboga Records, we set up a primitive studio in a small house outlooking the forest and just made what came out of our hearts, unpolished and ruff. The resoult differed a lot from what usually is being created in the city, with its stress and “values of how good music should sound like”. The result was great and we will do this agin for sure!
- What’s your biggest temptation or vice, what can you not resist?
Our studio, whatever happens in the future we will both have to be able to make music there. Its like going to the gym, we are both addicts to the creative process of making music, it is the feeling of creating something new for the first time that has us in its grip. Allso, beers, we love beer, that is a fact.
Face-off: Let’s get the grits on the table
- What quality do you admire the most in others? What quality do you like about yourself the most?
I always get inspired of not just how people can be as persons but the level of diversity and expertise some talents have. The way me and Fredrik look at things is probably not the same at all as other view things. Sometimes when we are stuck in a loop of music we send it to another talent and 1 hour later we get something back and we are just amazed how many talented, open minded and most of all creative artists there are out there. I am my self bit of a self chritic, I’m often not 100% happy with the creations i make in the studio and i defenetly have to work on that but if i would name one thing that we take proud in its the facts that we make whatever we feel like in the studio. We make whatever falls into our minds and we follow our own path, i think every musician and artist have to think like that to survive and evolve.
- Which phase was the hardest/scariest in your life?
If we are talking scary like in death frightening situations i have to pick the time when we were about to fly a small private jet plane in Brasil. The small plane was full (6seats) and the pilot suggested a stand for the entire flight, I’m also scared of flying. I told the pilot that i was not happy about this and that i have bait of fear of flying and the pilot turned around and reassured me that flying a small plane like this was not at all so dangerous as flying a big plane. I asked why and he said “when we crash in a small plane like this not so many people die as if a big plane crash”. I got of the jet.
- Any embarrassing/funny moments? Yes, you’d hate to disclose your secrets but we’d love to hear.
One time in a fancy hotel in London Fredrik was sleepwalking in his underwear and left the room without the key (in his underwear). As he could not get back into the room, he took the elevator down to the kitchen and walked right into a fully staffed restaurant kitchen with 50 ppl staring at him! Thats a good memory, for me, not for Fredrik 😉
- Everyone starts somewhere, what was your first job before you got into music?
As mentioned before, Fredrik worked in a music store and i Filip actually started living of music right after school at 18 years old. Life was scars and the rent barely payed by the few gigs we had but we could focus 100&% on the music.
- Flash-forward in time. You are now really old. What would you tell your children/loved ones?
“Really old”? thank you 😉 We have a few years left in us so don’t you worry. I think it would be cool to say -Hey grandpa was a true raver and played around the world! And the grandkids will say yeah yeah shut up I’m listening to Trap Music!
- Into the time machine again. What do you miss about being a kid?
We are still kids in our mind i guess, we don’t really reflect on age, age is in your mind.
- Excessive chopping dulls the axe. Time-outs are a must. What do you do when you take time off from creating? Got any hobbies? (Books? Movies? TV shows?)
We have a hobby called beer i guess 🙂
Ideology: Beliefs that bake your brain
- How do you connect to the spiritual side of yourself?
Thru music basically. Music can take you to a mother plain of conciseness. We have always been intreaged with the spiritual side of life, perticular the feeling of letting go and follow the story of the music and where it takes you.
- Do you have any belief/beliefs that you cannot do without?
On the Scene:
- Any new releases in the future?
We’ve just released our sixth full length album “Mirage”, in which we are going pretty much back to our roots on this one and explore a more deeper and driving side of Ticon trance music. We also have an album out with our side project Critical Choice where we explore the olshool “scandotrance” which is quite known from sweden .
- Piracy, works out negatively for the artist, but it allows listeners’ to access music that would otherwise be hard to source. Art should be shared…in this light what are your thoughts on piracy vs. a price tag?
I think that if you´re really enjoy music from an artist you should buy it to support that artist. Allmost all music today is reachable vi online music stores like beatport and iTunes in all over the world.
We kind of miss the days when we released our music on vinyl and other physical ways. To hold a peice of music in your hand is miles away from a file in your computer i phone that is actually not real, its made up by code ones and zeros. As a kid a always stood in the local music shop and listened to the new arrived vinyls and it was defenetly a different feeling if you compare to todays market on the internet with digital shops. Thats why piracy is more accesive and accepted totay i think, if you put a “face” on a release on vinyl or CD then at least myself would be more happy to buy it.
Pearls: Words of Wisdom for reader and fans
- At the end of the ride, everyone’s looking for some form of success (tangible or not), what does success mean to you?
Theres ofcorse different sides of “success”. Success for us is to be at peace with our selves and the world around us. To have friends and family close to us is a big sucsess for us.
- We are almost done. Give us a nutshell of the life philosophy/motto/mantra that you clutch close to your heart.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your loved ones. Believe in music and humanity.
- One word to describe yourself, and one word to describe music.