Life Stories: Filteria on Life and Music

Jannis Filteria shares some super-honest experiences from his life.

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Self-Portrait: Paint your soul!

Luca: What influenced you to get into your field?

Janis: When I heard Distance to Goa at the age of 13 (back in 96). It made such a huge impact on me that I decided to start making music on my own. I’ve loved music as long as I can remember but that CD really changed everything for me. I still remember selling all my video game consoles and games which was a big deal for me back then to buy gear and new goatrance CD’s.

L: As an artist, what role do you think you play in society?

J:  In society, probably none. I’m just a citizen with some synths who enjoys producing music. In a party or festival there is the responsibility to entertain people and make them dance. But then again, I do receive emails and meet people at parties explaining how the music changed them or gives them joy. So maybe some form of therapist. For a few people at least 🙂

L: Creating on a regular basis can be a bloody tough job, so what motivates you to press yourself into the workstation every single day?

J:   I have an urge to create. I enjoy to sit in the studio and tweak sounds. There are ups and downs and sometimes you need a few months off, but I always find my way back. Also, to see people dance and smile is a major motivation. And every now and then there is the ego saying: Hey, you can do another album that will be better than the previous one.

L: Do you get nervous before a performance?

J:  It changes. Sometimes I get nervous just before I am about to start. But after a while it goes away. And there are times when I feel like I am at family gathering and don’t feel any pressure or nervousness at all. I have no idea why it changes like that.

L: What’s the story behind your artist name and project?

J:   I was sitting in the studio and my phone rang. I was speaking with a friend of mine and we were switching between Greek and Swedish. He asked me: would you like to go and grab a coffee in cafeteria? And I answered: sure I will just filteria this sound. I wanted to say filtrera which means ‘to filter something’ in Swedish but this weird word came out instead. After we hang up I thought about it and said, that doesn’t sound too bad.

L: What other genres of music do you listen to? Name your influences.

J:  I am a sucker for almost any music that was produced in the 80’s. Pop, Rock ,Reggae, Italo Disco, Spacesynth, etc. I love the production with the big reverbs and the huge snares from that era. I feel like there was more soul in music back then. I also listen to some Greek traditional music from time to time.

I guess the 80’s along with the golden age of goatrance are my main influences.

L: Has the process of making music transformed you? In what way?

J:  I can get sad/depressed when I am trying to create something and it doesn’t go the way I want to. In the same way, it can give a huge amount of joy when I feel like I created something nice. So I guess in short, my mood and wellbeing in general.

L: What is your muse? What inspires you? Tell us about your favourite piece of music, and the source that inspired it.

J:  Sitting by the beach and watch the sun reflect on the water is very inspiring. Weird isn’t it? 🙂 When I sit in the studio and tweak new sounds I also get inspired. I start picturing how the sound could be used in a track.

If you mean my favorite piece of music I produced myself, then I think I will go with “Filtertraces (Abstract Dream Rmx)” from the album “Daze of Our Lives”. I really like the way the track progresses and it has nice atmosphere and melodies. The drum section of the track is actually inspired by Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Around with those claps. If you mean favorite piece of music overall: then I will go with Samui – The Big Blue. It has one of the most beautiful breakdowns/climax ever. I had my first experience with that track. So it’s rather emotional.

L: What’s your biggest temptation or vice, what can you not resist?

J:  Chocolate. And anything with greek feta cheese.

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Face-off: Let’s get the grits on the table

L: What quality do you admire the most in others? What quality do you like about yourself the most?

J:  People you always can count on. I guess it’s a form of generosity and humbleness. As for me: I always try to be there for all my loved ones, no matter what and help in any way possible.

L: Which phase was the hardest/scariest in your life?

J:  When I was around 18 and had to start taking serious decisions with what to do with my life. It’s hard being a “child” choosing paths that will most probably affect the rest of your life.

L: Any embarrassing/funny moments? Yes, you’d hate to disclose your secrets but we’d love to hear.

J:  Back in 2004 (or early 2005) I played in Poland. I was sitting in the party with some guys and every second word was “kurwa” (means whore but can be used to describe anything. Pretty similar to the way greeks use the word “malaka”). After spending a few hours in the party I started to connect my gear and was about to start play. One of the guys I was sitting with before looked at me and gave me a thumbs up and said something. I looked back at him yelled kurwa and smiled. Problem was that the second dancefloor just stopped playing music and it was totally silence when I yelled that. People were cheering and laughing but I felt like a major jackass…

L: When have you been most satisfied in your life? Care to share one of your happiest memories?

J:  Walking around in Shibuya (Tokyo) for the first time before a gig. It was really a dream come true. I had this feeling inside that “I made it”.

L: Everyone starts somewhere, what was your first job before you got into music?

J:  I was working in a kinder garden for 9 months after graduating from high school. Every single cent earned went straight to buying gear.

L: Flash-forward in time. You are now really old. What would you tell your children/loved ones?

J:  About the festivals such as Boom & Ozora. That their father/grandfather played music there and was not square and boring :p

L: Into the time machine again. What do you miss about being a kid?

J:  I miss just being outside playing football with my friends. The absence of computers and iPhones. Experience new stuff for the first time. I miss sitting in the sofa at my parent’s old apartment, eating homemade boureki that my mother made and watching cartoons (Looney Toons). To be honest, that last one, I still do when I come back from gigs 🙂

L: 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?)

J:  I try to meet my friends as much as possible. The older you get the harder it is to find time. If I don’t have gigs in the weekend then we go to a bar or a restaurant. I don’t read much besides news and gear-manuals. I also like to play video games (PS4). Every Tuesday night is online gaming together with Magnus from Solar Fields. I rarely watch TV, simply because I can’t stand all the reality shows such as Big Brother and the likes. But I love movies and usually go to cinema once a week. I also enjoy watching series such as Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad etc. But I’ve noticed it’s extremely time-consuming. It’s hard to stop watching and usually leads to 6 hours in front of the TV. However it’s perfect when spending hours in airports and hotels. And like I mentioned earlier I can still sit with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck and watch cartoons for hours. Somehow it’s relaxing.

Ideology: Beliefs that bake your brain

L: The genie comes out of the lamp and grants you one wish that will change the world. What would you wish for?

J:  The power of teleportation for humankind. Free of charge. You would be able to travel everywhere and make life so much richer.

L: How do you connect to the spiritual side of yourself?

J:  By making music and dancing.

L: Do you have any belief/beliefs that you cannot do without?

J:  I am not religious, so probably no.

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On the Scene:

L: Where do you think psytrance is headed? Future trends?

J:  A part of me thinks it’s heading back to its roots. Many of the oldschool-heroes are returning to the retro thing which makes me happy. But to be honest, I don’t think much about trends etc. I just produce what I enjoy for the moment.

L: What do you think of the scene at the present moment? What would you like changed or what would like to see remain at status quo?

J:  No one can deny that the scene is really alive and kicking. There are amazing parties all around the world and there is good music out there. But what I really wish is that people would search to find their own unique production and sound. Something that would make the audience instantly say: ah, its artist X playing. Since there are no vocals in psytrance, our only weapon to be different from one another is to use different sound design and different production. Yet, many artists sound like it all came from the same studio/computer. It’s mind-boggling. There are literally endless possibilities one have today to create and alter sounds and it’s such a letdown to have so many artists sounding the same. It even sounds like the same eq settings were applied for all the individual instruments. I also wish more artists would invest in hardware equipment, because there is more character in the sound and it would help in the process of having more unique sounds.

L: 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?

J:  Piracy is here to stay. The new generation growing up have a hard time to buy music. It’s all there to download, why pay for it? They never had to pay for music, so why start now? I’ve accepted it and if you want to survive as an artist, then you need to tour.

The one thing I really dislike about piracy is that the music doesn’t get the same attention as something you paid for. Fine, download, but at least listen to it properly. I’ve witnessed how people listen to new music. Intro for 5 seconds, click 2 minutes forward of the track, click again around 5 minutes and finally listen a bit to the end of the end track and then click on the next one. It feels kind of sad. Especially knowing how much work is behind. After listening to a new release like that, it ends up on a folder somewhere in the computer only to collect virtual dust…

Pearls: Words of Wisdom for reader and fans

L: At the end of the ride, everyone’s looking for some form of success (tangible or not), what does success mean to you?

J:  Success for me today is being booked, being able to make living and enjoying myself without having to adjust to what’s trendy for the moment. To stay true to yourself. When I started, I thought that the further away the gigs are from home the more successful you are 🙂

L: We are almost done. Give us a nutshell of the life philosophy/motto/mantra that you clutch close to your heart.

J:  Be the best person you can be and enjoy life. Every day!

L: What’s the best advice you have ever received?

J:  “I want you to do whatever you want in life. Just promise me you will be happy”. From my dear mother.

L: One word to describe yourself, and one word to describe music.

J:  Me: satisfied Music: hurricane



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