Music with Loops
Antiloop is a Swedish tehno group consisting of two guys; David Westerlund, 20, and Robin Söderman, 24. After a hit with the single Beauty & the Beast and a lot of mixing and remixing they have finally released their first own CD. robin and I decided to go and meet these two guys, to find out the secret behind their success and hope a bit of it would come off in our direction.
Antiloop are two busy guys. When we come to their studio, MTV have been their already with cameras and all just the week before. In September they will go to London to host an MTV-dance show. Not to mention all other proposals they are getting constantly.
"Mostly we just say 'No'," Robin says. "People have come with all kinds of weird proposals. Like presenting songs during a roller coaster ride at Gröna Lund (a pleasure park in Stockholm) or hosting 'Små Stjärnorna' (a Swedish show where kids mime to famous artists)." Robin shrugs his shoulders. "There's no good reason for us doing those things."
How come you began making music with computers?
"Well, that's the easiest way," David says, who is a classical trained pianist and the one who plays the music at the tracks, while Robin is the one who does the mixing. "Otherwise, you would need a whole orchestra," David adds.
How did the band start?
"Me and some friends were starting a studio together," Robin says. "And since we needed people and I knew that David was good with music I gave him a call and that's how we came to work together." Later when the studio split up Robin and David continued working together.
When we ask about the name Antiloop they both laugh and look at one another.
"That's a question we're getting pretty often," Robin explains. "So I'm starting to get a basic answer for it: In music there is this conception 'loop' so I thought it would be fun to name us Antiloop since it has a double standard." (note: in swedish the animal antelope is spelled antilop, but the pronunciation is just the same as in antiloop). Antiloop tells us about the confusion they often meet. They are often spelled with one 'o' by confused record companies. But Antiloop is not anti in anyway.
"No we're not anti more like the opposite."
You both have e-mails and your own homepage. Are there many who contact you by e-mail?
"Yes, we've had plenty of response, since 1995, when I first uploaded our homepage," Robin says. "We used to have a counter at our page and then we had 40 visitors per day, but there was some problems with that counter so I had to take it down. Today I don't know how many visitors we get, but I'd guess it's more now." Robin shows us all the mails they get and tells us that unfortunately they have lost some after a hard disk crash, but otherwise they're trying to save all the letters they recieve.
We wonder if they've got time to answer all the letters they get, but Robin assures us that is no problem. The bigger problem is when the mailer has misspelled the reply-address at his or hers mail.
"Let's say if you would send us a letter, like you did when you asked us about this interview and you would have misspelled your reply address, " Robin says. "Then we wouldn't be able to get back to you and you would probably think that Antiloop are two big divas. But I also get disappointed when I for example have laid down twenty minutes on writing a letter and then it comes back to me just because that person did not spell the address correctly."
Do you have your own personal homepages?
"No we don't right now," Robin says. "Maybe in the future, it depends if we would evolve what we're doing."
"Well, what would we need them for?" wonders David, who doesn't seem to agree with Robin.
"It could be fun," Robin means. "But a homepage needs to be updated often." Something Antiloop has not got the time for right now.
You say that you play intelligent techno, what do you mean by that?
"No, that's just a misquotation," Robin corrects us. "What we mean is that we do more well thought-out music." They also do many radio versions, which are more compact, briefer.
Do you consider yourself to be playing the future music?
"We play tomorrow's pop-music. I don't think our music is commersial, "Robin says. "Many producers has our album in their studio." But Antiloop does not consider their music being tomorrow's techno music.
Antiloop gets many letters from Israel and all countries where MTV is shown. The interest for their music is there. England wants to release their album, so does France and it is heading for more.
What inspires you when making music?
"Everything," they both say.
Do you have any role-models in the business?
"You have?" David sounds surprised.
"Yes, some foreign groups. Hard Floor, a German group." Robin shows one of their albums. "There are many talented Swedish producers. Dennis Pop is also very good."
You also make house music under the pseudonym The Buckwheat Rebels. Why another name?"
"We were a bit worried that our record company would turn us down, but today we do house music as Antiloop anyway. Not much music sounds like ours. We have a sound of our own. That feels good.
In an interview in the magazine X-IT, it said that you consisted of three members. You two and a dancer named Maxim. Who is Maxim? Is he a part of the group?
"Yes, Maxim has been performing with us. He's a damn good dancer, but we think right now it looks better if it's just the two of us."
You played live at the New Years Eve rave, Mindscape 2. Is that something you do or wish to be doing a lot?
"There will be much of that. You learn a lot by performing live... get to meet a lot of people."
Do you go to raves? Not to play, but to dance?
"We used to," Robin says. "It's not as fun as it used to be." He sighs. "They play to much goa and you have to look like a colorblind hippie to listen to that kind of music," he says with an ironic smile.
Are you comfortable with the fame? Do you get recognized a lot?
"We worked hard and long, but it's not that bad yet. Though when we were still green, we played at Abstract (a club in Stockholm) and after the performance we stayed at the scene, something we shouldn't have done." It took Antiloop half an hour to get through the crowd of fans who all wanted their autographs.
"It's better to disappear and then return after a little while. We've learned that now," concludes Robin.
You are often described as odd techno artists since you don't mind to be seen, in contrary to most other in the same business who rather stay anonymous. Is that something you're trying to change? Clear the anonymity?
"We don't feel we have any need of not being seen. In my mind would not have been such a hit if we had chosen to be anonymous. Although people still think we're English, " Robin laughs. "We get emails written in English from Swedish domains. There's no reason for being anonymous and secret. Perhaps those artists who are thinks they will sell more that way by being anonymous. But I know many good Swedish artists who have chosen to be anonymous."
What are your plans for the future?
"Rolls on. New album this autumn. Start producing some more, our own as well as other artists' material."
Antiloop's Top Ten list