Tobias Bernstrup is maybe not the most renowned artist dealing with electro-pop- and Italo-disco music, but I personally consider him as one of the most talented ones. He remains a kind of hidden ‘treasure’ and that’s maybe because his work got released on rather small labels. Tobias Bernstrup is now releasing music for more than 20 years and has unleashed his sixth opus “Technophobic” during late 2018 on Nadanna. It’s a real professional production revealing outstanding songs. If you don’t know yet Tobias Bernstrup this interview will give you more details about his art…
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: How would you introduce yourself and what do you consider as the main facts in your artistic career?
Tobias: A: Queer, Artist, Futuristic, Italo-Gothic, Synth-Pop, Musician and Performer.
Q: I think it’s important to say that you first of all started as a ‘visual’ artist/performer. Tell us a bit more about this aspect and the Tobias Bernstrup-image of today?
Tobias: Well, I have a long established career in the contemporary art world with gallery and museum shows worldwide. So there is more to the image than just a cool or weird looking album sleeve and outfit. At a very early stage I started to integrate music in my practice as a visual artist. So I have an audience of both the art world and the music scene.
Q: Over now to your new work; the title of the album “Technophobic” directly caught my attention. What did you really want to express by this title and what is the work all about?
Tobias: The title is a bit of an irony – we are so dependent on technology today, while we tend to feel no responsibility anymore for our actions. We are lost in-between real and virtual life.
Q: I’ve been impressed by the global song writing and sound production of “Technophobic”. It sounds professional, mature and mixing good-old 80s influences together with something refreshing and personal. What does it say about sound creation, equipment, influences, potential references…?
Tobias: Well, I have been using a lot of classic hardware from the 80s. Still a lot of my favorite album productions are from the 80s. From minimal synth-pop to big productions like Trevor Horns masterpieces. But I also get a lot of inspiration from contemporary sounds and software. Mixing and producing is a very creative, complex but joyful process – a bit like making a painting.
Q: I can’t get away from the idea you’re a real talented musician who deserves much more recognition. Do you think there can be a link with the rather ‘small’ labels you’ve worked with and what do you expect from a label properly speaking?
Tobias: When I started to release albums I was not aiming for the music industry or big labels. I started my own publishing label Tonight Records in 2002, that still own the rights to all my songs. All collaborations with other labels have been licensing under limited time. So the job for the other labels have been focused mainly on promoting the vinyl and CDs, finding distribution, audience and getting reviews, etc.
Q: The CD-version of “Technophobic” features some interesting remixes by great artists. What do you like in these remixes and what are according to you the most interesting ones?
Tobias: This was an idea from the Nadanna label, as many of the remixers belong to their label it was a way to get artistic exchange within the label family. I like the diversity. They all have different qualities. The ItaloConnection remix of Utopia is one of my favorites.
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