Welcome to On The Sesh, please tell us a bit about yourself, who are The Blizzard?
Lovely to be here. The Blizzard is an electronic dance music duo from northern Norway. We produce music in the progressive trance genre. Lars likes being with friends, reading, going to cafes and watch movies. Tore does sound design for synths. He also likes movies and of course his cat.
Who/What has influenced you musically growing up?
We have both been inspired by artists like U96, Jean Michael Jarre, Michael Jackson and film scores. And of course Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten and Tiësto.
For many DJs/Producers there is a journey that leads them to where they are, how did you get into music, producing and DJing?
Tore got his first sampler and keyboard in the mid 90s, and started making music. Lars was first introduced to production in 2003 when he one of his friends showed him the program Propellerheads Reason. Later that year he also bought himself turntables and startet mixing trance classic vinyls. I still remember how well the vocals of «Marco V – God» matched with «Rank 1 – Awakening». Vinyl was a lot of fun, except the heavy bags who killed my back at times.
First gigs can be a nerve racking experience, do you remember your first live gig and how did it go?
Yes, Lars remember his first gig back in 2004. I had prepared a one hour vinyl set at a small club event in the south of Norway. The most fun part was connecting with new dj friends I have gotten on an Norwegian dj forum. The set went fine, but I had a couple of bended vinyls which made mixing somewhat hard. I probably had a few trainwrecks, but that was all part of the charm.
How do you go about preparing music for a gig?
1. Look for nice new music
2. Finish own music
3. Edit the lengths of some tracks
4. Find the keys for all the tracks and correct the names
5. Do a few test transitions at home to get an overview of what might work.
6. Put on USB-sticks and have a blast!
Lots of geeks on here, so give us an insight into your studio setup?
We have quite a few hardware synths, like the Virus TI, Prophet 9 and OB-6 from Oberheim. We also have a Ableton Live Push as well as lots of software. Some of our fav soft-synths are Diva, Omnisphere, Repro and Serum. Everything is brought together in Ableton Live 10.
Whilst we are on the theme of production, what is your thought process when you guys are in the studio starting a new track or remix?
We usually start out with a melody or a vocal, and try to build the rest of the track around the core theme of the track. We try to make the main hook sound as great as it can before focusing on the structure of the track. All of our track usually start out likes that – as a melody loop. Then we add in more layering. Filtering is usually done towards the end of the process.
How would you describe ‘The Blizzard’ sound?
Beautiful, deep and melodic.
What is your favourite Blizzard release to date and why?
Hard to choose. Every productions has a meaning to us. Piercing The Fog is high up there. I seems to be able to connect on a deep level with many, and it has an optimistic outcome to it. We hope the track can inspire everyone to pierce the fog they are facing.
Do you have an artist bucket list of people you would like to collab with, and who are they?
Maybe the Norwegian sami singer Mari Boine or Norwegian singer Susanne Sundfoer.
Check them out yourself on Spotify or Youtube.
Can you tell us what else you guys are working on in the studio at the moment?
Right now Tore is working a lot on a new soundset for Omnisphere. You can check out his first soundset called «Synthetica» on www.soundescape.no. Lars is currently working on several new tracks to be released on the crowd-funding platform Patreon. We have just released three new tracks there called Blue Hour, Black Ice and Feel Free.
Go to www.patreon.com/theblizzard. Your support is appreciated!
Where can we see you playing in the remainder of 2019?
We are currently working on a new event concept called «The Blizzard & Friends» which will be more focused on the social aspect of events. We want to go to different countries and really connect with people. It doesn’t have to be at a club. It could be at someone’s home, backyard, cabin or another place. We will tell you more about this very soon at our social media.
Do you have an event or venue in the world that is top of your wish list to play?
Not really. We don’t really have wish lists. We take things and opportunities as they come. On top of my wish list as a dj is to play at events where I can connect with people and have a good and genuine time. That’s what matters.
What is the current track of the moment in your box that you can’t get enough of?
We really like ARTBAT – Upperground. Loving that minimal yet groovy sound!
We put that in our latest edition of Point Zero podcast, which our supporters can be download through our Patreon site.
Are there any artists you think we should be on the look out for?
We always like to support our friend Matt Fax! He is a super-talented young guy who is gonna reach far. Go support!
Following on from that, is there anyone that you would love to do love to play back2back set with?
I wouldn’t mind playing b2b with Capa, as well. Love his style!
Do you have any future plans/releases in the pipeline that we should keep an ear out for in 2019?
Yes. In september we are releasing ‘Feel Free’ on Patreon.
Also in september we have a new track called ‘Molecular’ coming out on Pure Trance.
In October we are releasing our tribute track ‘Adagio’ on Patreon. In November we will release an ambient track called ‘Entanglement’ on Patreon. We also have a new collab with our friend Somna, as well as a remix for Protoculture, both coming on Armada.
Theoretically you are given the option to put on your own festival called ‘Stuck in The Blizzard’. Who is on the line up? Would you host multiple genres, and what are they? Where would it be hosted?
Hot Since 82.
We would host mostly progressive music.
Hopefully it could be hosted at a place with amazing nature, which I believe goes very well with the progressive genre.
At the moment you are running a remix challenge of your first ever release ‘Kalopsia’ on your Patreon channel. What are your thoughts on the sudden revival of the classics on the scene?
Well, we’re approaching 2020. What better time to share these parts with the world?
Hopefully we can get some nice remixes of it to everyone!
On the subject of Patreon, you have decided to release all you new music on Patreon. What made you decide to move to this platform over the standard release avenues?
The reasons is basically that we want to be able to connect and share our music with our followers more on our terms. Besides, it’s very hard to earn anything from signing with labels nowadays because a lot of the cake goes to the label. And many times there’s a lot of waiting time. The Patreon project is really fun, because it challenges us to create content that our supporters can subscribe to. So far it is going very well!
We think its great that you guys release remix parts for a lot of your tracks on your SoundCloud and Patreon pages, why do you choose to do this when so many other artists don’t?
Because it is a way of giving something valuable to people, and get their support in return (a small amount of money) – which in turn enables us to make more music. It’s a positive circle.
In the old days you had DJs and you had producers, now it seems like everyone needs to be both. Thoughts?
Both can be fun and can really support each other. I think music production has made me a better dj, and djing has made me a better music producer. Another positive circle! Allthough there’s many great dj’s out there who doesn’t produce. I think if one just tries to have fun, that will shine through.
You are given the opportunity to pick a none trance related artist to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
Matt Fax, Grum, Fehrplay and those progressive producers!
Looking into other music genres, what is your guilty pleasure music wise? Who or what music do you like that people wouldn’t expect from you?
Jazz, Ambient Music, music from games and movies and also ethic music from the east. Not sure about what Tore listens to nowadays.
We couldn’t interview you guys and not mention your phenomenal ‘Lars 30th Birthday Classic Trance Set’, which now sits at over 30k plays on SoundCloud. We are huge fans of this set, and know that it has helped many people during some rough periods in their lives. Personally, It’s my go to set to relax to at the end of a night out or to just relax in general. It contains lots of movie speech clips which make it stand out. How long did it take to source the samples and prepare the tracks, and what was you thought process behind the whole thing?
Well thank you! Appreciated. I love movies and think there’s many great quotes out there who could be infused with trance music. So I just ripped stuff from Youtube and put it into some great trance classics. Took a couple of weeks. I recorded the set and decided to put it out on Soundcloud for everyone to be inspired, too. Worked out I guess!
Ok time for a few fun questions…
If you weren’t a DJ, what would your dream job be?
Actually I don’t live fulltime from djing. I have my dream job, which is working as an Environmental Therapist in a school full of great youths! (Lars)
You’ve won the lottery, what is the first thing you spend it on?
Probably more music software, get rid of house and study loans, and try to explore the world in sustainable ways. Maybe I would start up a project that made some kind of difference.
A movie is made about your life; which actor would you pick to play you?
This is a funny question, because two days in a row students at the school I work at told me I look like Ryan Gosling. So I guess he would be the guy!
What bad habits do you have?
Candies. When I go to the cinema I usually eat the whole big bag of candy over the first 15 minutes of the movie.
How does The Blizzard recover after a heavy night out?
Movies. Walking in nature. Drink a lot of water and just try to relax. A workout works well as well. Gosh, did I just say that?
Massive thanks for taking the time out and having a natter with Carl for On The Sesh Lars
Massive is a great synth as well. Have a good one!
If you want to support us, patreon.com/theblizzard is the place to go for new music and mixes. Cool stuff coming up!