Interview: Teebee

The Norwegian drum and bass DJ/producer discusses music, TV, reincarnation and food, ahead of his February 9th appearance at Abaton's Take Control night

Torgeir "Teebee" Byrknes is one of the most respected figures on the drum and bass scene, drawing on more than 10 years' experience as producer and DJ.

With Subtitles, his highly regarded and highly original D&B label, the Bergen, Norway native has helped discover talents like Noisia, Phace and Misanthrop, and he's currently working on a new album with Calyx, another top producer.

IM Cyber caught up with Teebee ahead of his February 9th appearance at Take Control, at Prague's Abaton club, to discuss D&B, TV, reincarnation and food.

IM Cyber: Who is the leader of the future drum and bass sound -- Phace, Noisia, Misanthrop?

Teebee: I'd like to think it would be someone involved with my label or me somehow… but that's just loose thoughts. At the end of the day, such a question is a matter of opinion, and has no correct answer. For some it might be Goldie, for others it might be Misanthrop. Taste is a personal thing.

IMC: Who is the most important producer for D&B music in your view?

TB: Well to be honest, I think still, to this day, that the true pioneers like Photek, Dillinja, Source Direct, Lemon D, Rob Playford, etc. are the most important ones, as they created this music from nothing but samples and an ideology. Today, most things have been done to death, even that isn't taking anything away from the music. But being truly innovative is hard, as most things have been done.

IMC: How has your cooperation with Calyx been? What was your favorite food during that time? ;-)

TB: It's great working with him. We're best mates, and he's like a brother to me. We fully complement each other in the studio, and we're both perfectionists, so we never disagree on anything. As far as the food goes, I've been the chef for most of it, as we've done the majority of the album at my studio in Bergen, Norway. So it's been Norwegian food all the way.

IMC: Could you tell us some details about the album -- the name, release date… and explain why people have to buy it...

TB: The album has got the name Anatomy and will be released on our label, Momentum. If people buy it or not is up to them, but know that this is the very best the two of us have to offer. We've worked very hard on this, and we've cut no corners at all. Each tune stands on its own. No filler -- all killer.

IMC: Is there a movie soundtrack would you'd sample for one of your tunes?

TB: Nothing is sacred. If it's sick, I'll re-create it. Rarely sample it, but recreate it...

IMC: Lost or Prison Break?

TB: It depends on my mood -- I watch both.

IMC: Kate or Dr. Tancredi?

TB: Dunno about those...

IMC: If you hadn't fallen in love with drum and bass, which rock band would you play with?

TB: I wouldn't be in a rock band, I'd be a professional skier or a professional bum... Fuck music if drum and bass isn't around.

IMC: What would want to be born again as, in the next life?

TB: Probably as an eagle. Fuck being a human. I want no natural enemies, and to be able to fly!

IMC: What would your ideal day look like?

TB: Up early, breakfast, read the papers and do my emails, then studio for four hours. Little break for the gym, then another three hours working. At night, I'll hang with my buddies and do whatever, and end my night with a movie. Pretty straight up, but as I travel so much, the joy of everyday life is a luxury most people take for granted.

IMC: What's the most difficult thing about the electronic music business?

TB: Making an artist understand how hard it is to get stuff done on time! It's virtually impossible, because there are so many different variables. Also, if you sell less than 1,500 records, don't ask me where your money is...

IMC:What would you do if three big niggas put a gun to your face?

TB: It depends. Now, I'd run as fast as I could. Seven years ago, I would've beaten the shit out of them.

IMC: What's the strangest thing that you've heard about yourself?

TB: That I'm gay.

IMC: Is it just me or did your Subtitles label change a little after you put out your 50th release?

TB: It did, but then again, one of the things I've always tried to do is to not be labeled as this or that. It's like with my new releases -- we've had a few techy things, then suddenly along comes another deep Electrosoul System 12". Subtitles reflects my tastes -- it is my label, after all.

IMC: How do you see yourself as a 50-year-old man?

TB: Retired, living by the ocean in the summer, and in a cabin in the Alps during the winter. Loving life and enjoying my millions...

TeeBee's MySpace Page

Video on YouTube

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