Interviews: DJ & label owner Mads “Menson”

by • 5. August, 2013 • All, InterviewsComments (0)1784

What project(s) are you currently working on? 

Besides my solo stuff as Menson, I have been back in the studio with my close friend Max Thelin also known as Hankat. We have been making music together since he taught me how, and the synergy has always been special. We’ve had a long break from collaborating which has been healthy. We tried new things, learned new things and now we are back stronger than ever. We are making stripped futuristic tech house with copious amount of bass. I am excited about these new sounds. We are currently putting a demo pack together to start sending out.

Over the last couple of years I have also made music for commercials, websites and so on with Thomas Madvig. We have a little company called AddSound where we make sound to order. A lot of fun and different from the normal club music approach. We have done work for Profil Optik, Fitness World, BestSeller and Illum to name a few.

Have you always been passionated and interested in deep house?

I have always been an avid music lover, listening to many styles of music. I still do, but before deephouse took over, sports was my thing. I played basketball and was a Team Danmark sponsored student-athlete in high school. I was 19, very serious and we started preparing for college applications in the states. I got injured and was out for a full year. During this year, I discovered deephouse and life outside basketball. I came back from the injury, graduated high school, moved out and got a full time job within a couple of months and the passion for basketball was not strong enough to keep me going anymore. The music took over and I started DJ’ing at highschool parties working my way up to where I am now. In the beginning I was content just DJ’ing but that is not enough these days so I started producing. Delving deeper into it and especially when I met Max and he showed me all his tricks I totally fell in love with producing.

How was Studiestraße created and which thoughts did you put into the project?

When I started StudieStraße back in 2010 the idea was to start an independent record label, only releasing underground music from myself and my friends. Start a family so to speak and put an umbrella over our sound and where we come from. I jumped straight into it, I did everything myself without having a clue and quickly realized it’s quite a lot of work running a record label – also you don’t make any money. I got a few releases out and they were received well but then I lost my job and had to de-prioritize the label before we even got started really. During this break I had time to think things over. I wanted to shift focus from us being just a record label to us being a creative collective with love for music with soul and underground culture. The blog is the first step, acting as a hub for everything we do. We launched back in february and we just hit 75 posts by myself, Frederik Lehmann and the CPH Deep guys. My intention is to let it grow, get more people involved and see what happens beyond just blogging and releasing music.”

If you couldn’t spend most of your time on music, what would you spend it on?

Actually, over the course of the next two years I am going to prepare myself to become a Chiropractor. I have always had an interest in health, fitness, how the body works and I want to help people feel better. I need to do some extra courses I am missing from high school and maybe do some goodwill volunteer work and hopefully I will get in. This does not mean I am giving up music, not at all. One does not exclude the other in my book. I will have to move from Copenhagen to be able to focus properly on my studies, it is not an easy education but luckily the university is only an hour and change by train so I can still come to town and DJ in weekends. If everything clicks and I get in and finish the education in one go, I will be a licensed Chiropractor in 2021 at age 35, with a lifetime left to help people and make music.

Which records are you putting on a typical monday morning?

I don’t have a monday record. I don’t have any records for particular days or moods. Every morning I always listen to the latest tunes I have come across or found again. It can be whatever kind of music. Some of it sticks and will go on every morning for a while but thinking about it now I need a monday record – I choose Eye Of The Tiger. Boom.

Has it happened that you’ve used music as part of a seducing plan?

Well, I would be lying if I said no. Have I on purposely put on a select piece of music in hope of seducing a girl? No. Has music been part of a seducing atmosphere? Yes, absolutely.

What and whom inspires you in the world of music?

A great night out, a great gig or concert is usually a winner. I recently went to Fusion festival in Germany and came back totally inspired. Pretty standard I guess but the point of art is to inspire people isn’t it? I think it is.

What do you think of the Danish music scene at the moment? is there some special tendency that you are fascinated by?

The popular Danish music scene is cool and I enjoy it. There are really some cool bands out there doing well and staying true like When Saints Go Machine, Veto, Turboweekend and Quadron to name a few. The underground side of things is a completely different story. Like everywhere in the world there has been total inflation over the last few years and we are in the middle of a terrible phase. Since DJ’ing became popular and really easy for anyone with at laptop, everybody is now a DJ or a party promoter, spreading the already spread underground out to where it is a complete joke. Every week there is 20 different parties with 60 different DJ’s who don’t have a clue what they are doing, all playing for free, undermining the proffesionals trying to make a living. Unless you are playing the bigger clubs where you are forced to play commercial stuff, it is impossible to make a living DJ’ing in Copenhagen. There are still people out there valueing the right things and hopefully it is just a phase, but I don’t think so. I think its going to get worse as technology evolves and it becomes increasingly easy to DJ. If the message is that DJ’ing is easy and for everyone – the value and necessity of a DJ will continue to drop until a monkey with a Ipod is all that remains and that makes me sad. You can’t fight it, all you can do is try to focus on whatever keeps your passion burning and ignore the bullshit.

Where in Copenhagen would you prefer spending your saturday evening?

At TS bar in downtown Copenhagen. My absolute favourite spot where I am lucky to be resident DJ

And finally, do you have any new projects in the making?

Max and I have just been hired to compose music for a short actionfilm which is very exciting. A friend of mine was just accepted to a prestigious film school called Super 16. I have known this guy for a long time and he has been involved in film for about the same time as I have been involved in music. We have talked countless times about collaborating and finally now it seems we are all at a level in our careers where we can contribute to each others work. We read the script and was sold right away. First step is the music for the pilot, the first 4-5 minutes of the film which they can then use to sell the script and get more money. If all goes well we are on for the whole movie which is a dream come true for both of us. Tailor made music for film is a really powerful tool that can elevate the experience ten fold, and It is an real treat to be part of.

Also I am making beats for Theo Fearing, a young talented Australian singer. He is based in London as has been over a few times already. He’s back here in August and after this visit we should have a solid EP. This project is more experimental electronica like. Deep bass and weird sounds coupled with his soulful voice. Hopefully we get something out this year.

Menson @ Facebook 

Menson @ Soundcloud

StudieStraße Records

Interview by Emma Marie M. Johnsen

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