Open your ears, Erik Hassle is in town! And he’s hitting Theatre Corona tonight! I had the chance to talk to Swedish-based Hassle, and I found him to be kind, genuine and polite. Maybe that’s just the Swedish way, but when he spoke of his excitement to be touring with Twin Shadow and his admiration for his older siblings, it opened up a little window into his heart. Gotta respect that.
Erik Hassle is doing some exciting stuff right now. Tune in.
Bandmark: You’re on a pretty extensive tour right now! What’s the most exciting part about touring for you?
Erik Hassle: I’m flying out tomorrow morning. My first show is in Toronto, on Friday.
I’ve been staying in L.A. for quite a while, so [the tour] is kind of like starting a new exercise: your blood starts pumping when you start moving around.
I’m just excited about moving. I usually get a lot of stuff done, work-wise when [on tour]. Playing music with other people is my favorite thing.
BM: Which places are you the most excited to see?
EH: Always Canada. I’ve been to Vancouver twice and Toronto once. I always have a good time. I don’t know if Canadian people are all the same, but it’s a very mutual mentality; it’s just like being home a little bit.
I’m really excited about going to Montreal, actually. I have some friends there. But it’s cold though right?
BM: Oh yeah.
What do you love about getting Shakira and Rhianna singing your songs? [The track Can’t Remember to Forget You]
EH: I’m not mad about that at all.
That was crazy. That was amazing. It was so dramatic for me, hearing the songs, because we wrote the song a year and a half before it was released, before I heard Shakira was doing it. And then you’re not really even part of the process when it gets to that level. I first heard it on Swedish radio. Amazing.
BM: What creative elements do you think you’re bringing to the table of pop music?
EH: I feel like I’m bringing something that I haven’t brought before. I’m so proud of the music I’m going to put out, and am so excited to give it to the people who are supporting me. And I feel like I’m doing my first album, in a way.
BM: I hear a lot of Prince in what you’re doing. Was he a big influence in your music?
EH: Not really. Now he is. I love Prince, to death. When I saw Purple Rain like two years ago, I was like okay! Okay!
But growing up, he wasn’t really part of my life. The closest I got was Michael Jackson. I was a big fan.
BM: Who else inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
EH: My siblings were a huge influence. I grew up with four older siblings in Sweden and they were already teenagers when I was born, so, growing up, I could always hang out with them.
I’d go into their rooms, jump in between them and listen to their music. You know how teenagers blast their music. There were always four different tastes happening. There could be Dr. Dre in one room, and Metallica upstairs…
BM: Did coming from Sweden influence your sound in any way?
EH: I would say it has, definitely. And just [coming from] Europe, maybe. Electronic music and Deep House and minimal dance music has always surrounded me, as much as blues and soul has surrounded me. I think [those genres] are very European and German.
Prodigy was one of the biggest bands when I was growing up, so that’s definitely my heart. And it’s fun, it’s coming back! The house stuff, it’s always been there. It’s on the map again.
BM: Besides fellow musicians, what are some experiences or situations that compel you to write music?
EH: I think I have a little bit of a restless soul. Singing was where it started, and then it was writing. It was a therapeutic thing for me. It feels like I’ve gotten something out of me when I do it. I’m so emotionally driven…I’m not that good at saving things up to write about, so I’m inspired by things at the top of my mind, things I’ve been thinking about a lot. I don’t feel like I’m in control of what I write about.
BM: What are you listening to right now?
EH: Good question. I need to check! I’ve been listening to The Headphone Masterpiece by Cody Chestnut, it’s the guy who sings The Seed by The Roots. [starts singing, “I push my seed in her bush for life…”]
BM: Oh yeah, I know that song!
EH: He did the whole [Headphone Masterpiece] album in his kitchen, it’s amazing!
BM: I’ll have to check that out.
What are you most looking forward to with this Twin Shadow tour?
EH: We’re going to be [going] on a tour bus, so that will be a lot of fun, getting to be on the bus. I’m really looking forward to that. [One of the guys] I play with has toured with [Twin Shadow] before. I think it’s going to be good vibes.
I can’t wait to see this beautiful country.
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