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My Friend Is Playing at Madison Square Garden Tonight

Swedish DJ Jeremy Olander will basically clear one thing off his bucket list.

Jeremy Olander is a Swedish producer and DJ who for some reason is more famous abroad than back home. He started out producing music when he was 15, at a time when he was hesitant to house music. He has now evolved into one of the most rising stars within the progressive house scene. Well-known producer Eric Prydz (who got famous with that “Call on me” video with aerobic girls twerking in thongs) took Jeremy under his wings years ago and Jeremy has been touring with Eric ever since. He will be playing at Madison Square Garden at the EPIC 3.0 show tonight. Since Jeremy used to be one of my best friends who I haven’t spoken with for years, I thought it would be nice to have a chat prior to his biggest gig ever. We met up at restaurant Grodan in Stockholm, the very place where we used to get totally hammered together but also the place where Jeremy’s passion for house music and his relationship to Eric Prydz once started years ago.


Noisey: Hi Jeremy. How are you?
Jeremy Olander: Hi, I’m great thanks!

So we’re at the same place where you and I used to sneak in to watch Eric Prydz play when we were younger. How does it feel to be back?
Yeah. It’s weird – we’re sitting right where the DJ booth used to be. Feels symbolic that we’re in a place stacked with old memories.

Back then you where really star-struck of Eric, I would even say you worshipped him.
Haha, yeah, well I thought he was the shit. When you start listening to a certain music genre you tend to swap a lot between who you listen to, but I really got attached to Eric. I made such an effort just to be able to get in the clubs he was playing. One time I even tried to call him to ask if he could let us in. I ended up calling some sleepy truck driver from the northern part of Sweden who apparently also was named Erik Prydz.

So how does it feel to play with the very guy who used to be your biggest idol?
Mm. It’s fucking wicked. I think I haven’t really realised it yet even though we have been playing together for years now. It all began with my friend sending Eric a couple of my tracks and he responded that he really liked one of them. That was huge.

Jeremy Olander and the author back around 2007 at Grodan, Stockholm

What track was that?
"Chronic!" But Eric thought it felt like a B-side of a record and wanted me to work on a new track and make it a little bit more, like, grand. It was such a leap to go from him not even knowing who I was to him really liking something that I made and wanting to release it on his label. So I worked my ass off trying to come up with the perfect track.


Eventually I sent him two, three tunes but he never really got back to me. Then one day he played in a place called Annexet in Stockholm and I went to see the show. He then actually played one of my tracks out of the blue! That was a crazy feeling. Two months later his management contacted me and said that they wanted to give me a deal. The deal was to release my stuff on Pryda Friends and jump on a tour with Eric.

So you basically started out with a tour?
Yeah exactly, I had played at Laroy and this one time at Pure. It was like a joke. So I went from that to opening the set for Eric with Funk D’Void and Adam Beyer at his first Epic show at Brixton Academy in London.

And now you’re playing at Madison Square Garden. That must feel pretty huge?
I can’t really understand it. I mean, it’s sick. Check something off my bucket list, for sure. It’s a historical venue. My parents are actually going with me to watch me play, which feels pretty special.

That’s nice, have they seen you play before?
Well, once when I played for like ten friends and five strangers at some event in Stockholm. That was a long time ago though. Your mum will totally cry.
I know, she will definitely cry. Maybe even my dad.

You almost never play in Sweden. How come?
It feels like you have to be either super commercial or super underground in Sweden. I’m somewhere in the middle. So that really has had an impact. I mean commercial bookers might be afraid that I won’t satisfy that crowd and the underground bookers might just not think I’m cool enough. It’s like this in Stockholm anyhow, in Malmö there’s a whole other scene, where I fit in a little bit better. You released a lot of tracks on Eric’s own record label Pryda Friends. Now you are the only one except for Eric himself who is releasing music on his more exclusive label Pryda Recordings?
Yeah that’s right! Now I’m putting out an EP called Jackie out on Pryda Recordings, which is a great honour. I guess that it’s Eric way of saying that I made it and that I should be proud of myself.


You’re the chosen one.
It feels awesome!

I heard that you named your upcoming track "Jackie" after a monologue by Jack Nicholson you listened to while making the song. Do you have any other background stories of track names?
I think plenty of producers who make tunes without lyrics have to twist their head around choosing names for their tracks. It’s quite hard. There are so many pretentious names. From my pseudonym Dhillon, which I use when I produce techno stuff I released a song called "Layer Leaf." I got the idea from a 20-kronor bill with the Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf’s portrait on. If you literally translate the words, "lager" and "löf" from her surname it means "layer" and "leaf." It's a play with words and kudos to Selma.

You have played with pretty much all of your former idols; John Digweed, Sébastien Léger, Svän Väth and Paolo Mojo to name a few. You died for those names back in the days. Is there anyone you're longing to play with?
Maybe Laurent Garnier has a nice electro-ish sound. And Danny Tenaglia, a dude I heard play on a boat in Miami, his set was insane. But I feel like I really got my way through a lot of my favourites already.

On The Epic 3.0 show at Madison there’s supposed to be this ”biggest indoor hologram ever seen by mankind” – what’s that all about?
Eric uses a new technique. It’s supposed to be extremely detailed. It’s a dude called Liam Tomaszewski who’s doing all of Eric's animations. But the funny part is that he has to improvise the lightshow since Eric hasn’t prepared a specific set, so It’s really a live show in every way. It’s brilliant.


What's the weirdest thing that has ever happened during a show? Had any nickers thrown at ya?
No, but in Vancouver the whole audience started throwing splits on me for some reason, haha.

Great to see you again Jeremy, good luck at the show!

Pre-listen to "Jackie" here.

Follow Jeremy, Sara and Noisey on twitter.

New Yorkers, catch Jeremy Olander and Eric Prydz at the "Epic 3.0" show at Madison Square Garden this weekend. Tickets are available here. His EP Jackie will be out on September 29 at Pryda Recordings.

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