Interview: dePresno

Interview: dePresno

Norwegian musician, dePresno, who normally presents soundscapes from Bergen, includes us in his travels with his new album “Places”. We are literally teleporting to the places dePresno went in real life, the places that he could go or went to in his dreams or in his mind. The musician, whom we love for his uniquely deep vocals, usually spent most of the year on tour or in the studio, chasing new adventures, except during the pandemic conditions. 2021 was the year when dePresno’s album “Places” was released, which recounts the adventures of dePresno that once took place in different cities during the tour, and summarizes the stories about the places he has been. dePresno decided to release his album in 2021, which brought together two of his previous acts and was unable to do them.

The origin story of the album is quite interesting. dePresno, who released two albums in 2019, Monochrome” and Technicolor”, was mostly influenced by lively and attractive timbres. However, with the songwriting camps he attended and the changes in the music he listened to overtime, dePresno suddenly found himself in the deep waves of country and folk music. As such, dePresno took his close friend Askjell to Nashville who is also a producer from Aurora, Sigrid, and iris. He worked on the tracks in the album “Places” for eleven days and the album came to life. The new album, which is positioned quite differently from the dePresno’s working principle and style, still has transitions between genres. From country to R&B, then to indie and pop, there are situations of rewinding.

In addition, dePresno released a fifteen-minute documentary in which we saw snapshots from the beautiful Ocean Sound Recording, in which he explained the production process of the album one by one. It is also a very good experience to listen to the details of the album and the story of the tracks with the narration of dePresno. Last but not least, we talked to dePresno about his brand new album “Places”.

-Hi dePresno, how are you doing? How is the pandemic working out for you? You are one of the most productive musicians that we know during the process.

dePresno: Hellooo Nordik Simit! I’ve missed you! I’m doing pretty good actually. It’s been a crazy year, but at least I’ve managed (with help from my friends) to finish an album! So I’m proud of actually doing that! It was a very demotivating year for most people, but i feel like we’re gonna meet up on the other side of all this craziness with even more love and appreciation than before!

– At the first glance, when I see the track names, I thought that you wanted somewhat doing a recap of what certain places make you feel. How come this idea came to your mind? 

dePresno: It was actually fairly random! Because of our limited time together in Nashville when we wrote the album we felt like we needed a “creative springboard” so to say. So the idea was that we wrote down song titles and then figured it out from there. And I’ve always been intrigued and interested in geography, cultures, religion, and human beings in general. I am an only child with 2 half-siblings and 20 foster siblings from all over the world. Somewhere along the line, a stupid competition amongst the family started. Who has been to most countries? I am fourth as of now, with 53 countries. That’s why this fascination had to, at some point, result in these pieces of music.

-The track list almost seems like your road map or something. In the end, you end up arriving to Bergen, again. Could you elaborate on the place motif in the album? 

dePresno: Yeah, so every title is named after my affiliations with both real and fictional places around the world (and space!). From exes in Paris to the imaginary Bitter Street, from childhood homes covered in rain to sports bars showered with the sun in California. Every song tells personal anecdotes or histories from my (few) years as an adult. And as you mention, after taking this journey you kind of end up back home, but maybe with a different mindset and a little more experience than you had before.

“Places” album actually came to life in eleven days. Eleven tracks were created in eleven days. And there is “Bergen, Again” which is like the epilogue of the album. What was it like to produce eleven songs in such a limited time? 

dePresno: It was most of all incredibly fun and sort of educational. Askjell and Henry, who wrote it with me, are incredibly gifted songwriters! We also ONLY wrote for 11 days. Usually you kind of start producing the song the same day as you write it, but we only had an old shitty guitar and an out-of-tune piano and a phone to record the ideas! So maybe one day I’ll show you guys the raw first take ideas!

-Would you consider “Places” album as a new chapter in your musical career which is obviously different from your “Technicolor” and “Monochrome” albums? How do you think about almost changing the genre that you are working in at most?

dePresno: Hm, good question! I think I’m constantly searching within myself as a human being but also for who I am as an artist. I think that will never stop. But this feels like going back to my roots somehow! I grew up with folk and singer/songwriter music. A good mix of Bob Dylan and Donovan with a light spice of both Bob Marley and Arabic hymns. That’s the main reason this project feels so immensely important and right for me to do. It’s the first time I’m able to be naked, truly honest. The lyrics show signs of both the folk and the country music we were surrounded by in Nashville. But the outcome is Scandinavian and feels very much like dePresno, and therefore very me. 

-Thank you very much dePresno, for your time and interest. Take care, stay safe and healthy! 🙂

dePresno: THANK YOU!!!! I hope you all stay safe and have a happy pride month! I stand with you all <3333

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