Hi Mikael, welcome to DMCWORLD. Firstly, when and how did you get into DJing and producing music?
Hi Nicky. Well for me like most people I guess, the producing part came first. It was in the mid 90s and my dad had a very basic home recording studio that I wasn´t really allowed to use. Up to that point I´d been playing drums in a few bands but it didn´t really do it for me. One day I found a piece of new equipment that said TR-505 and that became my first ever Roland equipment. I got a little bit carried away after that, chasing down every drum machine and synth I could get hold of and afford that said Roland on it. One thing led to the other, and after a few releases around the millennium, the gig requests started coming along.
Who were your earliest influences?
We had an amazing underground culture in Stockholm in the early and mid 90’s and especially around this club named Le Garage that introduced me to the underground scene. Later there was Docklands of course, a notorious club in an old warehouse outside of Stockholm, which also used to arrange these trips down to the Love Parade in Berlin. I think these years with all impressions and experiences musically, shaped me in terms of what I enjoy in music and this culture today. I´m still a big fan of underground parties.
What got you into the electronic music scene and who do you count as inspirations in this genre?
Back in those days my bigger sister dated this guy Thomas who was friends with Cari Lekebusch. Thomas and I started to collect studio equipment and we slowly built a decent studio together. I remember Cari coming down for a session there which must have been around 1996. It was of course a big moment for both Thomas and I. I think the tracks made that night were later released on Planet Rhythm under the alias “Dest. But what really pushed be to become a part of the electronic scene was the love I still have for creating music. It´s simply something I couldn´t live without. It has been a big part of most of my life. It doesn´t seem to slow down either!
My favourite track from this period must have been “The Bells” by Jeff Mills. I saw him live at a festival outside of Stockholm in 1996 called Lollipop. As a whole, that festival is still to this date my best musical experience all categories.
You are currently touring with the Credo crew led by Alex Bau, who are celebrating 10 years of the label this year. Can you tell us about your personal party highlights with the gang and what makes them so special?
Alex and I have been playing together for quite some time now and we also do back 2 back sets from time to time so it was a natural thing for me when he asked me to join Credo as a releasing artist. We’ve playied in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary and I think there´s been highlights in all of these places.
However some weeks ago Alex and the others persuaded me to fly down to Munich and then onwards 2 hours into Austria to make this promotional video for a club gig there. It was only over the day but it was good fun.
They’re releasing a 10” vinyl compilation to commemorate this milestone date, can you tell us about the highlights from the LP…
I can only tell you it´s a really good selection of tracks. My contribution is called “CX” (C for Credo and X for Ten) and has been one of my strongest weapons during the past few months.
You’re also on the road with your Exile family that includes Johannes Heil, Markus Suckut and Andre Kronert. How did you come to join Exile and what have been your highlights working with them so far?
Over the years meeting Johannes backstage at all kind of clubs and festivals we found out that we were not only sharing similar taste in music but we also shared a lot of beliefs and values. We simply quickly became good friends. Later when Markus and Johannes started up the EXILE imprint they simply asked me if I wanted to be a part of it. As for now we are four members of EXILE and we are somehow like a small family where everyone can be their true selves, both on a personal and musical level.
Can you tell us about your new EP on Exile…
Since there´s no chance for me to explain the sound of the tracks, all I can say that they are special to me and part of my key tracks at the moment. I´m very happy with the result and really can´t wait to have them out on a record. Until then you will have to catch me at one of my gigs to hear them I guess!!
You are also going to release a 12″ on Gynoid which will feature remixes from Marco Bailey and Flug. How did you come to hook up with these guys in the first place?
I´ve known Marco for years now as we´ve been playing together in all kinds of places (like his own Materia night at Privilege in Ibiza or a cruise ship going from Stockholm to Finland). So yes, we go back. He’s a beast in the studio and we’ve always swapped remixes somehow so I guess it was his turn to pay me back, haha!! Flug is a super talented and nice guy so of course we asked him as well.
Tell us your strategy when producing a tune – do you feel a good rooted hook makes a track?
For me it´s always about simplicity in a track. And that´s my biggest everest, not to over work things and make the track complicated in a bad and destructive way. And yes, a good hook makes a track if the sounds all fit together, there´s no need to over do it.
Will you be coming out with your own record/digital label in the near future?
At the moment the answer has to be no. I used to run a label in the past before the digital era. I think I started at the worst possible moment, the same year that digital sales exploded and it wasn´t easy to push vinyl after that I guess. I put the label to sleep after the 10th vinyl release if I remember it right..
You’ve played at Berghain in Berlin, the world ́s biggest club Privilege in Ibiza and have shared the stage with Adam Beyer, Len Faki and Sam Paganini. Can you please tell us a little bit about your favourite experiences on the international festival and party scene?
There´s so many good memories and it´s nearly impossible to name just a few. I love the way I´ve been positively surprised when coming to a new country or city though. Sometimes you´re just overwhelmed by the positive energy in a room. I feel very fortunate to be doing what I do.
What three records never leave your record box and why?
Tony Montana, D.A.V.E. The Drummer – “Speak and Spell” Warehouse Mix
There´s a drive in this track that simply works on every floor I ever tried it on.
Terence Fixmer – “Beneath The Skin”
It´s a dreamy and spiritual track in a way, but it still has the energy that I´m looking for in a track. The track is close to perfection in my world.
Mikael Jonasson – “EXILE 004 B1”
It simply never fails. And for reasons I can´t really explain it still doesn’t bore me though it was released almost a year ago.
You are on the bill with Stephan Hinz and Simo Lorenz at Egg London, are you looking forward to sharing the decks and what can clubbers expect from your set on the night and how do you usually start your set so people recognise your sound when you hit the decks?
I´m looking much forward to come to London this Saturday to share the decks with Stephan and Simo. Clubbers can expect a set with a lot of energy and emotion.and as a performing artist you always want your sound to stand out from the other DJs so I hope that people will notice something special every time I go up on stage. I don’t have a special opening track, it´s more depending on the mood in the room and the DJ before me but I have quite a few goodies to start it up with of course, sometimes very unexpected stuff to shake things around a bit..
What is it you love about techno music?
The energy in the music itself, but foremost how the whole culture connects people. Many of my own friends are touring DJs who I met through techno. We often take the chance to stay a day longer after a gig here and there to get the chance to hang out.
And before you leave us can you please tell us what we should be listening to as we head out the door to Egg London this Saturday.
Without any doubt (as we are in London), it has to be this track:
Mikael Jonasson joins Stephan Hinz and Simo Lorenz this Saturday April 22nd at Egg London and all info at www.egglondon.co.uk