In preparation for this weekend's ATP Breeders festival we talked to Belgian electro-genius Arne Van Petegem better known as Styrofoam.
ATP may be the last few shows before Arne goes into hibernation to record his seventh studio album, so we decided to find out how things are getting on.
Van Petegem has collaborated with many fine musicians over the years as well as producing some inspiring electronic music, he'll be sure to whip-up an awesome live atmosphere this weekend. You can listen to the latest single from A Thousand Words at the bottom of the interview. Have fun!
SG: How did your invite come about for this years ATP? Are you excited to be playing one of the festivals?
Arne: We played the Polsslag festival here in Belgium with The Breeders last year. I guess they saw us play and liked us a lot. Later on Jose, their drummer also come over to hang out when we played in Portland and we had a great time. We're extremely excited to play ATP!
SG: Are there any other artists that your looking forward to seeing over the ATP weekend?
Arne: There's a ton of artists I'm looking forward to see: Wire, Gang Of Four, Breeders, Teenage Fanclub, Madlib and so much more. There's so many cool bands playing that it's gonna be hard to try and get to see all the shows I wanna see. All of us will be staying for the full three days and looking forward to having some good times. We'll come and DJ your holiday chalet!
SG: Your latest album A Thousand Words has been out for about a year now, are you pleased with the outcome of the album and the feedback from fans?
Arne: I'm very pleased with how the album turned out and I guess I made a lot of new fans during the past year. We were lucky enough to tour the UK with Jimmy Eat World early last year and then later on in the summer again with Death Cab For Cutie. Both tours turned out really great and we were amazed how open and enthusiastic the audiences were, since we were "only" the support band.
SG: Do you have any new material to showcase at ATP?
Arne: I'm very busy working on songs for a new album. Actually, I'm leaving for LA the week after ATP for a two week recording session with Wally Gagel and Xandy Barry whom I also worked with for the previous album. ATP sort of comes right in the middle of all that but of course I'm more than happy to take some time off from recording to play there.
SG: This album was the first of yours that wasn't self produced, how did you find working with a separate producer instead?
Arne: It's something I really wanted to do to start with and I just decided to work with the same production team again for the next album as well. It's good to have some external input to get some fresh ideas involved and to turn songs upside down and try and approach them in a different way.
SG: The first single from your new album was Bright Red Helmet which featured remixes and an acoustic track, can we expect to see any more singles from the album with extra material?
Arne: There's a single coming out later this month for "Other Side Of Town" which will feature two cover versions as b-sides. One's a Ride cover (Like A Daydream) and the other one's a Wedding Present cover (Crawl).
SG: The video for After Sunset is rather peculiar but most definitely cool, was this one of your ideas or did the inspiration come from elsewhere?
Arne: The concept for the video was entirely the idea of Tyler James, the director
SG: Do you think working with such amazing musicians as Ben Gibbard and Markus Acher has influenced you in any way?
Arne: I've worked with a lot of different musicians over the years and I'm sure they've all been influential in one way or another. It's great to work with so many people and find out how they view things. The other week I discussed songwriting-on-the-couch versus computer production with Jim Adkins over the phone like literally in the middle of the night. We're all freaks.
SG: Are you doing the ATP festival as a one off or will you be touring any time soon?
Arne: It's a one off and also most likely the final show we'll be doing before taking a little break to concentrate fully on getting a new album finished.
SG: Are there any remixes or collaborations that you have planed for the near future? You've got a pretty awesome track record.
Arne: I've done a couple of remixes recently for Of Montreal, The Submarines and Boy In Static. I've also been talking to some people about collaborations for the album but it's too early to talk about that now.
Styrofoam - Other Side Of Town