BY THE TIME Danish electronic producer Anders Trentemøller wraps up his current US tour, he'll have been on the road for the better part of 18 months. "It's a bit weird," he says, Skyping from his Copenhagen home. "When this tour is finished, we will have played 97 shows, and during that time the band and crew have gotten really close. So I'm looking forward to going back into the studio, but it will be a little melancholy as well."
All this touring has allowed Trentemøller to get creative on stage. His third studio album, Lost, was a varied affair that incorporated chilly darkwave and furtive techno into a lush, fluffy mixture. But live, he's adapted the tunes for a four-piece band and single singer—rather than attempting to drag along Lost's seven guest singers (which include Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk of Low, Jana Hunter, and Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino).
"They cannot sound the same way they are on the album," Trentemøller says. "One song may have seven guitar layers and lots of synths, but I can't have seven players on stage. That would be a bit messy."
By simplifying the arrangements, the songs have opened up and changed in ways he didn't expect, including being able to play them acoustically for radio appearances. "We play them quite differently now," he says. "It has developed quite slowly, with little changes each night, but they've gotten pretty heavy. You really learn what works when you're playing gigs. It's like you kill all your darlings and really focus on what is actually working, not only for the crowd, but also for the band as well."
With the end of the tour nigh, Trentemøller is looking forward to writing some new music. He's been recording little sketches as they come to him on the tour bus using a MIDI keyboard and laptop, but what he wants most is some isolation to really concentrate.
"I've decided to take a one- to one-and-a-half-year break," he says. "No more playing gigs. I'm hoping to have the quietness and space for writing new music. It's hard for me to take one week here and there and try to be creative before going out on tour again. That doesn't work for me. I need to get back into my studio and get back into my normal daily routine."