For the Seventeenth installment of our interview series, we introduce Sigvard.
From veteran producer Tom Hades comes his alias Sigvard, a project driving perfectly crafted techno in a diverse range of moods and tones.
Sigvard was born as a fusion between pulsing rhythm and sharp dissonant synths, the result of the above studio working methods. Constantly curious about how to improve both production and mixing and mastering techniques, Sigvard is on a constant growth in sound.
This month (July 1st, 2022), Marco Bailey’s Materia imprint released Sigvard’s new album titled ‘The Flowers Hundred‘, we chatted with Tom Hades about this album, his Sigvard project, and a few more aspects of his career. Read the full interview below.
Hello Tom, Luis from Living Techno here, for me it’s an honor having you on Living Techno’s interview series, thank you. First, how are you and where in the world are you taking this interview?
Hey! Thanks for the invite! I’m doing very well, happy about the new album and my new project “Sigvard” where I can find my roots in production & sound. Right now, I’m home, but not for long.
In your own words, what is techno music?
Techno music is a genre where anyone can express his own vision of sonic design without limits or rules. It connects people because of its countless unique productions.
What led you to start your career in the electronic music scene, how, when and where did you get involved?
I became involved in the more electronic stage during my new wave period. It was the first mix for me between traditional genres and more experimental synthesizing influences.
Do you remember what was your first release ever, in what label, and how do you achieve it?
My first release… good question! I don’t even remember because it happened so quickly when I started working with Marco Bailey. I remember he called me from the label distribution offices to ask me which titles and which artist name they should put on the release! Good times! I guess it’s thanks to Marco and his confidence in me. Our cooperation worked at about minute one, which also had to facilitate a little.
How would you describe the evolution of your music since your very first release?
I am in constant evolution because I constantly challenge myself. I will never be 100% satisfied and I will always try to look for new methods, sound designs, arranging structures and this is evolving towards other styles. I really Don’t like the fact that we have to think in “boxes” because music is for me one of the few things in life that we can choose. It should do not get pushed through social media or in general, society.
Tell us the story, how did your project ‘Sigvard’ come to life?
I started making all my productions years ago with only studio material. At the time, creativity had to be high since buying new hardware was super expensive and very difficult to get hold of. This made the productions so much more organic and unique and was not at all looking too much at detailed mixing and adding 200 extra layers of fx. It was pure and intense, based on 1 or maximum 2 elements and where all the other basic elements like percussion, drums, … worked as a perfect harmony with those main elements.
During all these years of production I also started to add too many layers which made the production process so much more mathematical and not more organic.
I missed the earlier period. So, I wanted to make a “fresh” start and so I started the “Sigvard” project.
What is the difference between Tom Hades and Sigvard?
I think Tom Hades has evolved over all these years in many styles and forms which in a way made Sigvard realize that simplicity sometimes is better than searching for those common and overproduced tracks.
Congratulations on your upcoming LP ‘The Flowers Hundred’, it reminds me of when I started listening to techno music. How would you describe this brilliant LP?
Thanks for the compliment ! That means that it exactly, brought what I wanted to achieve as a feeling to the listener: bring back those human produced, full of emotions tracks. I would like to describe the album as productions build from a passion for music and giving the listener a feeling of warmth that is produced thru this passion.
While you were making the LP, can you tell the highs and lows about the production processes and inspiration behind each track of the album?
The highs for me are definitely the way of production as I described before: building in a “one-take” human feel productions. The lows must have been the endless doubting if the track needs more or not, if it brings the feeling I got when I produced in the studio. But I guess that is a struggle for every producer!
What is the essence of ‘The Flowers Hundred’, and what the listeners can expect to hear.
The essence for me is bringing music of different styles but still all have the same warm feel over them, as if someone just took a guitar and played the perfect ballad for you only!
Can you tell us three pieces of advice you would tell the producers who are getting started into the electronic music world?
Advice 1: stay true to yourself! You are unique and that is what it should be !
Advice 2: there is a limit for every track in terms of production. Sometimes you just have to leave it for some days alone and if it still appeals to you after that time it means that it has the right feeling, if not, no worries, plenty more productions will follow!
Advice 3: don’t over do yourself with software or hardware. Limit yourself to a couple of instruments/effects and learn them so that you could easily make a track only on those. Pure improvisation!
What would you consider your most significant achievement to date in your long-time emblematic career as an artist?
For me the biggest achievement is being able to play all over the world for the last 25 years. I would never imagine that I could bring my productions and my sets in so many countries and for so many cultures. I just love this so much! So big thank you to all of you for your endless support!
A few years ago, I think in 2018, you played at the Secret Garden Club in Guatemala, i was there, what do you remember from that gig?
Ah yes, true! Some years ago ! It was a very nice party ! people really wanted to party and my set was done in a finger pinch! That means that it was a good one, very good one! I remember also that I agreed to play the day after on a private party because I wanted to give the promotor and the people more during my stay!
Thanks for your time, to close the interview and for curiosity, what music do you listen to besides electronic music? ¿Can you recommend some artists to follow?
I listen to a lot of different music but my old time favorites will always be Boards of Canada. So much emotion in those productions!
Listen below to the full ‘The Flowers Hundred‘ album.