Calvin Harris: "I didn't set out to make trance"

Image for Calvin Harris: "I didn't set out to make trance"

If you’ve been near a mainstage at one of the tent-pole dance festivals this summer (or last), you’ve probably sensed a theme to the biggest crowd-pleasers. You could join Tiesto in coining the anthemic, stadium-geared sound ‘trouse’, and look to acts like Laidback Luke, the Swedish House Mafia and Calvin Harris for examples. The craze has carried into the pop charts as well – or in the words of Nicolas Jaar recently, “Now all pop is trance and I’ve no idea where we can go from here.”

Back in 2009 (a year or so before he announced he was ditching the live show to become a full-time DJ), Calvin Harris went to the top of the UK charts with I’m Not Alone: a track that would end up with its fair share of facsimiles and straight-up rip-offs (hello, Chris Brown!). In an interview this week with Music Radar, the Scottish producer talks about how the track includes “a lovely preset called something like ‘Trance Keys’,” and the end result turned out to be somewhat of an accidental foray into “instant trance euphoria”.

“I can honestly say that I didn’t set out to make a trance tune,” Harris quips in the interview. “At the time, trance was really out in the cold. Yeah, you’d got your hardcore trance guys who’d been there since day one, but, in terms of the mainstream, trance was old hat. No one was interested.

“I was actually quite worried that people weren’t going to get it. It was dance, but it was pop, as well. It had this big trance riff, but then it had guitars. It was quite upbeat, but there was a bit of darkness in there, too. People didn’t really know what to make of it. When it first went to the radio stations, they all said, ‘What the hell is he playing at? He’s made a trance record!’ … If I’d have actually sat down and thought about it logically, I probably would have said, ‘Hang on, this is trance. No one will take it seriously’.”

Harris also goes on to say that the I’m Not Alone template has been bastardised since the song’s release, and his 2012-slated album will be a different beast – if it ever gets finished. “I think the main thing I’ve tried to do with this album is not cover the same old ground,” he says. “It’s still sounding quite epic, but that whole I’m Not Alone thing has been done to death. Loads of people have jumped on that sound. I want to do something different. I want to challenge myself and feel in danger of messing up. Sometimes, you need to do that to get the best out of yourself.”

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Bruno from Burwood

Bruno from Burwood said on the 21st Feb, 2012

Unfortunately the headlines to these articles are enough to drag me in.

These claims are an insult to our intelligence if he is claiming to have some sort of musical/artistic integrity (which he is). Harris has a history of bastardising popular EDM so it has an ever broader appeal and can be sold to even younger audiences of hysterical girls. Why would his latest foray into trance be any different?

Fuck off Harris you're a waste of space.

Ethereal1

Ethereal1 said on the 21st Feb, 2012

Calvin ripped this off Jon O'Bir's I Need You released on vandit records.

i think Harris has ripped of more trance producers than anyone else

jamwildway

jamwildway said on the 21st Feb, 2012

Harris is way too talented to be making trance, he played the set of the summer at Shore Thing.

Mindfull-1

Mindfull-1 said on the 21st Feb, 2012

See, I read these news stories for the LOLs!


Thank you jamwildway, THaNk YoU!!! ;)

xtigga

xtigga said on the 21st Feb, 2012

When I first heard this song I thought Calvin was using cheesey trance synth ironically.

ezy1000

ezy1000 said on the 21st Feb, 2012

@jamwildway

GTFO you muppet

StiC MaN

StiC MaN said on the 21st Feb, 2012

so trance synths are "cheesy" but farty electro noises, siren sounds and monotone like bleeps aren't?

xtigga

xtigga said on the 21st Feb, 2012

Uh oh! Angered a trance fan. Back away slowly!

jamwildway

jamwildway said on the 21st Feb, 2012

Trance is sooo late 90's. Harris has a very well produced sound, you can't argue with quality!!! All the big names want to work with him, I understand why :)

Brendangoddard

Brendangoddard said on the 21st Feb, 2012

Calvin you twat! You make music to appeal to the masses don't act like your music is an original sound.
Trance is beyond your capabilities.

lawlietskyy

lawlietskyy said on the 21st Feb, 2012

A simple riff and the guy thinks he's made trance.. Fkn douche go back to kissing Rihanna's ass.

JackT

JackT said on the 21st Feb, 2012

^^ Would that be such purgatory?

Weqster

Weqster said on the 21st Feb, 2012

this track proves that pop is all about the name at the start of the song. "shieet, how internet is calvin harris" "almost as internet as skillmau5"

m_xt

m_xt said on the 21st Feb, 2012

lol at trance fgts getting but hurt.

Achal

Achal said on the 21st Feb, 2012

well it is very lasgo, and milk inc etc. People call that trance...unfortunately

jamwildway

jamwildway said on the 21st Feb, 2012

Calvin is one of the biggest acts in EDM today, why hate when he tells you straight how it is

patrickbateman

patrickbateman said on the 21st Feb, 2012

age: 32.
status: enjoys calvin harris

what is this

gront

gront said on the 21st Feb, 2012

As a solid fan both of trance and mr. harris, all i'm going to say is this: just because you use trance synths in a track doesn't mean you made a trance tune. I really liked 'i'm not alone' for what it was: a pop track. I mean, what's next... LMFAO claiming 'sexy and i know it' is acid house?

DJ AXiS

DJ AXiS said on the 21st Feb, 2012

Trance music eh... yeah right, ill believe that when my shit turns purple & smells like rainbow sherbet. fukn douch.

DTrancer

DTrancer said on the 21st Feb, 2012

fuck off back into the hole you came from, you sell out touting-pop-as-trance freak. what a waste of time, reading his inane irrelevant thoughts about shit.

Wowk

Wowk said on the 22nd Feb, 2012

"If I%u2019d have actually sat down and thought about it logically, I probably would have said, %u2018Hang on, this is trance. No one will take it seriously%u2019.%u201D

It's not like anyone with half a brain took the song seriously anyway.

Cosmo Cater

Cosmo Cater said on the 22nd Feb, 2012

He found trance in a hopeless place?

annajay

annajay said on the 22nd Feb, 2012

He didn't set out to make trance... and he didn't make trance.

scottyk82

scottyk82 said on the 23rd Feb, 2012

Fuckin legend. Plays the same set for pretty much 12 months straight. Still gotta give him props. I forked out at least half a dozen times to see him last year

Progrez

Progrez said on the 1st Mar, 2012

Sounds like Swedish House mafia shit if the moron thinks that just by having some vocals and some supersaw he's so damn wrong. This guy needs a good lesson on what is trance Like for eg this is trance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy9d_xImQ2k the shit you've posted or what he think it is, is NOT trance. Btw isn't making electro fart shit also pop music?