A Sit Down With DJ Mike Shiver
Producer and DJ Mike Shiver has been one of the most talked-about, up and coming talents over the last years. Since breaking onto the scene in 2003, he has been sending shivers down thousands of peoples spines. Mike has unquestioningly become one of Scandinavia's biggest front figures in the EDM landscape and has shown the world why his music is so highly rated, loved, and captivating.
So far the long list of artists to receive the Shiver remix interpretation includes Above & Beyond, Markus Schulz, Solarstone, Ronski Speed, Darren Tate, Alex M.O.R.P.H, Hiver & Hammer, Lost Witness, Darude, Filo & Peri and David West to mention a few. As well, his endless evolving tracks appear on top labels such as Anjunabeats, Armada Music and Lost Language constantly topping charts and entering the play lists of the top spinners across the globe. Best of all the tracks are highly charted around the world attracting numerous amounts of growing fans.
As one of Scandinavias most influential players in its electronic dance music scene for over a decade, Mike Shiver has been backed by some of the biggest players in the Trance and House communities, like Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Above & Beyond and Markus Schulz, releasing music on Anjunabeats, Armada Music, Big & Dirty and his own record label Captured Music.
How would you describe your style?
It's hard to describe my music as I'm really doing various stuff at the moment. I do all from progressive trance to harder trance under various project names. But mainly what I do is uplifting/euphoric trance which I believe most of the listeners out there knows me for.
Who or what musically influenced you the most and why?
Life in general, all the good and bad you go through in life is a big inspiration source for me when it comes to writing and producing. I usually tend to listen to a lot of post rock, sing & songwriter and indie stuff out there that really inspires my writing in a different way as it's more naked and intimate, which I like. No matter how much I love electronic dance music, it is in general way more busy and complex production wise that sort of takes away a bit of the focus for me as a listener in the sense where I always tend to focus a lot on the technalities in a dance production (perhaps it is just a "work-related injury" for me working as a mix engineer helping other artists on daily basis cleaning up and balancing their production), compared to when I listen to a more naked and scaled down production that sing & songwriter and indie styles usually are.
Do you have any new gear you're using in your studio?
Coming from a full on hardware setup when I started, I must say that the easiness with today's software just make things a lot faster for me in the studio and it is just the way things are developing. I love the dirty feel with analog gears and some of it can probably never be entirely replaced. However I want to be effective in the studio, which is why I've slowly been replacing most of my hardware. The analog dirtiness can still be added with software to a certain extent and that's more than enough for me at this point.
"A good track is always a good track no matter what genre it is, and that is sort of what drives me in the studio...simply producing what I love."
Can you tell us more about your release "Calling On You"?
I've always had a true passion for progressive beats, yet most of my recent productions have ended up a little bit in the more uplifting and energetic direction. So for "Calling On You", I just decided I wouldn't allow myself to take that step over that energy bar where I usually end. I started off taking down the tempo a few BPM's from what I am used to working with, and recorded a guitar line. When I reached the point of being fully satisfied with the guitar line, I arranged the entire track and found a vocal sample from the Splice Sounds database that suited my guitar line well, but I wasn't fully happy with it, so I started to work the vocal sample pitch and change the melody and rhythm of the vocal line and processed it additionally using formant shifting tools, EQ, saturation and compression processing until I was happy. And from there on the whole arrangement and sound idea just sat up there in my head and just needed to be transformed from the picture in my head down to the sequenser. Once it was ready I sent it to Enhanced Recordings, and they instantly picked it up the same day saying they loved it.
How do you see the trance scene now?
I think the trance scene has been very much up and down lately. I think the main reason is that so many people are trying to make trance these days and there are so many labels out there as well, and unfortunately I would say some of todays releases aren't the best quality ones due to the quantity. What I think in general about the trance scene and what i've noticed pretty much lately is that there's been so much negativity around the online trance forums. One other thing is that there's been many rewordings the last time. Words like 'Cheesy' has turned out to be a pretty 'negative' kind of expression for some of today's trance tracks while we also have seen many people are saying that uplifting trance is called nowadays 'ASOT-Trance' which I personally also think is a pretty negatively kind of rewording. About the music itself it's been taking some progressive turns lately and this will probably change as well...it's just like a trend you know.
Tell us about your Label "Captured Music"?
My own record label "Captured Music"that I am now also running together with Adrian Raz Recordings, has always been a free hand platform for me to experiment with my own sounds over the years, and to be running an own record label has also helped me to really evolve as a producer in the sense where I've been able to decide completely myself how my tracks should sound, without anyone telling me to change this or that. Captured Music has also become a platform for more experienced and upcoming trance or progressive producers such as for example Samuel Jason, and once we finished "Trouse" together, we felt instantly that this was a typical Captured Music release! We got a very interesting release schedule for the label as well this year and I can't wait to release all the goodies lined up there from me and the other artists on board such as Mike Danis, Matias Lehtola, Matt Millon and many more.
Which are the best 5 trance tracks in your opinion?
I have so many tracks i really dig at the moment, but let's see...
1. Mirco De Govia & Ronski Speed - Asarja [Euphonic]
2. Matthew Adams - In Balance [Cookies'n'Cream]
3. Yilmaz Altahan - Eighties (Özgür Can Remix) [Anjunabeats]
4. Leon Bolier - My Precious (Mesh Remix) [Captured Music]
5. Ava Mea - In The End [Coldharbour Records]
What do you personally consider to be the most important moments in your career and why?
Taking the step moving from a smaller city south-east in Sweden to our capital Stockholm, really helped me improve and find additional focus to carry on with my music. This was little more than 5 years ago now and currently living in Stockholm is great! The city is crowded with super talented like-minded people to work with and I just simply love being here in this beautiful swedish music-mekka.
If you werent a DJ, what would you be doing?
I would probably write music for films, commercials or just being a ghost producer for other artists. Music is my passion and a big part of my life and I cannot seem myself doing much other than that. The DJ part of me would probably end sooner or later at an older age when it is time for me to settle down for a family. Yet the music will always be there most likely one way or another.
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