Ilosaarirock Joensuu 3 days 14th-16th July 2017

Parov Stelar found his way to Finland for the first time

The king of electro swing, Parov Stelar, blew up the roof in Ilosaarirock on Sunday evening. The festival media met with the artist at the Main Tent backstage after his show.

Marcus Füreder, also known by his artist name as Parov Stelar, is in a good mood after his successful performance at Ilosaarirock. He tells that he visited Finland 14 years ago with his parents, but he has not been in front of a Finnish audience before this evening.

– There were so many expectations as this was our first time performing in Finland. Everyone was a little bit nervous because we did not know what to expect. Now we are happy as the show was amazing and the crowd absolutely fantastic, Stelar says.

Parov Stelar charmed the Finnish festival audience with his energetic performance. Photo: Lauri Kaukotie

Parov Stelar does not see any clear differences between audiences in various countries. He disagrees with the stereotypical assumption that the crowds are more emotional in the south and more quiet in the north.

– It is about music and emotions, and we are all humans. It does not matter whether we play in Barcelona or Joensuu, it is more about the energy.

Stelar laughs and tells that cold beer plays a big part in preparing for a show but that he also has to focus on what lies ahead. He states that all shows are different after all, so there is no simple recipe for preparing oneself. Stelar notes that, in the end, the crowd is what makes him prepared because he can hear them already before stepping on stage. He is currently on tour promoting his latest album Burning Spider, which was released in the spring, and he says that he cannot comment on how busy his life on tour is only by looking at the present but that he also has to look at the past.

– We started the tour 15 years ago and it never stopped. I am thankful because it is not always possible to play music at this level. Someone is watching after us.

He tells that his music is often inspired by the small things in life, like, for example, the song Catgroove which he got the idea for while sitting in his garden drinking coffee and watching his cats play. It all starts with a beat which he then combines with suitable samples.

– I am not a traditional artist who wants to write a love song in C minor. I start with a beat, and the rest follows. It is the same as when you go fishing – you do not always know for sure whether you will come back with a cod.

Parov Stelar feels sorry for the fact that many of the artists he would like to collaborate with have already passed away. As an example he mentions Amy Winehouse.  He would also like to work with Adele sometime in the future. Stelar tells that many people have asked him why he does what he does, as they think that for him it is just a job to earn money with. He denies this and emphasises that he makes music for that feeling he feels on stage.

– I started producing beats in my kitchen, and now I find myself on stage where I get something back from the audience that listens to my music. The applause is the reward for which we do this and what make us feel that performing is an honour.

Parov Stelar began his career as a techno and house producer, but over the years he turned into the pioneer of electro swing. Stelar tells that he found his inspiration for this new style of music when a scratched Billie Holiday LP record got stuck in the record player and looped the same sound all over again. He decided to record this swing tune and add an electronic beat to the background. The thought of combining swing with modern electronic beats felt strange to him at first but as he always wants to try something interesting and edgy this creative process also turned out to be a success.

Parov Stelar intends to dip in the lake while he is in Finland, but he cannot promise that he will follow the style of the swimmers who broke the world record in skinny dipping in Ilosaarirock the previous day. In addition, he plans to go listen to the show of Rag ’n’ Bone Man and compliments the versatile music selection of Ilosaarirock.

The artist’s performance on Sunday at the Maint Tent was spectacular to watch and listen to. The stage and the audience were taken over by Parov Stelar himself but also by the female vocalist whose voice completed the music perfectly along with the rest of the band and their wind instruments. The crowd danced and and enjoyed the positive, lively and gripping music of Parov Stelar to the fullest, and it is hard to name another artist whose tunes would have sounded as perfect as these did during that beautiful summer moment.

the video of the interview to see how he did. Photo: Janne Lohilahti" href="/2017/felamaa/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ilosaarirock.fi_2017_parov_stelar_haastattelu_janne_lohilahti_02.jpg">

After the interview Parov Stelar got to try his hand in ring toss. Watch the video of the interview to see how he did. Photo: Janne Lohilahti

Text: Anniina Hautakoski
Photos: Lauri Kaukotie and Janne Lohilahti

Ilosaarirock Festival