Inspector Norse is undoubtedly a song that will forever be deemed as the best that 2012 had to offer. Only just having wrapped up his tour of Australia, Todd Terje akaTerje Olsen let me into his world for all but 15 minutes. We discussed the proper pronunciation of his name, what he likes to listen to when he cooks and I threw in a question about his favourite hardware for you music geeks out there.
Hey Terje, so where in the world are you at the moment and what are you up to?
I am in Oslo. It’s 10 o’clock and I’m talking with you
Ok so your name is actually Terje Olsen. Where did ‘Todd’ come from?
Todd is from Todd Terry, the American House legend. My first dj name was even worse if you can even imagine. It was Chuck Norris. I realized that I couldn’t be called Chuck Norris so I chose the first bad joke I could think of.
What’s the worst pronunciation of your name that you’ve ever heard?
I’ve been called Todd Turd (laughs) I don’t think they meant it but it was 2004 in Sweden and it was a really bad contract so before we were negotiating the new contract they printed the new one out without me looking over it and they accidentally called me Todd Turd. I don’t think they ever realized… but I’m not Todd Turd.
And the correct pronunciation?
The music video for Inspector Norse is great. I’ve read that the video is a series of excerpts from the movie WHATEVEREST that is coming out soon? What’s your involvement in this and can you tell us anymore about it?
My involvement… well I don’t have much really. I was just looking to make a video for Inspector Norse and then once we started working on it we decided to make a short movie. I don’t know Mr Inspector Norse, I met him for the first time a month ago. Well he’s not actually called Inspector Norse, his name is Marius. I didn’t know him but people seem to think that I know him well or that I’m him. I didn’t have that much to do with it… but I did the first 10 seconds of intro on the WHATEVEREST movie and the music of course.
So what’s Marius like in person?
He’s… (laughs) he’s actually very similar to the character in the movie. In the movie he was told to just be himself and he was, so I think the Inspector Norse character is pretty much him except for the whole crazy drug thing and living in that suburb, you know. He’s living in Oslo and he’s perfectly okay. He’s not aggressive but very energetic when he dances… most people stomp their feet very boringly.
What made you start Let’s Nerd?
It’s been quiet there for a while. The last post was before New Years Eve so it’s almost at its 1-year anniversary of quietness
You’ve done a few live shows with a band, but you’re looking to expand or more aptly downsize to a one-man live show. What can your fans expect from that?
I thought I was going to do that this summer but its looking like me and Lindstrom are going to join forces this summer and that would mean I wouldn’t do it myself until after I’ve finished with that. I’ve been djing for the last 10 years so I’d like to do something else. Things are looking up and I want to do something that forces you to think differently.
What’s your favourite piece of hardware and what’s your dream synth?
My favourite piece of hardware right now is maybe the new Arturia Minimoog, which I just bought. It’s a new analogue synth from Moog and it’s really, really cheap and it does all the things that my more expensive, older analogue hardware does.
Well you have a Jupiter 8 don’t you?
No, I have a Jupiter 4, which is the poor man’s Jupiter 8 (laughs) I don’t know what my dream synth is, it changes all the time. You always have to have something new that you’re looking for right?
People keep asking you about an album and I’m going to do the same… so is there a date or a name yet?
Next year I think, because right now I’m doing club stuff. I’ve been forced to make new music because it’s like commissioned comfort and they demand 90 minutes of new music. That just means I have to work my ass off, which is what I’m doing right now. Some of the music that I’ve made last week I’ll do something with it so it will become part of the new album
You’ve spoken about the battle you have between your two personas, DJ and Producer, but now you’ve thrown in Record Label owner into that mix. How do you think you’re handling balancing all three?
All those roles are changing all the time. Its natural I guess. I used to consider myself more of a producer but now I’m accepting that I’m a dj more and more. You can’t always do everything you when you dj, sometimes you have to make compromises and I’m more comfortable doing that. I feel much more happier working like this
You started dabbling in producing a really long time ago and you are very likely to be inspiration for budding producers out there. Any advice for them?
Not really. They have to make it on their own. There will always be mistakes from the beginning but the mistakes will make you what you are. Actually! I do have some advice. Don’t jump on the first chance you get. It’s better to wait until you’re ready to really go for it. Try not to release music for the first 5 years because it tends to be really, really boring music. In the beginning most producers would make music that sounds like other house music and those first attempts isn’t usually something you would want to release because it’s very easy to be connected with those records and this is why I’m happy I didn’t release music for many, many years. I’m not known for the boring music 10 years ago. It was really boring. Trust me.
I’ve read you only buy vinyl to listen to while you cook. So what are your favourite tracks to cook to?
Right now actually I’ve moved house so I haven’t really set up the sound system yet. The vinyl I listen to most at the moment is Shuggie Otis Inspiration Information just because it is at the front of my pile of records (laughs) I’m very lazy. And of course The Carpenters… and I’m a very good cook, yes (laughs).