INTERVIEW DJ Fett Burger

It’s the Norwegian city of Moss that’s shaped and influenced DJ Fett Burger’s artistically being as well as him as a person. Always having to walk the extra mile or become extremely creative to overcome the deficits life brings when living in a small town on the one hand, while on the other hand enjoying the freedom, the freedom to do whatever or living it up to only your own expectations, which in DJ Fett Burger’s case is already the high standard. However, the ever and always creative artist just released his Thank U 4 Letting Me Live My Life (B.G.F.D.F.R) album on his very own imprint Mongo Fett and again introducing the world to music, personal music, that can simply be described as going beyond the boundaries as those do not really exist in DJ Fett Burger’s world. It’s this charming easiness that makes the producer play in a class of his own and provides his music with an intriguing diversity. And as diverse as it is, it all makes sense in the end and overcomes any kind of arbitrary – a steady habit of Peter Mitterer, DJ Fett Burger’s real name, to capture and maintain the big picture when (creatively) working on a project. Shortly before the release of his LP in November, the artist spoke with Torture the Artist about his creative process of producing music and his album, how he does not suck at track titles, how everything can serve him as an inspiration as well as Peter gives detailed insights into his artistically being.

Torture the Artist: Hello Peter, tell us something about your day.

DJ Fett Burger: Today’s weather is cloudy, and it is 12 degrees.

Torture the Artist: What’s the track that captures your current mood best and set the vibe for this interview?

DJ Fett Burger: No music at all, silence and the sound of the world around me captures the mood and the vibe in a perfect way right now.

Torture the Artist: You are about to release, according to Discogs, your fourth album, Thank U 4 Letting Me Live My Life (B.G.F.D.F.R) under your DJ Fett Burger moniker. What does letting you live your life include or what’s most important to you in life and to who does the thank you in the title refer to?

DJ Fett Burger: That’s right! And I’m very happy to finally release this album! The most important thing in my life is freedom! And that includes creativity, love, friends and a good health. Freedom is the ultimate thing, and I want to thank all the people that let me be free, that don’t judge me, and to people that are kind. So that is what the title is about, freedom to be who you are meant to be, to express yourself in a creative way, and be freed from things that hold you down. Hopefully freedom is something everybody will experience! Freedom is something you have to work or fight for. So therefore I like to say thank you to people who let me be free!

Everything needs to be thought through and consistent in my world!

Torture the Artist: When looking at your discography it seems that you have a preference for producing albums. Would you say that you are more of a person who’s interested in creating and getting the ‘big picture’ than focusing on short projects?

DJ Fett Burger: I have released about ten times plus more singles and EPs than albums. So I’m not so sure if I necessarily prefer producing an album over another format.

To be honest, I don’t really prefer one thing or the other in this case. I work out of context, and do whatever keeps me in the right flow, and where I can do and express what I want to say or do. Also it depends what projects there are, I do a lot of collaborations, and sometimes a lot of music is made, other times less. So I work out of that. With the albums 358 Men I did on Freakout Cult together with Stiletti Ana, or Red Scorpions with DJ Speckgürtel on Royal Oak, both projects generated enough music over the time we had spent in the studio and studio sessions over several years. So then albums could be made. It’s not only to make enough music, but also music that goes together as a well curated album, with a consistent artistic work. Everything needs to be thought through and consistent in my world! Also the energy around these projects needs to be right.

It keeps me free to express myself and to dance after my own beat.

But as you mention in your question, I am a big picture person. All my projects, things and also socially useful situations, no matter what I do are part of a holistic project. Even this interview. Everything I do becomes another piece or building block in my collective work, my holistic project is more like an ongoing process of work, rather than only single elements just standing for themselves. Of course, there are single elements that stand on their own for what they are. Like a 12” is a 12”, an album is an album, a DJ gig is a DJ gig, a drawing a drawing, an exhibition is an exhibition etc. And these things have to be created with the best possible quality I’m able to do at the moment. That becomes the small picture.

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And then I always put these things in a broader context, and these pieces again become parts to shape other projects or ideas, something bigger, something that changes all the time, and something that lives. So I’m always aware of this idea, and I constantly feed my big whole life project with new and old elements to keep it alive and growing. It keeps me free to express myself and to dance after my own beat. Im interested in creating something fluid, omnipresent, and also something that lives apart from their own materialistic limitations. Or for that sake social limitations. In the end my artistic output generates social situations, and that’s what’s really interesting, I think. Meet and connect with people, new ideas are shaped, new opportunities are created, and things flow on between people. Music is great for these kind of connections. It’s somehow the element of life!

Torture the Artist: Regarding the thesis before, your music and also your latest album are musically rich and diverse, is this your sense of entitlement, meaning to create something eclectic and does this also apply to your DJ sets or maybe that’s even something that comes from DJing?

DJ Fett Burger: Glad to hear you think what I do is musically rich and diverse! As I talked about in my previous answer with my living organism approach to life and art it’s all bound together. I, like most artists or DJs, am inspired by a whole lot of things or musical styles. But I choose to also let these different influences come out in my work somehow. My brother DJ Sotofett and I grew up in culturally speaking pretty sparse environment when it comes to influences, so we used what we had, and could find, so we needed to go a little bit on the left-field side of life, and those limitations make you very creative. And both of us are still living that approach to the fullest today. It’s become a trademark for the whole Sex Tags approach, and it is great!

DJ Fett Burger-Ninja

Within my boundaries of production I work in a free manner, and I use whatever inspires me to move forward. I like to implement elements of different styles in my work, but still I want it to be my own style. I want everything I do to have my own style and signature, that is highly important. And I guess with that mindset things become – for some people – eclectic. It’s not about doing the right thing just to be popular, get rich, or live up to other people’s expectations, or standards. It’s about living up to the ideals of being a free artist, and try to make some interesting contributions as a whole to the world of music and art. And hopefully that will inspires future generations, and be known for being something with artistic integrity and of high quality.

Same goes for Djing, but here of course you are an entertainer at the same time, a crowd wants to be entertained at a party. So it’s about finding the balance between something that works, and also something that keeps it musically interesting, diverse or eclectic. Got to have some surprises in your bag, but at the same time not lose the energy, or at least keep the crowd interested. So it’s about choosing the right package for the right time. And find a combination that is the best from two or more worlds! The rhythm and the groove makes you move!

I’m pretty good with titles I have to say myself. Maybe I’m the only one thinking that.

Torture the Artist: The thing with track titles is that some are just randomly chosen as ideas subtly popped up in once mind or artists had to quickly find a working title etc. What’s your procedure when giving your music names? Do tracks like The Game, The World or Atmospheree 2 Emo-tion (Subtle Future Mix) cover a certain message or meaning for you personally as e.g. Emo-tion clearly seems to draws reference to emo-culture and their outlook on the world?

DJ Fett Burger: I’m pretty good with titles I have to say myself. Maybe I’m the only one thinking that. <laughs> Track titles either just come to me, like snap! There we got the perfect title. Or they are thought through, it’s kind of like making a catchy add, you want something smashing for people to remember. Also it has to reflect and match to what you’re doing. All my titles have somehow a story to them, or a reason, not all significant of course. But it’s again something that goes back to my project as a whole approach.

All the tracks on the album have a meaning. Almost all of them are taken from a conversation I had with a very special person, that in many ways gave a creative spark to this whole album. All the titles make perfect sense for the idea and the mood of the record. Disco Fem however is just a continuation of a single I released years ago. A continuation musically and title-wise. Same goes for Esperanza 411.

The titles The Game, The World or Atmospheree 2 Emo-tion (Subtle Future Mix) got the names they needed to be what they are today. And where the titles come from had a significant meaning on a very personal level. The whole record is actually a very personal project (as personal as it can be without getting further into that), among many other things of course. That’s the great thing about good art, it can work on many different levels, and also create many different conversations. And that’s what I want, plus also make a really cool sounding and looking record of course!

Emo-tion is because it’s an emotionally track. But more in the idea of old-school Ibiza sunset balearic dream vibe. Emotional with an happy outcome and intense feelings. Divine, blissful and that sunset you just want to last! Emo-tion!

Torture the Artist: Having brought up your musical versatility earlier, what’s a track that you would like to produce but have not?

DJ Fett Burger: None. I’m happy to hear other people’s great work, and if it’s something I enjoy, it inspires me to make something I like. And hopefully that will end up as something great!

It would be beyond fun, and extremely good in a mad scientist kind of way!

Torture the Artist: Linked to the question before, you once said in an interview that you’d like to work with Rihanna. What musical overlap do you see in both of your works and what kind of music could you imagine being the outcome?

DJ Fett Burger: Always interesting when people refer to older interviews I did. So you liked that answer? When this interview was made I was playing with the idea of working with Rihanna. She has a good style in the mainstream pop world, and is very attractive. Anyway, everything she does artistically is so far away from what I do, so it was an intriguing idea to make these two universes clash. It was a playful idea, and on a creative level it would be very exciting and fun.

I could see myself do some really trippy far out, and different sounding productions than what she usually releases. That is stating the obvious of course. But it would be so many things I could do if I was able to get hold on her productions, and sounds. And also be able to work in a setting where she produces music, it would be a total disaster, and it would be amazing! At least amazing for me. Sales-wise and as a commercial success we have to be realistic. But as an artistic project it would be pretty darn exciting.

And I think musically it could take things to an interesting level. I would somehow like to make a remix album of a selection of Rihanna’s work, like an underground remix package. Just something lik a modern version of what Walter Gibbons used to do with Disco music. Though, I would go further in a more crazy way. I would keep the pop and the catchiness, with a lot of her sounds, because it’s something I’m not able to make really. I would just twist and turn everything around, make it really weird, but still keep it very sexy. It would be beyond fun, and extremely good in a mad scientist kind of way!

Torture the Artist: What’s an artist or producer you would either like to work with or find out more about how he/she works in the studio, and why?

DJ Fett Burger: I don’t know. Not really anybody in particular at the moment. But that changes from time to time. With producers I like at the moment, I can look up things online or listen to their music and try to learn something from that. Limitations give a lot of creative input sometimes.

Except that I learn from people close to me. I prefer to work with friends or people I meet and have a vibe with. And that’s been my way. Always learn something new from other people. Regardless if they are fancy producers or not. With artists and producers it is like with friends or lovers, they just come into your life, and if it’s a match it works. Can’t really plan that! Just going with the flow!

Many producers are interesting or talented, but that doesn’t mean I need to work with them. I can watch or listen to them from a distance. I like to be creatively in charge of my projects, and I’m into doing my own thing really!

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Torture the Artist: Coming back to your album. It’s November now, is the album a product that was produced during the pandemic, a result of the pandemic or is it detached from those events?

DJ Fett Burger: All the music on the album was finished in March 2019. A year before the pandemic. So it has nothing to do with it. I just delayed the release a bit. I planned to release it in spring this year. The records have been in my hands since the beginning of the year. I felt November was a much better option though. And I was right.

I don’t do anything related to the pandemic. Of course, it affects and limits my life as it does with everybody else, but in a creative sense I just follow my own path and energy. And with the pandemic situation at the moment, I got a lot of time to produce in the studio. So I make the most out if it, when I feel like it.

I usually need to have a whole project or concept in mind when I make music myself. I rarely make a track just for the sake of it.

Torture the Artist: As initially mentioned, it’s not your first album, do you have any routines when starting to work on music and specifically on an album or do you simply produce tracks and see how and if they can go together?

DJ Fett Burger: It’s different. If I feel like making music I do it. But I’m not that kind of producer who makes music all the time. I really need to feel the urge to do it. Or I need a task, something like a mission. A remix for example, or an idea for a project I want to do. I usually need to have a whole project or concept in mind when I make music myself. I rarely make a track just for the sake of it. And then it goes from there. With collaboration it’s more a social thing. It happens out of the situation I’m in with different people, or we plan to make a record or music.

Albums basically come together because there is enough music, and I got a strong idea or a concept of what I want to make. Sometimes I plan a bit as well. It’s a combination of discipline and randomness.

Maybe it’s just an illusion that I’m free. But I feel free, at least in a creative sense.

Torture the Artist: We recently spoke to Ruede Hagelstein who brought up an interesting point regarding producing music before the corona and how things changed for him during the pandemic: “I had been pretty much in a tunnel as I mostly took those nightlife impressions with me to the studio to then take those tracks or the impressions, I musically expressed, to the nightlife again. Now and due to corona I am more free again and less stuck than before the pandemic.“ Have you been in a similar situation and how do you overcome those moments when you feel you are creatively stuck or too tied to certain routines?

DJ Fett Burger: I always try to be free. That’s my mission. So I don’t feel like I’m stuck in a routine, especially not from nightlife impressions. Maybe it’s just an illusion that I’m free. But I feel free, at least in a creative sense. So that’s great! But if I’m stuck with routines, then my world needs to be shaken up, or I need to have a break and focus on something else for a while to get a different perspective. Then the routines usually break up as well. I only try to do what I strongly feel like doing. If you give yourself time and peace to think for yourself, meditate or something that grounds you, it alleviates distractions and stress, then you can go deep into yourself, and you always feel what you really want to do, what’s actually the right thing. It is not always easy, but give yourself time and peace to listen to your inner voice or your gut feeling, just a few minutes every day, and it will do magic tricks. I give myself this time. Then I end up choosing what I like, and what gives me meaning in life. So for example related to my music, if I make a lot of club oriented tracks, it’s purely because I want to do that that. Like it has been lately. It has just given me a great deal of pleasure and fun. And it has also been a good way to learn a lot of technical improvements production-wise in my studio.

Musically I chose to live in an underground dreamworld, and I just make records and music according to how I want the dream to be.

Also my inspiration as a DJ and producer can be pretty separate. Even if I play a lot of parties, it’s not what necessarily inspires me to produce club tracks, or not in the first place. I love great club tracks though! So I’m not that kind of person who needs to make an ambient record now, when clubs are closed. That can be done any time, if I feel like it. So I don’ feel too much pressure really. Musically I chose to live in an underground dreamworld, and I just make records and music according to how I want the dream to be, so the immediate outside world has not too much effect on my musical ideas really. Things I choose to bring in from my surroundings, may it be social and political discussions or other social trends are always highly selected in my work, this to give it the quality, conversation and context I’m aiming for, got to stay focused and not let the distractions steal your time and energy. I do things for myself, and try to improve as an artist in every way, like mentioned earlier, I don’t do things to live up to other people’s expectations. But on the contrary, I’m very happy if people like what I do!

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And if I’m not inspired, I just do something else than making music. I have so many other things I like to do, and enjoy doing. I only make music when I’m inspired really. And then something useful will come out of it! I’m a very creative and productive person, so I’m lucky!

Torture the Artist: What’s a creative or artistic field you could imagine becoming active?

DJ Fett Burger: Making really cool and stylish comics, and cartoons. Would also be great to make films. Art films, aesthetic erotic films and good B-movies!

Torture the Artist: Would you rather be Pac Man or one of the three ghosts?

DJ Fett Burger: I can only be the Burger Man! That’ll do the job!

ACTION SHADOW! ROLL IT CABALLERO!

🍔 😎 🍔 😎 🍔 😎 🍔 😎 🍔 😎 🍔 😎 🍔 😎

Interview by Holger Breuer

Picture by Marianne Skay

Drawings by Fett Burger