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120 gigs abroad, but back to nature for Skatebård

By Tina Brodal Posted: 25. Sep, 2020

Norwegian DJ and producer Bård Aasen Lødemel started out his career playing in student parties and the local club in Bergen. In a normal year he does about 120 gigs abroad under the name Skatebård, and is an acknowledged producer in his field of all things electronic.

“How did your career as a DJ begin?”

I started playing for fun in the student community in Volda in 1997, did that for a few years before I moved to Bergen. Then I played at the local student disco, and homeparties in collective houses and so on. I got to release about 20 records, plus a bunch of remixes during this time. This gradually gave me attention abroad. I eventually got an international agent, KLS Bookings from England in 2015, and have worked with them ever since. They immediately started sending me out “on the road”.

“What is the story behind your DJ-name?”

It’s simply a really old nickname I got, a word play on my real name Bård, which is pronounced like «board» in Norwegian.

“In a normal year – how many gigs do you have abroad?”

The last 3-4 years it’s been around 120 a year, plus a few radio shows, video streams etc.

In a normal year, skatebård does around 120 gigs a year. Photo: Ketil Mosnes

“How many gigs have you had to cancel?”

In mid March we started pretty optimistically by cancelling two weeks ahead of gigs. My calendar was pretty much booked until October/November already then. But when we came into April everything was just cleared, or moved till Christmas time or next summer. So 40-50 gigs that were already dealed, signed and booked.

“What is your ultimate “dream gig”? What about your best gig-memory so far?”

I don’t have any ultimate dream gig, but I always love playing on outdoor stages on festivals. And as I use to say, it’s always a pleasant surprise if I play somewhere in a small town where I had no idea there can exist a scene, and suddenly it’s just wild and wonderful.

(“Der ingen skulle tru at nokon kunne ha ein technoklubb”)

Skatebård filmed a dj-set at Friluftsmuseet Skredhaugen, Hardangerfjorden, Norway.

“You recently did an outdoor dj-set that was streamed through Dance Television, with Hardangerfjorden as a backdrop. How did you end up at Friluftsmuseet Skredhaugen dj-ing?”

First and foremostly I was contacted by Vinny Villbass/Oslo Club Cast about doing an extraordinary outdoor dj-set video recording somewhere in Møre & Romsdal, where I grew up. I was there visiting in early July.

But because of rainy weather in July the whole thing was delayed a bit, and we started talking about doing it in the Bergen/Hordaland area. I immediately started looking for an old steamer ferry to rent, and run it on the Hardanger fjord.  Well, long story short, wasn’t that easy just obtaining a ship on short notice, but through contacts Vinny finally settled for this outdoor museum in Lofthus, and we were really happy about the location.

“While playing you use your arms a lot – is it the drums?”

Yes, my instrument background is drums. And drums play a really big part in all the tracks I play in my DJ sets – even if it’s computerized drums.

“What will the future bring?”

That is very hard to say right now, but it looks like it will take couple of years until we see really large crowds at events again. I think we’re looking at a period of smaller parties, and more local/national bookings. At least as long as it’s not recommended to cross any country borders.

“Has the dj-gig being streamed through Dance Television attracted extra interest in any way?”

I’ve had a lot of nice response on my set there. And not least the scenery and production of it!

“Any forthcoming releases we should look out for?”

Really soon there’s a new vinyl release on my own label Digitalo Enterprises, featuring collabs between myself, DJ Sotofett (Moss) and Lauer (Frankfurt).

“How do you spend your time in Bergen in these strange days?”

Now I’ve just been moving flats in the last weeks, so that’s been keeping me very busy! Other than that this year I’ve had unusually much time to just hang out, chill, read, go for walks, watch movies, sleep and just enjoy the everyday things in life. But getting really, really ready to start doing gigs again soon!

Check out Skatebård’s music on Soundcloud here.

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