“It felt like I’d opened Pandora’s Box, and now I had to close it.” WHOREHOUSE, CEO. Electronic musician, Eric Berglund gets spiritual.
CEO aka Eric Berglund, formally of Swedish electronic music duo, The Tough Alliance (TTA) lives in a phantom world of desires and dreams, fairy cheerleaders, flying kisses and flashing lights. With a huge imagination and a definite aura of enlightenment, 32-year-old Eric White Panther Ultra Messiah Mr Yeah Berglund (as he likes to be called) loves life and is making music to express that. Previously ceo rather than CEO, angels whispered the name to him when he was caught in a storm in the ocean. He describes his life as a WHOREHOUSE (also the name of the first single from his upcoming LP WONDERLAND), he can relate to Kanye West's realness and has been in love with Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lawrence. He's made a life for himself where he can experience his darkest fantasies! CEO talks life, love and adventure with i-D. S**t just got real. Or not. You decide...
Are you a spiritual or religious person?
Yessur! Spiritual as in looking for reality in things we can't grasp. I spend the vast majority of my energy on practicing awareness in that realm. My art should be an expression of that and a way of trying to discuss what can't really be discussed. So it may be futile in a sense but whatever you know, it's not like there is something more worthwhile to do!?
You say that you didn’t have the confidence to branch out on your own at first, what was it that made you realize you could?
What made me realize I could was that I did. And I did it because I had to. Before I had to it didn't even cross my mind to be honest.
Where should your music be listened to?
ANYWHERE but preferably in a state where your identity and intellect are on a well needed holiday. Peoples' ideas of who they are and what they need get in the way of so much love, of so much adventure in this world.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
The people I collaborate with. Sincerely Yours. My fam. For real. I'm living the dream in that sense. Apart from them Chief Keef, Sea Hyun Lee, Young Chop, Squadda B, Terrence Malick, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Rory MacDonald or Lisa Gerrard. I'm not one of those dudes who get together in a studio and play around though. It sounds fun in the way hugging or sparring is fun but it's just not how I work when it comes to music. I don't see myself as a musician and don't have that kind of confidence. I am shy and I need space, I never even sang in front of Henning during the TTA days. If I continue with music I'd like to be more hang loose with that though. Someday baby. Someday.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Like a thousand random songs from whenever and wherever. A mix that people often frown upon which is so fucking lame to me. I think I never listened to music this much but it's not a lot of new stuff. I mean even though one little cool sound can make me insanely excited, the part of the art of music that really matters to me is very rare, especially so in modern music. Right now it's mostly about showing off, being right on time, fitting in to illusory worlds. Hearing something really lame can hurt my inspiration for real for a while, just like seeing something disgusting will hurt your appetite. I guess I'm still too sensitive so I try to protect myself. But I enjoy Main Attrakionz, Chief Keef, some other rappers and my friends Team Rockit, Nordpolen, Arca and jj of course. And some random hardstyle/trance kinda tracks.
Have you seen Kanye’s Zane Lowe interview?
I haven't seen it but I know what Kanye's like. And I respect him whatever he does. Not cause he's pushing things in art or whatever the fuck people think he is doing, but because I know he will be sincere. He is important because he's setting an example for expressing yourself truly whatever the consequences. Because he really puts his self on the line. He tries to be real. Sometimes people say we are akin and I get it, Kanye is one of the few people except for my friends that I can relate to ambition wise. He feels a bit like a kid and big brother for me at the same time. I'm not as fast paced and macro as him and Zlatan cause it's just not what my senses are built for. I'm not aggressive enough these days. I mean I probably would have been if I didn't start looking after myself some years ago. I still relate to him a lot because of his anxiety level but I think he deserves some peace. Imagine him being alone in a cave for like 48 hours, he would probably claw himself to death. Or claw his way out. God bless him.
Have you ever been in a whorehouse?
Yeah, like my whole life! It was like fucking HARD man. Selling yourself to your self perpetually, fucking yourself over in different positions again and again. With other people around as well!
What were you like at school?
Super popular turned weird at like 12. Hella sharp. Always anxious, always winning.
When did you first start making music?
What do you get up to when you’re not making music?
Artwork and videos and shit, read, run, party, wilderness, practice fighting, hang out with my parents, my dog, my friends, watch Seinfeld, meditate, run after girls. That's IT.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a musician?
If you mean another way of making a living I have no clue. At all. Like I said I can't see myself as a musician or even an artist. I don't have that kind of confidence in those things. To me it sounds crazy that I make a living on making music. Do I??? I am just a boy, doing the only thing that comes natural, the only thing he finds worth the effort - expressing ways of relating to life.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
I love so many places in this beautiful world but how could any other place be my favorite than the one where my dog, my parents, my piano and my gucci goggles are? Apart from that, Paris and Sarek. And America man, I love America, for real.
When are you the happiest?
It depends a lot on what you mean by happy. If you talk about the kind of desire/expectation/semi-ecstasy kind of thing that people normally refer to as happiness then it's when I sense a romance or some physical action. Or feel something with a Dries van Noten tag against my skin or something like that. If you talk about the joy that has no opposite then when practicing awareness doing whatever, most often meditation. As long as that feeling makes up a bigger and bigger part of my life every year, I'm cool.
Are you in love?
All the time. On different levels. It's my like vice. It sounds like a pretty innocent one but it's not and it's part of being in a whorehouse. But the whorehouse can look kinda cute you know and it's easy to forget when you are fucking yourself through others and fucking others through your self. That's what people do though. 24/7. Right now I am very much in love with Jennifer Lawrence. It's a bit scary as all you who have been in love know.
What are your New Year Resolutions?
I don't believe in promises. Just do what you gotta do man.
If you were interviewing yourself, what would you ask?
I would ask myself what I think I can do to get closer to people and communicate about the things that really matter? How I can have more romances while still not betraying the underlying one that I have with god/life? I would answer that I believe I need to establish a better way of getting in contact with people to set up different kinds of meetings. Shared adventures. Like whatever sincere. I don't want people to hesitate. I'm here. I just have so much love to give and it would be such a shame to let it go to waste. Performing like a normal artist isn't my thing, so I have to create a new setup but I need some help. I just started with facebook but I feel it might not be enough, ha ha.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Hopefully somewhere where I spend less time wishing I was another creature in another age with other qualities, lovers and what have you. In weak moments I have these devastating rushes of desire of being something else, dizzying feelings that I was not meant for this world. I'm truly tired of those painful dreams. I also hope I spend less time worrying for my sensitive genius friends and that I will have developed my skills a lot at being present for them and conveying what I know in order to make them safer. I hope I see new places every month and make new friends every day. That every day is new romance. In short I hope I will be more present. And if my curve stays only slightly consistent I will be. But if I'm not that is fine. What is meant to be will be, I am ready to accept whatever life needs to do through me. Hopefully not being cold or hungry too much of the time. :)