While searching for a press shot on Resident Advisor, I came across a paragraph in your biography that stated: “Jan Blomqvist, born in the 80s (not in Sweden) is a Berlin-based solo-artist and bandleader.” – I sense a sarcastic undertone in the author’s need to specify that you are, in fact, “not from Sweden”. Is there a backstory to this? Tell us about it.
You are the first person asking this question, and I’ve been waiting for it for a long time now. I’m not the biggest fan of the old biography that this sentence was part of, but at the time, I liked the fact that the author—a friend of mine—was indeed making fun of the tendency to copy and paste information endlessly. I’m not from Sweden, but the name Blomqvist—and maybe my blond hair—hint at Sweden being my home country. Some journalist just connected dots that weren’t there, made me a Swedish guy, and this info was and still is repeated on the worldwide web.

Pineapples or no pineapples on your pizza?
Definitely no pineapples on my pizza!!

Every artist has a unique thought process while working on a piece, whether it's scribbling some lyrics on a scrap of paper, or playing some keys on an instrument—what is yours? What are the steps that you take while working on a track?
There is not one definite way for me. Sometimes it’s a line or even a verse that is the start of a song. I often text those ideas to friends immediately, so that they don’t get lost. Scribbling on paper is more romantic, but you need more than your phone, and I often don’t have pen and paper at hand. Other times, it’s a melody or just a couple of notes that are stuck in my head and need to get out into the world. It’s even possible that a certain topic, an idea, a mood, a feeling or a mix of all of these that inspire a piece.

You are coming to Beirut with the band again for the ARTE tour - what makes performing with band members more interesting than a solo tour?
There are obviously pros and cons to playing with and without a band. When I’m alone, I can more easily adapt to the audience and their mood. A gig with a band is more structured and needs more practice, yet there is also a very different dynamic to a band on stage. The three of us have been friends for a long time, and together we can create moments on stage that are far better than anything we could ever plan or rehearse. It’s almost magical, and it doesn’t happen when I’m touring solo. It’s the interaction between us that creates something new. It’s also much more fun to travel with my friends than being alone all the time.

What's on your bedside table?
At the moment, I unfortunately cannot give you an interesting answer to that question. I’m touring, so I’m basically living in hotel rooms. To be more correct, I’m trying to get as much sleep as I can in those hotel rooms. Usually, my phone is the one constant thing lying on the bedside tables, but that’s it at the moment.

I read that you used to party at least twice a week in Berlin. Which clubs were your favourite hideouts?
The classics at that time: Bar25, Berghain and Watergate.

What experiences in Berlin inspired you to start producing the renowned “Blomqvist” sound?
Berlin is just one chapter in the history of Blomqvist. As you might know, the band existed before I moved to Berlin. I was even interested in electronic music before moving there. Not in the same way though. Techno was a mere interest before, and became a lifestyle in the big city. This experience changed me and therefore definitely had an impact on my musical interests. I also realised in the mid noughties that lyrics and concert atmosphere were missing on Berlin dancefloors and I wanted to change this.

So, I hear Bodzin is one of your favourites – I lose my shit every time I see him perform. Which artist makes you lose your shit?
That would be Moderat for me.

Sparkling or still?
Depends, I like both but if I’m in a sparkling mood, I prefer a medium version with small bubbles. Delicious.

Why did you decide to fragment the album into three parts? Why wasn’t everything released in one wave?
There’s a bunch of reasons that made us decide to release the album in three parts. The most important of them is that the concept behind ‘Disconnected’ included the question of how different locations influence the process of making and writing music and lyrics. We chose parts of this planet that are either the topographical equivalent of being disconnected, like Iceland or the desert, or the opposite, like the Big Apple. To “disconnect” the tracks of the album seemed only logical. In addition to that, I liked the idea because every song gets the attention it deserves if it’s released with fewer tracks at its side.

The album was created in different corners of the globe, from Berlin to California, New York to Iceland. How did the different surroundings impact your creative process when recording Disconnected? Also, which city influenced the album the most?
You can hear the surroundings in the music, can’t you? Part One is hugely inspired by Iceland. New York is talking through the freakier stuff like ‘A Bridge over Novocaine’ or ‘The Noun Destroys’. Influences of the Berlin club scene can be found in ‘Our Broken Mind Embassy’ and ‘Elephant Shunned’. And last but not least: the perfect example of a Californian sound is the Stones Cover—‘Synth For The Devil’.

The idea and concept of the album came to me whilst I was in New York, as is often the case. I really love the city for its immensely inspiring atmosphere. Berlin was where we merged the work we did in all those other places, the hub where the fragments all came together and became what is now ‘Disconnected’.

I know that Disconnected is based on the idea of getting off the grid. What did you want to disconnect from exactly?
From being online constantly; from being available on your phone constantly. That was and is still a problem for me. I need to disconnect to not lose myself in between albums and concerts.

What is the first thing you toss in your suitcase when you pack?
My answer to this question sadly is not funny or cute, just practical: it’s my laptop. Simply because it’s vital to have with me on my travels.

Thank you for your time!
Thank you for having me. :-)