At just 27 years old, Adrian Lux (a.k.a. Prinz Adrian Johannes Hynne) has already led two prolific lives, first as a punk-rock guitarist and then as a DJ/producer. His 2010 debut, the indie-heavy track “Teenage Crime,” was nominated for a Grammy. And his latest single, “Damaged,” showcases his crossover appeal. While a lot of electronic-dance-music acts might seek to collaborate with hip-hop artists, Lux joined forces with Swedish indie darling Alva Tang and post-punk guitarist Nico Malmstedt to create this dreamy, harmonious tune.
The Swede, who recently moved to Los Angeles, has been in Las Vegas several times this summer thanks to his monthly Wynn Resorts residency—his next show is August 16 at Surrender—but also to play the main stage at Electric Daisy Carnival in June. Now on a North American tour, Lux talks about how he got into EDM, where he thinks the scene might be going and why he’s reserving his ears for his own music.
How long have you been DJing and producing?
I have been playing since I was 16, so that’s 11 years now. I was hanging out with a lot of people back then who were down with hip-hop, so that became my interest, too. I discovered DJing and producing through that.
Coming from a punk-rock background, how do you translate that sensibility into electronic music?
It’s all about music at the end of the day. I’m trying to always do something fresh and support sounds that I like and maintain my sound. There are always ways to combine different genres, good and bad.
Do you ever go back to just playing guitar, “unplugging,” so to speak?
Yes, sometimes in the studio I will just work with the simplest things. It’s all about finding inspiration in something. It can be a guitar riff or just a simple phrase.
Having played in Las Vegas a few times now, and the main stage at Electric Daisy Carnival, what does Las Vegas represent on the map of electronic music?
It’s definitely a big part of the EDM scene. Everyone is playing here, and it has become like a new Ibiza.
What are the main differences between the U.S. scene and the European scene?
It depends on where you go; they are both very big territories, so it’s hard to say. It used to be more laid-back techno and house vibe in Europe, and U.S. crowds usually were going harder. But since this genre of music has become so big, the different parts of the world inspire each other, which is a good thing because then there will be room for not just one thing in one territory.
Instead of collaborating with urban/hip-hop artists, as is common in the U.S., you’ve chosen more indie, post-punk artists. Where does electronic music go from here?
I guess I just have to feel it. If it would make sense to do a rap feature I would do it, but it has to fit in my world and sound. I have worked with more indie because I feel it’s representative of my vibe and who I am. But that doesn’t mean I’m ruling out different stuff; I’m just sensitive in the way I want to do it. We will see more different types of DJs and sounds. It’s already happening, so the most important thing these days is to have a strong integrity.
What have you been listening to lately in your free time?
[Laughs] It sucks, but I don’t really have any time to get into that much music except my own stuff and the collaborators I’m working with. I have so many new ideas and songs, so I need my ears for that! But I kind of like that “Ho, Hey” song!