True Colors, Zedd’s sophomore album, has proven to be pretty divisive among his fans and the dance community at large. On the heels of its release, the German producer chatted toRolling Stone (who described the LP as “stuffed with sugar-rush beats”) about a variety of topics, from influences to how he looks to grow as an artist.
As shown in previous interviews, Zedd’s influences are many and wide-ranging. He tells RS that he looked to bands such as the Beatles, Queen, Radiohead and Queens of the Stone Age for songwriting inspiration. Though he’s known as a dance music producer, he’s “not very inspired by EDM at all.”
“I have a really hard time listening to EDM and being like, ‘Wow, that’s really inspiring, I want to do something like that,’” he says.
“The Beatles have never stretched things unnecessarily if it didn’t help the song. In dance music, you will sometimes find those structures of, like, a one-minute intro. And, like, why do you need a one-minute intro? That’s not necessary at all.” That aside, he credits Daft Punk and Justice for being some of his utmost influences. “Justice was so musical. Which is what I love about it — it’s songs. You will not find the EDM structures in Justice’s music. Barely.”
Despite the unprecedented success of his 2012 single “Clarity,” Zedd says he feels no pressure to adhere to a certain sound. “It’s boring to stay the same,” he says. “I can’t make ‘Clarity’ 10 times. I’m bored of it; I made it once and I want to move on.” He’s shown as such, having worked with multiple artists outside the dance sphere and revealing he was asked to produce a country album (which time didn’t permit). “It’s important for me that my fans know I’m Zedd the musician, not Zedd the EDM DJ.”