"People Here Are Kind of Unhinged": Anton Krueger of Bollywood Life on Denver DIY
Anton Krueger, better known as Bollywood Life, will be cranking out a set of catchy electro-pop at this Saturday's Artopia. Krueger just came off a U.S./Canada tour with Slow Magic and Giraffage, for whom he was running video art. Upon returning home to Denver, Krueger had some time to reflect on his musical career and where he wants to take it.
"I'm sort of at a point right now where what I want to do is changing," he tells me across a coffee-shop table. Krueger elaborates that recently his interests have been deviating a little. In terms of his music, he wants to get back to focusing on "music that you can really dance to. A lot of dance music these days feels kind of empty." This would expand upon the reputation that Krueger built for himself last year after releasing his first solo material, the EP Manya, on Shoeboxx Recordings. Beyond music, he wants to continue developing his skills as a visual-effects artist, focusing on the entire multimedia experience that envelops all aspects of music rather than just performance.
Krueger's journey as a musician has been a fascinating one. A young Denverite with a penchant for noise music and DIY ethics decides he wants play some solo dance music. He moves in with his cousin in Orange County, California, where he meets up-and-coming trap guys (most notably Deedotwill) and learns how to produce like a pro. He then returns to Denver to tear it up as an electronic solo act at local venues like Rhinoceropolis. Oh, and somewhere along the way he gets picked up for tours with StaG and Slow Magic.
Bollywood Life with Slow Magic and Giraffage.
Even though he's been all over the country, Krueger retains notable hometown pride. When asked about what makes the Denver scene special, he says, "The people here are kind of unhinged. They're all just doing their own thing and making art for art's sake. Nobody's trying to get famous." He also mentions that at a time when Denver is undergoing such intense changes, the creed at the heart of the DIY scene is stronger than ever: "It's sort of like people are going against gentrification." This mindset seems to have brought the community even closer together, he says, noting that the scene is "extremely community-based... .Everyone is looking out for each other."
He values, above all else, the realization that artists have the power to succeed with the help of each other. "All the people that I hang out with...are playing shows together and making it in their own way." This same mentality is apparent when Krueger is asked what beliefs or emotions drives his music. Through music, he says, he hopes to pass on the incredible experiences DIY has given him and create something that can be universally enjoyed in the process.
For Krueger, these aren't just words; he is actively working to make these ideas a reality. In addition to performing, he helps with the booking for shows at Rhino, such as the RTD (Ready To Dance) parties, a tongue-in-cheek reference to Denver's public transportation, and an upcoming show called Data Parade.
So even though Bollywood Life's interests have expanded beyond just playing music, you can be sure that he'll stay an active member of the local music scene in some way, shape or form for a long time to come.
Don't miss Bollywood Life's performance at Artopia,which will take place this Saturday, February 20, at City Hall. You can find tickets and more info here.