Giorgio Moroder

“I’d like to send my moustache into retirement”

Words: Florian Obkircher
Photography (Right): Anna Maria Zunino Noellert

Disco King Giorgio Moroder sat down with The Red Bulletin to talk about golf, the next Donna Summer, Daft Punk and his pornstache  

In 1977 Giorgio Moroder wrote a song that should change club music forever - with his global hit “I Feel Love“ he united the thriving beat of the disco-era with early modern-hypnotic synthesizer sounds. A mix that got avant-garde musicians like Brian Eno as well as Studio 54 dancers hooked.

The Italian went on to work with the likes of David Bowie and Blondie, and wrote Academy Award winning music for the movies Flashdance and Midnight Express before retiring in the early 90’s. If it weren’t for Daft Punk, who collaborated with Moroder in 2013 for their album “Random Access Memory”, he would still be playing golf in South Tyrol. Back in the limelight, he is set to release his comeback album “Déjà vu”, featuring Kylie Minogue and Charli XCX proving that he’s still the disco king. 

THE RED BULLETIN: Nearly 30 years have passed between your last album and this one. What have you been up to?

GIORGIO MORODER:  A lot and nothing at the same time. I shot a short movie, produced a couple of songs and played golf. I lived in Paris for 2 years – not doing much either. Apart from the recordings for the Daft Punk album. But that only took 3 hours. Oh, and I created a car in 1992.

A car?

Yeah, a sports car named Cizeta-Moroder. A wonderful car, 16 cylinders! But only about 20 examples were actually built, I own the prototype. 

Déjà vu (feat. Sia)

The first track to be released from Moroder’s upcoming album 

What’s your golf handicap?

Around 5.60. In my defence: if you want to have a good handicap, you have to train a lot. I never took part in any competitions, for me it’s more about fun, and playing golf with my wife.

What do you think truly makes a hit?

It would probably be mixing. When everyone has finished recording, we musicians say: “We’re going to fix it in the mix”. That means: the mixing is a delicate, very important process for making sure that the volumes of the different instruments are well balanced. As a producer you listen to the mix over and over again - for weeks - until it all adds up. 

“You want to make the whole club dance”
Giorgio Moroder

You have collaborated with young artists such as Charli XCX on your new album, she’s young enough to be your grandaughter. How did you choose your partners?

I have well-established singers like Kylie Minogue on board, as well as artists around 30, such as Mikky Ekko and Mathew Koma. And some very young talents, like Foxes and Charli XCX. It was very important to me to have all age groups covered on my album. It’s similar to a DJ set: you want to make the whole club dance.

Which young talent could be the next Donna Summer?

There are a lot of young talents out there. I adore Rita Ora, as well as Ariana GrandeCharli XCX is also very good. But to be honest: a voice as big as Donna’s? None of the youngsters come close to that. 

74 is the New 24

Giorgio Moroder’s comeback album “Déjà vu” comes out in June

The title of your new album is “Déjà vu”. Travelling back in time: What piece of advice would you give your 24-year-old you?

I would tell my younger self: “Do everything exactly the same way as you did. Spend every single day in a studio and don’t expect too much.” No, just kidding. But hard work and dedication are very important. Another piece of good advice: “Never lose your curiosity.” You have to be open-minded and have the strong urge to want to make it, no matter what. Otherwise you will fail in the music industry. 

“When I retire from the music business for good, I will also send my moustache into retirement”
Giorgio Moroder

Coming back to the music industry after a 30-year-long break, which changes surprise you?

The fact that it’s essential to know how to use social media effectively. That it’s A MUST if you want to make it in the music industry. Digital self-marketing seems to be easy. But you have to know exactly how it works.

Do you know how it works?

No. I leave my social media pages to my management. I like reading comments on Facebook, but I don’t get involved in the debates. When I have a day off, I prefer to go golfing rather than sitting in front of my computer. 

What the robo-helmet is for Daft Punk, the moustache is for you. How did you come up with your signature look?

That dates back 40 years. Back then some UK rock bands used to have huge moustaches. And I said to myself: “I want one like this.” My first moustaches were awful. Way too big! Thinking back, it was quite embarassing. Later on, I grew a normal-sized one, which looked okay. In the 80’s a friend came up to me and said: “Why don’t you get rid of this thing?” I didn’t need much persuasion as I wanted to shave it off anyway. 

The pornstache is back again now though, and you’re weating it with pride.

A couple of years ago my wife told me that she misses it. She looked through old pictures and said to me: “Giorgio, you looked so handsome with it.” But honestly: When I finally retire from music business, I will send my moustache into retirement as well.

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