For those who are interested, Norwich-based WombatWombat had a chance to interview us before our gig in Norwich on September 12th (yes, the same date Metallica released their new album...) Here goes:
Cheesy icebreaker, what’s your favourite vegetable?
Snævar: Name of my favourite vegetable, I’d say squash.
Gert: I don’t get it, urm. French fries.
Lasse: Guess I have to go with peas.
This is the last date on the tour, how’s it been?
Daniel: It’s been fantastic; yeah this is the 11th date in 11 days.
You played Ipswich yesterday?
Daniel: Yeah, so it’s been pretty hectic going around the country in 11 days. It’s been very nice. Very, very good.
Favourite stop along the way?
Snævar: A couple of highlights, the Camden barfly was sold out and it was a very nice line up, another highlight was probably Ipswich yesterday at the swan, it was very small pub, we just played on the floor. But there were lots of people and they were very enthusiastic. It’s a very intimate venue; you get close to the audience so it’s easy to make contact.
Journalists and critics use phrases like ‘the glacial cathedral-esque currents’ or ‘arching almost desperate sounding guitars’ to describe you. My own effort ‘Death Defying Stunt Pop’!
Lasse: Nice one
Daniel: That’s a pretty good one.
Do you worry too much about trying to conform to a sound, or are you more laid back in the way you create music?
Snævar: In the way we create music we are very laid back. We just jam and songs come up and we work on them until it’s a complete song. So it pretty much just happens.
Daniel: Usually they end up being 30 minutes long so we narrow them down.
So you’re not too worried about having sonic cathedrals of noise?
Daniel: No not at all, we just play what we play.
Snævar: I mean we are not trying to not do verse/chorus/verse/chorus songs. We’d probably do that at some point and then it’s just that. It’s just how it works out.
You seem to draw influence from Iceland? Coincidence or for a reason? (I haven’t done my research and don’t realise Sneavar is from Iceland).
Snævar: I am from Iceland. So it’s pretty natural then!
So do you as a band draw off that link at all?
Snævar: not really, they have good bands. I guess in the early days, the ‘hands will carry’ days. We were rather more inspired by post rock and stuff like Sigur Ros from Iceland, Mogwai from Scotland, stuff like that. We were quite similar to those bands, but we think we have evolved a lot away from that to become more direct.
Gert: There is a lot of influence from Canada and the states now, like animal collective.
What do you think of Alphabeat? Are they good ambassadors for Danish music?
Snævar: I’ve never listened to a whole song of theirs!
Gert: I saw a concert once.
Snævar: You did?
Gert: Yeah, it was urm; Different!
(At this point another band walks in and then quickly leaves apologising!)
If I said ‘I’m seeing a Danish band tonight’ a lot of people from England would make the link to Alphabeat! Is that good or bad?
Daniel: It’s both
Gert: If you ask us it’s a bad thing, asking the rest of Denmark, it’s a good thing.
Daniel: If you hear that we are from Denmark and you expect Alphabeat, you’d be pretty much wrong. But the name Denmark, it gets into peoples faces which is good because most people thing Copenhagen is the capitol of Sweden or whatever.
Lasse: It’s pretty much like when Aqua became big, that gave Denmark a lot of attention. And other bands that weren’t like Aqua at all also got some attention and the same thing is happening with Alphabeat. We are no way in the same genre as Alphabeat though.
How about Mew?
Lasse: That would be closer!
Daniel: Mew are fantastic so yeah!
Snævar: I think maybe concerning Alphabeat, its ok maybe that people know them. We’re just happy to show people there is lots of different stuff coming from Denmark.
‘Mac, get your gear’ is in my top ten greatest songs ever written! It has the most plays on my iTunes next to British Sea Power and Sigur Ros. You beat them!
Are you aware of how bloody brilliant that song is? Or is it just another song?
Daniel: I think you’ve just told us. I think we are aware of the fact that it’s the most straight forward appealing radio friendly song that we’ve written so far.
Snævar: We love to play it!
Daniel: It fits in perfectly with the other songs.
Mimas is a moon of Saturn, a data centre at the University of Manchester and the son of a Trojan in Greek mythology. So which is it? And who is the geek?
Daniel: It’s all of them.
Snævar: I think I kind of texted the others, and no one protested the name.
Daniel: I guess the moon of Saturn looks like the death star so that’s pretty cool.
So you’re the geek? It’s not a bad thing!
Daniel: There is nothing wrong with being a geek!
Do you have a master plan for galactic domination? Or are you going where the musical wind blows you?
Snævar: It’s a bit of where people take us actually; we’ve just gotten in touch with a French label which might open some doors to the rest of Europe and maybe the states and so on.
Lasse: Basically we are trying to go as far as possible, as far as the music will take us and as far as the audience wants us to go. Because the ultimate goal, would be to do this for a full time job.
Snævar: We don’t make any money really band wise, in England when we tour here, the fees we are getting are very low compared to the rest of Europe. But the audience make up for it. In Denmark almost every venue gets some support from the government, which means they actually have to pay bands.
Have you always written in English? Or was there a previous incarnation of the band that sang in Danish, or Icelandic?
Snævar: We had one song that was kind of before the band that was in Icelandic. We had two songs very early on that were in Danish. But I don’t really want to write in Icelandic or Danish, it feels in a way a bit more natural to do it in English I don’t know if it’s because the bands I listen to sing in English or something?
Does music sang in English sell in Denmark?
Daniel: Not our kind of music
Gert: It’s very normal to sing in English in Denmark.
Daniel: It’s been a bit more normal to sing in Danish the last couple of years, but basically people sing in English.
Snævar: But I think the English language is better suited for singing than Danish. You can write some interesting things in Danish, but we are also aware of the international potential, obviously you have Sigur Ros who can do it without singing in English, but not many bands can do that!
Work or Play?
Beer or wine?
Daniel: And wine…
Lasse: Can you put on an extra whisky instead?
Snævar: And rum on there too?
Childhood or teenage years?
Snævar: I’d say childhood personally.
Daniel: I’d say it’s teenage.
Lasse: From my personality it must be my childhood, but for the music it’s teenage years because that was when I found music!
Gert: I’m refusing to answer!
Lasse: He’s still a child!
Daniel: How about tildhood or cheenage?
Are Mimas big drinkers?
Snævar: I think we were very big drinkers!
Lasse: We are but not when we are playing.
What are you favourite drinks?
Daniel: White Russian
Gert: I’m on the rum.
Finally another ‘Mac, Get Your Gear’ question…. Who is Mac? And who shot the dog?
Snævar: That’s the main character in the movie, The Thing, which you have to see. The crazy Norwegians shot the dog because they were petrified because of this alien life form. The dog is actually the alien, and he imitates other life forms.
And no one trusts anyone? (‘Mac’ lyrics)
Snævar: It’s basically just the lyrics isn’t it? We actually wrote an ending to it, It doesn’t end the way the lyrics do, so it’s kind of nice to put your own touch there. It’s an open ending!
Gert: There is another part in the movie where he pours his whisky on the computer because it beats him at chess. That’s a very good part but we couldn’t fit it in!
Thank you very much Mimas!