MY LITTLE PONY – Interview

Suchst du bei Youtube nach My Little Pony erscheinen bunte Zeichentrickfilmchen für Kinder. Nur mit dem Zusatz eines Liedtitels des Debutalbums “Think Too Much” von My Little Pony erscheint ein kleines, nicht minder süßes Filmchen. Das Video zum Song ” I don´t know Part 1″ ist komplett mit Handy gefilmt und zeigt in dementsprechender Quailität z.b. Aufnahmen  aus einem fahrenden Auto oder Studiosituationen in einer Art Collage (siehe unten). Von  dieser einfachen, aber doch liebevollen Methode ein kleines Video zu Stande zu bringen kann man eigentlich nur gerührt sein und sich erfreuen. Weit entfernt von verwegenen Rock n´ Rollallüren strahlen die fünf Bandmitglieder von My Little Pony eben genau diesen naiven Charme aus. Ihr verspielter Country-Indiepop ist so bunt wie die Zeichentrickfilmchen bei YouTube, so herrlich unschuldig und voller musikalischem Herzblut. Die fünf Norweger wollen halt einfach nur schöne und gute Musik machen. Das gelingt ihnen auch! Lernt My Little Pony jetzt im Bedroomdisco Mailinterview mit Sänger Ola besser kennen. Viel Spaß!


1.) Band facts

– Name: My Little Pony
– Band members + nicknames: Nina Bø, Jørgen Nordby Henriksen, Marie Sneve Martinussen, Simen Herning and Ola Innset. Part time members: Jan Olav Owren, Sjur Lyseid and Ofeila Ossum. No nicknames.
– Founding year: 2007
– Residence: Oslo, and currently Lisbon for 20% of the band members
– Current album: Think Too Much (Spoon Train Audio 2008)

2.) Questionnaire:

– How did you come up with your band name?
When we were growing up, playing in a band was mostly for cool people and consisted a little bit of playing music but mostly of acting cool and having an equally cool, and masculine band name like “Lonesome Rangers”, “Total Paranoia” or just “Ass Fuck”, As we got a little bit older, moved to Oslo and started listening to wonderful indie music, it got more clear to us that playing in a band could also be for normal, friendly people, not trying to pretend like they’re from Manchester, Los Angeles or some other, way cooler city, or form the 60s, 70s, or some other way cooler decade. So when we named our band we wanted to go in the other direction and make a deliberately uncool band name. I think it is fair to say that we succeeded in doing this. It’s also a word play on other quite recent band names that use the same grammatical structure, like “My Chemical Romance/Bloody Valentine/Morning Jacket”. Off course is only now dawning on us that “My Little Pony” is not some obscure toy from the 80’s that no one remembers, it is in fact a huge thing that is still around. This is really great, since it makes our band name even more uncool, it is a bit like naming your band “Coca Cola”. It’s the essence of uncool.
– How did you become a band?
Simen and Ola wanted to start a band, and after a while talked Jørgen into joining. Nina joined not much later after answering a contact ad we put out on an online forum. Some time later we realized it would be easier to teach someone to play the bass than to make them our friend, so we thought our friend Marie to play the bass, it was a great success.
– How would you describe the style of your music?
Indie pop is a great word that consists of two parts: “indie” and “pop”. The first part has two meanings: a political/organizational one and an aesthetical one. Politically and organizationally we stay away from large capitalist enterprises that see music as a product to be consumed and not as a cultural expression. Aesthetically the word “indie” gives new meaning to the second word, “pop”, by showing that pop music can be made without silicon, expensive studios and huge marketing budgets, and that this in turn has an effect on the actual aesthetical quality of the music. Our pop music sounds very different from that of for instance Miley Cyrus. This again shows that the material circumstances under which a cultural product is produced is reflected within it’s aesthetics.
– Which music influences do you have?
We are very much a band of music lovers and even have arguments some times. Marie is some times the most “pure” lover of pop and “twee”. She is a huge fan of a band from Scotland that we are often compared to that for instance Ola didn’t really start listening to until after actually being compared to it. She is also the Norwegian champion of Beatles trivia, and an expert on political music. Nina is perhaps the most trendy one with a special love for contemporary female artists and bands such as Coco Rosie, Feist, Cat Power and many, many more. Ola has mostly focused his expertise on the two eras in which he had the money to buy records or worked in a record store, those being 1998 – 2002, and 2006 – 2007. Having said that he also gained a fair knowledge of the classics of pop music during the first period of his music purchasing. Jørgen is the most eclectic one, liking everything from afrojazz to Alice in Chains, and also good music some times. Jørgen often argues with the others, we say he has bad taste, he says we are prejudiced, we might all be right. Simen is the label manager of our label Spoon Train Audio and has a wide knowledge of what’s going on in the different music undergrounds around the world. Simen and Ola are writers on the blog and also appear on the weekly podcast.
– How did you write/produce your album?
Together with our producer and part time band member Sjur Lyseid (of The Little Hands of Asphalt and Monzano) we brought some microphones and some equipment to a summer house by the fjord in Norway. We stayed for over two weeks, and even had time for some good meals and a few swims together. Our daily rythm got pretty screwed up as we kept recording to later and later every night, and thus sleeping longer every morning. It was a vicious circle.
– Most favorite song on the album? Why?
My favourite song on the album is still “I Don’t Know pt. 1”. I think it has a great melody, and the lyrics have proven meaningful to many people who have told me personally. That is something truly amazing, and also rewarding. Even though we are just a bunch of friends who are friendly, and almost always happy, we do, as all people, have serious sides to us. I guess we don’t exactly push this side to the public, and that’s why it’s so great when some one actually took the time to take us seriously, listen to the songs and discover some emotional debth.
– How do you tour? Do you have a tourbus? What´s your favourite food when being on tour?
We used to have a great van called Terje Transit, but it got too small. So for the European tour where we had to drive over 10 000 kilometers this fall we bought a new van called Igor Iveco. This was not a great idea as Igor Iveco turned out to be not even half us trustworthy as good old Terje Transit. It broke down on the Italian autostrada, the clutch stopped working in Barcelona (still going south), and we had to drive almost without it for the remainder of the tour. Now it costs a lot of money to fix it, and we don’t have this money, so it’s a bit of a problem. Please let us know if you can help, thank you.
– What are doing if you are not making music?
We all do different things. Simen is a label manager, DJ, and more importantly a student of social geography. Marie studies russian and social economy. Jørgen always said he was going to quit his job in the kindergarten to focus on music, he said it so many times that when he actually decided to quit his job a few weeks ago, we didn’t believe him. But now he’s quit his job. Ola is a bit of a writer, both fiction and journalism, and also studies history. Nina finished her education and works with asylum seekers coming to Norway.
– With which musician would you like to work together and why?
We are always a bit afraid of playing with real musicians, as they will surely see right through us and see that we don’t really know how to play. We mostly just know the songs we play, and not much more. We don’t jam much I guess, but Jørgen is a “real” musician and also plays with the amazing Moddi. Check him out. Ola is living in Lisbon at the moment and making some music with Bfachada. Check him out too. He’s not dangerous.
– 3 top albums 2009? Why?
These next three questions are too hard to answer. I will just give recommendations:
Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career
Tiny Vipers – Life on Earth
Andrew Bird – Noble Beast
– 3 top albums of the last decade? Why?
Damien Jurado – And Now That I’m In Your Shadow
Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker
Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake it’s Morning
– Your all-time favourite album?
The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
– What did you learn 2009?
A lot of things. As a band we learned to know each other even better through playing around 50 concerts in 10 different countries. We also got a bit better at playing our songs, since we played them so many times. And we learned a thing or two about for instance Swiss police, Danish 7/11’s, Norwegian mountains and Italian focaccia.
– Your best personal experience in 2009?
We are not persons, we are one organism. We have given up our individual identities for the greater good of our collective, and we don’t really like to talk about personal things with complete strangers.
– Your plans for 2010?
We are going to first record, and then release at least one more album. And we are going to do some touring, primarily in Scandinavia and Germany to begin with.
– What musn´t be missing on your rider?
We don’t have a rider. We kind of thought it’s a bit arrogant to ask for this and this kind of food and this and this kind of drink. After a while though, we do see the need of having some control over what you get, since it is not at all recommendable to for instance eat only junk food on a three week tour. So we might make a rider, but it has to be a friendly, unpretentious one, just asking for some fruit, and maybe some post cards.
– What do you think is typical “german”?
Being a medicine student and take a backpacking trip to Latin America.
– What do you associate with Bedroomdisco?
In the poplogg podcast we always “coin” a new phrase, and once the phrase we coined was actually “soveromsdisko”, which means Bedroomdisco. We were referring to bands who make fluffy, sleepy, pillow-like disco-songs with old, preferably white, analogue synthesizers. For me, that girl in Chairlift is a typical Bedroomdisco-girl.
– Who did fill out this questionnaire?
I did. (Ola).

Thanks a lot Ola from My Little Pony for answering our questions!

My Little Pony – I don´t know Part 1