Es passiert selten, aber es passiert: Man verliebt sich in eine Band und weiß schon nach wenigen Songs, dass einen diese Musik noch lange begleiten wird. So war es bei mir bei Death Cab For Cuties “Plans“, so war es bei Nada Surfs “The Weight Is A Gift” und so war es auch bei “421 Wythe Avenue” von Alcoholic Faith Mission. Die Musik der Dänen, irgendwo zwischen melancholisch und verspielt anzusiedeln, umarmt einen, berührt und hat auch die nötigen Kanten und Ecken, die es schaffen, dass man sich einfach nicht an ihr satt hören kann. Das hat sich auch nicht auf ihrem gerade erst erschienenem Album “Let This Be The Last Night We Care” (hier gibt es unsere Kritik) geändert – also nur logisch, dass wir schon auf das Konzert am Freitag in Offenbach im Hafen 2 hinfiebern und euch dieses noch mal ausdrücklich ans Herz legen wollen! Doch viel aussagekräftiger als diese Liebeserklärung ist unser Interview mit den sympathischen Skandinaviern – am besten während dem Lesen im Hintergrund schon mal die Myspace-Seite der Band laufen lassen…und ja…sich verlieben!
1.) Band facts
– Name: Alcoholic Faith Mission
– Band members: Thorben, Kristine, Sune
– Founding year: 2006
– Residence: Copenhagen, Denmark
– Current album: let this be the last night we care
How did you become a band?
There’s a lot of winter in Denmark. Lots of time to spend indoors and wade around in one’s wounds. Do that enough and you’ll need a place to put all that pain and perspective. I think, as a band, we have different reasons for making music but it’s definitely a path to solace for all of us. A canvas on which to paint away all the boogiemen hiding in our heads. Alcoholic Faith Mission was born out of an attempted departure from music rather than a sought arrival into it. Sune and I had been in a few bands together but it wasn’t until we decided to walk away from making music that we found the momentum to embark on this Alcoholic Faith Mission. Coming back to DK, we sat around Thorben’s apartment one night, slightly drunk if not completely and decided, just for kicks, to record something on Thorben’s computer. That recording stands to this day still. Which is why we came up with the first rule: only record something once.
You started as a duo, now you are a band – why did you decide to add more members to the band line-up?
After playing mainly acoustic show, and recording acoustic songs it was only natural for Sune and Thorben to evolve and explore their options. They did so by making Kristine integral in the creative process on LTBTLNWC. As a live band we’ve always been the five of us. But now it was time to stir things up a bit – and having Kristine chip in on the song writing is a huge part of why it turned out this good.
How did you come up with your band name? What meaning does it have to you?
The name of the band is more of an ironic corruption of “apostolic faith mission,” than a nod to the over-indulgence it implies. It’s from a neon sign in Brooklyn from which Thorben and Sune set off on their search for a musical road-less-traveled.
How would you describe your musical style?
Which musical influences do you have?
I think each of us have different influences but it’s difficult not to mention Port O’ Brian, Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, the Antlers and the Danish band, Efterklang
What are you as a band doing at the moment?
We’re preparing for 2 European tours that we’re doing this spring.
For “421 Wythe Avenue” you worked in New York – how did the city and the place of recording influence the record?
It was a way for us to get away from the familiarity of Copenhagen and to see about getting lost in a really big city. New York is a place with heart and soul, but it can leave you with a broken heart (or jaw) if your not taking care of yourself. It was important for us not to feel on secure ground in order to make this journey. Had it been any other way it wouldn’t have been genuine.
Your songs are often very sad, but are at the same time very playfully instrumented – how come and what environment do you need to write such songs?
As to the sadness, well we’re Scandinavians… – hence natural melancholic’s! 🙂
We think it is important not to be too even solemn. You have to be able to take the piss out on someone/thing at some point. Other wise everything will be too serious – “seriosity “ is good, but in small doses – that’s our motto.
Your album “Let This Be The Last Night We Care” is already out – can you describe if there is a difference for you to “421 Wythe Avenue” and how you see the development?
The biggest difference is that now we have Kristine in on the crating side – this is a huge asset for us, and has made us grow. We still feel we’re true to our sound, way – we’re not trying to re-invent the wheel, we just want to evolve with our music, not because of it. And Kristine is key player in this process.
Could you tell us how and where the album was done? What were the difficulties?
It was recorded in Thorben’s bedroom. Adding another song creator to the mix will always stir up some emotions, but we’ve dealt with them very maturely and have come out on the other side bigger people. Other than that we didn’t really have any difficulties other than sometimes Thorben needed to be alone (!!)
How do you normally work on songs? What are the steps/processes? And when do you think of a song as finished?
It varies really. Sometimes one of us shows up to a session with a new idea or a new riff or a new verse. Sometimes we’re fooling around and land on something unexpected that inspires an exploration. As mentioned, we used to make rules for the music like there’d have to be booze and candlelight and a cramped space and no percussion. It defined us in Misery Loves Company. For 421 we locked ourselves up in a furnished Brooklyn flat for 3 months and created every track with our guitars and stuff we found in the flat. We really try to create a space or an atmosphere and see what grows out of there, that’s about the extent of the premeditation.
“My Eyes To See” is one of our favorite songs – can you tell us what it is about, how it was done and if there is a story behind it?
It’s a song about the fools we all are for not wanting to opt for change in the world. We let politicians run us and are surprisingly conform to that. It’s really just a “question-to-self: is this really all that there is”?
Is there a song on the new album that you would describe as your favorite, which and why?
Well “Sobriety up and left” is one of the most honest and sincere song we’ve ever written. It’s about having time to make up for all the bad shit you’ve pulled in you life.
With which person/band would you like to work together and why?
Broken Social Scene. It’s not a secret that we feel very inspired by the whole Canadian indie scene – and broken social scene it’s pretty much everyone’s favorite band.
What was the weirdest or funniest thing that happened during a show?
We played a show in Modena, Italy – a young couple had driven 800km from the south of Italy to see us. That was kind of mind-blowing.
Is there something you have always with you and which is the most important wherever you go?
YES! Gustav! 🙂
3 top albums 2009? Why?
The Antlers – Hospice
Definitely the biggest musical thrill of 2009. We were excited already months before Hospice was released in March. The expectations were high – but definitely fulfilled! Hospice seems so carefully prepared and worked through. The songs have so much energy and feeling, the melodies are catchy and the story line is simply amazing (all of the lyrics describes the story of a man who loses a loved-one to cancer). All in all a great album!!
Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
We love their way of mixing different genres together – still ending up with a very melodic and popish sound. Not all of the songs are equally good, but the song called Stillness in the Move is simply sublime and has been a part of the soundtrack of the greatest parties during 2009. We love their vocal harmonies and their use of percussion.
Mew – No More Stories
As the last part of our list for 2009 both Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective could’ve been obvious choices. Both the release of Veckatimest and Merriweather Post Pavilion have been highly adored within the Alcoholic Faith Mission. Yet the last album picked from 2009 is by the Danish band Mew. Once again they released a fearless and challenging album that contains some magnificent songs. This album has been a continuously choice in the tour bus.
Your plans for 2010?
To keep creating and to keep finding audiences that feels our music. Other than that, it’s pretty standard stuff like fame, money, sex and power
What is on your rider?
Pretty standard – food, drinks and good times.
What do you associate with the name/word “Bedroomdisco”?
Porn – but the best of porn
Who did fill out this questionnaire?
Thanks a lot to everyone who filled out our questionnaire – we are looking forward to see you live soon!