Es ist fast eineinhalb Jahre her, dass wir uns mit der süß-tollen norwegischen Indie-Pop-Band mylittlepony beschäftigten – nämlich in Form eines Interviews mit Sänger Ola (hier gibt es das Interview zu lesen). Wie in dem Interview angekündigt nahm die Band aus Oslo seitdem ein neues Album auf und veröffentlichte es in ihrer Heimat. In Deutschland sucht die Band noch nach einem Label, aber demnächst gibt es das ‘Marking Marks‘ trotzdem hierzulande zu kaufen, denn das Quintett kommt auf Tour zu uns – präsentiert von Bedroomdisco.de! Das bedeutet für euch, dass ihr für alle Termine der Band jeweils 2×2 Gästelistenplätze gewinnen könnt! Einfach bis spätestens zum Vortag 22 Uhr eine Mail mit deinem Namen und dem Betreff ‘mylittlepony’ und der Stadt, in der du zum Konzert gehen willst, an email@example.com schicken und mit etwas Glück kommt kurz darauf der Bescheid! Doch nun wollen wir die Band noch mal ausführlich zu Wort kommen lassen: mylittlepony im Bedroomdisco Interview (die Zweite)!
1.) Band facts
– Name: mylittlepony
– Band members: Marie Sneve (bass/economy), Simen Herning (guitar/booking), Nina Bø (keyboards/vocals/merch.), Jørgen Nordby (drums/tour managing), Ola Innset (vocals/guitar/media)
– Founding year: 2007
– Residence: Oslo
– Current album: “Making Marks”
– It’s been 1,5 years since the last interview with you – what happened since then?
Back then we had just finished an incredibly long tour of Europe. After that we recorded this album, and took a break for a few months. Then we realized we had to record the album all over again due to a hard disc crash. So we did that, and then we released it here in Norway just after new year. Since then we’ve been playing almost constantly, going to the US and Canada for SXSW and some other shows, and also playing a lot here in Norway.
– Did you know that you’re the first band ever to do two interviews with us? How do you now feel about this?
We are honoured, very honoured!It’s a great boost for us actually, because so far in releasing our second album in Norway we’ve definitely noticed that a lot of media is less interested in us now that we’re not a new band anymore. Our new-ness has worn off, and since we don’t have any big labels or agencies with money promoting us, our new-ness was one of the few things we had going for us media-wise. That and our music of course, but unfortunately that doesn’t always seem to be a relevant factor. So thank you bedroomdisco, for sticking with us!
– You’ve released a new record already – could you tell us a bit how the production was?
As I mentioned we actually had to record it twice because of a hard disc crash in our Six Feet Over Studio here in Oslo. We blame our producer Sjur Lyseid of The Little Hands of Asphalt and Monzano. We were very disappointed in the beginning. Obviously we had worked really, really hard on something that was now gone. Luckily though, when we got our spirits back and recorded the whole thing all over again, the result was actually much better the second time around. The hard disc crash had been a blessing in disguise. Having spent a lot of time touring we hadn’t had that much time to work on the new songs before we recorded the album the first time, so it was good for us to get this rehearsal. In one way, the first recording was more of a pre production, making demos and getting the know the songs better. It was just that we didn’t know that at the time.
– If you compare ‘Making Marks’ to your first two records (EP and full-length), what development do you see in your songs/writing and making music?
As for the songwriting it has definitely developed a lot. For one thing I would say that the the lyrics are much more consistent now as my writing skills are improving. On the first album there were a lot of good single-lines here and there, but on this one I feel that every line is well written and has a purpose for the song. When it comes to melodies and chord structures it’s also changed a lot. Looking at songs I wrote many years ago now, I sometimes stop and think “how the hell did I come up with that chord structure?” or “why on earth did I choose to do the melody this way?”, but when I analyze songs I’ve just made I see very clearly what I’ve been trying to achieve, and what little “tricks” I’ve been using to try to achieve it. It’s not that I necessarily do things better now, It’s just an ongoing never-ending process of finding new ways of doing things that somehow seem to “work” at the time your doing it. It’s a very in-excact science.
These changes might be quite subtle for the outside listener though, while the whole sound of the band might seem more concrete. That too I would say has developed quite a bit. For one thing we’ve gotten better at playing our instruments which I think makes a difference. Although we’re not exactly bombing the listener with guitar solos and virtuoso organ playing I would argue that there are some pretty fine details and also a distinct band sound that we might have been lacking before. We’ve cut a lot of the glockenspiel, xylophone and melodica stuff this time around and tried to build a sound on our live set up: bass, drums, two electric guitars and an organ. That being said there is of course the occasional banjo, string section, glockenspiel, horn section and piano popping up on this album too.
– Did you feel pressure before making the record or think about things like satisfying expectations of your fans? How do you think about ‘the hard second record’ that is often talked about?
I think that _making_ the second album is not necessarily difficult, _promoting_ it is what makes it hard! Making it was great, we had new great songs and we knew each other’s playing better than ever. Consequently we are also very happy with the result, but like I mentioned before it’s quite difficult to come through and get your music heard as an indie band. Especially when you’re not even a new band, but a band that’s already been around for a while. This is ironic of course since our music is definitely better now than when we released the last album. I would say that this is definitely a better album, but as a small band releasing our sophomore album we don’t seem to have the potential of being “the next big thing”. A few years ago it was still theoretically possible that we could be the next big thing, but since we’ve been around for a while already and we’re not yet huge, then the conclusion must be that we are not going to be the next big thing. Knowing one or two things about the music industry now, I can actually assure you that we are most definitely not the next big thing, but we are however a hard working band making good music and getting better at it every day. We just have to keep hoping that this will somehow be enough.
– How do you normally work on songs? What are the normal production processes?
Usually it’s been me, Ola, writing a tune on my acoustic guitar and presenting it to the others with some ideas for how it could sound with the band. Then we all work together to make the songs of mylittlepony.
– What inspires you to your lyrics? In which situations do you write them?
There’s inspiration everywhere! I like quoting stuff and referring to other songs, books, films etc, but usually I just try to keep it simple and describe situations and ideas. Once in a while I try to “go poet” too and create textual imagery with metaphors and whatnot, but usually I try to control myself.
– The last time you were all involved in jobs and studies besides the band – is this still the case and what does this mean for your way of making music? Do you meet on certain days to work on new songs or how does it work for you?
This is still the case indeed, and I think it’s both a strength and a weakness. Obviously it’s a weakness because we can’t do half the stuff we want to do. Were we full time musicians we could have travelled around constantly and played every little corner of the world. We could have jumped on every little opportunity that presented itself and this could have been a lot of fun and maybe would have generated more cool stuff for us. However though, I think it makes sense to have other interests and other concerns too. It makes us something more than music junkies, it makes us actual, normal people, and we use this in making music that makes sense to the actual, normal people who listen to it.
– “The grass that’s still wet” 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 about a moment in a relationship where it’s getting obvious that there is not really enough love or “spark” to keep it going, but no one wants to admit it. Neither to themselves nor to each other. So it’s a secret they both know but are too afraid to even think about, let alone talk about. It’s a very sad realization to come to
– In the last interview you mentioned the bad taste of pop-music-reputation – why did you nevertheless choose to do pop-music (ok it’s indie-pop), what do you like about pop-music?
Great pop music is the best! A good pop song can be both analytical and intelligent, but at the same time so incredibly sensitive and so simple. Just like people themselves. It’s a wonderful format for human expression.
– There is still no release date for “Marking Marks” in Germany – what are the problems, how are the chances for a release?
There’s no problem, we just don’t have a label yet. We would love to have one though! We’re trying to get one, but these are tough times for the music industry, and mylittlepony is not necessarily a very good business idea. As for now we get by on the internet and mail orders, but of course, having a German label would be a dream come true!
– You will soon be again in Germany for a tour – what are you most looking forward to?
We’ll start the tour in Hamburg, and on our last long Europe tour we actually finished there, and it was our best concert ever! At a tiny place called Astra Stube. It was completely packed, but every one were quiet as little mice when we played the last song as an acoustic version. Then came a huge applause and the place was so small that we couldn’t even get off the stage, so we just sat down up there in between the amplifiers, and we were very very happy and very very tired. We’re hoping for something similar at Prinzenbar next Wednesday, and of course at all the other shows we’re playing.
– What was the best German dish you ever ate?
Last summer we played a festival in Würzburg, and I remember we had some really good schnitzel at a restaurant there. It’s a nice town! Usually we just eat at the autobahn, the food is not always great…
– What did you learn in 2010?
We learned to take back up of all the files AND all the project files when we record albums!
– You always seem so nice – what is the worst norwegian word/phrase you use frequently and what meaning has it?
We’re actually quite foul-mouthed amongst ourselves. I think maybe Marie has to take some of the blame for this, being from the north. I could tell you the most insane norwegian curses but I’m afraid it would be too much for your tender german ears. Ask us in person!
– What norwegian band/newcomer should we look up? Why?
How about Cold Mailman? I wouldn’t consider him a newcomer, he’s been making music for some ten years now, but his latest album is really fantastic! http://myspace.com/coldmailman
– What are you doing if your not making music?
Jørgen plays drums with norwegian wonderchild Moddi and works in kindergartens. Nina works with asylum seekers, Simen runs a label and DJs, Marie studies economy and organizes the revolution, I study history and write secret things. Some times we also just hang out.
– What are your next plans?
Coming to Germany on tour next week is a big plan! After that we plan to record a new single to come out this summer, and then we’ll just have to see.
– Which song would fit to your actual situation?
The Kinks'”Waterloo Sunset”. It always fits to everything. Even if you’re in a rave party. If that song comes on, you just have to yield to it and sit down and enter the mood the song puts you in.
– Which song makes you dance everytime?
“By Your Side” by the Swedish band Irene.
– How would your “Bedroomdisco” look like?
It would be a big pyjama party!
– Who did fill out this questionnaire?
I, Ola, filled it out.
mylittlepony auf Tour – präsentiert von bedroomdisco.de:
13.04. Prinzenbar, Hamburg
14.04. Feinkost Lampe, Hannover
18.04. Kranhalle, München
19.04. Werk 2, Leipzig
21.04. K4, Nürnberg
23.04. Hafen 2 (Support für Asobi Seksu), Offenbach
24.04. The Magnet Club, Berlin