Seit mehr als einer Dekade bringen WhoMadeWho schubladenuntaugliche Musik heraus, die mal im Discopunk-, mal im Retro-Pop-Gewand daherkommt und derzeit intensiv mit Ambient und Surf Rock liebäugelt. Ihre aktuelle EP ‘Ember‘ kündigten die drei Dänen als “back to the roots”-Werk an. Allerdings klingen die sechs Songs ganz und gar nicht wie das Erstwerk. Während Tomas Barfod nebenan eine Live-Session aufnahm, fragten wir im Berliner Get Physical Hauptquartier bei Tomas Hoffding und Jeppe Kjellberg nach, was es damit auf sich hat und erfuhren nebenbei ihr Rezept für eine lange, glückliche Band-Ehe.
Band Members: Tomas Hoffding, Jeppe Kjellberg, Tomas Barfod
Founding Year: 2003
Current album: Dreams (2014)
When I first listened to ‘Ember’, I was very much surprised about the songs being so slow and dreamy.
Tomas Hoffding: The more Albums we did, the more conscious we became of the way we wrote songs. But if you work too hard, you somehow get too close with the songs. We wanted to return tot he way we did our first Album: just to open up our computers and start jamming. It was a lot about Tomas Barfod sitting on the beat and me and Jeppe just playing the guitar and the base. The process was amazing for us! Our first album was a lot of fun, the other ones were really hard work and this EP was almost like the first one. The funny thing is, that the outcome is totally different.
Yes, it doesn’t sound like the first album at all!
Jeppe Kjellberg: It’s the mental approach. The music is very different.
T: The process was very much ‘back to the roots’. Our first album was quite hectic, we wanted to make an album, that was relaxed and not too action-packed. With two singers, we decided to return to the point where we almost have no lyrics.
I was also surprised that there are hardly any vocals.
T: Because you always spend so much time on getting the chorus right. This EP was made in two weeks, to be honest.
J: It was very important for us to get back to the playfulness, to have fun. That’s why everything was so easy and went quite fast. There’s something very light-hearted over this album because it’s been written so spontaneously.
That’s interesting. For me, spontaneous creativity sometimes seems to be the hardest one.
T: The band makes being intuitively creative easy, because we are each other’s judges.
Is this the biggest change in your work as a band: to just let it flow again?
J: To put a lot of effort and time in the music was part of the process of developing as a band. But for this EP, we wanted to go back to the simple way of doing it. Also to say “yes” to a lot of stuff instead of always being critical.
T: Maybe it’s like in an old relationship: you meet and fall in love, then you marry and you want to maintain the spark. And suddenly, you have incredible sex again!
J: Exactly! Say yes to it!
T: I think that one of the reasons why we still exist as a band is that we keep focusing on the “romance” of it.
How do you keep the energy flowing between the three of you?
T: We changed labels, we changed drummers …
J: It’s like in an old relationship: to put up new goals, find the sparkle, develop, make new plans, have fun..
That sounds so easy …
J: It takes a lot of effort.
Like in a relationship.
J: Exactly! You have to make it work …
T: Also, as a band, we are very much allowed to fuck around musically! We are not dependent. If we quit the band, we could still make a living and do other musical stuff. Also on an inspirational level: the stuff that the guys don’t like, I can take it elsewhere. This goes for all three of us. If we only had this band and the idea of a specific sound or vibe, that would be frustrating. That’s very important, too.
The open relationship in your music.
T: Since we started as a band, its still growing and as a matter of fact, right now faster than ever.
What are your goals as a band?
J: We’ve planned some nice things for the summer in terms of how we perform the songs and some nice adventures coming up like going to the USA.
Which rituals do you have in order to get your head clear on tour?
T: The last two years, we did the soundcheck, had a drink and a cigarette together and then went back to the hotel room to make music. We see each other so much when we are in the studio and on tour.
J: Music is a good escape way from the social life and to get your space. You just put on your headphones and you’re completely alone just making music.
How do you like Berlin and how come the EP is released on Get Physical?
J: It’s always great to be here. The whole culture about going out for the whole weekend is amazing!
T: Thomas knew the label quite well and they liked the EP right away. We think, it’s a very good match.