Efterklang is on tour in the US right now in support of their newest album Magic Chairs. Shahin Kalantari and crew caught up with them at the San Francisco show at Bottom of the Hill. Check out the video interview below (it’s in two parts). If not video-savvy, read the transcript!
Shahin Kalantari: First thing is first: I’m going to say something and tell me how you react to this. “Rødgrød med fløde”?
Casper Clausen: (laughs) Pretty good.
SK: (laughs) Pretty good?
Rasmus Stolberg: (laughs) Pretty solid!
SK: Alright, how do I say this?
CC: It’s a classic trick sentence in Danish. So it’s pronounced “rødgrød med fløde”, if you pronounce it right.
SK: So, one more time?
CC: The hard this about Danish is the “r”s and soft “e”s. So the “r”s are with the throat.
CC: It’s hard (smiles)
CC: But the “d” is easier. That’s like a “th-”. Like when you say “the”.
SK: Well I just wanted to ask, you know.
SK: It’s your third time here, what are you expecting out of this tour that was different from last tour? With the new album?
RS: Yes, we have a new album out. It’s a new experience because when we did Parades we toured over here [in the US] seven months after the release. Maybe more; maybe eight months after the release? The record [Magic Chairs] just came out when we started this tour so it’s all new and interesting to play the new songs for the first time.
SK: How is the audience receiving the new songs?
RS: They seem to like it.
SK: How about you guys? It’s the first time to play these songs right after the release of the record to play it live.
CC: Yeah, we played a lot of the songs last year on tour. The idea behind Magic Chairs was to be able to play the songs before we got to the studio, so we took six to eight songs with us last year on the US tour and just tried to play them live and try different things with them. And a lot of those songs ended up on the record. We’re ending up playing a little over half of the album, plus the b-sides and things like that. So it’s like the songs we’ve been playing in 2009 and songs we haven’t played yet.
SK: So where do you guys see yourselves after this? Do you have anything in the works right now?
RS: No, it’s mainly just touring. Maybe we’ll start talking about it later, but then someone will say, “let’s wait for that.” Right now, the main focus is [touring]. We have a long tour ahead. the US tour is about to end and then we’ll tour Europe until about end of May. So maybe on the other side of the Summer we’ll have plans.
SK: What about Rumraket? How does that play in when you guys are touring and recording?
RS: It’s working really well. It’s becoming more and more about what are label is. It’s becoming more “our” base. Right now we don’t have other releases. Because if we release another band, then I do a lot of things around that. Luckily there’s no other band producing a record right now. So all we’re doing is Efterklang and touring and things. So that makes it easier. And it works very nice because the record label is such a small territory so the people who put out records and people who help us promote it are close friends and collaborators. So we usually don’t have to worry about it because they take care of it.
SK: So have you toured with any of them [Rumraket bands]?
RS: Usually when we bring a support band it’s either one of the live band members’ side project or one of the Rumraket bands. This tour it was suppose to be a completely different band called Balmorhea but they had to cancel due to family matters so it’s all local bands this time around.
SK: How has it been with the local bands?
CC: It’s been great. I mean, you never really know. It’s always a surprise. There’s been some good acts. We were last in Portland where Heather, that’s her hometown. So she put together a good program with Helios and Dragging an Ox. So that was really cool. So there are the good things and also not so good things. (Enter guy stocking beer)
SK: So I heard that one of you or two of you are classically trained?
CC: That’s not true. (laughs)
RS: Where do you hear those… lies! (laughs)
CC: No, that’s not true. The only music educated member of Efterklang is Rasmus and he’s “classically” trained in music management.
SK: So how is it being classically trained as a music manager?
RS: I don’t really know (laughs). I just have a bachelor’s degree. And it’s nice because I do the management for Efterklang and I run the record label too so I can use all those things for that. So it’s nice but it’s hard because I was doing Efterklang before I got into that school so I was in school doing it and doing this. But it’s really nice because I have a piece of paper that says I’m good at something.
CC: We have a school teacher. He’s an educated school teacher. Mads and I, we’ve been working and doing music. So we’re educated in Efterklang!
RS: It’s a very basic education but we take in new students every year.
SK: Nice! Where do you sign up?
CC: You can sign up at Efterklang.net
RS: Just send us an email and tell us how much money you got
CC: You have to put away at least ten years of your life.
SK: How about playing with the Danish National Orchestra? That was real?
CC: (laughs) Yeah, that is true. It’s documented on an album, so it’s for sure true. It was a project we did in 2008. It was both incredibly amazing and… hearing an orchestra yourself but then hearing your own music is an amazing experience but it’s also a logistical nightmare.
SK: Is it the transposing the songs for all the instruments?
RS: Just everything. Planning when to rehearse, how to rehearse, how long, and what to play. When you’re on stage with 50 other people playing your own music, it’s an unbelievable experience. It’s like a one hour long masturbation. It’s a pretty good feeling (laughs).
Nick Wan: One more question Shane.
RS: It better be good!
SK: Well, yes… global warming….
RS: (laughs) I actually bought a thermos. And in two days I’ve saved five cups of coffee on the road. In a couple of years of touring, it’ll be a whole forest!
SK: Well, thank you. This is usually my last question. If at any time you need a back up assistant triangle player or a back up dancer to your music video
CC: Would we consider you?
RS: Is that the question?
SK: Yes, if you would consider me.
CC: We can definitely consider you.
RS: You would have to sign up for that education…
SK: That’s right, ten years.
And as a bonus, here’s a video from this show of Efterklang performing “Modern Drift” off of their newest album Magic Chairs