Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Interview with Copenhagen's Lower

I first heard of Lower through an interview Elias from Iceage did. He was talking about bands from Denmark and mentioned Lower. I kept the name rolling around in my mind before ever actually hearing the band. The first time I got to hear them resulted from a Cult of Youth show. During one of their shows at the Empty Bottle, Sean had brought a bunch of records from his label Blind Prophet Records and I hadn't realized that there was an American version of the Walk on Heads EP. I had seen the 7" from Escho online but I had not wanted to pay international shipping. Being able to buy the EP at typical 7" price was pretty awesome, so I picked it up.

And it was really really good. Lower brings a lot of different sounds together. There's an 80s post-punk edge, obvious notes from hardcore, pop sensibility, and impressively inclusive lyricism. I was listening to it once again the other day, when I just thought of shooting an e-mail to the band to see what they were up to and if they would be down to be featured on my blog. At some level, I was simply curious to see what the progress on their upcoming full-length album was. The guys in the band were really great and ended up doing an interview with me, in which all my questions got answered (and pretty much in record time).

Unfortunately, I missed the band when they were in Chicago as I was traveling, but they talk about extensive touring once the new album is finished (which pretty much made my day). If you haven't listened to them yet, you should change that.

You can check them out on their FACEBOOK or their BLOGSPOT and pick up one of their records at your local record shop.

Here's what they had to say to me.

Jordan: Who all is in Lower? When did you start? How did you guys start the band?

Anton: We are Kristian (bass), Adrian (vocals), Simon (guitar) and Anton (drums). We started the band in 2009, I think. We all wanted to get busy in one way or the other, so starting a band was a good solution.

J: What all have you guys released so far?

Anton: So far we’ve released a demo tape, two 7”s and a live split 7” with Iceage.

J: How do you guys write songs? Does one person primarily write them or do you all fill in the parts?

Anton: We help each other out collectively. Simon does not necessarily write all guitar parts, and I do not necessarily write all drum parts. In the end it just have to sound as good as possible.

J: What topics do you guys cover lyrically? 

Adrian:  I try to aim at more general feelings that people experiences in life. Of course it also touches on my own life but that be because I'm a human being. But I try to aim for more general feelings.

J: Who are some of your favorite lyricists?

Anton: I know that Adrian’s very fond of Scandinavian writers and poets like Tom Kristensen, Cornelis Vreeswijk and Inger Christensen for sure.

J: what was the process behind recording your new record?

A: We recorded it with Escho main-man Nis Bysted, who also produced the Someone's Got It In For Me 7" and a man named Michael Fischerson. It was a way different process since we had a real studio booked, instead of just recording in a rehearsal room. We also took advantage of the seemingly endless possibilities of a studio, to incorporate other instruments than just the classic drums/guitar/bass combo. But this is not an actuality right now, since the LP is not out yet. 
J: For the "Walk on Heads" EP, how was it working with Escho and then turning around and working with Blind Prophet? Were there many differences?

Anton: Sean is a friend of mine and he wanted to help us with an American version of the EP. That’s basically it. Not many differences.

J: You guys are working on a full-length record, correct? How is that going? Do you have any plans on where to release it or when it's going to come out?

Anton: There’s an LP in the final stages of production, so it won’t be too long until it’s out. I know for sure that Escho is releasing it in Denmark. That’s all I know right now. Not sure when it’s out, but we’ve waited for a long time now, so hopefully very soon.

J: How was your recent tour in the United States? Is playing in the US much different than playing in Europe?

Anton: It was very exciting to play for people we’d never met before. The US is a very big country and people change from state to state. It was like playing many different countries.

J: Were there any highlights from that tour?

Anton: We met some nice people and played with some good bands. Especially Total Control from Australia and Final Grin from Chicago (maybe people you know?) stood out. They play rock music in very exciting ways. The best shows were in Austin, New York, Montreal and Philadelphia, I think.

J: How would you describe the music scene in Copenhagen? What bands stick out the most to you?

Anton: Our scene or circle or what you might call it, consists of bands that play a lot of different genres, from punk rock to power electronics. So it’s not very uniform or homogenous, sound-wise. Yet there can be found traces within the bands that make up a union-like feeling. Right now I personally think the best bands are Lower, Communions, Forza Albino, White Void and Age Coin.

J: What other bands are you guys in right now?

Anton: Simon and Kristian play in Age Coin – I play in Marching Church. Adrian’s busy with Lower.

J: Are there any records that you guys have been listening to a lot lately that have stuck out?

Anton: Lately I’ve been listening to Echo and the Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here once every other day or so. Earlier today I listened to Crazy Spirit’s old demo tape, which is good and stupid.

J: What all is in the future for Lower?

Anton: A month ago I broke my hand, which forced us to cancel a bunch of European tour dates. My hand is in a cast as I type this but in three weeks or so I should be ready to get it off. This unfortunate break has resulted in a vital need to play again. The future holds a lot of shows and the release of the LP, which I personally can’t wait to get out there.

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