Efterklang: Before & After

source: Rasmus Weng Karlsen

When JUICE spoke to Efterklang at Hostess Club Weekender in Japan last year, casually mentioning Urbanscapes to the band, we had no idea that the artsy Copenhagen band was going to play here in Malaysia just a year after (honest!). Naturally, the prospect of watching them live in our home turf and being a huge fan of Piramida – which was something of a transcendental record in our opinion – the opportunity to chat with the band again wasn’t something we were going to miss even if there were just a short gap in between interviews. This time around we had a casual chat with frontman Casper Clausen, revealing his childhood playlist and affinity for the seas in the process.

How’s Berlin?
It’s a nice city to go to, I think Berlin is great but now it’s a little bit cold. Though the sun is still up, it’s actually quite a nice morning [right now].

Have you taken a break or is it constant touring for you guys?
We have been quite constant as we’ve have been booked during the fall, but October is quite free. 2013 has been quite intense.

Do you miss anything in Denmark now that you’re in Berlin?
I miss the sea, it’s not [the same] in Berlin at all as the ocean has a lot of side effects like the wind, smell, and light. Yeah, I miss that from time to time. There are loads of things that I miss of course, but the sea is probably the first thing.

Based on your music videos, we’d say nature plays a major element in your music…
That’s not something that we’ve been thinking of so much, it’s just something that might’ve happened randomly. I think people who have made our video connect with nature in some form or another. I guess nature works well with the music, but when we make music videos, we let [the directors] express their ideas however they want. It’s not something that we control.

Is there any contrast to your music influence back then and now?
I like Nirvana, but during early ‘90s I listened to Mariah Carey (laughs). However, I was exposed to a lot of music at that time and my friends and I would explore Metallica and Guns N’ Roses as well as dance music like Ace of Base. But at that time, I wasn’t really into music – I was more into football, though I didn’t find it as exciting as music. My music revelation started much later, I went through boarding school when I was 16 and that was when I started singing and discovering music.

Mariah Carey is legit, we wouldn’t be embarrassed by that (laughs). You met the rest of the band in school, how did you guys sound back then?
We probably sounded like your typical high school band. We were more of the sort of like melancholic rock band influenced by Metallica, but a bit more mild. Elements like rock and funk, so it was just kind of a standard setup. Just basically straightforward music, but I think we were kind of a weird band (laughs).

Did you guys do any bad covers? (Laughs)
Yeah, we played covers as well! I think we played ‘Sunday Afternoon’ andFake Plastic Trees’ once cause we weren’t quite good at making songs early in the day, so we didn’t have our own songs.

How do you feel when you make your music and it coincidentally sounds too much like your influences?
For myself, I just create music that I like and I guess that’s all that matters. We aren’t affected by how it would sound like because it’s hard to see exactly how you are like at that moment [of creativity]. But I think when we grew up and started listening to more music, instead of just one band, it gets harder and harder to figure out where our influences lie.

You guys are coming down for Urbanscapes in KL, so how does that feel?
It’s exciting and it’s our first time down in Malaysia. I haven’t heard much of Malaysia and neither have I been there myself. But it’s not merely bout playing a set – I wanna know the people there cause I’ve heard so many good things about [the country].

Touring must’ve been hard on you guys to adjust to foreign environments though, how do you prep yourself to that?
We don’t have that much time to adjust ourselves; we kind of come in and then immediately play the next day. So I guess no adjusting was necessary.

Piramida was such a massive undertaking on Efterklang’s part. Are you guys planning something new sometime in the offing?
We took 2 years for our previous album as we usually take a long time to finish an album. We’re thinking about what to do in our next album now while we are on tour, but we will probably start the album only after the tour. At the moment, we are kind of doing different dance pieces and projects as well, so it’s not like we are waiting necessarily, but we have quite a lot of things planned over the year. So we’ll see.

Ooh, tell us about this dance project you’re working on!
The dance project is an English production from London, with a choreographer named Adrienne Hart from Neon Dance. Currently, it’s our first time working with dancers and we just created a musical collaboration in a sort of a playful way. Therefore, the concept of the dance piece is based on empathy with the music and movement of the dancer; we want music to be a reflector of other people’s feelings.

Do you have anything else to share with us on your performance in Malaysia?
Well, I think the reason we are excited for Malaysia is to see how people would react to our music. And I think it’s going to be special even though it’s difficult to say what we want to accomplish, because what we want is to give a good concert. Perhaps after that, we can come back in 30 years again. So I guess, we will do our best to show off.

Efterklang will be performing at this year’s Urbanscapes, happening on 23 and 24 November at MAEPS, Serdang.