When you think about Norway music, images of dark anti-religious and demonic figures come to mind – it’s home to some of the best black metal bands. But peer into the dark abyss a little closer and you will see many a wonderfully talented musician crafting sounds that don’t fit that stereotype. Such is Team Me, a six-piece indie pop band hailing from Elevurum, Norway. Spawned from a radio contest, the band has created memorable power pop jams such as ‘Show Me’ and ‘F is for Faker’ – both big anthems with big emotions, and heavier guitars. JUICE managed to speak to vocalist Marius Drogsas Hagen to get the lowdown on making good pop music and Norway’s metal scene.
How’s the band after sophomore labum Blind as Night?
I think people are really satisfied with us, with the whole finishing off the album and everything. People were really eager to see us playing and stuff because we used up a lot of time recording the album. I think people are really happy to see us on tour now.
Why did it take so long for Team Me to finish the second album?
I guess it took a lot of time writing it and recording the album because we were fumbling in the dark and really didn’t know what we wanted to make. It was really hard, we had expectations on ourselves and a lot of other people have expectations because of our first album. It was probably the hardest album I’ve ever made.
Are you happy with it?
Yeah, I think I’m as happy as I can be. I’m really happy with the songs as well as the direction that the band is leading towards – both musically and lyrically. I think we definitely can improve as a band and songwriters. We’ll definitely develop from here and make something different for the next time.
We heard the band started out as some kind of radio contest?
Well, the band started out as a solo project, with a radio competition back in Norway, where one of my songs got into the finals and I had to perform the song in the finals. So I called my friends who were all playing in metal bands at the time, so yeah, they didn’t really want to play pop music initially but I made them (laughs).
Your friends were all into metal. Why were you the only one with an affinity for pop?
I’ve always been into pop music and I just love pop music, especially stuff like ‘Daydream Believer’ by the Monkees and ‘Super Trouper’ by ABBA. I’m also really into The Beatles. I grew up with all that stuff because my mother used to play it all the time. At the same time, a lot of my friends are into metal as well as rock music, but honestly there’s nothing that I appreciate more than a good pop song.
Norway has always been associated with metal music, but lately a lot of indie and electronic acts are coming out from there. Do you think there is a shift in the type of music coming out from Norway?
There are all types of music coming out of Norway, but I think that we’re mostly known for the metal scene because the scene has brought out a lot of really great stuff, and a lot of those bands became really big – like for example Darkthrone, Emperor, Mayhem, and Satrycon are really big. I don’t think there is a shift in terms of what’s coming out of Norway. The indie scene there will never ever become as big as the metal scene. Bands like Mayhem feel historical somehow. They’ve put something different on the table. As to where Team Me is concerned, we’re not revolutionary, we’re just writing pop songs and recording in a specific way, we’re not trying to change anything. We’re just trying to make good music.
What’s next for Team Me?
Being really good in terms of writing new music and recording music. I think it’s important to draw away from feeling like you’re ahead in terms of songwriting and making music. We’re going to start recording, and it will not be like three years before the next time we release anything (laughs).
Team Me’s sophomore Blind as Night is out now in Norway via Propeller Recordings.