Last Wednesday we had a fun night out with ARTE Live Web: we met three members of the lovely Norwegian indie outfit Team Me and sat down for an interview with Marius, Uno & the amazingly beautiful but utterly quiet Elina at the ultra hip Michelberger Hotel. Words were said about Oslo, about ‘alternatively orchestrated pop music’ and about the break-ups and make-ups of life and touristy pictures were taken at The East Side Gallery a.k.a. not-so-randomly remaining bits of the Berlin Wall. Check out our facebook page for all of our pics!
What we learned about Norwegians that night is that they might be the friendliest of artists. Besides being eager to talk to us blogger-girls, all Norwegian bands are rooting for each other to make it and many of them are friends. Competition seems non-existent. World peace, here we go! Team Me and Einar Stray shared some of that love with us, as the Introducing: Øya gig was ended by all members of both bands on stage rocking the roof of the place. It was a blast!
Takk! to the lovely Team Me, hope you enjoyed your national holiday and got some sleep on the plane!
PDC: We’re excited to be seeing three great upcoming young bands from Norway tonight, do you guys all know each other?
Team Me: Well we know Einar pretty well, when we had our release concert for the album, we actually asked Einar to play a couple of songs to open up for us. He lives in Oslo like we do, and Oslo is a small town, so basically everyone knows each other.
PDC: So tell us about the music scene in Oslo! There are so many Norwegian bands popping up, it must be really exciting as a young band to be there right now…
Team Me: Yeah it’s cool! It has changed a lot in recent years. I wouldn’t say we’re part of any collective though cause we stand on our own, but there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on – like Einar for example, he plays a lot in Germany and Europe as well, or Jonas Alaska, he’s a really great singer/songwriter.
PDC: Are you standing out from the crowd because of your particular style or because you don’t want to be part of a collective?
Team Me: I don’t think it’s because of our style of music, I’d say it’s because of the people in the band. We all come from the same area outside of Oslo – in comparison to all the music collectives, if you want to call it that way, who grew up in Oslo together. Of course we know them but we’re not touring with other Oslo-based bands all the time.
Uno: …But it’s a nice place.
Marius: Is it?
Uno: Not really.
Marius: It reminds me of a construction area sometimes. It looks like one. But of course there are green lungs and spots where you can relax. And nature is so close, that’s the cool thing about Oslo, it takes like 12 minutes with the train and you’re in the middle of the forest.
Uno: Norway has so many different types of nature, it’s amazing. You’ve got the fields and you’ve got the fjords with high mountains and then you’ve got the north with all its… strangeness.
PDC: You’re playing on a couple of festivals this summer, is there any that you’re looking forward to in particular?
Team Me / Marius: I’m really stoked about playing the Roskilde festival in Denmark! I was there back when I was 17 and saw really cool bands like Notwist.
Uno: I’m actually looking forward to the Haldern Pop Festival because Haldern is such a beautiful place! We played at the Haldern Pop Bar and that was amazing, so now we’re really looking forward to playing at the festival when it’s summer and see some cows!
PDC: Do you have any crazy festival experiences?
Team Me / Marius: Uno actually does, you know, the one with the ufo?!
Uno: I don’t know how I ended up there… It was some kind of tent – I guess I was a little drunk!
Marius: You signed up for their religion basically!
Uno: Yeah, they were there to get supporters and preach their religion about aliens – it was pretty weird. After the festival I got some letters in the mail that I ignored so no big deal in the end… That was at the Hultsfred festival in Sweden.
PDC: If you could put together your own perfect festival this summer, what would that look like?
Team Me: I would definitely try to book Shugo Tokumaru (http://www.shugotokumaru.com/), he’s a really cool Japanese artist that I recently discovered. And Daniel Jones, The Dissociatives, maybe also Ryan Adams, because we’re always touring when he’s playing in Norway, so we never get to see him! Maybe some classic Norwegian Black Metal bands, for example Darkthrone, they haven’t played live since 1991 I think, that’d be really cool to see. But they won’t perform. We’d also book Failure and The Smashing Pumpkins in the original line-up.
…It would be really cool to have NOFX playing in my living room. That would be the main stage and you’d have smaller stages, maybe Jónsi and Sigur Rós could sing while lying in my bed… And there would be a lot of moonshine. Norwegian moonshine.
PDC: Coming back to your own music – it sounds very orchestrated, very dense with lots of layers, how come you started making this very sophisticated indie sound?
Team Me: Inspiration-wise, I think we’re taking up things from all kinds of different genres and you can hear that in the album. Myself I don’t listen to classical music a lot but I listen to artists inspired by classical music, so I guess that’s something like a third level of inspiration… For example I’m really inspired by Owen Pallett, the guy who used to call himself Final Fantasy, and he’s a classical trained musician.
PDC: …Are you, too? Did you learn instruments when you were kids?
Team Me: Not at all! That’s the thing with this album, that we tried to play instruments that we can’t play… We’re not actually doing the strings and the difficult ones though, luckily we had people to do that for us in the studio. Once we were even able to play live with a string quartet, that was awesome. But in general, Team Me live is sort of a punk version of the album. We’re just not enough people to play the way it sounds on the album, so we just take the essence and do our best to make as much noise as we can.
…We would probably be have to be 30 people on stage to make it sound like it does on the album.
Uno: …But I don’t think that there was the idea of making that kind of music at all, it was just Marius’ songs that we started out with and he didn’t want it to sound like a singer/songwriter project so we did as much as we could and tried out all our ideas.
PDC: Now that you’ve come up with this album – if you could make up any name for a genre that you’d put yourself in, what would it be?
Team Me / Marius: I like the term pop music! Because it’s basically simple pop music on our album, it’s just the way that it’s arranged that makes it different.
Uno: I’d call it alternatively orchestrated pop music!
Marius: In the end, it should feel like being in a fairy-tale or something, I don’t know. The idea was to make it sound a little childish.
PDC: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Team Me / Marius: You would definitely be working as an astronomist, Elida!
Uno: …Or a witch!
Uno: I would probably be on a fishing trip!
Marius: This may sound a bit pompous but I would definitely try to write and direct movies!
Uno: …And I would join you as the guy who gets coffee. If I’m not on a fishing trip, that is.