We Are the Way for the Cosmos to Know Itself
GIVEN their band name…
I had to ask We Are the Way for the Cosmos to Know Itself where that stems from and whether there is a backstory! The Danish group talk about their formation and latest single, Out of Doubt. I ask what we can expect from their upcoming E.P. and what the music scene is like in Denmark.
The band recommends some new artists to watch and tell me what they hope to achieve before the end of the year; whether there are gigs coming up; how they unwind away from music – they provide some pithy, but wise, advice for artists coming through.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Julie: Hello (smiles). We are feeling pretty good. Right now, we are in our tour-car on the way to the other end of Denmark where we will play a show tonight. Our week has been busy but great! A few days ago, we recorded a live video for our next single, Out of Doubt, and the other days we have been working on some new tracks for 2019.
It has been insanely hot in Denmark this week so we have been working in bikini and shorts in the studio and gone swimming as much as possible in Roskilde Fjord, which is very close to the little farm-house where we live and make music.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Mads: We are a Danish three-piece who make Electronic-Indie-Pop with a lush and cosmic feel. We are inspired by the sound of various '80s and '90s bands. At the moment, we try to mix these nostalgic vibes with more modern productions. Hopefully, creating music with a sense of nostalgia but still with a fresh and modern vibe.
Can I ask how We Are the Way for the Cosmos to Know Itself came together? Is there a story behind that name?
Julie: Martin and Mads met in primary school and has been playing together in numerous projects during the years and then they met me a couple of years ago and first then magic happened. Haha. Well, I guess you can say that we knew that we were a good team when we wrote our first track together in 2013 so we just kept on working together since then.
Mads: When starting the band, we realized we had all discovered Carl Sagan and his retro documentary series, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, sometime during physics classes in high-school and that we shared a fascination for the epic and 'over the top' mood that Carl created in the series. So, we decided to name our band after a quote from the series. The quote, “We are a way for the cosmos to know itself”, describes perfectly the epic and lush sound that we strive to create.
Out of Doubt is your latest track. What is the story behind the song?
Julie: Out of Doubt is the second single from an E.P. that will be out in October. The lyrics were written during the early morning where I took time to sit down and watch the sunrise while I wrote down all the things I was thinking of at that time; reflecting on where I was going with life. Moments like these are very important to me and I guess that a lot of people, including myself, forget to sometimes take time to stop and reflect on things in these times - where every moment tends to get filled with to-dos and impressions from So-Mes.
It is from your upcoming E.P. In terms of themes and stories; what sort of things do you explore?
Out of Doubt is, like the rest of E.P, exploring the retrospective and nostalgic. We wanted the songs to be the kind of music that brings back memories and that you put on when you feel the need to be a little reflective. The songs are about relations between different people - both the ones you still love and fight for and the ones you had to let go.
Do you recall the music you grew up around? Which artists inspired you to get into music?
Mads: Growing up in musical homes, I think all the three of us got exposed to a lot of quality Pop music such as ABBA, Kate Bush; Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and soundtracks from movies like Top Gun and Dirty Dancing. But, from a very early age, Martin and I became interested in playing music ourselves and started enjoying more experimental music.
Eventually, in high-school, we started exploring Electronic acts such as Aphex Twin, Autechre; Seefeel and μ-Zig. Right now, I think we are trying to find a sort of middle ground between lots of the sounds and experiments from our high-school time and the simple basic chord structures and melodies from Pop music. Currently, we are listening to a lot of more modern Synth-Pop such as Shura, Chvrches and I Break Horses.
Is there a pretty eclectic music scene in Denmark? How do you think the country stands out and differs from the likes of the U.K., for instance?
One thing I really like about the music scene in Denmark is that there are a lot of indie bands that focuses a lot on melodies and songwriting - not just creating a unique production around their music. There is a good tradition for basic songwriting. That leads to a lot of quality Indie-Pop music coming from Denmark.
On the other hand, Denmark is a really small country and there is only one national music radio which has a lot of power - and they basically control who gets a career in music. That is a bit discouraging at times.
What do you hope to achieve before the end of 2018?
We hope to have a great release of our upcoming singles and E.P. and play some great shows.
Do you think there will be touring dates? Where can we see you perform?
We are playing a tour in Denmark in October and November. Hopefully, we will play a tour in Germany in February as well.
Will you come to the U.K. and play this year or next?
Julie: We would love to - we just don’t have a booker in the U.K. yet.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Mads: We played at Roskilde Festival back in 2014 here in Denmark. That was huge for us. Being a Dane, it is one of those festivals you always wanted to be playing.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Julie: Tough question. If we could choose anything…we would love to support Kate Bush and have a backstage area made out of liquorice.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Mads: Have fun. Buy lots of synths.
IN THIS PHOTO: Yangze/PHOTO CREDIT: Andreas Skou Albertsen
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
IN THIS PHOTO: Molina
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Apart from swimming in the fjord near our house at night time, we like to eat liquorice; drink craft beer and watch sci-fi movies.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Mads: Molina (ft. Late Verlane) - Hey Kids
Julie: Yangze - U & Me
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Alexander H. Jespersen