”​Epoetin Alfa”

Some people cheat in relationships and others cheat in sports. They lie about it and try to get away with it. But it never works. During the recording, there was a lot of talk about Lance Armstrong and I thought it was really fascinating, and that this story would fit good in to the theme of the album. Elias (from Iceage & Vår) played the organ and the guitar, then we cut it up and added new drums to it. One evening we were suppose to go to our friends birthday party and we were drinking some drinks and listening to Robert Hood’s Minus I really like the synth work in that song, it sounds like an arpeggio going off beat. Our song doesn’t sound anything like his work, but I still can’t help to think of Minus when I hear “Epoetion Alfa”.

“Illume”

This is my favourite song, it’s about people or maybe a couple having sex and we are glorifying it. In Malthe’s studio we could hear this other band through the wall sometimes, they were working on a fantastic song. It is one of the best songs I have ever heard, it’s a song you wish you had made yourself. All of us loved to hear them work on it and I think the feeling we got from their song, we tried to translate into “Illume”. This song was recorded very fast - it’s built around a 909, an acoustic guitar and a Neneh Cherry sample. When the song was done, Loke said it sounds like a drunk guy walking down the street with a beer in his hand. I probably was but I drank gin & tonic.

“Ultras”

This track is an interlude, it’s a passage between two tracks. It just sounded good and we thought it was a right fit here.

“New Boys”

This is about a friend of ours, who’s very young and trying to act older than he/she is. Falling for group pressure and making decisions he/she maybe wouldn’t done if he/she didn’t have meet some people. The lyrics isn’t about judging or pitying the behaviour - they’re just observations of our friend growing up.

“Lungomare”

I was reading the screen play for Amarcord and there was one scene where Fellini is describing a luxury hotel close to the water that I really liked. For some reason it felt very romantic and it gave me this feeling you had when summer is coming to end and it’s the last evening before going back to school, but you have to find this girl you been dreaming of all summer. I wanted to capture this feeling. I hadn’t written a lot for the lyrics, like 3-4 sentences. I was stuck. So I gave Loke the few notes I had and he wrote the lyrics together with Kristian Emdal (from Lower). They wrote a few senteces and folded the paper so the other person couldn’t see what was already written and they builded the lyrics up like a puzzle. Then we gave the text to our friend Daniela who translated it into italian and it is her talking on the recording.

“Armida”

You lose control and it shakes your feet. That’s probably a fitting description for the whole process of International, you make mistakes, losing the control but you have to get over it. This was the first song we recorded together. I remember Malthe asked what kind of song should we make, “A hit, of course”.

Malthe had this Pet Shop Boys song stuck in his head, where they had sampled a woman’s voice on every snare drum, so we did the same and then the song just came by itself. Even though this song was the first one to be recorded it took a really long time before it was complete, we had no idea how to sing on it. Both me and Loke tried to do the vocals on it but nothing worked all. So we turned to a friend, Soho, who had visited us in the studio several times, to do the vocals. She is also a much better vocalist than all of us together and this song needed a strong voice.

“After Touch”

We were in the studio probably 12 hours a day for 4 months, and it didn’t have a very good kitchen to cook in. So most of the time we had to use the restaurants and cafés around in the neigbourhood. We often went to a café where one of our friends works but they only serve breakfast kind of food, so during afternoons and evenings we would go to the bagel shop because they had the best vegetarian options for Loke (I would often go for a tuna salad and a vanilla Coke).

One day they were playing a Phil Collins song in the shop and Loke started talking about how fantastic Phil Collins is. So it was settled - let’s make a Phil Collins song. The next day I came very late to the studio and Malthe and Loke had already recorded it. It didnt sound like Phil Collins at all, but I liked it. Then it was left untouched for a long time before we went back to it, we added more strings and sampled lots of different instruments to make it more muscular.

The lyrical theme is sort of a continue from “Epoetin Alfa”. It’s about someone always messing up, someone who almost identifies himself with making mistakes.

“Basorexia”

This is pure experimentation and having fun playing around. We would have friends coming by the studio with wine and beers, but the main drink was always gin & tonic. Loke found a stylophone and we decided to make a track with this, an old oscillator and an old drum machine (Roland CR78). Later on we added a kick from the 909 and a midi bass plus some samples.

“Running”

During this period when we recorded there was also a lot of partying going on, and I think this is what “Running” is about. It’s just about having fun. Maybe too much fun.

“International”

The idea with this track was to collect all the ideas of the other songs into one. It is supposed to be the end credits of our album.

International is out now on Sacred Bones. The band play the following UK dates in September:

23rd Sep – Broadcast, Glasgow UK

24th Sep – Alfie Birds, Birmingham UK

25th Sep – Bello Bar, Dublin IR

26th Sep – The 100 Club, London UK

27th Sep – Soup Kitchen, Manchester UK