Carlos Hawthorn, - on 13/7/12
With their set at this weekend's Exit Festival, Carlos Hawthorn spoke to When Saints Go Machine's Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild about Danish lullaby's, squeezing as much music as possible into live sets, and feeding on music.
When Saints Go Machine You guys mentioned it was a dream come true to play at Sonar. Well, you just did it. How'd it go? We all think it went well. We felt each others presence on stage and the audience right there with us. Felt almost perfect.
It's been just over a year since you released the critically acclaimed Konkylie. How have the past 12 months been? What's been the newest and most exciting thing that's happened to you? Kind of busy, but nothing too crazy. We have been playing a lot of gigs, traveling and meeting a lot of wonderful people and partying a bit. I guess the latest most exciting thing for us is still playing at Sonar, but next week we will be going away to work on new material together and that's really big and hauntingly exciting.
Ethereal electro-pop seems to be a very popular Scandinavian export. What is it about life in the north, or Copenhagen specifically, that manages to produce this sound again and again so beautifully? I always find it really hard to answer that question. Could be our subconscious mind dealing with nature, but we may also have the long dark winters and Martin luther to thank for it.
Since the success of Konkylie has it been at all hard to adjust to the pressures of being a much more in-demand and popular band, or has it just been one big party? Between the four of us we're always the hardest critics and that's kind of the only pressure we have to deal with and we're slowly learning. You can't ever really be sure about other peoples views. The important thing is that we stay inspired and keep having fun with what we're doing.
WSGM are known for their memorable Live shows. What is your ethos when it comes to performing? Is there a lot of spontaneity and improvisation involved or are your sets pretty structured? Thank you so much I didn't know that. A bit of both actually. We're moving in and out of grid a lot, but our shows are mostly structured for the specific concerts we're playing, because the minutes are running and we want to play as much music as possible.
Obviously your English is fantastic but do you never feel the urge to write lyrics in your native language? There must be ways of expressing yourself and your emotions in Danish that don't exist in English. I have been writing songs for fifteen years or more now and I have only ever written one song in Danish so I don't know. The song was a lullaby, but I think it was a bit too much for the small ones. It ends with a woman breaking in half and her husband committing suicide, but I liked the song a lot. I have written a few poems in danish though, but they never really feel like songs to me.
When you guys make music are you conscious of maintaining the balance between pop music and what could work in a club environment? We just do whatever we feel for at the time, but we never think about anything other than doing what's best for the song. If we all think it has some sort of special character or personality that makes us feel something it's always the road we choose to follow. Could be a straight up pop song, weird noisy music to dance to, silence or all of the above combined. Doesn't matter to us, but I guess it's lucky that our music sometimes work in different settings.
You said in an interview that you'd like to reinvent yourselves every time you release a record. Will that be the case with the next record? When can we expect to hear new music? We just released a new single called Mannequin so thats almost new, but other than that it's hard to say, we've got a lot of songs, but we need time to experiment and figure out how they're supposed to sound. It's never fun doing the same thing all over again. To us writing and producing is a learning process. short answer could be, making music is something that we feed of and we never really know when we're full. Anyway, hopefully soon.
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