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We spoke to Alex, Mads and Mette from Danish electronic trio Off Bloom, about working with AlunaGeorge and Nadia Otzen, their choice to incorporate Eastern sounds in their music, and more…
A lot of people have compared your sound to MØ, who is also from Denmark, have you been inspired by her in any way? And how influential would you say she has been for other Danish musicians that you know?
Alex: It’s not really where we take our inspiration, a lot of people compare us because we’re both Danish and she obviously makes some really cool music, but she’s not our main inspiration.
Mads: Our inspiration comes from a whole other scene really, primarily the 1970’s krautrock, Hudson Mohawke and the electronic scene in Glasgow around the time that he was becoming more well-known, like the LuckyMe people.
Mette: But I think it’s a compliment to be compared to her, she’s absolutely awesome and I think she’s so cool. But the sound of the music is very different if you listen carefully.
Do you see yourselves as part of a wave of Danish bands that are coming into the mainstream?
Mads: Well it’s not just us, there are other Danish artists that we’ve been working a lot with who are only just starting to release their own material but we think they’re going to do really well, like Vasco and Vera. Our scene will define itself in a couple of months I think, but the scene is there, the things just aren’t released yet.
Alex: Vera produced some stuff for Liss and then there’s a few others like Goss, Soleima, School of X… I guess you could call it a ‘scene’, but to each other, we’re all just mates who enjoy making music and give each other feedback, talk about music all the time and push each other to make better music.
I loved your performance of ‘Love To Hate It’ on P3 Guld, and you had dancers wearing bright yellow hoodies with your logo on them, have you noticed a growth in your fanbase at home since that performance?
Mette: Oh yeah! It’s on national television, it was huge for us! It’s the biggest music show you can play in Denmark. I was like a firebirth for us, into the Danish audience.
Mads: After that, P3 (Danish equivalent of the BBC) started supporting the song a lot because they loved it.
Alex: And we didn’t really exist properly before that, it was maybe 2 weeks before that show when we released our first track. Literally no one knew who we were.
Was that difficult for you to adjust to? Getting all of that hype in such a short space of time?
Mette: It was fine, things stay pretty down-to-earth in Denmark…
Mads: It’s not like we couldn’t get out of our room’s after that performance! Since then, we’ve just been focusing on making new music rather than worrying about what people think of us.
Despite being Danish, you’ve spent a lot of time in the UK and I believe you’ve recorded in Bethnal Green and have worked with George from AlunaGeorge, so did you choose to work with him because you’re fans of his work or did you just happen to know him?
Alex: We worked with George because we’re big fans of AlunaGeorge and we work really well with him, it felt like a natural fit and he’s become a good friend. Before we’d even released anything, we sent some stuff to Two Inch Punch and he had such a crazy reaction to our music, so we ended up working with him as well.
Mads: We don’t choose to work with those people because we want to copy the sound of the artists that they’ve worked with, it’s more that we want to learn from them because they’re so crazily talented.
I want to talk to you about your music videos, because I love the style of them, and I believe you worked with Nadia Otzen (Years & Years, The 1975) to create them, but what made you choose to work with her in particular?
Mads: She’s Danish as well! And we like her ‘no bullshit’ attitude, it’s a bit of a Danish thing, it makes it easier for us to understand what she means when she says something. And it’s really important in the creative process to be able to say something and know that everyone involved is on the same page.
Alex: We just clicked with her. We didn’t know her beforehand and I didn’t know that she’d worked on videos with other big artists.
There’s a real revolutionary spirit in your music, but I can also hear sort of Middle Eastern sounds, so where did that influence come from? Did you ever travel there?
Mads: It’s more Indian vibes that we go for, the sounds are really beautiful and have such a direct soul in them. Their scales are also different, so you can allow for more weird stuff to happen musically with Indian instruments. We were really into that culture and there is so much energy in it, and that’s the kind of energy that we would like to put into our music. We want to give ourselves to the music 100%, which is why the videos are mostly just us and our flags.
Which artists inspired each of you when you were growing up? Did you all have different influences or are there any similarities?
Alex: We all had different influences, but we bonded over people like Hudson Mohawke and then the 70’s krautrock, as well as pop stuff like Rihanna.
Mads: Alex and I have inspired each other to listen to new stuff all the time, from David Bowie to this weird new Japanese krautrock wave to some Danish rapper.
Finally, what are your plans for the rest of this year?
Mette: We’re gonna do a lot of concerts! We’re doing a lot of festivals over the summer but we also have heaps and heaps of new material that we want to finish and release, we don’t have an album or another EP planned yet, but it’ll come out eventually.
Alex: We want to remain spontaneous, so the next song we release will be the one we want to release.
Mads: We have about 35 songs that we’re quite happy with and some collaborations that we’d like to get out there as well!
Off Bloom will play Glastonbury, Kendal Calling, Y Not, Boardmasters and Reading & Leeds this summer. Their latest single ‘Falcon Eye’ is out now.