Balance And Composure
UnderWerket, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/10
A Road To DamascusPrevious Next
author TL date 11/10/12
For the past weeks Copenhagen pop-punkers A Road To Damascus have been touring eastern Denmark thin along with Siamese Fighting Fish in this year's installment of the Rock'N'Charity tour, which you can read much more about over here. We caught up with them before the show the bands played together in Gimle, Roskilde, for a chat about the tour, the change of guitarists in the bands and about their choices moving forward as a band.
From left to right in the above picture, A Road To Damascus are:
Drummer Anders Veikko Madsen, guitarist Mads Peter Møller, roadie Steffen Dehn Frandsen, singer Mikkel Raavig, bassist Jakob Lærke Munk and guitarist Ronnie Thomsen
RF.net: You mean in terms of turnout or how much money you collect or?
Munk: In terms of the profit we hope to make and donate to helping the children with cancer. We've chosen to do things a bit different this year which among other things is because we've been fortunate enough to be joined by Siamese Fighting Fish - Their singer Mirza works for Target Records and has a lot of good contacts in there and ganging up with them have meant that we could actually book 10 shows for the tour, which is more than we've previously done. We've decided that we want to collect 50.000 DKK and this obviously puts pressure on us in terms of planning and attracting a big enough audience. For this reason we've chosen to enlist the help of a lot of local support bands this year, who can hopefully help us pull some good crowds, and so far they have indeed done so, so we're counting on that being good for the rest of the tour as well.
Munk: And they were really the most likely choice..
Møller: They're a really talented band, they have good contacts, they have a lot of fans..
Raavig: And they put every bit as much work into it that we do, which really makes it a great combination..
Møller: It makes sense in terms of genres as well
Raavig: And we've actually only been very positively surprised with how well it has worked and how well everybody has gotten along.
Munk: They're pretty nice guys actually! About The Dreams though, taking them on tour last time was a bit of a gamble because while they were a bigger name we also had bigger expenses working with them, so we thought that was another good thing about working with local bands, namely that it would cut down on a lot of different expenses. But the main thing for us this year is that the local acts we collaborate with put much more of an effort into getting their friends and local fans to come watch the shows.
RF.net: Do you feel an added motivation having to share the stage with another band that are as ambitious as you yourself are, instead of just somebody who's clearly a 'support' band?
Møller: Maybe this is a boring answer, but I don't think it makes any difference. When we're playing we're not thinking about whatever else is going on, or how well the other bands have done.
Munk: We decided a long time ago that the time we're on stage that time is ours. No matter who is playing before or after, that's our time and we want to use that to impress whoever is watching no matter how many it is.
Raavig: We often say that we're used to playing to a wall during rehearsal. So we always do our outmost to play a good show no matter the amount of people. Of course it's only awesome if there's a big crowd that's all loud and happy, but really we always intend to have a good night regardless. That's the attitude we try to bring on stage.
Møller: Yes and hopefully that means that whoever is watching also has a good night.
Raavig: If we have a blast on stage then mostly that helps people have a blast on the floor.
Munk: With SIFIFI, them being crazy good live, we also compliment each other well because whoever is playing last usually gets hyped up seeing the other band, and then everybody wants to make sure that they come on and are just as good at the very least.
Møller: Making our goal of collecting 50.000 DKK is not looking unrealistic so far.
Raavig: Yeah it's gone better than expected!
Munk: Of course we really miss Jakob though.
Thomsen: Even I miss Jakob!
Møller: We keep feeling like we have to count if everybody's there because it feels like somebody's missing.
Munk: We played in Albertslund last week and Jakob was there watching the band as part of the audience for the very first time and that was a very weird experience.
Møller: He thought we were good though, so that's obviously a plus!
Thomsen: Haha, yeah I'm a chugger. No seriously we haven't gotten anywhere near those considerations yet?
Jakob: So far we've only concentrated on getting Ronnie ready to play the songs for this tour. We only had three weeks to get that done, so we haven't even had time to address this yet.
Munk: It's not like we're going to become a party band, but we just like our tone to become a bit more extroverted than introverted.
Møller: It really just gives you an opportunity to play with a better sound, and we've had a lot of people commenting that our sound has been really good lately. We've put a lot of energy into creating a professionally sounding album that represents our band and we can't find a reason that it should sound worse when we play live. We were sceptical when our producer Christian Thomsen tried selling us the idea while we were making the record, because we thought that there's a charm to playing every little bit yourself and he just said "sure, if that charm is that it sounds worse".
Madsen: We originally recorded our first EP with nothing added except the instruments that we each play live, but when we made the record and had a lot of extra stuff on it, we just felt it'd be stupid to not bring that along for the shows as well.
Munk: We've actually added a backing track to the one old song we're currently playing live still.
RF.net: So we can establish that using a backing track is more about getting the sounds that you wouldn't be able to play live, than to cover up things that you could potentially be playing?
Munk: The key word here really is that it is a backing track. We play exactly what we've always played, there's just more stuff around it now.
Møller: It sounds better and bigger..
Munk: And it feels like a natural step forward.
Raavig: No we just take the steps as a band that we feel are natural for us. We're going to evolve in the direction that we feel like and we've never really stopped to consider what any fans might want from us.
Madsen: I think we're aware that there are some people who are going to like us less, but then on the flip side we think that there's a much greater number of people that are going to like us more.
Raavig: We write the music that we like and that's what we're going to continue to do..
Munk: It just so happens that at the moment what we like is a more accessible sound. We have three songs recorded which we're not sure when they're going to come out. But after those come out we also don't have any idea about whether we're going to continue in that direction with anything we do after that.
Raavig: All-American Rejects, Deaf Havana, You Me At Six
Madsen: Alison Krauss, Union Station, Dan Tyminski and just a lot of country really.
Thomsen: The new Pierce The Veil record and some electronic stuff called Big Chocolate.. Siamese Fighting Fish of course, their new album is really good.
Munk: Yeah! Of course! I've been listening to it a lot as well!
Møller: The new You Me At Six album is the bomb. Listen to it!
Møller: He's totally cool.
Munk: Yeah he's fuckin' cool!