Balance And Composure
UnderWerket, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/10
Siamese Fighting FishPrevious Next
author TL date 11/10/12
For the past weeks Copenhagen violin rockers Siamese Fighting Fish have been touring eastern Denmark thin along with A Road To Damascus 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 Huset, Nakskov, for a chat about the tour, the new album and about their choices moving forward as a band among other things.
From left to right in the above picture, Siamese Fighting Fish are:
Violinist Christian Hjort Lauritsen, guitarist Andreas Krüger, singer Mirza Radonjica, drummer Villads Berg, guitarist Rasmus Krřyer, bassist Morten Bo Jakobsen
Krüger: It's been cool to play with the same guys every weekend, forming sort of a brotherhood on the road.
Radonjica: Also lots of little things like backstage passes and stuff, all of that has been lined up professionally this time around. Instead of playing in tiny venues we play in some of the best venues that the various towns in Denmark have to offer.
RF.net: And how do you feel it's been going so far?
Krüger: There's been more people at the shows than we expected actually, so it's been a very cool experience every night. Good vibes and lots of partying.
Radonjica: It's also been nice to feel that all the hype we do on our facebook and such is actually working and that people are really coming out for the shows. By now we are really really close to reaching our goal of collecting 50.000 DKK, so when you consider that we've had expenses for transportation and food and such, that's a pretty good chunk to come out with for two bands that are mainly just big in Copenhagen. Basically it's been a really good tour. Setting it up has been a lot of hard work. I'd advise any band to do it, just know that it's a lot of hard work as well.
RF.net: Must be a pretty big satisfaction for you guys as well, having raised all that money?
Radonjica: Well that was actually my main point. I didn't want to do something like this without setting a goal, just going out there and trying to raise "as much as possible". Then you can raise 3000 DKK and it feels pointless. We had to set ourselves a goal and try our best to reach it. That's why I think this tour is legit. I didn't want people to be able to say that we're just doing this to get into venues to play shows. I wanted us to set a goal that shows that we do care and we are serious about supporting this charity. Although we get to play a lot of shows and have a lot of fun we're also very serious about this work.
Radonjica: I was sitting at home and I got the text from the label manager and he was like "You guys are number 8". I didn't believe him because I work at the label as well and I just thought my colleague was messing with me. So he said no, he was being totally serious and I was like "well that's weird?". I always want to look at things from both sides and when you think about it is also kind of a little terrible that a band like ours can be number 8. Because that means that record sales must really be waaay down these days. We did sell quite a few records, we doubled the number we sold of the first record in just a month, so it's really cool, but it just hit me and I thought it was crazy. It really got us some recognition and some hype and it just shows that however small it is, there's still a scene in Denmark for rock music and for people who like to think outside of the box.
Radonjica: I think also that as a band we had a better idea of what we wanted. I think many bands make the mistake of putting out a record when they're not ready. I'm not saying we weren't ready to make our first album, but we kind of reacted to a demand from a label saying "we like you guys, you should do an album". It was not like we had 10 songs that were done, we just thought "let's just do it". That's kind of the band, we just do things like that. This time around however, we knew exactly what we wanted to do. Maybe we weren't in total agreement about the minute details in the sound, but we agreed on the songs and all of us were happy with these songs.
Krüger: I think we also just work a lot better together as musicians and songwriters. With the first album there was a lot of discussion about what sounded good and what didn't. This time we've been a lot more on the same page.
Krüger: Yeah Christian is like a chaotic mess of constand ideas and it's cool that Morten and I can then try to sort those ideas and pick and choose what we think works the best.
Radonjica: And he can drink anybody in the band under the table as well, it's amazing.
Krüger: I would say he has surprised me the most as a person because he's the biggest gangster.
Radonjica: True man, he is fuckin' gangster.
Krüger: It was cool because we kind of locked ourselves inside the rehearsal room and just started talking and playing ideas for each other and inspired each other. The songs just happened that way, without too much thought like that.
Radonjica: I couldn't tell you if on the next record we might have some songs in Danish, or if we have more piano or if we have less distortion. I couldn't imagine that last thing happening right now, but still, we want to take it as it comes and it should be fun to us mostly. When you play this kind of music you're not doing to satisfy anyone but yourself I would say.
RF.net: Have you guys been the kind of band then, that writes a ton of songs, maybe 20 or 30 and then you pick the best ones or...
Radonjica: Fuck no! We write ten songs and we put those ten out. We do that because no song is written without everybody being completely confident that it's finished. We don't do halfassed shit with just three or four chords. We think about it and we listen to it a hundred times and then we go back to the rehearsal room and say this and that part don't work, let's do something else. It's a democratic and really, really slow process.
Krüger: It's been a lot quicker this time than last time though.
Krüger: I think it also makes the story make more sense because Mirza and Siri are dating, because it makes it that much more personal for them to sing it, and I feel that you can hear that in the song.
Radonjica: In general I also think that it's an oldschool thought that taking time writing the songs makes them better. It might, but you don't know that. That's not certain and as the industry is evolving right now everybody needs to step their game up. So very much in our character we thought "fuck it, let's just do it, we're not going to lose anything on this!". If somebody thinks we do a shitty record, or if we flat out do a shitty record, that's not going to make us stop making music and it's not going to make some label tell us to relax. We have the freedom to do whatever we want and that's what we're going to do. We don't want to set any limits to that. Maybe in half a year we put out an EP like we did last time, because people need to be fed. Their attention span is sooo short.
RF.net: That's actually what I'm getting at. I understand that following up on your debut quickly is smart, but couldn't you worry that if you take too little time between writing two records, then maybe you don't get enough new ideas and those records turn out to be too much alike?
Krüger: I think we had those thoughts as well. We were pretty confident though about the new songs being better, but we did worry a bit about that.
Radonjica: I didn't think so. I wasn't thinking about whether it sounded the same. It all came down to us having the songs ready and if people think they're too similar to the old ones then so be it. It's not like that many people know us yet anyway. We can catch more people by putting out more records and that's exactly what has happened. I don't think there's anything wrong with this.
Radonjica: I'm kind of slow so I only recently discovered Deaf Havana but they're a really amazing band. Also I'm falling back in love with Dance Gavin Dance at the moment. I've also started listening to a lot of Danish stuff, like the new stuff from Jacob Bellens who's the singer in I Got You On Tape. That stuff is really cool too. Then of course there are the locals like Stream City who I listen to a lot, and like some of the heavier A Road To Damascus - not the gay stuff, haha!
Krüger: And be a good person!