Disco Ensemble

author TL date 10/10/06

Being the definite 'odd man out' in the goth/metal-dominated Finnish music scene, post-hardcore/punkrock outfit Disco Ensemble has made quite a name for themselves around Europe by the traditional way of touring, touring and touring more. Hence it is no surprise that we found them before tonights show, the last of three they've played as support for Danish Veto, getting ready for yet another one of their highly energetic performances. Remembering the bands' outstanding performance at Roskilde earlier this year, we decided to sit the guys down for a chat about what's new and what's important about Disco Ensemble:

RF.net: Could you guys give a short introduction to your band for the readers out there who don’t have a clue?
Band: We're called Disco Ensemble, we’re a four-piece rock band from Finland and we’ve been around since 1997. We live in Helsinki at the moment and… We tour A LOT. *All laugh*

RF.net: Okay, so tonight is the last of three Danish shows you’ve done with Veto. Can you tell us what expectations you had before going, and if and how the shows have met them?
Band: Well, we all did expect good things, because Veto are apparently pretty big here in Denmark. I think we expected the shows to draw about 300 people every night but, well, we saw the last two crowds were larger than that, and tonight is looking good as well so… Things have been great. Veto has been an amazing band to play with as well because you know they’re gonna do a good show and that’s helps the whole night become a good night.

RF.net: In these three shows, you’ve had the support-duty. For a band that has been featured in popular rock magazines and received good reviews and substantial international attention, doesn’t it feel a bit strange to be the support for a band like Veto, who would probably be considered a lot less famous, anywhere else than in Denmark?
Band: No! No no, not at all. You see, pretty much all our shows in Europe have been support shows, since we can’t draw enough people on our own yet. It’s possible some places, but it’s usually just easier to support a band that has been around a little bit longer. Back home in Finland we always headline, but everywhere else we’re always on support duty.

RF.net: Last time you where in DK, you played the Junior Pavilion at Roskilde Festival (Great show btw!). Can you tell us how you experienced the festival, and if you have any specific relation to it?
Band: We think Roskilde has been really important for us, you know, it was a big thing to just have a show there. We had never been there before, and it was also cool to just be part of the audience, and check out some other cool bands. We we’re also happy to find that the vibe there was very warm, like, tonnes of people and no fights whatsoever. If you’d gathered that amount of people in Finland for one festival it would be like... 20 deaths *laughs*.

RF.net: What would you say is the most important aspect of your music?
Band: The live shows. Yeah, that’s pretty much what we know how to do, which isn’t surprising considering that we’ve played quite a lot of them.

RF.net: Tell us how life is in Disco Ensemble at the moment. What goals are you currently pursuing, and what are your plans for the future? Any chance of a new album under way or perhaps headlining shows in Denmark?
Band: Actually we’re constantly in the process of making new songs, and we try to record stuff, so hopefully we’ll have something out next year.

RF.net: And, in the immediate future, would you tell us what you’re gonna do after tonight’s show?
Band: Uhh.. Sleep!

RF.net: No party-plans?
Band: No not really. There was a pretty tough party last night so.. Hmm.. Do we have to get up early tomorrow? Yeah, we leave like at 10 am so.. Basically there’ll be a small party. Small but it’ll still be a rock n’ roll super-party! Small and intense party! Yeah, like 10 minutes with everyone just shouting and drinking vodka the full 10 minutes! *Makes bad attempt at resembling someone chuggin’ a bottle of vodka – All laugh*

RF.net: Now, if you could pick any band from present music-scene to go on tour with whom would it be, and why?
Band: Good question. If we had to pick a Danish band, Veto would definitely be the one, since they’re really nice guys and really great to tour with. We’d like to tour with Mew as well actually. But if it could be just anyone, We’d like to headline for Metallica! Like, they’d support us *Laughs*. Actually maybe Muse, because they are a huge band and, still they have the right kind of ambition in their songs and are a really good live band. It’s not that we listen to the that much, but it would be like, tonnes of people and well, they’d just be a really cool band to open for. Basically any good band that’s not necessarily a scene-band, ‘cause we’d actually like to avoid being pigeon-holed into any single scene. I think the Eastpak Antidote tour we’re doing is really perfect because we have Danko Jones, Gogol Bordello, Beduine Soundclash and us all being completely different from each other but still sharing some kind of a connection, and we think it’s good to have different styles in the same night.

RF.net: Kinda the same way it is with you and Veto?
Band: Yeah, exactly, that’s not the same kind of music, but it still fits very well. And people.. Well, some people go to se six thrash-metal bands in one night, but we think it’d be more fun going to a show with bands that have different styles.

RF.net: Okay, I hope you’ll not be disappointed to find that there are at least a bunch of scene-kids out there tonight, just waiting to see you guys.
Band: Oh, there is nothing wrong with that at all, we just don’t want to be locked into being ‘that scene band’. We… We want all the scenes to like us, or, no, actually we just want all the scenes. *Laughs*

RF.net: Golden question: What do you guys think of the whole mp3-debate? How do you feel about people illegally downloading music off the internet?
Band: Well... We do it too, so we think it’d be kind of lame to say that people shouldn’t do it. If the options are that either the kids won’t buy our album and then won’t listen to it or that they just get it online, then we’d say go for it. Download it. That would also mean more people to the shows.

RF.net: So basically at this point you’re more interested in the exposure than in the economical aspect?
Band: Yeah, at this moment we’re not gonna make a buck out of record sales anytime soon anyway so.. At this point, maybe at any point, it’s just great to have people listening to our music.

RF.net: Okay, last question: If you had to pick out one story from your time as a band, as the one that was so funny/remarkable/horrible that it had to be told, what would it be?
Band: Hmm.. Probably the mad professor in Switzerland. That was pretty weird. We stayed with a mad professor in Switzerland because we had a day off in Zürich, and this one girl knew this mad professor who used to teach in the University but then moved to Switzerland to write freelance articles on world economic situations and grow weed in his house. *Laughs*. He had like six barrels of weed and a lot of fines that he’d get from the police on the kitchentable, just lying there to show off that he was like… Paying his taxes. But he was really super-nice, because he’d just like, invited us to his house because he liked to have people in his home, and he bought like, eighty beers for us, for one night, just like, so that we’d have beer. He basically accommodated us for free, and he smoked more weed, than any of us smokes cigarettes, as a whole group! That was a pretty weird experience. Actually it was on our first European tour, so the whole tour was almost this kind of adventure, and it still is like that in some ways. Just five people fuckin’ about different countries. It was just so surreal to be in this small Swiss town way up in the Alps with this guy from like, Back To The Future taking us to his house. A lot of strange and funny things happen though, and sometimes you forget some of them, because they happen so often.

RF.net: Well, that’s basically it, if you have any shoutouts to the fans or something, now’s the time:
Band: Ehh... *In a joking manner:* Be cool, stay in school, that’s always a good one. Say no to drugs! And ehhh.. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol now, and come to our shows!

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