WhoMadeWho formed in 2003, with falsetto voiced bassist Tomas Hoffding coming from the Scandinavian rock underground, singer songwriter/guitarist Jeppe Kjellberg from the avantgarde jazz scene, and drummer Tomas Barford – who also records as Tomboy. The band released several 12-inches on German disco label Gomma Records, culminating in their self-titled debut album in 2005. In 2009 they released their second album « The Plot ». New album « Brighter » out in March 5th 2012!
Jeppe accepted to answer some of our questions :
Why did you pick the name Womadewho?
We were very fortunate in 2004 to get a record-deal before we even had a name. There was a deadline for the first 12 inch release. And the only name we could come up with that we didn´t seriously dislike was the name of an old single-vinyl from this (not at the time active) Australien rock band AC/DC. Made for the soundtrack to Spephen Kings
first, and last film as a movie director « maximum overdrive » from ´86 about some machines that come alive and become homicidal. The name WMW works very well graphically and raises the question of the chicken and the egg. But to sum it up, it was the only name at the given time we didn´t seriously dislike.
We’re talking because Brighter is released in March 05. Where did you record the new album?
We have recorded Brighter in various places in Copenhagen. Mainly our three personal studios, but we moved into a great hotel by the harbor named Stay last year for a period to focus heavily on the recording. An amazing and inspiring place combining an old Squad vibe with great scandinavian interior design.
Is there anything new you guys were listening to that influenced the sounds on the album?
Whomadewho is a band that consist of three very hungry music lovers. Therefore there is always loads of different dissonant references fighting each other in the album-making. The whole process is about condensing the diversities of our three musical backgrounds into a common piece. Its a very intuitive process were we throw ourselves into the music-making. Later in the making we slowly realize what we are actually doing. February 2011 we realized that we were about to make to different albums after a longer creative period in Stay and our different studios. We decided to put the more experimental uncompromising and playful tracks out on Knee Deep. The more radio friendly melodic songs from that period we didn´t put out at the time, since we were very concerned about making the album a united piece. After the release of Knee Deep we have been working hard on creating songs of a more melodic nature. Therefore the melodic songs that we didn´t want to release on Knee Deep, dictated the new direction of Brighter.
What song on the new record was the most difficult to complete?
Below The Cherry Moon. This song which is the last song on the album, has been through a very very long process. The lyrics and the melody were finished at a very early stage, but to figure out the accompaniment was very difficult. We did many types of instrumentals behind the song with endless variations, but there was always a little feeling of disappointment about them. The version you hear on the album is version nr. 4. But when we where about to decide the
track-liste there was this general vibe in the band, that it was dying. Because we new it all to well. We had done it in so many versions that we at the time could´t be objective about it anymore. But now i am very happy that it made it´s way to the album.
Could you talk a little bit about the video for your first single « Inside World »? How and where it was made, ideas behind it, whatever..
The Video was shot in an warehouse in the « Nordvest » part of copenhagen. It´s made like a classic pop-video. We asked Lasse Martinussen to do a video with girl-appeal. So Lasse set up this great team and borrowed his uncles old ford escort and a warehouse for the video-shooting. He succeeded in making it poppy, but gave it a nice
surreal twist. For me its a comment on the endless amounts of reality-shows going on these days. Playing around with the theme of the song about girls inside World dilemmas.
Whomadewho is part of the large movement of electro pop music. How do you feel about the bands that primarily use technology to create music?
Just as the electronic sounds are a very natural part of modern living it also becomes a natural part of our music. Its very natural. I have the deepest respect, for people who can work musically with technology. Tomas Barfod has been doing electronic music most of his life, he is that type of producer. On the other hand Høffding and I, are more old-school musicians, educated from the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen. We are always working on the balance between the anarchy of electronic production versus the classic musicianship. Still the band is based around our live trio. (Which is drums, bass, keyboard/guitar and vocals.) The songwriting and acoustic development of the songs goes before the technology. To prove the point about the classic song-writing we have asked different artist that we deeply respect, to do acoustic versions of our different singles on Brighter. On the first 7 inch single Inside World, the american song-writer John Grant is doing an acoustic cover. More covers with other great artist are coming up on the next singles. Point is, we do make classic songs. We just wrap it in with electronic sounds.
You are active with social media (Facebook, etc…). How do you feel properly handling that kind of communication can benefit an artist?
The internet has made the contact with our fans very easy. It is setting the music free. Getting rid of many unnecessary layers between the musicians and the listeners. You need to be able to deliver your music in person. We salute the development, and seriously enjoy being a part of this age where music is brought back to the people. And the
quality and creativity is stronger than ever.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Tomas H would be engineering something, Tomas B would be in Business, I personally would be doing Documentary-films.
What’s on your wish list for 2012 and what do you hope to achieve?
Making an album is like breeding. We know that our baby is coming into the world, but we don´t now what it will become, our how it will develop. But as 3 proud Dad´s, we all hope the best for the newcomer:) We are very excited to see how people will respond to « Brighter » and how the year will turn out. Playing club-concerts all spring and
festivals all summer. Mainly in Europe and North-America.
We hope that people will come to the concerts, celebrate life with us, dance, and sing-along.
Thanks to WhoMadeWho
Special Thanks to Fallon and Kompakt Records
Interview by Thierry Jaussaud