Alphabeat are Stine Bramsen, Rasmus Nagel, Troels Hansen and the three Anders: SG, B, and Reinholdt. A band of Danes with a love for all things retro that’s as big as their wonky pop sound, they scored a UK Top Ten album with 2008’s debut, This Is Alphabeat.
Alphabeat’s second album The Beat Is… , was released in 2010 with two hit singles, ‘ The Spell’ and ‘ Hole In My Heart’ both of which hark back to the halcyon days of ’90s pop.
Their third studio album Express Non-Stop is out NOW
Hello Alphabeat. How are You? and where are you answering our questions from?
Hi Thierry, we are really good, answering your questions from Copenhagen!
How did the band start out?
We met in high school, and started rehearsing together as a band, and eventually began writing our own material and playing shows around our hometown « Silkeborg ».
What is each member’s role in the band?
Stine and Anders SG are the lead singers, Troels is the drummer, Anders R plays the bass, Anders B plays guitar, and Rasmus is the keyboard player. Anders B, SG and Troels work a lot in the studio writing, recording and producing the songs together with the rest of the band. Anders R also makes some of our music videos, for instance the lastest one for « Love Sea »!!
Who are you listening to at the moment and what do you think of the nordic music scene at the moment?
There’s a swedish girl called Alina Devecerski who’s had a very big hit this summer, in all of Scandinavia, with a song called « Flytta På Dej ». « Paddling Out » by the swedish band Miike Snow is another « nordic » song that we really like.
How did you actually come to songwriting… What that something you always feel like doing, even as a youngster ?
At the very first show we ever played, a friend’s birthday party, we played a lot of other people’s material, stuff like Ohio Express and « Digital Love » by Daft Punk mixed with some of our own songs, but quite quickly we started focusing only on writing our own songs, and grew more confident. We’ve always been a bit more interested in creating music and writing songs rather than practicing very hard on our instruments, even though we have also practiced a lot especially when we were just learning to play.
You have a new LP out today, ‘Express Non Stop’. How does it differ from The Beat Is ? Can you tell us of something particular you encountered during songwriting for this album ?
On this album we’ve had recording sessions with the whole band playing live, which is something we didn’t do on « The Beat Is » because it was more inspired by dance music and so a lot of the music was programmed on the computer. The way we’ve worked this time around is kind of like a mix of recording the band live and programming stuff. The new album is inspired by a lot of different music like Motown, ABBA and 80’s pop (Danish, European and American) we found out while we were writing and recording that we wanted the music on this album to be kind of « maximalistic » and in-your-face. Inspired a little by the way Phil Spector, and later on ABBA, were building a wall of sound, we kind of worked like that, in our own way.
Are you nervous about releasing the third album?
Always a little nervous, but we are extremely happy with the album so that’s a good start
The music industry has changed massively in the way in which music gets to the listener and also in terms of the major labels having a hard time recently.
This has led to alot more people being offered deals for 1 single for example, do you think that’s a good thing?
There’s a Danish pop project called Private, they did an album about 4 years ago that was really great, now they are back (with a song called « Everywhere ») but this time only releasing some singles not an album. It seems kind of logical especially in pop music to do it like that now , and we like the idea of putting a lot of effort into 1 song. But on the other hand the great thing about doing an album is that you can have songs like the title song from our new album, it’s a song that we really really like and yet it’s very different from the sound of the singles
What is the moment in your career you’re the most proud of so far?
Actually a recent « big moment » was when we’d asked some different people that we look up to, to appear in our new video for « Love Sea », and then one morning there was a video clip reply from Nile Rodgers in our inbox, that was really amazing as he is one of our biggest heroes.
Where do you see the band in 5 years?
In 5 years time hopefully we have released another couple of albums/single compilations/EPs or whatever and are touring places like the US and France where have only toured a few times so far. That’s something we’d really like to, or maybe record an album somewhere exotic, like in the 1980s when a lot great bands were recording in George Martin’s studio on Montserrat in the Carribean or Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, that would be cool.
Any closing words for TEEZ’FM listeners?
Thanks for reading the interview and have a good day
Thanks to Alphabeat
Thanks to Anders and Torben
Merci à Alexandra
Interview by Thierry Jaussaud