A lot of acts are part of a scene or a particular crew of bands. Visceral Copenhagen rock-force The Love Coffin are not. They just pretty much do what they want. And what they want is to submerge us in an eerie sonic universe of despair and pain, and most of all, make us question our very existence as human beings in these hyper-modernized times.
Their latest video offering for the single "Sound of Warning" off of their forthcoming EP Buffalo Thunder, set to drop in early October, has shades of post-punk legends The Cure and the 80's alternative rock scene. There's not really a lot happening – lead vocalist Jonatan K. Magnussen is just sitting in a dark, dimly candlelit room gazing blankly into oblivion, occasionally including us with some soul-piercing staresdirectly into the camera. But that's the modus operandi we've come to relish and expect fromThe Love Coffin. The acoustic guitar sets the mood, slowly luring us into the darkness, one minor chord after the other. These guys say it all – with as little help as possible from flashy visual effects and the like.
We "entered the Coffin" on a dare and sat down with guitarist Kristian Alexander and bass player Tue Einar Madsen for a chat. At one point, drummer Alexander Vitus even popped by to share some valid insights as well.
Check out "Sound of Warning", and scroll down to learn more about The Love Coffin's sound, what they're trying to prove, and why you should in no way consider them a psych band.
Noisey: If you guys weren't The Love Coffin, what would you be doing instead?
Kristian Alexander: I would be making gothic techno.
Tue Einar Bakfeldt: I'd be playing with some the same guys, but I'd probably be making Dad-rock. You know, like D.A.D.
How would you describe Buffalo Thunder, your forthcoming EP?
Kristian: It's much more straight up rock 'n' roll. The tunes are shorter. We're going 100 miles an hour here. The production is much better. We've made it ourselves, and we're much better at doing that now. We've been more thorough, and we've been using better equipment. And we have a new drummer.
I detect a hint of psychedelic music in your sound…
Kristian: That's completely misunderstood! We've never been a psych band! We may have played some psych festivals, but we have nothing to do with psych. If we had to identify ourselves with ten genres, psych wouldn't be one of them. I have no idea where everyone is getting that psych thing from.
I sort of got it from your music. And all of the different psych fests you've played at?
Kristian: Fine. But none us even listen to psych. Maybe some neo-psychedelia from the 90's, like The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Spacemen 3. But we wouldn't want to be affiliated with that scene. We're all good friends with the bands, but the music just isn't our thing.
How would you describe your sound then?
Kristian: Some of it is alternative, some is gothic, some is a bit neo-folk. We're trying to mix it up as much as we can.
What do you think of the current psych scene then, rejecting it as much as you do?
Tue: The whole scene has one leg in the grave. It's gone too far. There are too many psych bands, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to separate the sheep from the goats.
Is there anything wrong with Danish rock that you're trying to change?
Kristian: That's why we play music. If the perfect band existed in Denmark, we probably wouldn't be making music. The fact that we aren't part of any scene probably explains why we spend this much time doing this. We have something different to offer.
Does that mean that you're better than other bands?
Tue: We think so.
Kristian: We have something special to offer that no one else has. But I wouldn't go as far to say that we're better than others. You're an asshole if you say that. We have loads of friends who play music, and we go see them perform live. It's like calling your girlfriend stupid, even though she knows that she is.
Your label describes your music as "a study of the dark side of modern existence, where pain, apathy, isolation, anger, and loss is interpreted" – why these particularly eerie themes?
Kristian: We didn't write that. The guy who wrote our press release and interpreted our music probably thinks so. Even though everyone has something sinister and dark inside, which we describe pretty well.
Which description of your music have you found the most fun? And the most accurate?
Tue: We've been called bat-rock at one point. That was fun.
Kristian: That was fucking awesome, man. That may be how I would describe our music. It's like Batman. Our music is a bat gripping a Les Paul. But people shouldn't describe us as psych rock.
Your forthcoming EP is considerably darker than the previous one – would you agree?
Kristian: There might be something dark about it, but other parts are really uplifting. The tracks are shorter and more aggressive. A lot of pop music is really sad. Madonna's music is really sad. You get sad from listening to it. Lyrically, it's pretty tragic. They're about being sexually abused and feeling like shit.
How are you met when playing live?
Tue: We might turn some people away. Our music is very carefully arranged, meaning that people will either turn away from it, or lose themselves completely in it. The ones losing themselves might be a small group of people. We aren't really aware of how we do it, but it's fun to see when it happens.
Is there a particular feeling you want to convey to the audience?
Kristian: They will experience something real. Something real, without any irony.
You're about to head out on a European tour. Take us through an average day on the road. What does that look like?
Alexander Vitus: We lose our phones and eat fried pork sandwiches. We are supposed to play a gallery soon, where we'll probably be sleeping as well. Galleries are very cold. The only thing in there is paintings, you know. Unless there are, like, art installations made of zinc.
Right. Cheers, gentlemen.