Photography by Sarah Buthmann
The cool thing about friendships is they’re often fueled by spontaneity, randomness and occasionally alcohol. Whether it’s a couple pints in a gritty, smoke-filled joint or buck-loads of White Russians in a bureaucratic hotel, glasses are downed and friendships are solidified. The latter place and drink happened to instigate the friendship between Danish acts The Entrepreneurs (Mathias, Anders and Jonas W) and Blaue Blume (Peter, Robert, Søren and Jonas S), both of whom have built a name for themselves in the Danish music scene. To celebrate music and kinship, we thought we’d invite the two bands for a beer and a chat at their local hangout—BAR in Copenhagen’s northern quarter. Here's how it all went down.
NOISEY: Hi, guys. Tell us a bit about your relationship as bands.
Mathias: We'd been fans of Blaue Blume for a long time. Then, we met them at SPOT Festival and discovered that they were fans of us, too! That was the pinnacle!
Søren: There was just a good vibe from the start. You know, like, 'you're so rad' and 'no, YOU'RE so rad!’
Mathias: We hammered back some glasses at the Radisson Bar. We had the company card.
Robert: Wasn't it this booker who wanted to do business with the both of us? I don't think he ever booked us, but we did drain his card with lots of White Russians. I know you like those, Mathias.
Mathias: Yup. They're dangerous.
Since you’re friends, how do you feel about playing shows together?
Jonas S: We worry that The Entrepreneurs would steal our thunder. We're not giving in to that!
Søren: Musically, we're not the best match.
Robert: We work in the same way in the sense that we both want our live shows to become something extraordinary. We just go about it differently.
Søren: We share the same respect for our music but it's different. It was easy to like The Entrepreneurs ‘cause we didn't see them as some kind of persistent competition. It wasn’t like we made the same stuff and reached out to the same people and by means of that were sworn enemies. It was easy to indulge in each other since we're not trying to do the same things. It’s a thrill.
Jonas S: It's so liberating to have musical relationships that aren’t work-related. In the beginning, I thought that the business was a place where everybody hated each other and measured against each other. Meeting The Entrepreneurs made me realize that’s not the case.
Anders: Mostly we’ve been out drinking beers together without ever playing a single note.
Since you aren’t competitive, do you guys share your experiences of being in ‘the biz’ with each other?
Anders: Often! None of us know how the business really works. People are just as much music fans as they are musicians. That's more the conversation starter.
Mathias: I think less about the competition aspect because Danish musicians are so damn nice. I've realized that I really don't wanna deal with that myth.
Søren: It's your own prejudices that make it an issue. Once you discover someone making something cool, you're immediately like, 'well, he must be an arrogant prick'. Then, you meet them and it’s like, ‘now, weren’t they nice!’ Every time. Like Mathias, I try not to care. There are so many things I'd rather spend my time on that inspire me.
What have you learned from each other?
Robert: The best things to talk to other bands about are experiences on stage. You sound so stupid if you're talking with friends after a gig and they're like, 'man that was awesome' and you're like, 'well, I had bad sound up there'. It just sounds like a bad excuse. Other musicians understand what it's about because they’ve experienced the same.
Wouldn't it just be easier for the both of you to play synth-pop? That way you don't have to worry about all the gear.
Jonas S: That's why The Entrepreneurs are different—you guys embrace those unpredictable quirks. You use them deliberately. Our challenge live is to seek out that energy.
Production-wise, we’ve talked about the hassle of the process. Both bands depend on big budgets to make our music. When you're only able to afford ten days of studio time, it creates an interesting tension but at the same time it triggers your perfectionism like crazy. When I listen to the record now, it's this tension that drives it—the unpredictable stuff in there that we didn't have time to fix. It’s for the better, I’d say.
Anders: That's where our bands are the same: although we may seem more extroverted, we look for the best, too. Maybe there’s the occasional mistake in the process, but we celebrate those. Coincidences happen and you try to hold on to them.
Jonas S: I really like that thought. When you listen to your own recording, you listen for the mistakes first, so you need a different approach to judge yourself and your work. All of a sudden, it becomes more about the energy and the symbiosis in our band. That’s a crazy thought—can I use my mistakes for something positive?
Søren: If there were no mistakes, it would be boring as hell. It's wrong to call them mistakes. It's the feeling of a song.
So how do you guys differentiate between the record and the live set?
Mathias: What we don't want to do is document what we do live. When people listen to the record, I don't want them to think that’s how it'll be live. It needs it's own life.
Søren: You can't do the same thing live as you do on a record. It's impossible. Both our bands are challenged by that because live sound is so rich and thick. When people listen to it on crappy headphones, of course it won’t be the same.
Jonas W: Live is so physical. That's not the case with recording. It's much more fragile and rich in detail.
Robert: It’s the same as we were saying before about the flaws. The small quirks make live shows so interesting and not just another playback thing. That’s why the mistake is so cool—because it’s human. There's life in the mistake.
Anders: In the studio, it's the opposite. You play something without knowing what it is and you can’t hear it until afterwards. That's why those two aspects are so different from each other.
Jonas S: It can be so awe-inducing to throw yourself into the process of recording because in a way, you're documenting something. You reveal yourself, but that's okay. It's the intimate sides that you wanna expose. It's nothing but music in the end. It needs to sound good and feel good—that's all.
Robert: That said, if you don't like it yourself then it's no good at all. It's a development that comes with experience by playing shows. Discovering who you are as a musician is never pleasant, but it's hugely rewarding.
The Entrepreneurs are playing one of their last shows for a while tomorrow night at VEGA with Fribytterdrømme. Read up on it and buy tickets here.