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Iceage Belong to No One

On the eve of the Danish punks first Australian tour we got in touch with vocalist Elias.

Even before seeing or hearing them, Iceage are a band that pique your interest. Breaking out of the Copenhagen punk scene in 2009, their early albums, including the debut LP New Brigade, mixed the post punk sounds of Warsaw, Crisis and Joy Division with the rage of hardcore.

Delivered with an unhinged fury and confidence it was a sound that belied the Danish punks age and experience. Confrontational but also considered. I once heard singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt guesting on a radio show and playing Wipers, Screamers, Void, Bruce Springsteen and Cult Ritual. They were young but they knew their shit.


Their latest track “The Lord’s Favorite” is a further development in their sound taking on a more country influence that has been likened to the Birthday Party and the Gun Club. It’s a change that has surprised some but Elias says that the band are pleased with the reaction it has caused.

On the eve of Iceage's first Australian tour, presented by Noisey and Pistonhead, we caught up with Elias to talk about the new song and upcoming shows.

Noisey: Do you think some may have missed the humour in "Lord's Favorite" and focused too much in the change of musical style?

Elias Bender Rønnenfelt: There is a good portion of humour in the song and video but I wouldn’t consider them a “joke” as such. When it came apparent to me, that what I was writing was somewhat of a country song, I started having fun playing on the imagery that lives within that genre. It went from being just a love song to being this over-proportionate megalomaniac love song - but it is very genuine at its core.

What did you think of the reaction to the song?

The amount of people whining and complaining about the sudden change in aesthetic pleased me. We deliberately put this song out first to destroy some of the expectations on what kind of band we are. We belong to no one.

There seems to be a fair amount of homoeroticism in the video? Was this deliberate?

No, the transvestite behind my back just happened to be there. It was beyond my notice.


Parts have a kind of Celtic take on country that reminds me of the Pogues.

Yes, Shane McGowan is a phenomenal songwriter. I think everyone in the band has been fans since we were young teenagers, so I’m sure they’re there, somewhere within our musical DNA.

You were supposed to play the cancelled ATP Jabberwocky festival. How do you feel about playing festival compared to punk clubs or smaller venues?

I’ve rarely had that great of a time at festivals at large. They seem to be a horrible and wrong medium for experiencing music. All the shopping around from band to band. The vast leap between audience and performer filled with photographers and thick-necked security people. Having to play in the middle of the day with shit sound and an audience half asleep.

So, as you might imagine - I wasn’t exactly devastated by the news on the cancelation of Jabberwocky Festival. Instead we got to play good, small venues with friends of ours like Helm and Shallow Sanction.

You have been hanging out with Total Control's Daniel Stewart in Copenhagen.

Yes that prick has been sleeping on my floor for the past two weeks. Can some of you Australians come and take him back?

Like Iceage, there were a lot of expectations on the Total Control album. Do you feel more expectations as you develop a larger audience or is the punk scene just as demanding?

I think both Iceage and Total Control are too confident in what we’re doing to be affected by cruel tongues. I never particularly cared for the acceptance of the punk scene, nor from the commercial indie world. We don’t belong in either.

More Iceage:

Iceage Discovered Acoustic Guitars for "The Lord's Favorite" and Everyone Is Pissed Talking About Knives and Fascism with Iceage