The Great Escape 2010: Feldberg & Japandroids

The classic Brighton festival rocked out while Dazed Digital sat down with two of the acts to straighten a few things out...

Music Incoming
Photos by Craig Thomas
Over the last five years Brighton’s Great Escape festival has become a standout showcase event for musicians and industry professionals alike, hosting more than 350 acts across 34 venues, alongside networking sessions, panel debates and talks from key note speakers. On this basis it’s not surprising to comprehend the proportion of billed acts that will go on to achieve ‘success’ – however it is a testament to the ethos of the festival. Dazed Digital went along to meet two bands that are widely recognised as being deserving of their respective hype: Canada’s garage rock-duo, Japandroids, who are embarking on the European leg of their world tour, and Iceland’s Feldberg, who, since making the latest Kitsuné compilation with their track Dreamin’, are proving that there is more to come out of their homeland than a news grabbing volcano.

Dazed Digital: Feldberg, how did you meet?
Einar Tonsberg: We met randomly: I was doing a single, and I needed a female voice - I spoke to my friends and they all said you have to talk to Rosa and get her to sing it. She kind of never went away from the studio after that.
Rosa Isfeld: I became a cat – he has this really comfy leather chair that I call the Thinking Chair and I just stayed there: drinking beers and writing.
Einar Tonsberg: After that we started meeting up every Tuesday for a couple of months and all of a sudden we had loads of songs and there was no turning back.
Rosa Isfeld: We found out very soon that we had a whole album - it was very easy.

DD: How would you describe your sound?
Einar Tonsberg: Scandinavian.
Rosa Isfeld: Yeah I’d say Scandinavian: it’s happy, bubbly – Swedish.
Einar Tonsburg: It’s like IKEA! It sounds like IKEA; I like that.

DD: How did you end up on the Kitsuné album?
Einar Tonsberg: I really don’t have a clue. How did that happen?
Rosa Isfeld: I have no idea either – I DJ and every year you check out what’s on the new Kitsuné – it’s where I first heard The Knife, this music that just really stands out. I think, for me, it’s just the best mix album ever. If people don’t know what Kitsuné is then they’re not cool.
Einar Tonsberg: Yeah that’s me! I was like I’m not sure I want to do this.

You can check out Feldberg on the
MySpace and Kitsuné sites

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Spread across three sea-side days the festival incorporates a far more relaxed vibe, with bands playing impromptu performances all over Brighton (The King Blues played a show in the sewer system under Brighton Pier) generating a feeling that this event is our equivalent of SXSW. Japandroids' Brian King and David Prowse met at University in Vancouver where they began playing together under what is probably the best band name ever to be conceived. We caught up with them before their packed out set at Revenge. 

Dazed Digital: So where did the name Japandroids come from?
David Prowse: It’s a compromise between two band names that we each proposed: Brian wanted to call the band ‘Pleasure Droids’ and I wanted to call the band ‘Japanese Scream’ - so we mashed them together because neither one of us wanted the alternative.

DD: Did you ever think about having a third member in the band?
Brian King: We thought about having a lead singer for a long time, kind of like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or something like that, so: guitar, drums and then someone who would just sing but it never really materialised. We were talking yesterday though about Carlos D. quitting Interpol and, he’s going to need a new job, and we don’t have a bass player - he’s probably going to want to get paid though which could be something of an issue.

DD: Do you have any pre-gig routines?
David Prowse: We like a few drinks but not too many, it’s funny though because when we play certain cities, there are fans who like to see us drunk - like Boston for example. We have a really weird relationship with Boston – the city is incredibly good to us. I’m not sure how it started but they like us to be drunk so, they bring us shots on-stage. The first time we played in Boston I don’t remember how the gig ended.

Look out for Japandroids updates on their MySpace
site
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