The Norwegian collective talk mostly about Devo.
Datarock are a collective of Norwegian musicians who play eighties-inspired dance pop. The two mainstays of the band, Fredrik Saroea and Ket-Ill, met either at the University of Bergen, or at a festival in Bergen, or on a hilltop somewhere in the Norwegian countryside, depending on who you ask. Very little is certain when it comes to Datarock, but we do know that they are giving us warm little echoes of Talking Heads, Devo and even the Happy Mondays.
Dazed Digital: How long have you been making music?
Fredrik Saroea: My first band was called 'axe' in Norwegian, I was twelve years old and totally submerged in Sepultura, Slayer, Kreator, Metallica, Anthrax and all that classic trash metal, but Datarock started in 2000 as a joke media enterprise. We wanted to suck up the blood of those stupid-ass investors, the dazed and confused of the still-young-and-exciting World Wide Web. We actually led them to believe the band was an ingenious marketing tool for our web page, datarock.no, an online worldwide sales portal for second hand sex toys, and potential goldmine - and they bought it.
DD: Describe your style.
FS: Our style encapsulates all zeniths of the past, the present and the future. Very hard to describe, but explosive when exposed to.
DD: Favourite piece of equipment?
FS: An old school, well-spent, mint condition Rabbit Pearl handed down by Concetta Kirscher aka Princess Superstar.
DD: Musical hero?
FS: As a band I'd say Devo's been the main source of inspiration when it comes to acting stupid in a way that's perceived insane yet fun and clever. Musically I'd say Talking Heads and associates like Fela Kuti, Tom Tom Club and Brian Eno pioneered our vocabulary, our palette, our encyclopedic dictionary and weapon of choice. But when it comes to personal all time musical hero I'd say Scott Walker kills 'em all. The verdict's based on his full body of work as a solo artist and how he dealt with the commercial success of the Walker Brothers.
DD: Personal highlight of last year?
FS: Hanging out and getting to know Gerald Casale, Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob 1 and Bob 2 of Devo. Quite absurdly we met in Norway, hooked up in Brazil and even sat down a number of times at their studio, Mutato Muzika in Los Angeles, California. Love is in the air, I'm telling you.
DD: What's your favourite musical experience?
FS: That's an even tie between Devo live in Sau Paulo and Caribou live in Bergen, Norway. Having been a fan for so long, seeing Devo was incredible. I mean, they've kept it going for over thirty years and still they're like kids on MDMA. Caribou is one of my favorite current artists, and he just happened to kill that venue. Caribou is one of few artists who manage to translate nerdy art school into stand out stage performance. He's got the power of Greyskull, I'm sure, and he's a nice guy, much like He-Man.
DD: What do you want the world to know about you?
FS: In contrary to the general misconception, Datarock hasn't really been a duo since the recording of our debut. Datarock is now an international movement. We're a collective of more than thirty associated members. We're not a duo. We're a syndicate!