Surferosa are the latest in a long line of Scandinavian pop bands that along with the Ark, The Mo, Kamera and Bobby are showing us Brits how to do it. Taking their name from a Pixies album and dealing in what they describe as Trash Pop, we caught up with frontwoman Mariann just before the band headed off on tour with uber-trendy types the Killers on their sold out UK Tour. By the time we were going to print whispers were around that although the Killers may be the band shifting units, the highlight of the tour were the support bands the Departure and our friends Surferosa. Without further ado, bring on the Teen C Revolution Revival!!!
Q: We've been speaking to a lot of Scandinavian bands
recently such as The Ark, The Mo, Bobby et all. Fill us in with the Surferosa
A: We formed in the millennium. We went to the same college and we were all into music before we met. These guys were in the same class like 2 years ahead of me. They formed the band in January and they just tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I wanted to join them and try to sing for them. It turned out to be great so we just continued from that day. Surferosa began on the 20th January and after 3 weeks we had our first concert.
Q: Was it a case of the millennium forced you to do
A: I think everything was really boring at the time in Norway and we just wanted to do something we enjoyed and had a fire for. We allowed ourselves to do anything we wanted to do. We just had each other. We didn't have any people interest in a record deal or bookings. We just played some small gigs and festivals and everything grew.
Q: You took your name from a Pixies album, people wouldn't
realize that to the music though would they?
A: No (laughs), it's a great album and they're a great band, but they're not our favourite band. I like the Pixies a lot, but it wasn't me who came up with the name. It's just feels really good to say the name in your mouth.
Q: To me you sound like a lot of Teen C Revolution
bands like Bis and Helen Love, but I guess they never made an impact over
there in Norway. How would you describe your sound? What were you listening
A: When I was growing up we didn't have any record shops, we just had radio. I was really into this strange music, sub culture music like Fugazi and Sebadoh and Dead Kennedys. Things that were really strange, but had a good melody. Really free music. Then I started to listening to more hard-core rock and of course pop music. I used to listen to the Clash, Joy Division, Motley Crue, Primal Scream. I like bands with strong attitude.
Q: How do you go from listening to bands like the Dead
Kennedys to the music you make now. It's almost pure pop music you're making
A: I know, but the people who see us live have a totally different view of the band. The production and the producer made it sound really poppy. We couldn't play the music live in the studio cos there wasn't any room, the studio was so little. We had to record one instrument at a time and it ended up really smooth. The live shows are a lot more harsh, but because we made catchy songs we wanted catchy production.
We call our music trash pop cos it's pop, but it's not
pop and it's not rock but it is rock. You can compare Surferosa to every
band in the world. From David Bowie to the Sex Pistols and Abba. I think
in Scandinavia you have bands that are really into melodies in the songs
and then some bands who don't care and make punk music. Nowadays in Norway
people just do what ever they wanna do, that's why there's so many good
groups coming out.
Q: We spoke to The Ark last week and they were telling
us there is a real scene where bands will see each other whenever they
can and help each other out as opposed to the British scene which is about
back stabbing and competing with each other. Would you agree?
A: Were always on tour, but when were on tour we meet a lot of bands. We're good friends with the Ark so when we played in their local town we hung out with them and when they play in Oslo we hang out with them. The same thing with a lot of the other bands.
Q: How has it been to come out to the UK and play to
a new audience?
A: It was cool. It depends really where you are. If you're playing in Coventry on a Monday there's not going to be many people there, but we played with a lot of great bands and people are really shocked by our future rock. We don't look like the bands in Britain, we care as much about the image as the music and we spend ages with the hairspray.
Well, I can't jump into the audience in Norway cos there's too many people at the shows. The last 6 dates we played over there were sold out so in 4 days we played to 4500 people. What were doing in the UK now is what we've done in Norway before and it's like climbing up a mountain really slow. And now were heading for the top.
Bands aren't used to a band that looks good and just jumps around. We're gonna run a training course to the UK crowds can become my soldiers and know all my dances in the songs. I think with the Ark we have a positive revolution going on and it's going to conquer the world in 3 or 4 years!!!
The album "Shanghai My Heart" is out now
For more info on Surferosa
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