Lead singer, Jakob, of Copenhagen band, Mont Oliver, took a moment to talk to us about the formation of the band and their Danish tour.
Dubbed as ‘trip-hop’, this trio from Denmark released their new EP ’19’ this week. Following the title track, ‘White Sheets’ is the second single from the collection. The syncopated beat and warped voices combined with Jakob’s falsetto moments make for an uncomfortable but by no means unenjoyable sound. The use of uncomfortable here is in the best way possible, translate it as different and exciting. Listen and you’ll understand! It’s trippy and pulsating and best heard with the volume at 10.
Jakob, Mads (drums) and Niels (keys/samplers) are going from strength to strength receiving recognition all over the world. They haven’t ventured far to play live shows yet, but they’ve promised Wonderland personally that it won’t be long until we get a chance to see them perform. Until then, we’ll make do with their videos and collect the press clippings as their fan-base inevitably grows.
What were your first encounters with music?
Music was a part of the upbringing of both Mads and Niels Christian but it wasn’t until I was in my teens that music became an important part of my life. I did manage to catch up pretty quickly though.
How did you all meet?
Myself and Niels Christian met each other at high school in Thisted, a small town in the northern Jutland, Denmark. At that time I already knew Mads from another band. Guess’ everyone who played music in Thisted knew each other. I then brought us all together in Mads’ rehearsal place (which also kinda was his room) and we started playing some songs I had written. Back then it was all about fast guitar riffs and playing loud as fuck – They were good times!
Where did the name Mont Oliver come from?
We struggled a lot in finding our name, but Mont Oliver had something to it that seemed right. We were also booked to play a gig even though we didn’t have a name, so we had to come up with something fast and Mont Oliver just seemed to happen. It doesn’t really have a deep aesthetic meaning to it, but we still think it’s rather beautiful.
You’ve been called ‘trip-hop’ and ‘hip-pop’ but how would you define yourselves?
It’s a tricky one to answer… It’s always hard to define what you’re creating and it’s not like we’re aiming at one specific genre. It’s more an agreed understanding that we share, but don’t necessary talk about when we are creating. However, one word seems fitting: Urban. This “genre” doesn’t really have a clear definition (music-wise that is) and so it doesn’t obligate us in any particular direction.
How has the music scene in Copenhagen influenced you as artists?
Again this is a tough one… It doesn’t really inspire us musically really. The idea of our music was already present before we moved to Copenhagen and our inspiration primarily originates from older music from the UK and US. I guess we’re trying to do things differently than other Copenhagen artists, but CPH is a small city despite being a capital, so you can’t help paying attention to what others are doing.
Where did you manage to find a whole block of flats to film your video for ’19’?
This was actually quite easy as it is the block right across from the kitchen window of our apartment. This is no joke, we actually live in the same block in the cool neighbourhood of Nørrebro in CPH. So when we wake up and have breakfast that is the flats we see. It’s a student residence and some of the nice people there lent us their flats. Thanks to the guys by the way!
Who was brave enough to jump off the scaffolding at the end?
Good question! It was a crazy but really cool dude that the director knew. He’s the kind of guy who jumps off huge cranes just for the thrill. All he wanted in return was a hot meal. Some people, man.
What do you think it is that makes your music stand out?
The idea of bringing old-school hip-hop samples and beats into a pop-ish and indie kind of environment is something that we consider rather original and cool. Hopefully others feel the same too.
What was the inspiration behind ‘White Sheets’?
It was the first song where our idea of bringing hip hop and pop together really worked well. Lyrically it’s more an expression of different feelings like jealousy, arrogance and the kinds of emotions a bad relationship brings with it, whether it is between people or between me and the world.
Where has been your favourite place to play on your tour of Denmark?
Without a doubt, Roskilde Festival (biggest festival in Denmark). Every Danish kid who is into music and wants to be an artist dreams of playing that festival. That night was pure magic: the sun came down during our set, the lights were amazing, there was a crowd of 5,000 people screaming and singing and we may have played our best show ever…
Are you coming to the UK anytime soon?
We’re planning on coming to the UK in 2015 to play some showcases at couple of places. We are really inspired by a bunch of UK-bands so it has always been a dream and a goal for us… And we can’t wait!! See you there!