Interview with The Foreign Resort (@foreignresort) from @CMJ @nordicspotlight
Here’s an interview I conducted, drunken and very late at night, with Danish New Wave Rock group The Foreign Resort. One of my favorite US imports from across the pond, The Foreign Resort has logged many miles in the states in an attempt to appeal to the masses.
Super cool guys and great musicians, it was a pleasure to get to see them again after a tumultuous time at SXSW 2012, but they remained as candid and fun to hang with as I remember. Big shout out to Pete Schwinge from Nordic Spotlight for taking these guys on, and I wish TFR the best for the future to come! Click READ MORE for the interview, and check ’em out!!!
G- What’s going on, everybody! This is Greg Allis. We are in NYC for CMJ day 3, and we are at Fontana’s in Chinatown, and we are talking to my favorite European band from Denmark called The Foreign Resort. I put these cats on in Austin for a train wreck show with the shittiest fucking venue I’ve ever had to deal with, and that sucked.
But anyways, I’m here with the guys and we’re going to ask them a couple of questions. They are going on at 1am today, and this is important, because they traveled a long way to be here today and I’m sure they’re happy to be here. So, we are going to go through, introduce everybody in the band, and then we are going to do a couple of questions. So, The Foreign Resort is…
M- Morten and I play the drums.
M- Mikkel. Vocalist and guitar.
H- Henrik. I play the guitar.
P- Patrick, and I play the bass.
G- Alright. So, this isn’t your first foray into the United States. You guys were here in March, I believe, and that was your first time.
G- It wasn’t your first time, so I am wrong. When was your first time in the states, guys?
M- 2009 we toured the west coast for like 16 days, so that was our first time. And we’ve been here… This is actually the seventh time we’ve been here in the states. We keep doing east coast, Midwest, west coast, SXSW, and then, you know… It’s a huge country, and we can’t cover it all, but…
G- A little bigger than Denmark? Sweden? Norway? One of you fuckin’ Nordic countries. Where are you guys from again so I can get it right next time?
M- Copenhagen, Denmark.
G- So I got it right the first time! But anyways, this is your seventh time here and I am way off… You’re at CMJ and you played a show yesterday I believe, and you’re playing tonight at Fontana’s and closing out the night. What else do you guys have going on and how has everything been so far?
M- It’s been good! We’ve played a bunch of good shows, and met some cool people. From NY shows, to college shows, you know, people are going crazy and I love that!
G- Alright! So, you guys also have a new album that I’ve had for a few months now because I got a super band fan copy or whatever, but let’s talk about the new release and talk about the tracks on it… Where did you find the inspiration for the tracks, and who is the primary songwriter for you guys? You guys all kind of do the writing organically or is there a primary songwriter?
M- Well I would say I, Mikkel, am the primary songwriter, but we put the pieces together in the practice space. I write a demo and the I play it to the guys, and sometimes they’re like ‘Yea that’s nice,’ and I know that’s not going to happen, and sometimes they are like ‘That’s the shit’ and we start working on it. And yea, so…
New songs, the new album… It’s actually recordings that go a while back. We released an EP last year, and we were kind of gathering stuff, and it had like… We needed that red thread going through the album, so we were like ‘Ok… If we want that red thread to be really consistent, then we need to get rid of some songs from the EP.’ So these are actually the songs that were…
M- They were working together a bit better. The EP was 5 songs that really worked well together, and these songs work very well together.
G- Ok I dig it!
M- We’ve had them… They’ve been in our live set for a long time, and we keep playing the songs, people like the songs, so let’s get them out there. And then, we move on to the next chapter of The Foreign Resort.
G- I dig it! So anyways, another thing I wanted to talk about is that you guys are from the European market, and the Euro and American markets are a lot different. You guys are well known out there, but obviously you are still trying to break in to the US market… How does the audience reaction and the crowd response differ in the Euro markets compared to what you’ve seen in the US markets so far?
(Silence, followed by laughter.)
G- (laughing) Did I fuck you guys up with the questions, man? I told you I’m gonna hit you!
M- I don’t know. Denmark is more like… Denmark doesn’t like… Music with edge has more difficulties in Denmark, so the Danes are impressed with our touring of the states, but with our sound, it’s a bit difficult. It’s like, they like the song ‘Take a Walk.’ That REALLY got through to the Danish audience…
G- And it’s a great video, too!
M- Yea. That’s promoting Copenhagen, so. And I’d say Germany is a lot like the states… More trashed venues, which we like.
In Denmark, everything is very nice, and it’s tough to get shows. Germany is, like, smaller and trashed, so the crowds are more lively. We get more interaction with the audience in Germany, as we do here in the states. People come up and ask you questions, and it’s… I don’t know… It’s different.
M- I think it’s different.
G- We’ve got the two quiet members over here. You guys not usually talkers, or do you usually just let the drummer and the guitarist/singer take all the action?
H- They’re the loudmouths.
G- They’re the loudmouths? Ok that makes sense.
H- I do all the graphic design, so normally I don’t get to do that many interviews.
G- Ok so you’re the computer guy, but let me ask you a quick question… You guys have been a band for a while, and you’ve been touring and stuff like that. If you had a Dream Bill, like 3 bands that The Foreign Resort could share a bill with, who would you like to play?
H- Well, the first band would be My Bloody Valentine.
G- Ok… good choice!
H- The second band? Well, The Cure maybe. And the third band… Let me see. Well, we’ve played with The Ravonettes before, so we’ve done that already.
G- That tour was a couple of months back, right?
H- Yea. I don’t know! There’s so many great bands.
M- Nine Inch Nails!
G- I was thinking Nine Inch Nails! The Foreign Resort would be a much better opener for NIN than most of the bands I’ve seen open for NIN the 15 or 16 times I’ve seen them, so I think you should shoot for that, personally!
H- Or Depeche Mode!
G- Depeche Mode would be fun, as well! I could see that working out. You guys have a good sound and that would be a… You guys would be a crowd rocker for a band like Depeche Mode. You’d have all the die-hard Depeche Mode fans there, but I have a feeling you guys would be getting them out of their seats and raising their fists like ‘Ahhh godammit!’
So, 2 last questions for you before you guys go on and play. I wanted to ask you (Patrick) actually… You guys have played a lot of shows, across the pond and on our side of the world… What would be the most memorable show that The Foreign Resort has played in your opinion?
P- In Wisconsin, we played at a college and they just went nuts!
G- In Wisconsin?
G- Good cheese?
(Band erupts in laughter)
P- Yea. They had a lot of nice beers, actually.
G- Beers are good!
P- Yea, so it’s been great playing out there and they just went crazy!
G- Nice, and is there a general consensus on that? Does anyone want to add anything to that as your most memorable or craziest show?
M- I would say, like Patrick, the smallest shows… We did a house show in Harrisonburg, Va. in a living room, and the kids there were crowd surfing, and tearing the place apart.
G- In the living room?
M- Exactly! And that’s why I’m saying why would we play the big venues if we can have people like these kids go crazy at college… In small college towns? Let’s do a small college town tour and just have that, because it’s really giving.
It’s giving us a lot, because a lot of time when you play big cities, people are like judging you and just standing there nodding…
G- Yea standing with their arms crossed, straight faced.
M- Whereas kids are just like (throws hands up and makes excitable noises) and jumping in the air, and that’s a great feeling. It’s a great feeling!
G- Nice! Well, you guys are going on in about 10 minutes, so I’m going to ask you guys one last question. As professional touring musicians, a band that has been across the country and played through the US and still building in this market.
What I would like to know is, there are a lot of kids out here the love what you guys are doing, they want to be on the road, they want to be professional musicians, and they want to try to make something in the music business, just like yourselves. Can you guys offer some advice to some of these kids who want to be exactly where your at right now at 1am in NYC playing a small club?
M- I would say find out what every band member is good at. Like, in this band, we have the graphic designer, we have the photographer, we have the logistics guy, and we have the guy that is good meeting people face to face. So, find the qualities of every band member, and use them the best you can.
G- How about you, Morton?
M- Be prepared, and do everything yourself, because that is what you need to do in the beginning. You have to do everything yourself. Do a lot of research, and play some good music.
G- And for the Henrik and Patrick, how about yourselves?
H- Well, you should have a badass internet connection.
G- Ok very good! We’re not talking about lan lines here, folks. We need 4G, LTE.
H- But I don’t think I can add anything to that. I don’t know.
G- Fair enough, and Patrick, sir?
P- You just have to work your ass off and get out there on the road and do a lot of gigs.
G- Well done! Well, we are at Fontana’s and this has been Greg Allis from CMJ night 3. It’s 1am, we’re a little drunk, and we’re going to get drunker and watch The Foreign Resort rock out in the downstairs room. Guys, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us today, it’s great to see you guys again after Austin, and play well!
G- Alright, guys!