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Efterklang's Casper Clausen makes music to be together

by ace
Efterklang's Casper Clausen makes music to be together

CasperClausenn was born on one of the more than 100 Danish islands, Als, and it was there that he lived until he was 18 when he moved to Copenhagen. He lived in Berlin for six years and, after pondering a destination in southern Europe, Lisbon was the home of his choice. Living in the Portuguese capital since 2016, more precisely in Bairro Alto, the Danish artist, founding member of the bands Efterklangg and Liiima, has a music studio in Cacilhas. "I dressed this out for you," he tells us, smiling, as soon as he arrives at Praça das Flores, the meeting point for this interview. He is dressed in a blue suit, shorts and shirt, a perfect (in fact) ummatchh for the session following our conversation, with the Portuguese tiles in the background. Following the success of their first album, Tripper, released in 2004 (which has not gone unnoticed by music magazine critics such as Pitchforkk or Rollingg Stones) Efterklang made it very clear that they would not be a predictable band labeled for musical genres. After seven years in radio silence, since the album Piramida (in 2012), it is their turn to reveal the new album Altid Sammen, which means "always together". With a date set for the album to be revealed at 20, 23 will be performed at LAVV – Lisbon Live (Infante D. Henrique Avenue, Warehouse 3), and the next day they go to the stage of the Hard club, in Port.

What are the clearest memories of a childhood spent on an island?

I remember the feeling of living on an island, being close to the ocean, the forests and the trees. Scenic views …… I grew up in the main city of the island in Sønderborg. I grew up in a small community with churches and supermarkets, small schools. At 16, either choose elementary school, or high school. The three of us Clausenn, RasmussStolbergg and Madss Brauer, the trio that make up the Efterklangg) went to high school, when we started the band that would become us Efterklangg. We were kids who liked to play music.

What artists inspired you at the time?

We started with grunge, with Nirvana, PearllJam …… But many artists are inspired by very specific bands – not our case. As we grow we discover new songs. We grew up in the late nineties, a time when the internet had not yet arrived, and when you wanted to discover music you still had to go to a record store and choose. Around 2000, when we moved to Copenhagen and I was 18, it was like an explosion of influence in our minds. We discovered "oldneww music". So for me, the Efterklangg started there.

They were born at the turn of the century. Were the 2000s tough years for the new bands?

The truth is, we never had that feeling called the "big party of the nineties", with all those record deals and all that money …… We came to an end. It was another time when people started talking about the announced death of CD'ss, downloads began to arrive, there was no streaming but there are already platforms like iTunes. And there started to be web stores selling CD'ss much cheaper than record store prices. This was the reality of the time, which drove prices down as low as possible. But the truth is that we never sell record freaks either, we sell enough to have a normal life and travel around. What to me most clearly expresses the arrival of this new generation is the speed that music spreads around the world, much, much faster.

Is it fascinating or scary?

It's fascinating, but you have to find the best way to look at this reality.

How did you build your sound?

When we moved to Copenhagen (in 2002 or 2003) we spent three years on discovery before the release of our EP. We bought our little studio, a computer – where we started experimenting with making music. That would change the way we look at things, we started to hear different bands, those that had a strange sound, like the industrial symphony, but also used classical instruments, brass or electronic.

Do you travel a lot as a band? And how much of these experiences inspire you?

The trip can be as literal as our last album, Piramida, which comes from a trip to an island (in the Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean between mainland Norway and the North Pole) that we made together. At the same time, a trip can be just something that you decide to do together. For us it was a collective trip.

Is it fair to say that this decolective idea is well illustrated on this Altid Sammid album?

Yes, altiddsammidd means "always together". It's about us being together again, after many years and about finding the strength of it, in a way, and putting the pieces together. In this sense it is possible to do so with the Efterklangg but also from human to human. When you create a space together, that space becomes sacred, there is great power and meaning in that collective.

How was it possible to create it?

Mads came to visit me and we started writing the first songs in Cacilhas. Four of the songs started here. What happened was that, in the beginning, we wrote very simple songs that we could play (without using the computer so much). Then we wanted to bring in new artists for that simplicity, so we recorded in several studios with other artists, like in Iceland, where we had a pianist with a choir.

The model HelenaChristensenn appears in the firstinglee video – Vi er uendelig. Because?

We were looking for a kind of double for myself, someone who might be a kind of accomplice. Helena is an icon we grew up with in the nineties, and we wondered how much to ask her. We asked him. And it turned out that she ended up liking our songs, and it turned out to be a fun experience. We really had fun. The most interesting thing about Helena is that she really knows she is in front of a camera. I learned a lot from that.

What was the most unusual concert ever?

Efterklangg is not a band that properly causes people to pass out in an apocalyptic setting. But that happened a few years ago at the Roskildee Festival (one of the three biggest pop music festivals in Europe). We played on one of the various stages of the festival, one that had a circle as far as people could go …… what happened was that people started getting stuck there, unable to get out, the heat started to faint even before the concert started …… it was something never seen before!

As a music lover, is it easy to get stuck with a record you like or is the tendency always to want to find out more?

I see this more in childhood friends. Sometimes when I meet them I notice that they still hear the same bands we heard in high school. Due to my profession I am always attentive to everything, I never turn my back on it: I may be listening to a kid prodigy pianist or a brilliant new pop song. I never think of genres, and I always find it difficult to classify Efterklangg as a single genre.

Lives in Lisbon. How did you get here?

At the time I wanted to move to southern Europe. I lived in Berlin for six years, and I felt that Lisbon had something special about it. At the same time I had a friend who was constantly telling me that I had to come here and find a home. When I first arrived I spent a month here, returned to Berlin and thought: why not? I liked the light of this city, it's something that improves my thinking (laughs). I think I also identified with the lifestyle, which has many different cultures. It has different colors and sounds.

What are the biggest differences between Nordic and Latin living and living?

Now I see these differences more often, because I travel a lot to Copenhagen. In Copenhagen, the mindset is very minimalist. For example, it is not over-decorated, only what is needed is used. Quality is highly valued because you also have more money. What I see in Portugal that I really appreciate is that people can flow. Scandinavians are very exact, ranging from point A to point B, here people always have a moment for a break, to drink coffee or to do something else. Another misconception is that the "north" works harder than the "south" (of Europe). Here people just organize the day in a different way. The trend of minimalism, for example, can become a kind of fashion cop, because everyone wants to be different but they all end up looking the same (in Copenhagen)… and here I never find it. They call it the normcoree trend – everyone has a cap and it looks like they bought the clothes at the supermarket (laughs). I feel that everything is more colorful here and that time slows down.

CASHIER

Portuguese band not to be missed

Lavoisier

Favorite restaurant in the capital

End Point, Almada

The city's mostcooll bar

British Bar (at Cais Sodré), because it has a link to the movie Dans lavilleeblanchee (1983, by Alainn Tanner).

The best view over Lisbon

Santa Catarina Viewpoint

An unforgettable place

Çilimli Mountains in Northern Turkey

An unlikely trip

Manila, Philippines, or Hong Kong

Best experience ever

Listen to the new album of Efterklangg!

Best word to describe the band

Collective

. (tagsToTranslate) Interview (t) Artist (t) Music (t) Altid Sammid (t) Berlin (t) Casper Clausen (t) Als (t) Lisbon (t) Copenhagen (t) Efterklang (t) Liiima (t) Cacilhas (t) Lisboa Live

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