Interview: I Got You On TapePosted: 16/01/2013 When it comes to the Danish indie rock game, the members of I Got You On Tape are long-time players. Formed in 2004, the group has four full-lengths to its name, the most recent of which is 2011′s “Church of the Real.”
But the album did more than service the band’s fans when it landed the group a nomination in 2012′s Danish Music Awards for the category of Danish Songwriter of the Year. The award ultimately went not to songwriter and vocalist Jacob Bellens, but to Danish-language popstar Rasmus Seebach. However, that the group was nominated perhaps points to the country’s music scene embracing alternative music more. Other Danish indie bands that were nominated include When Saints Go Machine, Spleen United, and Oh Land.
“The Copenhagen music scene is really happening these days,” guitarist Jacob Funch said. “There [are] a lot of really talented musicians and everybody gets inspired by everybody, which I guess is the reason for this pretty evident ‘new danish sound.’ There’s some positivity going on; it seems like everything’s possible, you know?”
And he’s right, as it seems that Danish music is no longer being relegated to the Scandinavian world. Of course, singing in English opens up more possibilites for groups to expand beyond their home base, and the Danes are catching on to that, although perhaps a bit later than their neighbors to the north did.
“In some ways it makes it more free, I think. It seems like you can paint with words in another way when it’s not your native tongue,” Funch shared, explaining IGYOT’s own reasoning for English instead of Danish. “I think the reason for writing English lyrics is also that most of the music we’ve been listening to and inspired by throughout our lives is sung in English. Plus English is a more universal language that helps you communicate with a broader range of people than when you stick to Danish.”
It may seem like a no brainer, but at the same time, Denmark is a country whose biggest pop stars are still singing in Danish, proving that popular music there has not been anglicized.
As for IGYOT, a new album is on the horizon, but more distant than anything else.
“We’ve been so busy touring the last year or more that we haven’t really had time to settle on anything yet. But we’ll start recording sometime later this year,” Funch shared. “We have no idea how long it’s gonna take or how it’s gonna sound yet, apart from the fact that it will sound good, of course.”
He gave some insight into the general songwriting process, which usually consists of Bellens writing songs on piano or guitar and providing the group–which also consists of bassist Jeppe Skovbakke and drummer Rune Kielsgaard–with a collection of what he has compiled.
“The three of us [listen]…and at some point we compare favorites and go into a phase of experimenting, producing, and seeing where things can go,” Funch said. “Sometimes we jam in our rehearsal space, and sometimes we just begin to build in the studio…and slowly an album begins to take shape.”
The group takes its time with this process, and luckily has the luxury to do so. Although Funch mentioned the standard problem of not getting paid enough for making music, he also said that the four don’t let it discourage them from giving their all.
“None of us do anything besides music,” he said. “All of us are trying to change the world with music.”
I Got You On Tape plays tonight at Comet Club in Berlin. The show begins at 21.00.