Each month, the Ja Ja Ja club night takes over The Lexington in London, bringing three of the brightest new Nordic artists from the region along for the ride…
Following on from a brilliant show with sets from Jennie Abrahamson, Psyence Fiction and Mont Oliver last month, Ja Ja Ja is now raring to return on the 26th March with performances from three outstanding acts that you should be sure to catch!
Get ready to join us at The Lexington on Thursday 26th March to witness performances from Norway’s Apothek, Sweden’s Hey Elbow and Iceland’s Dísa as well as inter-set sounds provided by our resident DJs, Project Fresh Socks!
As the show edges ever nearer, we’re getting to know the artists that will be joining us a little better, so read on to find an exclusive interview with Norwegian duo Apothek, who are fresh from completint a tour in Norway and the EU supporting fellow musician and 2015’s favourite songstress, Susanne Sundfør.
Tickets are £5 in advance for members (£8 on the door for non-members), and on sale now from Billetto. Make sure to sign up as a Ja Ja Ja member to be the first to hear about our events, and to access exclusively discounted tickets as well as super-hot offers on Nordic activities around town!
Spotlight Interview: Apothek
For those that haven’t met you yet, could you please introduce yourselves – who are you, where are you from, and how would you describe what you do?
We are Apothek.
Apothek are Nils and Morten. We bring Ludvig for the live shows. We are based in Oslo, and we try to make the best music possible.
We can’t even begin to describe how much we loved your first track ‘Family’…! What is the story behind that song?
First of all: thank you very much. We’re glad you like it!
‘Family’ is the first track we made when we decided to find out what would happen if Morten and me (Nils) were to make music together. We come from very different musical backgrounds and we had no idea what would happen when these two sets of esthetics collided. The mixture of organic and electronic sound sources instantly felt fresh and pleasing to both of us. It was made over a short period of time in my Oslo studio and turned into the song that made us realise that we definitely should continue working in the studio.
We know you both from other music projects – so at what point did you decide to start working together?
It’s strange, but neither of us can recall how it happened. We met through friends we have in common and got along very quickly. Then we realised that we have some musical preferences and interests that either line up perfectly or diametrically oppose one another, and that felt very interesting. Then at some point we just decided to meet up in my studio for a few days and see what happened.
And what do you enjoy the most about your collaboration?
Well. The aforementioned balance of preferences can lead to interesting discussions and aesthetic choices that turn out great. The fact that Morten comes from a pretty strict lyrical songwriter background and Nils from a more compositional and producer background is probably the foundation of the project. This makes it easy for a track to have gone through many options, techniques and quality checks before it is deemed finished. It’s fun to have so many possible routes for a song within the band.
Remixes have featured quite prominently in the music you’ve released so far, be that you guys remixing Marit Larsen or inviting people to remix your own tracks – what do you think is the golden rule when it comes to remixing?
The golden rule is to have as few rules as possible. But one I do practice when I remix for others under the Apothek name is to only work with the vocal parts and treat it as a melody idea for a “new song”, and think “what would make this a good Apothek track?” So I always try to create a new song out of it.
You rounded off the year supporting Susanne Sundfør on tour in Norway and a few European dates – how did it feel to take the Apothek songs to a live setting?
It felt great. We wanted to think of it as a proper band. We wanted the sounds to be played and we wanted to make sure that the possibility to completely screw everything up was there as much as in a rock band.
We don’t want to just add a bit of spice onto some pre-programmed tracks. Not playing an identical show each night makes it so much more fun, but it’s great fun to play live and it seems we will be doing it quite a bit in the coming months.
So talking of live shows, what can we expect from your upcoming performance at Ja Ja Ja?!
We’re really looking forward to that one! We really like the venue and will do everything in our power to make it a memorable and loud experience.
Do you have any good new music tips to share with us?
Well. We have to mention our friends in Psyence Fiction – where Nils is also a band member. Aleksander Johansen has a great voice.
And we also want to mention a band called Splashgirl as often as humanly possible. A doom jazz band that is just thoroughly perfect.
Susanne Sundfør’s new record is quite perfect as well, but that is widely known to be true.
I think there are new releases coming up from Cold Mailman, Philco Fiction and Kollwitz this year. Fantastic bands. Morten would like to mention Atlanter. The new Jonas Alaska record is really good as well.
And lastly one of Nils’ favorite bands The White Birch just released a new record that is really lovely.
And finally, what does the rest of the year hold for you? Both for Apothek and for your individual projects?
We will be finishing up more material some time before the summer and we hope to get it out early in the fall. So that is one thing that is going to take up a lot of our time. Also we have our current European tour with Susanne Sundfør in March.
Hopefully the summer season will fill up with some festivals we can visit and meet new people.
In addition to this Morten is releasing a new solo record in April/May produced by Nils. And Nils will continue to tour with Psyence Fiction.
So all in all – exciting times ahead. We want to meet as many new friends around as possible and have fun doing Apothek related work as much as we are allowed to by the people out there who wants to hear us play.