Blending politically charged lyrics with an upbeat, flamboyant pop sensibility, Danish alternative-pop band Nûrnbear are preparing to announce themselves to a UK audience through the release of their catchy single Isolation, out now via We Are Suburban.
In this interview spotlight, we chat with Nûrnbear about the latest releases, motivations, challenges and more.
Full Q&A along with links and a stream of Isolation below.
What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
I’ve been part of different projects, always with rock music being the driving force. It has been almost a matter of course that when I wrote a song it consisted loud guitars, power-drumming etc. But I think I’ve always had an attraction towards writing more electronic poppy tunes. Like flirting with it. Never had the guts to do it, though.
So this project started out as a rock-band as well. But at some point during our creative process, i decided to put down the guitar for a while. First of all because i’m a terrible guitar player, but also because I felt more free to perform without a guitar. The plan was originally to find a devoted guitar player, but suddenly we became inspired when we wrote songs without. Around the same time, Christian (beats) & I began to learn working in Logic, using samplers etc. And we wrote a bunch of songs, which were mainly based on computer & synthesisers, and suddenly we had developed this new sound. A sound were which is difficult to describe genre wise, but its obviously more “poppish” and danceable than anything we’ve ever done before.
Since we began writing this way, it’s felt like a band reborn. And we’ve spend loads of time developing our sound up to a point were we now are ready to show it to the rest of world, which I exiting as hell to be honest.
What led you into this journey with music?
Really it’s not a choice. Some people grow up and know they want to be doctors or teachers or whatever. It’s the same for us and for people like us. If it was a choice, we would probably have chosen a profession that was a little more safe financially. But it’s an obsession, a calling really, and we can’t do anything else.
Also, playing live, playing your music for people and get that instant reaction is the most beautiful thing in the world, and certainly makes it worth all the struggles that comes along (like being broke, being away, being hungovered all the time).
And further, what drives you to push it out to the public?
When you do something well, or at least you think you do something well, you come to a point where you want to share your art/music/songs with people. Furthermore we think that we raise important issues, important questions. If we can make people think we’ve won. It’s been important for me to take important matters into consideration while writing lyrics. Our generation is such a fragile one, figuring out how to live in a world where the individual is up for grasp for the entire world, through social media and the like. We just try to remind the kids of the other good things in the world. And try to remind ourselves of them as well.
Who or what influences your creativity?
Being fans of music our influences are vast. As I mentioned before, all 4 guys from the band grew up on listening to rock bands. Beatles , Doors, Bowie etc. Our teen years we were listening to The Killers, Placebo, Interpol and other bands in the indierock genre.
While writing songs for Nûrnbear, we’ve been listening to a bunch of more modern acts. I believe that pop-acts are really some of the most inspiring acts to follow right now. Bands like Kendrick Llamar, Chance the Rapper, NAO etc. Hip Hop is the new rock n roll I guess. People growing up today will end up appreciating Kanye West the same way my parents appreciates John Lennon. I think this I exiting. With us being in our mid/late twenties I think we have inspirations from both of them. Hopefully this will appear in our musical univers as well. The best of both worlds.
But again anything that creates that special feeling inside, gives us goosebumps, across the genres and through the ages, that really floats our musical boat.
Have your tastes in music changed over time?
Oh yeah definitely. I think we change musical taste in the same way we change political views, taste in fashion etc. It’s just a part of your human development. I consider myself much more open to new genres today, than I was when I was 15. And thank god for that.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
We were trying to create a song that really resonates with people. Both in the terms of making catchy melodies but also by creating an interesting production and hopefully lyrics which people can relate to as well. I don’t know if we have accomplished either, but that is our main goal with this project.
What was the last song you listened to?
I will give you a few. We are very much into Sigrid- a Norwegian artist. We’ve been listening to her song Plot Twist obsessively. Other than that we’re very fond of the Danish artist The Chairman. His song Animate has been playing on repeat for a few weeks now. Last but not least, another Danish band called Alcabean really appeals to the rock part of my heart. I think they are releasing new stuff soon, and I’m really looking forward to this. UK wise, I have completely fallen in love with Honne.
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
That’s a difficult question. I have both. Obviously there are a lot of practical disadvantages regarding Vinyls. I mean, it’s hard to go grocery shopping or out for a run if you’re a devoted vinyl-fantatic. So it’s a combination of the two, vinyl and MP3.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
I use Spotify, and I absolutely love how I keep discovering new music by browsing through playlists. I think it has changed for the better, and it helps be develop my musical taste. It’s a great way to discover new music.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what is the biggest challenge you face when trying to connect with or find new fans?
Well you sort of put you finger on it in the question really. The abundance of music and choice makes a very choosy listener. At first I was kind of afraid that it would make life difficult for smaller acts, and indie-labels. The big labels tend to have a lot off influence these days. But we have actually experienced a lot of nice placements on playlists, which is kind of overwhelming. Especially considered that we are very indie. But it’s a great thing if the “tastemakers” over at Spotify are able to give smaller acts without huge budgets a chance.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more music?
We try to keep our facebook, instagram, twitter and so on, updated at all times of course. But of course we are on all streaming services, so if you click follow it should be possible to stay in the loop.
Anything else you’d like to add before signing off?
No i think we got through the most important bits. We are of course so thankful that the single has been taking in so well and of course we encourage the readers to stay tuned because awesome things are happening. And of course we really hope that we can play some gigs in the UK in near future.