An Interview With Jonas

Once again, we asked Jonas Bjerre some questions that fans might be interested in. If you want to read the beginning of this interview (merely about festivals), click here.

How many albums, approximately,  have you sold total (worldwide)?

– I actually don’t know. I haven’t read any worldwide statements since Kites. I think it’s going pretty well, considering the state of the music industry. But we wouldn’t mind if more people actually bought the albums! ha ha

Will Bamse get a studio recording someday or do you plan to keep it a live show exclusive (comparing this to Shelter which was played live for a long time before becoming Circuitry of the Wolf)?

– We should record it, shouldn’t we? I don’t know… I think there’s a demo we recorded on Silas’ piano in his apartment once, but the audio quality is very poor and the lyrics were completely non-sensical. I’d love to do a recording with the full band, I think Bo, Nick and Bastian harmonize really well on it. We’ll see.

What do you sing in the beginning of Introducing Palace Players (the very first sentence that is written on the album booklet as ”In which we make sure no-one got hurt”)?

– On the record, there is indeed a choir consisting of 4 girls who sing “in which we make sure no-one got hurt” as the faster-paced riff is sunk into that next part. However, their voices are obscured by lots of other stuff going on!

Will you ever release the early backdrops of Hawaii on YouTube or something (only Americans have seen these live)?

– The early version of Hawaii with the eye-less girls was made by Lasse Martinussen, it was beautiful, but felt too static for the song. I don’t know… maybe we’ll do something with them…

Are there any b-sides left from No More Stories -era, or are Owl, Start and Swimmer’s Chant the only ones? Is there also any particular reason why no singles (save for the EP) were released physically?

– There are lots of recordings, but nothing finished or mixed (as far as I can remember). We may go back and work on that, we’ll see. In the US the physical single format is much less important than in the UK where reaching the single top 20 (or maybe it’s 40) is crucial to “make it”. I don’t really like that chart system because bands are more or less forced into schemes of releasing 6 or 7 versions of each single to boost sales and make the coveted chart. But I do like the single format, especially 7″, if there’s quality stuff on the b-sides.

Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy has been in heavy rotation on Danish radio and now Norway, too (even radio edit). Do you consider this as the fourth single and will there be a proper release (thinking about the wonderful version we heard on the most recent video diary)?

– I don’t know if there’ll be a physical release, actually. I don’t think so. The version of the latter part of the verse which I used in the video diary is from an old demo recording, from before the song was even written in its entirety. Silas came up with that lovely percussive pattern, of foot-stamping, like a little dance. And Bo was playing these lovely notes going into it, which he later emphasized on the record with a ukulele, and I started adding layers of piano and vocals. Later on, Bo chopped up the piano bits and made that special piano rhythm appear. But that old demo recording only exists in separate bites of sound, in complete disarray. It would be like solving a jumble, making an entire song out of that material, but it’s worth considering, it has a nice feel to it. It may happen, if it can be assembled without sounding like a collage.

Also… about Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy, the kids and the location are the same in the backdrop as in the Beach -video, is there a connection?

– That is certainly up for interpretation. I would say yes.

When do you plan on starting to write new music? Will there be a US tour after the scheduled summer festivals? Have you already written something that is on early stages?

– We’re always writing music, separately and together. Obviously at times in more focused sessions. About the US tour, I definitely think so, but I don’t have a definite answer to that question yet.

How about releasing a new live-DVD (and/or blu-ray)?

– Can’t say for sure…

Planning to re-release Frengers on vinyl? Why not Kites when it’s already so obviously divided into four parts?

– I actually don’t know, but I really want all the albums vinyl myself!

Tero Heikkinen

11 thoughts on “An Interview With Jonas”

  1. Here’s hoping for more US dates! I was so sad to miss them last December, as the gig closest to me was on the day of an exam and I’d never have made it in time. 🙁

  2. Haha, most of his answers were “i don’t know” , “i hope so”, “can’t say for sure”, “we’ll see”, “maybe” and “I don’t have a definite answer”.

    But my love for Mew has not changed a single iota!

    Mysterious as his music, I say.

  3. Nice 🙂 I’d love them to record Bamse. I’d love them to release a new live DVD because everything about the No More Stories era is so great.
    Now I’m just planning on playing IPP until I hear “in which we make sure no-one got hurt”…

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