Interview: Men Among Animals
Published on September 11th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
So taken were we with the recent Men Among Animals album Buried Handsome – “experimental pop music is alive and well and has family in Denmark” we said in our four-quail review – that we sought to find out more about them.
We sent Rocksucker’s house carrier pigeon off Denmarkwards and the wee feathered marvel came back with the following answers, courtesy of lead singer Lasse Nielsen…
Have you been playing many festivals this summer? If so, any particular highlights?
No, sadly no festivals this summer. In fact, we haven’t played a gig since 2011. We have been focusing on writing songs and recording the album. We are, however, looking forward to playing live this October, where we visit Germany once again.
Was it difficult to make the transition from five members to three? And do you think you’ll remain as three?
Difficult, yes! The two guys leaving were an important part of the band and, not least, dear friends of us. But it was also good in a way. The sound on the new album Buried Handsome is much more minimalistic and mellow and much more us.
We don’t think we could have made this album as a five member group. In this respect, we are very satisfied with being only three and we do think we will remain as such.
There are many great Danish bands, but it’s rare for them to sound as summery as you guys. What would you say made you sound like this?
The great thing about music (and art in general) is that it moves you – it takes you somewhere… The summery feeling is where we want to be taken when we hear music and so this is where our music means to take you.
The softness of the vocals, the distance and the fragility of the guitar, and the sort of “brown” production of bass and drums together feeds this summery mood.
What was the inspiration behind the title Buried Handsome?
The album is about death – and in fact, many of the songs had working titles containing the word ‘death’ at some point in the process. But it’s not about death in the traditional cheesy “don’t-wanna-die” category. And it is also not about death in the “longing for death” kind of way (such as Jim Morrison’s “This is the End” and The Postal Service’s “Sleeping In”).
And even further, it is not about death in the more philosophical hippie-like “death is the beauty of life” approach (such as The Flaming Lips’ “Do you Realize??”). Rather, this album says: “Hey! You are about to die, so…you might wanna do something with your life…now!”
This is the inspiration for the title. If you’re going to die – do it handsomely.
And who came up with the title “Failures, Flaws, Regret and Remorse That Follow From Traditional Political Opportunism”?
Hey, you’re only halfway through the title. It reads: “Failures, Flaws, Regret and Remorse That Follow From Traditional Political Opportunism (And How it Might be Solved in a Provocative However Plausible Way)”.
I believe I came up with this title. I think it is one of the few songs to have kept its working title. It’s a brilliant title! It is spot on what the song is actually about.
It’s very early to be asking, but do you have material in mind yet for your next album? If so, what can you tell us about it?
We don’t have material for another album yet. But, you know, we don’t really work that way… We go somewhere, write the songs, and record the album. Therefore, it doesn’t really make any sense to write the material in advance.
Whenever we have tried to do that, we have changed it so much in the recording sessions that it could just as well have been completely new material anyway.
Any plans to come to the UK any time soon?
I think we have only played UK once, and that was awesome! A freak-show festival! At this point we have no plans, but we would love to visit UK again sometime.
Finally, if you’ve had the time to be listening, which other albums from 2013 have you enjoyed?
We must admit that we haven’t had much time to listen to new music. But we think the new Vampire Weekend album is very cool and have also enjoyed The National’s newest album.
Men Among Animals, thank you.
Buried Handsome will be released on August 23rd through Tapete Records.