INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Having already made a name for themselves in their native Denmark with a melodic brand of post-rock, experienced duo Jan Petersen and Marco B∅geh∅j earlier this year decided to develop their sound by making a few tweaks and bringing a fresh approach to songwriting.
As a result, the two-piece have adopted a new moniker of Me & Munich, and with the release of an EP, entitled ‘Knives Of The Sun’, later next month, Jan spoke to me about the recording process, what can be expected from the upcoming offering, and more.
How did the two of you meet?
Three years ago, when playing in Shocking White, we needed a drummer. We had tried out a few candidates through an advert without luck, and we actually for a short time considered having a drum machine.
However, when Marco arrived, there was no doubt that he was our drummer. He played technically and hit hard, and he was just a very nice, down-to-earth guy.
What made you both decide to go into music together?
Our bass player left in January, because he didn’t wanna go to the studio and be that serious anymore about the band. We had these strong songs with a lot of potential that we believed in, so we just wanted to go all in and record them.
It actually made us work harder and become closer to each other – both musically and personally. We hired a bass player for the studio, and had great help from our producer Andres Linnemann, who really understood our vision.
Recently, the two of you decided to change your band’s name to Me & Munich. How did that come about?
We had to do something new with these new songs that we sensed had a more well-composed and catchy sound than earlier. We didn’t wanna be compared to the old sound that was more noisy, lo-fi, and underground. The new song deserved something new, as we had grown as musicians.
What are your main musical influences?
Marco is very much into the whole metal genre – especially prog – but also jazz, grunge, rock, etc. I am more into noise-rock, post-punk, indie, but also metal from the 90’s.
What inspires you both lyrically?
I write the lyrics, and what inspires me is the whole human psychology – how complex we are and how we react and survive as sensitive people under pressure, just to be accepted for who we are.
We have a lot of strategies to keep our identity strong on the outside, and sometimes unconsciousness on the inside, because it’s too hard to face what we really are. That inspires me a lot.
Next month, you will be unveiling a debut EP under your new name, entitled ‘Knives Of The Sun’. How has the recording process been for that?
We recorded the EP in Aarhus, Denmark in four days. We have had some bad experiences earlier with producers who didn’t understand us or wanted to control too much.
However, this time we had a few meetings with Andreas, where we put the expectation level and made a plan for the process. Andreas is a very kind and patient man, and he had a lot of great ideas that we have used on the record. He really understood our vision and was really respectful about that.
And how will the upcoming release differ to the work you both put out as Shocking White and Ear & Dark?
As I said before, this time we are leaving the underground. With these songs, we think we can go further and reach more people. We haven’t planned the songs like that – they have just came out in that way, and we thought they deserved a better production and more attention.
Therefore, we have also established a good co-operation with a Danish mangement company called Prime Collective, who will be able to push the record worldwide together with our record company, Screamlite Records.
Are there any plans, at the moment, for the band to play live?
We have a few gigs in Denmark – but we hope to go on a tour later, however, the record has to be released first, and thereby hopefully, the bookers will be interested. We hope to get around Europe. Nobody really knows us yet, so we have to build up a new fan group.
You’re both from Denmark. What are your opinions of the current music scene there?
There are a lot of metal bands that are getting signed – both internationally, and in Denmark. There is a strong fan dedication for that genre.
Otherwise, there are a lot of small bands and independent labels. Denmark is a small country – and with many bands around, there is strong competition.
And finally, what are your plans following the EP’s release?
We want to go on tour and promote the EP. That is our dream. Right now, we are working on finding a bass player for our concerts, and the next step is getting ready for some shows we have in Aarhus and Copenhagen.
We hope the EP will get a lot of positive response and reviews, which will bring us new opportunities for the future, for instance, recording a full-length album in the spring of next year would be nice, as we still have a lot of material.
ME & MUNICH’S EP, ‘KNIVES OF THE SUN’, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 20.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE.