Marybell Katastrophy

All our lives are filled with everything else than hope and passion together, but therefore it is of cause of critical importance to remind ourselves of these two aspects.”

It looks like Denmark is not done yet with constantly bringing great musical output over to the offices of NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION. We don’t know really where to start and where to end when it comes to naming all the fancy bands from our nordic neighbour. But we definitely know which group might be the next to look ouf for – MARYBELL KATASTROPHY. It’s kind of surprising that the band, who released its first EP This Is The One back in 2007, is still quite unknown outside their homecountry. And this although they almost won every possible danish music award. They surely have the songs and their sophomore album Amygdala – which will now also be released outside Denmark – has all the potential such a band needs.

Epic anthems, between indie cheekiness, grooving electronic and great songwriting. Music to embrace the masses without chuming up with them. And there is, of course, the stunning voice of Marie Højlund which brings a certain exotic vibe into the pop structures of MARYBELL KATASTROPHY. So, enough arguments and the best time to catch up with the charismatic singer and have a little chat about the new album, how they end up getting chosen by the legendary britrockers THE LIBERTINES and their love for rye bread.


How would you describe the sound of your new album?
Amygdala is ethereal female singing, edgy distorted electro, classic instruments and massive big beats destilled into pop hymns – combined with the poems and thoughts of danish writer, Morten Søndergaard. The album is called Amygdala because it is the small almond shaped part of the brain that deals with intuitive emotional responses such as fear and happiness. We hope that our music somehow also provokes emotional responses, also maybe negative ones, rather than leaving you indifferent (as a lot of mainstream music leaves us at least).


You started a big hype with the release of your first album “More”. Did you feel a special kind of pressure while recording the new record?
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We did a lot of thinking between the first and the second album, but we did not feel pressure besides our own ambitions and strive towards finding the new MARYBELL KATASTROPHY. First of all because this time we worked together through out the whole process, and decided to e.g. play all the songs live, to concentrate the songs and make them as simple as possible. It was a long but very fruitful process and we are very happy with the transformation from the first album.


You were the only non-british band invited by THE LIBERTINES to contribute for a special cover album of their debut “Up The Bracket”. Did this increase your publicity or the number of remix requests?
We did a lot of remixes in Denmark before, so we did not experience an increase in requests, but we got a lot of attention with THE LIBERTINES remix, and had a lot of fun doing it considering a very tight deadline – we did it in 24 hours. Often the most interesting remix oppotunities is with music that is very far away from your own, as with THE LIBERTINES, as it challenges you to find new ways, and dig into the core of the song being remixed, when genres are striped away.


What are your plans for the future?
We plan to enjoy ourselves, that is the most important for us – I say this, even though it sounds banal, because it is our experience that this is often forgotten in the hunt for success – so we don’t plan to much and don’t worry about what music business says we should or should not do. We really try to do things in our own tempo – and that does not allways sync with the way the music business works, or wants us to work.


What do you like especially about Denmark?
We like free education, the long summer nights and rugbrød (“rye bread”).


And on the other side, what don’t you like?
We dislike the growing fear that seem to pervade a lot of thinking in Denmark (as very well described in the new Thomas Vinterberg movie Jagten) e.g. reflected in the fact that you cannot bring homemade food when your child has birthday in the kindergarden, as homemade is dangerous and filthy and pre-fabricated food is good and safe. Of cause this is a small not very interesting fact in the big picture, but it says a lot about how fear can shape the way we think in a not very constructive way.


Our magazine is called NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION and we always ask this question: What does Hope and Passion mean to you?
I like that the two are intertwined conditioning each other. But I also think that the ‘nothing’ in your name is important, because when it claims that there is nothing else than hope and passion it is of cause because there is. But it says much about the strong sense of hope and passion to erase everything else – time, worries, everyday life and fear! All our lives are filled with everything else than hope and passion together, but therefore it is of cause of critical importance to remind ourselves of these two aspects. It also sounds a bit like an album title from the 80’s and that is meant in a positive way.