Photo by Matias Berger

Photo by Matias Berger

NOVEMBERDECEMBER are a folk band from Aarhus, Denmark – thankfully, they go easy on the banjo. Instead they’re imitating the peculiar style of picking on guitar. But still: No Banjo. Which aren’t the easiest to obtain in Aarhus, by the way. We did research. On some kind of Danish eBay, only a single one of those playful instruments was offered for local pickup, whereas troubadours from Copenhagen could lavishly chose between ten. At the end of the song Save Yourself, as you might discern, NOVEMBERDECEMBER strike some distinctively metallic chords – but don’t hesitate. It is a smart comment on the slow decline of the genre of folk music through sheer overwhelming supply and demand. Used as a fadeout only, the banjo could signal a change of times. A sarcastic element of composition. And the joyful strumming isn’t probably even a banjo.

The video to their song which you see below follows, at one point, a little boy wearing a football shirt riding a white horse through a concrete landscape of suburban nature. When I get the lyrics right (and I don’t comprehend the English language sometimes), it’s a very empowering song. For the lost and the lonely, for you, the weak, the strung down by social hell and love or pain. At some point watching this seemingly socio-critical illustration of the beautiful folk song Save Yourself (shot by Christina Amundsen), a description to a video at the YouTube sidebar suddenly caught my attention. KASHMIR covering My Only Friend. Your opinion on KASHMIR being what it may: Sadly, when we sat down with them, the band NOVEMBERDECEMBER didn’t respond ‘Stephin Merritt’ when asked which artists they were currently into. So if you want to listen to one of the greatest songs on the planet, you’ll have to hit the link and discover NOVEMBERDECEMBER first. It’s all about the views! But who am I talking to, right? Comment on Facebook if you liked what you saw. We at NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION did indeed! And their debut album is out now on iTunes, by the way. It’s called From The Swing Into The Deep. Go get it!

What can you tell us about Denmark’s music scene?
Well, first of all the music scene in Denmark is a very small and a very cosy place to be. Literally, when going on tour in Denmark, you can be sure to greet some fellow bands across the highways. Maybe that’s why we’re seeing a lot of exciting collaborations emerge from all around the country where bands gather forces and rethink the way of the traditional way of making music: Copenhagen Collaboration, Lydhavnen (Aarhus), Thy Music Collective etc. These collabos include musicians, producers and artworkers and really boost the creativity in both music and every other aspect around it.

What influences can you list?
Oh boy, we could make an everlasting list of people, places, moods and musicians that inspire us. An essential thing about us, I guess, is that we’re a bunch of very different guys, bringing a bunch of very diverse influences into the band mentality. I mean, if we’re writing new music and Mikael’s favorite football team has just won an important match, he’ll probably be playing really fast, while some of us (who couldn’t care less about football), will be digging into some ambient stuff, inspired by some Danish record from the late 80s. It definitely sounds like it shouldn’t be working, but it does for us. Right now, we’re riding a wave of fast-going beats and deep vocals and we’re really having fun in the rehearsing room!

What other current artists are you particularly into?
At the moment, we’ve been listening a lot to THE WAR ON DRUGS, TEMPLES, ALICE BOMAN, GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV and KURT VILE!

What does the future hold for you?
A lifetime of fame, money and really nice cars. And besides from that, our debut album From The Swing Into The Dee will be out in Germany in January, so we will be doing our first German tour in mid-winter 2015! The near future is dedicated to writing new music and as long as we’re having as much fun doing that as we are now, I think we’ll be alright! And regarding the fame and money-thing: We’re a folk band, so of course the only thing we truly wish for is an old cabin in the woods.

Would you rather have a dragon or be a dragon?
As a band, we would definitely rather have a dragon than be one. Imagine the time and money we could save, flying from venue to venue on our personal dragon. Besides, if we all were dragons, we wouldn’t really be able to fit into our really small rehearsal room in the basement.

Would you rather have legs the size of fingers or fingers the size of legs?
Fingers the size of legs wouldn’t really be a great match for a band with a ridiculously large amount of guitars, so we’ll go with the legs the size of fingers. However that would look on a press photo.

Would you rather whisper or shout for the rest of your life?
Now, these questions are getting slightly out of hand. So you decide: Would you rather listen to a whole album with us whispering the lyrics gently for 40 minutes OR shouting them into the microphone? Before you decide, remember that we’re a 5-piece band with all of us singing at once most of the time.

What was your ‘The Moment That Everything Changed’?
We had a very long ‘moment-that-changed-everything’ during the recording of our debut album. It took us more than a year from we started until the very last piece of the puzzle came to place. We recorded, produced and mixed the entire album ourselves and it was definitely during this period of time that we truly got together as a band. We spent so much time together, making music, throwing ideas into the trashcan, coming up with new ideas, making more music that we got to know every little detail about each other and almost grew into one big 10-eyed creature. Luckily, at some point the album was finished and we could go back to normal again, reassuring each other that we would never do the same again, but also confident that we could manage everything as a band.

How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
Probably, the best way would be to take him for a walk down the coast of West Jutland on a windy day in the late autumn. And most importantly go to our parents’ house afterwards to get a cup of coffee and a piece of freshly baked cake. I think that’s what our music sounds like on this first album. Like troubled waters, big horizons and a good cup of coffee at your parents’ place.

What do hope and passion mean to you?
Well, obviously passion means everything to us. It’s our common passion that keeps us together as a band, and really the term ‘passion’ is perfect to describe anything revolving around making music, because the word is accepted for it’s lack of reason. I think passion and hope are some of the strongest forces in human nature, because they can be shared so easily and grow to twice their size each time they do.

[youtube id=”l5Nom7Btvt8″ width=”620″ height=”335″]