Reptile Yoth - 2014 - Peter Kaaden

Photo by Peter Kaaden

A week ago the innovative NORTHSIDE FESTIVAL in the Danish city of Aarhus once again set new standards due to its creative environment and visitors’ enthusiasm. While moving from one stage to another, NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION took the opportunity to speak to the leader of the popular Danish band REPTILE YOUTH, whose performance has shocked us to the core. The duo consisting of Mads Damsgaard Kristiansen and Esben Valløen are making post-punk in the best traditions of the Brooklyn teams such as THE RAPTURE and RADIO 4.

After the release of their 2012 self-titled debut album the guys went on a huge tour, followed by radio singles, and a grand remix album. In March this year the band pleased their fans with a second album with the more intricate title – On Rivers That Run for a Sea That Is Gone. Despite Mads’ comment that this album has no potential hits”, you will not help but swing your hips smoothly to the music, and the lines of the songs will settle firmly in your mind. If you were lucky enough to see the band’s live performance at the recent NORTHSIDE FESTIVAL, you will not forget this.

Where do you get your energy for the concerts?
I don’t know? I think it has been inside me all the time. We don’t have any immediate music career goals. Not concrete goals at least. We know how it feels to sit on a bus. And then suddenly a song cuts your world in two. Or glues it back together again. Or how it feels to take off your head on a dancefloor somewhere at 5 in the morning. Somebody did it to us. We want to do it to you too.

When and why did you start playing?
I started singing when I was very little. I had to help my dad doing the dishes after dinner. And when we did that he always put on old records. THE BEATLES, PINK FLOYD or NEIL YOUNG. And we sang along. Thats kind of when it all started I guess.  Right now I am listening to the new DAMON ALBARN record. And a guy called DAMIEN JURADO. He released a new record recently that is amazing. And KANYE WEST. Yeezus is almost punk at some points. At least it is very anarchistic. It does exactly what it feels like.

What makes a good session?
The good things often come when you feel safe. And you need a lot of trust. To each other. And to the situation. If you worry what other people might say you’re not gonna find the interesting things. And fun. It needs to be fun.

Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
We give each other a hug. Look each other in the eyes.

What image do you think does your music convey?
I think it’s a very individual thing. That people can listen to something and completely different images will pop up in their heads. Even brothers or close friends.

If you had to describe your music in 3 or 4 words, what would you call it?.
1.: Listen!
2.: For!
3.: Yourself!

If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry what would it be?
To destroy all the fear.

What do you think about the growth of the popularity of danish music?
I like it. I think the Danish scene is very interesting right now. So many good things are coming out of Copenhagen these days. And I like that the scene here is so diverse. We got a lot of good punk like ICEAGE and LOWER. We got electronic inspired artists like TRENTEMØLLER, BROKE, RANGLEKLODS. We got cool ass wonder girls like . And I could keep on going. I’m proud to be a part of that.