THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR have been on orbit to success since they very first left the launchpad in 2009. Directly after making their first recordings, the duo – which consists of Mette Lindberg and Lars Iverson – were invited to support Amy Winehouse; which was, incidentally, their first proper live show. From there, the stars certainly aligned, with their music being featured on everything from iPod and department store commercials, to documentaries and the Mad Men soundtrack. Now the interstellar duo are touching down again, with the recent release of their third album Bring Us Together.
Opening with raucous applause, hoots and warbly bubblegum vocals, Bring Us Together is like a twisted rollercoaster ride. The sound is big, blown up, stretched across a cinema screen. It’s almost cartoon-ish, but it also glitters with a hint of delicacy beneath all of the wooze. ‘Everything will change, all for the better’ coos Mette Lindberg, her voice glitching in and out. This is pop, through and through, and it’s infectious. The bass of Navigator really drives, pulling shoulders into a satisfying roll, laden with catchy whistle-alongs. Every track drips with shimmery harmonies, and a bouncing energy that wraps itself up before it can become exhausting. It’s almost a shame that this record’s coming out just as the summer breathes its last European gasps; this is music to play through your boombox in the park, on a Saturday afternoon. It’s music to blare from your car speakers from the parking lot of the beach, as you watch people strut by in their bikinis. In another sense, perhaps it’s fortunate to have this slice of synthetic sunshine to keep us warm through the winter.
Mette is like a tiny jewel to behold, small and sparkling, softly spoken and with a crown of bright blonde hair. After talking me through her meeting and impression of Lars in the small, tight-knit musical scene of Copenhagen, we move onto the new album and the forces of inspiration behind it.
How would you say ‘Bring Us Together’ compares, sonically, to ‘Out of Frequency?’
Out of Frequency is a bit more cinematic. We wanted to make it sound like a soundtrack, and the songs are about different characters that we created, to have these small stories going on. Bring Us Together is a bit darker, with more sampled sounds, the way the beats have been looped. It’s not drums playing, it’s Lars sampling himself and then cutting up the samples. We felt, after touring a lot, that we needed to come back to our relationship as friends, loving to be together and make music. Because it can kill you, being away from home a lot, being in a small bus on the road all of the time. We just needed some fresh air; to make an album that was honest and here and now, and about us, you know? A lot of the songs reflect our longings, our needs, things that we want… The search for euphoria. The feeling that you will live forever, and this night will never stop. And sex, and energy… We wanted all of that. We wanted to take it away from all the retro 60s and 70s stuff that we really like, because we love a lot of other music. We felt that we perhaps grew away from where we started, seven years ago. I think it’s more 90s or millennium, the vibe of trance music, a club vibe. It’s the most honest album we’ve ever made. It’s the album that brought us back together.
Is that where the title came from?
Yeah, kind of! But also, the powerful thing about music is that it ties people together. It’s something that you don’t have to understand, you just feel it. There are many ways to grab it. It’s an amazing thing. We love music, and we love making music that we like. Hopefully other people will like it as well. We make melodies that we want to dance to, or cry to, or say ‘ah.’ That’s the most important thing. Because we have our own record label, we can really do what we want. That feels super honest.
That must feel like a real achievement, to be able to get by simply doing what you love.
Yeah, it is. Now we just hope that other people will like it, and come along to shows, to make it work.
I read that Lars put together a lot of the album while you guys were on the road, playing 150 shows in under a year or something crazy like that. It’s amazing, first of all, that he found the time to do that. But do you think he almost felt as though he had to do it; from projecting outwards all of the time, playing shows, to instead turning inwards and creating something?
Lars likes to go into his own world, I think that’s really important to him. Also, because he is the producer and he lays the foundations, that sort of needs to be ready. I can have a melody for a song, and then he creates something on top of that, but it’s most often the other way around. Lars is constantly working and producing, it’s important for him to always be moving, always; experiencing new things, it’s good for his head.
You’ve had a huge audience right from the beginning; your first show was in support of Amy Winehouse, and then you were featured as part of an iPod commercial. Have you ever felt as though you’re under a lot of pressure, that there are high expectations of you?
I always think, ‘no one is going to show up tonight, I think there are going to be ten people.’ Luckily, there are always a lot of people. We don’t know what’s going to happen [with the new record]. We play four or six new songs live. I always expect that it could be nothing, so then it’s always a nice surprise: ‘Ah, there’s twenty people, not ten!’ (laughs)
In the past you’ve cited David Lynch as an influence. There’s something very theatrical about his work, and ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR also have this element; you’re always wearing these incredible outfits, for example, full of sequins and glitter. Do you have a particular interest in fashion?
Actually, no. I love to dress up and I love when people dress well, and I love when people dress personally. I’m not down with fashion, but I like it. I wear what I like. I don’t like to blend in.
Where would you say you draw a lot of inspiration from, outside of music?
It’s everything you meet. The TV series that you watch, the countries you travel, in, the people that you meet. The music that you hear, the fashion that you see. It’s just everywhere.
What are a couple of key things you’d like to achieve in the remainder of the year?
I’m really looking forward to playing our own club shows. I would love for our album to be a success. I really hope that people love our music, because we put so much energy and work and love into it. I feel it’s the best we ever did, and I hope that other people will feel the same. It’s just terrible if they don’t. (laughs) Oh, and I would love to play at Coachella. We’ve never done that.
What do hope and passion mean to you?
Passion is a dragging energy. It’s something you feel in your body and you get high from it, just the thought of it. Drugged. All of your energy is there. That’s passion. It can also be sexual. It’s sexual energy towards everything in life. Passion is a warm volcano inside of you.
Hope… Hope is something that is strong, that you use to pick yourself up. But hope seems a little bit lonely, so I’d like to pair hope with dreams. They’re a part of the same family, but I think it makes it more sexy to combine them. Knowing that you want something and that you’re going to reach out and take it.
[one_half last=”yes”]THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR
Bring Us Together
Label: Hot Bus Records/ Rough Trade
01. Bring Us Togehter
03. My Club
04. Get Connected
05. Choke It
07. Rock The Ride
08. I Am The Mountain