Northern Transmissions chatted with Rasmus stolberg from the Danish band ‘EFTERKLANG’. Their new album ‘Piramida’ is available on 4AD Records. Catch them live on tour in North America.
NT: Piramida has received many accolades, are you happy on a personal level with how the record turned out?
RS: Yes we are all three very happy with how it turned out. It might be the album we feel the best about, but lets see these things always change over time. We are also very happy with our current live band. We are still experimenting and exploring but we feel like we are on to something good.
NT: You recorded many samples for the album in the abandoned mining town of Spitsbergen, an old Russian settlement. How did you find this place, what attracted you to the place?
RS: We wanted to connect a specific location to the making of a new album and while we are coming up with ideas and looking at options we suddenly got an email from a Swedish film director. He suggested we should make a music video up there, but we knew almost instantly that this was the place we had been looking for making the next album. After this we spent so much time and energy trying to get permission to go up there from the Russian coal mining company that owns the ruin. After months of trying we had almost given up when we suddenly received an invitation from some german TV producers. They wanted us to join their expedition to Piramida. They were making documentaries on modern ruins and in a meeting with the coal mining company controlling Piramida the director had pulled out our application as an example of crazy artists interested in his ruin.
NT: Did you really head into the studio with over a thousand sound samples for ‘Piramida?
RS: Yeah, and that’s too many of course. We selected the sounds we had the fondest memories of and started from there. We still have libraries of untouched sounds in our computer.
NT: What was it like recording ‘Parades’ with a full backing orchestra?
RS: Do you mean the live concerts with orchestra? Performing Parades is a concert with orchestra recorded live. We are doing something similar with Piramida now. We played 16 Piramida Concerts with local orchestras in the fall of 2012 and we have some really nice recordings of this.
NT: In 2012 you did more shows with Orchestras, are their any further coming up? How do prepare for these types of gigs?
RS: It takes a lot of preparation, we have to design a special setup of our live band and then we have to decide on what orchestration the orchestra should have.Then after that we can start doing the arrangements and for this we work with some really great composers like Missy Mazzoli, Daniel Bjarnason and Karsten Fundal. Then there are lots of other factors. Scenography, lights, rehearsals and how to make a good sound setup with so many sound sources on stage. Ideally everyone can hear themselves and also what everyone else is contributing with. This is not easy with more than 50 musicians on stage.Then when the day comes you usually have around 6 hours of rehearsal with the orchestra before showtime. This is also a very challenging thing. To create a fruitful collaboration and tone together in such limited time. It is a lot of work, but we always leave stage totally uplifted after concerts like this.
NT: You worked with French filmmaker Vincent Moon on the project ‘An Island’, how did this come together and what was the process?
RS: We´ve told this story so many times already and I would not mind telling it again. But I would rather point out that we have just made a new documentary with the Danish filmmaker Andreas Koefoed. It is called The Ghost of Piramida and right now we are running Private-Public Screenings. Anyone can host a screening as long as they accommodate room for minimum 5 people and as long as entrance is free.
Read more here www.theghostofpiramida.com
NT: Which five Albums continue to inspire you?
Opiate – Objects for an Ideal Home
Einstürzende Neubauten – Silence is Sexy
Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden
Talking Heads – Remain in Light
Max de Wardener – Where I Am Today