We caught up with Jakob Tvilling Pless on a cold night from Copenhagen Denmark on his way to a gig. The band is gearing up for a North American tour to support their latest album ‘Your Nothing’, out right now on Matador Records
NT: Despite even having a Jewish member in your band, the media has continued to accuse you of being right wing and having ties to skinhead groups. This all steaming from imagery in some of your albums. Are you trying to push people a bit more to think about your music?
JTP: We are by no means right wing, the symbols that we used are simply art that we enjoy. Some of the bands we like, probably are liked by people that might be conservative. We love Punk and Hardcore. I think people misread us due to the fact that we used a couple symbols on our record. I think it’s a good thing if a song challenges someone to think a bit.
NT: Your live shows have been described as pretty intense. Some have gone as far to compare them to revival meetings. How do you feel when your performing and you see the audience react with such intensity and adoration?
JTP: We really take it as a big compliment. The whole idea of our shows is that we really want people to have fun. The band really feeds of the crowd’s energy. Even when we are playing smaller rooms. We love when people have fun our shows. It’s a nice thing, usually after a gig, you can see many people smiling talking.
NT: The latest record ‘Your Nothing’ still has the same intensity as ‘New Brigade’. But this time you have a bit of a softer song, with piano on it called ‘Morals’. It seems like a bit of a change of pace.
JTP: Well, ‘Your Nothing’ was written a bit later on after ‘New Brigade’. We had loads of new song ideas that we wanted to experiment with or try. The piano really felt good in that song, it just kind of really fit. We also didn’t want to make the same album again, we really wanted to make something different.
NT: The band does have sort of a mystique to it. Are you making a conscious effort not to overexpose yourselves at an early age?
JTP: I don’t think were being deliberately secretive or mysterious, we do different interviews which we want to do, were doing this one with you.
NT: You guys started ‘Iceage’ at a really young age, I believe you were all in your early teens. Did you always want to play in a band? Is their something else you might be interested in doing outside of music.
JTP: I really always wanted to play music. We played music in my parents attic. Elias had a drum kit, he didn’t even have any where to keep it. So we kept in the attic and started playing music whenever we could. Lots of kids were doing all sorts of things, we really wanted to almost always play music. I can’t see myself doing anything else but playing. If I ever get bored, I will probably stop playing.
NT: It can’t be that bad, you get paid to play rock n roll and travel the world.
JTP: It’s really wonderful, I wouldn’t be doing anything else. I love playing in Japan and Eastern Europe, it’s so interesting. The Japanese don’t dance much, they stand there and listen to our music so intently, they are really passionate about it.
NT: Can you tell us five albums that are still influencing you from when you first started playing?
JTP: No, (lol) there are far to many that I love to much. I would have no idea where to start.