Interview: Ketil Kinden Endresen of Casiokids

By on Thursday, 29th March 2012 at 11:00 am
 

In the wake of the magnificence that is their new album ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’ that I reviewed in January, we sent some questions over to singer / synthesiser man Ketil Kinden Endresen of Casiokids to answer. Read on to find out about how the album was recorded and their theme of a magical rainforest explorer, how the real London Zoo disappointed him, and his personal apology to the people of Cambridge…

I read on the press release for ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’ that you recorded the new album in an abattoir converted into a studio. Sounds a bit gruesome. Was it? Was there ever a feeling of unsettledness? How do you feel your surroundings affected, either positively or negatively, the recording?
Howls, grunts, squeals and barks from animal ghosts are indeed very scary. It keeps us on a healthy edge during the recording process.

When you guys were advertising for your Manchester Deaf Institute on Twitter, you mentioned Manchester had something to do with the writing of the chorus of “Aldri ska me ha det gøy’ and you Tweeted me a photo of a van being towed away. What’s the story behind this?
“Aldri ska me ha det gøy”= “We’re never ever going to have any fun”. It was a song we wrote there in 2009 after our van broke down on the way. Never fun.

The timing for ‘Olympiske leker’ and ‘London Zoo’ couldn’t have been better with the London Olympics this summer. Was this just a coincindence / happy accident? Any word if Norway will have you playing and representing them at the opening ceremony?

The idea for the Olympic theme came from the synth line, which I thought sounded so triumphant. It felt like the obvious way to go, and I’ve always wanted to have an Olympic-themed song. I discovered something the opposite of wonderful on my visit to London Zoo though, where a bunch of up-to-no-good geezers were making fun and throwing things at the gorillas, calling them names.

At least in English language terms, ‘Dr. Tarzan Monsoon’ has the most overtly jungle / tropical theme to date. What was the inspiration(s) behind this track, complete with animals squawking?
The backdrop for the themes and moods of the album is the story of explorer Dr. Tarzan Monsoon discovering a magical rainforest. We had to have a theme tune for him, so during this song I imagine him taking the first steps off his plane and walking into the unknown.

Continuing with the tropical line of questioning, Norway (and the whole of Scandinavia) isn’t particularly famous for tropical temperatures. In the beginning of Casiokids and through to today, your music always seems to have a dancey, carnival type quality. Are you channeling favourite artists, places you’ve visited, etc.?
I like that you say “carnival”, as that is on my short-list of songs to make. A carnival song. Yes, I like it. Do we channel things we hear/see/eat? Sure, I guess we all do to some extent, channel everything we like and produce a combination of that. Did you know the top searched for word on Wikipedia is “Wikipedia”? And that the most popular password to use is “password”? I guess what I’m trying to say is, we channel things, but we also try to make them our own, not only spit out what comes up in front of us, if we would have done so all our songs would have been about rain, and that’s not what we like, though it is in front of people who live in Bergen over 200 days a year.

On this album, there is a song I’d class as a “ballad” – ‘Elefantenes hemmelige gravplass’. Does it really translate to “elephant secret cemetery”? It also feels very ’80s to me. How would you describe it? How did it come about?
Yes, the Elephants’ Secret Graveyard, inspired by that legend of the mystical place elephants go to alone when they know they’re getting close to the end. Dr Tarzan Monsoon stumbles upon this place, which again triggers thoughts about his own mortality.

Who is in control of the van stereo when you are on tour? And what kind of music gets played? What bands/songs are getting Casiokids’ blood pumping these days?
Ive made some mixes that are up on our Soundcloud. Here’s the latest, check it out.

Which was the most surprising date on this past UK tour and why?
That would have to be Cambridge. Can’t believe we haven’t played there before. A quick look at our touring history at Casiokids.com and I can see we’ve played 103 concerts in the UK since our first show there, in Brighton 2008. Cambridge has the 57th largest UK settlement by population, so statistically we should have played there already (1.5 times). I can only apologize that we have not gotten our figures right here.

Where next and which festivals this summer are you guys taking ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’ to this year?
Here are the ones that have been announced so far:

04.05.12 Denmark, Aarhus, Spot festival
15.06.12 France, Toulon, Rockorama
30.06.12 UK, Gloucestershire, Winterwell festival
21.07.12 Norway, Nordfjoreid, Malakoff Festival
03.08.12 UK, Standon, Standon Calling

What would you/Casiokids like to do in 2012 that you’ve never done before?
We would very much like to tour in a boat.

Many thanks to Ketil for answering our questions and Kate for sorting this interview out for us. Watch the new video for ‘Kaskaden’, their new single out next week. It’s another track from the amazing ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen'(review here).

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