Talking SPOT: Kakkmaddafakka

by Marlis Stubenvoll, photos by Teresa Weikmann

The Norwegian Indie-band with the lyrical name “Kakkmaddafakka” looks rather tame in their grey, washed-out sweaters and regular jeans. However, the leopard print on a guitar strap already gives a hint: The six musicians will fill their 35 minutes on stage at SPOT Festival with a wild, powerful performance. Before playing a “cool concert for cool people”, the Norwegians meet Jutland Station in the vast labyrinth of backstage band rooms. The brothers and lead singers Axel and Pål Vindenes talk about embracing change, what “really living” means and the beauty of the Danish language.

 JS: You have been playing together for 12 years now. What made you stick together for so long?

Axel: Fun.

Pål: Fun.

Axel: We want fun. And if you are in a band, you have fun. Of course sometimes…

Pål: … not so fun.

Axel: Not so fun, but…

Pål: …mostly fun!

Axel: Mostly fun.

JS: You used to be on stage with the Kakkmaddachoir, two guys that supported your show with dance moves. Now the band performs alone. Why?

Axel: We wanted to focus a bit more on the music and when you have two very entertaining twins dancing in the background, it could take the focus away. They were great, though. They should have their own tour!

JS: Your new album was released two months ago. Has this album marked a change for you?

Axel: A new album always means a change for us. It has been three years since we’ve done a new album. Since then we’ve had a new piano player and no more Kakkmaddachoir. At the same time, there was no change at all. We just did what we do every day: trying to make good music.

JS: In the refrain of your new single “Young you”, you sing: “Young you, I’m leaving you”. Is it a goodbye song to older times, then?

Axel: It could be, that’s true. You have to embrace change or else you will stagnate. You should take control over the change and not be afraid that things are going to be worse. You should hope for the best. Every spring there are new leaves on the trees.

JS: A lot of Nordic bands set a dark winter mood into music. However, your songs have this sunny, positive vibe. Why is that?

Pål: Music is a way to dream away from winter. You can try to create your own little spring in a song to lighten up the days.

Axel: Musically we are sunny, yes. Not in our lyrics, though. We’ve learned that from ABBA: when you have happy sounding music, you have to make sad lyrics. If you do happy lyrics on a happy sounding song, it gets vulgar. [Sings]“Frist I was afraid, I was petrified” – you know, it is a very said song, but it sounds very happy.

Pål: The new album has a bit more of sad lyrics on sad melodies. But sad on sad works as well.

Axel: Just happy on happy doesn’t work.

Pål: That is a no-go.

JS: How do you fill your time outside of your band-life?

Axel: We are all interested in football. We also love walking in the mountains and skateboarding. And I’m a painter. I’ve just started to post my paintings on instagram. It is very nerve wracking, but fun.

 

JS: So can you really make a living out of your music?

Axel: We can survive. We can’t really live. If we could really live, then we should all have a Ferrari each. Then we are really living. Now I just drive a Citroën Berlingo.

JS: You have been on stage in Denmark before. Do you have any specific memories about performing here?

Pål: No!

Axel: I remember playing in a Hip-Hop venue in Copenhagen. Later we danced in the club and for the first time, I really understood Lil’ Wane. I was very slowly adapting to the music. Then I heard “A milli”. It was sick.

JS: As Norwegians, how do you like the Danish language?

Axel: Love it.

Pål: It is very hard to understand. They don’t pronounce anything. That is pretty cool.

JS: Before you go on stage now, do you perform any band rituals?

Pål: We always do a pep talk. We gather in a circle and talk about random events. And then we say “Go, get ‘em!”

Axel: When we are on tour, we put on our stage clothes five minutes before the gig and then we go. We don’t think about the show before that. We keep it impulsive.

JS: Good luck for your show now! And thanks for having us, guys!

Axel: Thank you, too! It was fun talking to you!

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