They play together, they grow together. During the SPOT festival, our contributor Mercedes Robles spoke to a few guys from the Thy Music Collective, a group of eleven bands that proves that, when it comes to music, unity is still strength.
By Mercedes Robles
It is just before one in the afternoon on Saturday at the SPOT festival. It is sunny and somewhat quiet as thousands of people at festival enjoy a beer outside of the Royal Venue. Suddenly you hear a few chords in the Rock scenario. Drengebande, the first band of Thy Music Collective, is on stage. In less than fifteen minutes, the area is completely full as the first of the five bands kicks off the Thy Music Collective performance.
The Thy Music Collective is formed by eleven different bands that make music combining element of garage rock and electronic. The project was created two years ago with the aim to find a place in the music industry while performing and learning from each other.
Despite their short career together, the collective has been a success so far, as some of the bands are getting more opportunities and gigs. For example, The Entrepreneurs will play at the Roskilde Festival this year. The bands on their own would not have made as much noise as a group. With the collective, they have a voice and the support from the government as a cultural group, as well as help from each other.
Esben Halkier, singer of Quick Quick Obey, is the mind behind the idea. He was inspired by music collectives in England or USA “I was dreaming ‘How can I help and bring all of those musicians to the outside?’ and the idea came to my head. I called a few bands who were colleagues, and friends that were in others bands and we all naturally agreed to form a collective” Halkier said.
There is no structure or hierarchy in Thy Music Collective — the group of bands are watched and hired as a collective. The communication within the group is informal. If a band receives an opportunity, it is posted on their social networks. Then the group friendly debates who feels like playing this time or if suits others better.
“The best thing of Thy Music collective is the opportunity of learn and play together. All of us are friends and colleagues. If I see in a concert that Magnus have developed and new way of control the pedal, I can ask him how to do it and learn from it. We all learn from each other and grow together” said Kasper, pianist of the band This is You.
An attempt to change the situation
In Denmark, major cities such as Aarhus and Copenhagen are the hubs for opportunities in the music industry. However, Thy Music Collective does not have plans to move to Copenhagen, as they claim the need of attention to culture in other spaces apart from the main spots.
“We wanted to tell people ‘Hey! There is something really good within the cultural scene going on here and not necessary need to be happening in Copenhagen!’” Halkier said.
The curious fact is that, just within two years of the project, Thy Music Collective not only have turned some heads from the Danish music industry, but also have brought life to Thy, a Northwestern town in Jutland. The Alive Festival in Thy, created in 2009, is drawing attention of the rest of the country, mostly thank to the noise created by the Collective.
Next year, Thy Music Collective will be performing in the indoors venues of the SPOT festival. If their success continues, by this time next year, not only a few, but all the bands of the collective will be able to live from their music. As the popular belief says: unity is strength.
Mercedes Robles is a journalist from Spain currently studying in Aarhus, and a Jutlandstation contributor.