Music profile: Danish string ensemble, WHO KILLED BAMBI

By Mathilde Schmidt Christiansen, photos by WHO KILLED BAMBI

‘WHO KILLED BAMBI’ is a name that most people will link to the 1979 punk song by the Sex Pistols. In Denmark it is another story; here WHO KILLED BAMBI (WKB) is a string ensemble consisting of three young women named Mette (viola), Louise (violin) and Benedikte (cello).

Who are these Bambi chicks?
The group was formed in 2009, when the members met at The Royal Academy of Music of Aarhus, from where they all graduated. The band started out with six, but as they lived in different parts of the world, it ended up as the three young women. In case they are doing a bigger concert and need more instruments, they have a group of skilled musicians whom they can call if needed.

WKB is not an ordinary string ensemble. They want to explore new ways of making music, and break down borders. That is clearly shown through the many collaborations the group has made with other musicians such as Steffen Brandt, Topgunn, Pernille Rosendahl, Teitur, Oh Land and Søren Huss. Such collaborations show that the group is not afraid to mix genres and experiment with their music. One of Mette’s dreams is to work with Swedish musician, Robyn. Mette would love to do an arrangement of Robyn’s songs Hang With Me and Be Mine.

The band name suggests, as well as their collaborations, that WKB is a non-conventional string ensemble. The name is a mix of toughness and femininity, and that was exactly what the women were looking for in their name. The group were in Berlin where they saw a store named ‘WHO KILLED BAMBI’, and instantly knew that that was the name they had been looking for.

WKB feat Steffen Brandt in concert

WKB feat Steffen Brandt in concert

Carrier and WKB+
Mette started playing the violin when she was 13-14 years old, up until which point she had played the piano. She eventually liked playing string instruments so much that she went to Musikkonservatoriet in Aarhus, where she studied rhythmic violin/classic violin. String instruments require a lot of work and a lot of practice, and practice is necessary every day if you want to improve your skills. When Mette studied at Musikkonservatorie,t she practised several hours a day, and now after graduation she still makes time to practice every day.

In 2015 WKB released their first album, called ‘WHO KILLED BAMBI +’, with record company Mermaid Records. A particularly interesting track on the album is the old Swan Lee song, I Don’t Mind. Mette did the arrangement for the song, and Pernille Rosendahl, who was the lead singer of Swan Lee, is on vocals. Mette and Rosendahl met at SPOT festival where they talked, and eventually came up with the idea of doing the song together. The album is approximately 40 minutes long, and consists of 11 songs, including collaborations with various artists and an intro and outro arranged by Mette.

WKB had their debut concert at SPOT Festival in 2009, where they played live backing for When Saints Go Machine. After the SPOT debut they went on a summer tour with the band Duné in 2010, and the girls’ carrier as WKB began.

All of the band members have jobs alongside WKB. Mette works as a music teacher at Skive Musikskole, where she teaches the violin, music theory and music knowledge. Benedikte is also a music teacher, teaching cello, and Louise works full-time as an architect.

WKB at Radar

WKB at Radar

Future Projects
In connection with the celebration of Aarhus as the European Capital of Culture 2017, WKB played with DJ Static this year, and Mette says that they are planning to collaborate again in the future.

Another very interesting project is WKB’s collaboration with former Boho Dancer lead, Ida Wenøe. On January 8th WBK and Ida Wenøe will be playing at Filmbyen in Aarhus, where they will perform a one-hour concert in a peaceful and beautiful atmosphere.

The group’s plan is to do a monthly concert in Aarhus in 2017, with different artists and a different location every month. Mette won’t reveal whom they are going to collaborate with yet, but she assures us that there are going to be some very interesting artists involved, as well as interesting locations. As the band puts it, there are going to be unique concerts in unique settings, with brand new songs and arrangements, and lots of light in the darkness.

WKB are definitely worth looking into if you are interested in the Aarhus music scene, so stay tuned to their Facebook page for upcoming gigs.

The Cello on stage. (photo WKB)

The Cello on stage

To see WHO KILLED BAMBI in concert, book your tickets for their next performance, together with Ida Wenøe, on January 8th. The details are as follows:

Date: 8. januar 2017 klokken 16:30 – 18:00
Location: Filmbyen, 8000 Aarhus C, Danmark
Price: 100 Dkr
Contact: for tickets. OBS: Seats are limited
Facebook event link.

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