The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
En Festival Portamérica 2015
Bring Us Together (2014): A futuristic dance vision
New Album Released Sep 15th on Hot Bus/Rough Trade
Take the trumpets and soul from a Mexican mariachi band. Add processed beats, and samples that mercilessly force each and every body to get up and dance. Top it all off with a dash of psychedelic-futuristic synth allure and Mette Lindberg’s sultry vocals. Toss it all aboard a tightly packed spaceship headed on a course towards the coolest party on the moon and there you have the sound of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s third album Bring Us Together.
Nobody would ever make the claim that The Asteroids Galaxy Tour is a band known for standing still. On the contrary. They are constantly on the move toward new corners of the endless landscape of music. Their new album testifies to this fact.
Making of the new album: Wandering into the desert and out the other side.
On Bring Us Together, the desire to explore new musical universes is greater than ever before. The record points towards eternity with its cooler, more futuristic sound. “We wanted to create a heavier and slightly darker atmosphere for this album. The sound is more processed and less “manual” than before, with more weighting on repetitive beats, bass grooves, chopped-up loops and a more laid back vocal style”, explains producer and mastermind Lars Iversen.
The new Asteroids sound gives you whiffs of everything from funk and disco to club and trip-hop, without leaving you in any doubt that you are indeed hearing the hypnotising melodies of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Notions for their new album began to appear while the band toured in connection with the second album, Out of Frequency. While they watched the Arizona desert zip by the windows of their tour bus, or flew over cloudscapes headed to a concert on the far side of the globe, Lars laid the groundwork for the new album. With earphones on his head and a computer on his lap:
“We had this crazy touring schedule, playing over 150 shows in under a year in the US, all over Europe, South America, even some in Asia. We constantly found ourselves in either a tour bus or at the airport or the hotel room. I started getting a bit un-rooted with the whole thing. I found no time to produce new music which was killing me so I asked our sound crew to build me this amazing little travelling recording set up that I could easily get out and start writing and producing on the road. This ‘mobile studio’ quickly became my drug of choice. You could say I went on a journey within a journey, and that was the beginning of the new album really.”
In many ways, the route to album number three has been marked by some degree of turbulence. Mette Lindberg, Lars’ creative partner and singer in The Asteroids Galaxy Tour:
“You fall asleep in one country and wake up in another. You spend the majority of your life with the same people around you in close proximity, there is bound to be tension at times. I had a super busy PR schedule too, sometimes eight hours a day. Combine this with playing sold out shows at night, endless after parties, and travelling in and out of different time zones all the time, and you get this absurd state of constant ecstasy. Mixed with all the fun and excitement a weird sense of isolation sets in”.
After two years of non-stop touring madness, it was time for Lars and Mette to shut the engines down, put the laptop on a shelf and get behind the controls of the console at their own studio, Rummet (The Space) in the Vesterbro district of Copenhagen. They needed to find each other again and spend time away from everything.
Rummet would be Mette and Lars’ home for the next year, a period when they experimented with, finished composing and finally recorded the songs. What was a cacophony of beats, sketches and snippets gradually evolved into the finely tuned, completed album.
“Mette and I have such eclectic tastes in music, it’s no wonder people find it hard to pin down our sound, but we love it that way”, Lars says.
“Our sound is like a big Metropolis of Music,” Mette chimes in. “Lars spends ages digging out old obscure records from decades ago that I’ve never heard of. He got me into the 1960s French Yé-Yé scene* recently and also introduced me to some early 90s Primal Scream records (Screamadelica). Likewise I play him a lot of stuff I am excited about and we always end up riding on the same vibe. He is also addicted to eBay and keeps buying old equipment that mostly doesn’t work but when it does it sounds AMAZING and blows me away.”
The result is a sound collage of a pop symphony created from equal parts of chopped-up danceable beats, spaced-out synthesizers and bright neon-green pop hooks. It is the sound of renewed inspiration, never-ending passion and a euphoric desire for more.
“Bring Us Together is the sound of reunification, of becoming a whole person once again, after having been blasted into atoms. It's the album we wanted to make. This is us, stronger, a bit wiser and full of dreams,” says Mette.
The beginning: From pop sketches to pop stars
It was in 2007, when producer and multi-instrumentalist Lars Iversen met Mette Lindberg somewhere in the Copenhagen music scene. He fell head over heels for her unique, unbridled voice and expressive personality. Lars’ previous group, NU, had just broken up, he had just arrived back from London and something had to happen! With a handful of songs on his computer, he and Mette got together and they immediately began tripping on the same things. That was the start of an intense summer of musical symbiosis in Lars’ old flat with its homemade studio set-up. The result was a stream of originally different pop songs that would become an EP (Around The Bend EP), and later, the duo’s debut album Fruit.
That was the launching pad for The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Neither of them had ever imagined that two years later they would be one of the biggest musical successes to have emerged from Denmark in many years – sold out venues around the world, 200,000 Facebook likes and more than 40 million YouTube views. But as Mette muses in the intro to “Bring Us Together,” the title song from the duo’s third album:
>>Magic happens, but only if you’re open to the possibility<<
*(The first single from ‘Bring Us Together’, ‘My Club’ features a sample by French Yé-Yé singer Jaqueline Taieb)
Fruit (2009): A gigantic debut hit
The enormously successful debut Fruit from 2009 overflowed with all danceable genres of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The warm-yet-raw sound stirred together everything from quirky beats, gritty horn riffs and bubbly synthesizers into a refreshingly crafted indie pop-soul cocktail. The record spawned major hits such as “The Golden Age” and “Around the Bend” and earned Mette Lindberg and Lars Iversen worldwide ad spots for Heineken and Apple, warm-up slots on the same stage as Amy Winehouse and Katy Perry, and even praise from none other than Sir Elton John.
Out of Frequency (2012): A psychedelic power demonstrationThe follow up, Out Of Frequency, continued the journey with something new in 2012. This time the recording forged in more R‘n’B and Hip-Hop ambience without ever departing from the retro sound fans loved from the debut. The record was an explosion of genres. Sonic ideas contained in the 14 songs radiated from the tracks with an overpowering energy that was nothing short of a melodic, psychedelic demonstration of power that was at times something like a set of Blaxploitation-like song collages from a past era. The two singles, “Heart Attack” and “Major” were high-impact hits and launched a long concert tour that circled the globe.