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Katzenjammer Interview February 2012

Nichola Eastwood


MTTM were lucky enough to grab some time with all-girl Norwegian four piece, Katzenjammer.  The girls took time out of their non-stop schedule to talk new albums, touring and being a girl in the music industry.

MTTM: Your debut UK album, A Kiss Before You Go, is set for release in May. How would you describe the sound you’ve recorded and how are you feeling about the forthcoming release?

Katzenjammer: The album is a result of three years on the road playing together. After the completion of the record, it became clear to us that all the impressions we’ve collected around the world shaped the sound of the songs in different ways. The album is not genre-specific, but it ranges from soft pop to punk/rock and country/bluegrass, though every song has got a distinct Katzenjammer character. Parts of it is inspired by a french movie called, “City of the Lost Children”, both musically and aesthetically. We can’t wait to show it to the UK audience.

MTTM: What influences are there behind your sound?

Katzenjammer: We’re quite different when it comes to taste in music, and everyone of us brings different ingredients to the big melting pot. We all agree on a few things like Tom Waits, Old Disney music, Danny Elfman, Yann Tiersen, and some folk music. The most important thing is that we try to never put any limitations on making or arranging music, whatever feels right is right.

MTTM: Your first single from the album is ‘I Will Dance (When I Walk Away)’. What is it about this particular track that makes it stand out?

Katzenjammer: This is actually one of our very few lovesongs composed by our friend Mats Rybø. I think each part of the song is very well written together and it keeps the listeners attention through the whole song. The strong hookline and melody mixed with the vocal harmonies, brings the song warmth and a certain optimism.

MTTM: You’re a band of multi-instrumentalists, what is it that you love about varying both your music and the instruments you play?

Katzenjammer: It never gets static or boring. We have to challenge ourselves and each other contstantly. It gives each and every song a very unique sound since we all approach every instrument in different ways.

MTTM: You performed at Glastonbury and Bestival last year. How do you find the UK crowds?

Katzenjammer: When we find ourselves playing in front of a new crowd, we never know what’ll happen or if the crowd will welcome us. But at both Glastonbury and Bestival we instantly felt at home. Glastonbury was a lot of mud and rain and we were in a slightly bad mood right before the show because of it. The second we entered the stage an ecstatic crowd made us forget about everything but the moment we were in. Bestival was a beautiful festival with a good mix of kids and adults. The tent was packed with positive and cheerful people.

MTTM: Do you prefer to play festivals or more intimate venues?

Katzenjammer: Both. Each audience, big or small, in or out, has its own unique energy. And we never know what’ll meet us when we enter the stage and it keeps us focused and excited.

MTTM: Do you find being an all girl band makes it harder for you to work and be taken seriously in the music industry?

Katzenjammer: We hardly think about the fact that we´re a girl band. The word feels wrong in a way. We´re a band, we happen to have tits. In the beginning of Katzenjammer, we sometimes felt that people (mainly crew on stage in a new venue) didn´t treat us as they would treat the guys before and after us, but that always changed as soon as we started to play. Quite amusing to see their change of behavior, actually! We hope to be good ambassadors for girls who wants to play in bands, and expect that this will not be a question on the agenda in ten years.

MTTM: You’re currently touring, with a date set for London, what can an audience expect from a Katzenjammer gig?

Katzenjammer: You can expect a powerful and an unpretentious show with a systematic unpredictability and a lot of fun. A carousel with four musicians and 15 rotating instruments!