“We know the crowd will get confused when we play live”

A couple of weeks ago Radar premiered the music video for OLD’s Dude. Now the Malmö trio release their new EP. We had a talk with band member Johanna to hear more about the lyrics based music, the remix trend and their madness on stage.

OLD members Constance, Johanna and Nina’s music project was a reaction to boredom. In 2012 the three friends were all creativly active on their own end; with comics, filmmaking and music. During the latter part of the year they found themselves being quite bored with well, life, and figured hey, why not put all this creativity into a band? That’s when OLD was formed. Radar rang up band member Johanna to hear more about the Malmö trio who’s driven by making their music less comprehensible, and even uncomfortable.

Who does what in the band?
– We have sort of a non-traditional way of working. It always starts with us talking, which by the way is the part of the process I like the most. We put on some coffee and start jabbering about anything and everything and then out of nowhere someone will yell “song idea!” and we start creating a song.

Your songs seem to be so text oriented; does the “song idea” always start with the lyrics?
– Yes, the idea for the lyrics always comes before the melody. And when we have an idea we just keep on building the lyrics, sometimes by sending messages on Facebook to each other back and forth with text lines.

Both Knee Hang Gang and Who’s Going were released together with remixes. And your latest single Dude got remixed by Vanessa Liftig. Why all these remixes?
– That’s true, hah I don’t know really how we ended up with all these remixes but I guess our songs are very remix friendly. It’s also a very long process of releasing material so it’s fun to be able to release stuff in between the singles.

You’ve recorded at Studio Möllan, a legendary place in Malmö. How would you describe it to someone who has no idea what it’s like?
– It looks like some random garage from the outside but once you step inside it’s like a freak circus cave without windows. We love it there. There’s this constant feeling of all the artists who’ve been there before you recording. The atmosphere is very friendly with band coming and going, the doors are always open.

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The new EP Who’s Who is described as a mix of vocal harmonies, synths and clatter. Do you agree?
– That’s probably a good description. But it’s hard to describe our sound since we make music without paying attention to genres. We are three people who have different tastes and different ways of expressing ourselves. And we like to keep those different parts present in our work and not to smooth it all over.

Is there anything you would say is an OLD characteristic?
– The vocal harmonies have returned again and again so I guess they now are a characteristic of ours. And also the way we write lyrics based songs.

In your press release the word “uncomfortable” reoccurs a couple of times. Why?
– We create a forum where different views and perceptions are accepted and where we always have an open attitude. We know the people in the crowd are gonna be like question marks, all confused when we do a live show. But we’re prepared for that and that’s what makes it really exciting.

That makes me seriously wonder what your gigs are like!
– We like to make music that creates different atmospheres and not just one, secure one. When we start making something that feels really comprehensible we’re like “Oh why don’t we make a middle age inspired intro and add some panpipe?” We’re always looking for that twist. Sometimes, in live situations, it works out great and sometimes it falls flat.

Do you remember a time it worked out great?
– Once we started covering Spice Girls’ To Become One and went all in with guitar humping and Constance got hit by the mic on the mouth and started bleeding. Some people left out of disgust but others seemed to love it. That was fun!

You’re going on tour soon. Why Italy?
– It was a blog thing, people started writing about us on music blogs and then we got booked there. We’re really excited! And it will definitely be interesting to see how the Italian audience react to all of our live madness haha.