by Scott Fisher
Lone Star Metal had the distinct pleasure of hosting one of Denmark’s biggest Rock acts to ever come out of their diminutive country. Having heard that D:A:D, formerly Disneyland After Dark, wanted to have a go in the United States again and needed a few Texas dates, LSM set to work putting together a show date for them in Houston. After all, it was newest reviewer and scribe, Scott Fisher’s, initial review of their latest album, DIC.NII.LAN.DAFT.ERD.ARK, that prompted a return to the U.S.A., so naturally it was only fitting that Scott meet with them face to face and harass them about their trip.
Lone Star Metal: I’ve read that you started the band as a revolution against the pessimistic punk attitudes, and that your main focus was wanting to bring joy to your audience. Has this changed or morphed any since the beginning?
Jesper: “We are, at heart, fun loving and easy going, but we like to explore the darker side of it [life] as well. I think what was just pure entertainment before has morphed into something more bluesy, but still with our lust for life in it as well.”
LSM: I have noticed that a lot of your lyrics do contain that irony and humor. Where do you get your ideas?
Jesper: “We can’t take ourselves so seriously for long periods of time. On the other hand I don’t think it is more life is funny as in haha-humor, but that life is funny-strange sometimes.”
Stig: “It’s all down to the climate as well. You run out for three months and stay outside then the rest of the time you stay inside and indulge in books and films. There’s nothing to do. Boredom!”
LSM: People are not as familiar with you guys here in the States as they may be over in Europe and other countries, so who are
your influences then and now?
Stig: “We had a common ground of punk music, and that was the starting point. The attitude and being in a gang. Even now we play The Ramones as our background music, so that has stayed the same. Its part of the DNA.”
Jesper: “We had a couple of years where we listened to nothing but country. We had a couple of years where we listened to nothing but AC/DC. We had a couple of years where we listened to nothing but…I mean you go through fads and you try to find common ground that the four of us can go with.”
LSM: What prompted you guys years ago to start with music?
Jesper: “It just went from skateboarding to music because of the punk thing. It was like the next thing to do. Express yourself loudly and badly! And rudely,” the vocalist chuckles.
Stig: “My big brother gave me a bass to learn how to play and I sold it. I thought drugs and vinyl,” the bassist laughs.
LSM: Your icon, Molly…what started that?
Jesper: “That was because we started out as a country-punk thing. In Denmark, in the 80s, we started out as a punk band, and we started to embrace country, which was such a horrible thing to do. How could you do that! So we thought, let’s emphasize that and put a cow skull. We were only a three piece then, so you have Stig and me then the cow skull in between. Real cow skull. Smelly cow skull.”
Stig: “But then we went Metal, so we had a bicycle saddle that was really torn and the chrome handles. Picasso had that as an art piece, and we did that when we went Metal. So it followed us.”
LSM: Your newest album, DIC.NII.LAN.DAFT.ERD.ARK, seemed to me a bit heavier than what you guys had done in the past. What prompted this direction?
Jesper: “Maybe it was the realization of the bastard blues thing at one point. The other thing was that the album before that was a little like greatest hits. Everybody chipped in, and we were not schizophrenic, but there were different styles on it.”
LSM: You are working on a new album now, correct?
Jesper: “Well yes more or less—“
Stig: “I am. I am. I’m almost finished…I mean I don’t know about the other guys,” he jokes with a shrug.
LSM: Is it more of the same?
Stig, continuing with the joke, “A brand new direction! Yeah, we just have to get over this hill with China and Paris and the places we are going, then I think we will have at least a couple of months that will be kinda quiet. We’ll meet up and present ideas to each other. We don’t have a specific direction in mind. We know what we don’t want to do.”
LSM: What made you guys decide to come back to the States after over twenty years?
Jesper: “This feeling about re-conquering Europe or maybe even ourselves in a way. Maybe it started with this album where we had these riffs and these songs. With that, we called our old producer, Nick Foss. Maybe the confidence started when we had four, five, six songs. There was a confidence growing all the way through when we started getting big crowds in Germany, suddenly. Then we had this wish that maybe SXSW was something, which it wasn’t, but it feels right. We cannot keep on keeping on playing Denmark, please. I need to go somewhere that my old jokes feel new!”
LSM: Tell me a bit about SXSW.
Laust: “Which version do you want?”
Jesper: “It was great to see so many things happening. There were so many people, so many bands. There was such a big ant heap, but I had a difficult time finding out where the center was. Maybe that’s just me.”
Laust: “I had some good times just listening to random bands. I didn’t know who was going on stage, and just sat there and had a few beers. One band you didn’t know would come on and you were just like Fuck! You know? You can’t really plan it because you didn’t know any names but maybe the big names which you probably already knew.”
LSM: What has been your favorite experience in America so far?
Jacob: “It’s just the experience of being here. The feeling that people appreciate us.”
Stig: “Yes. Our last adventure here didn’t end so well, so it’s good to come back.”
Jesper: “My best experience was waking up in Houston that was a good feeling,” he chuckles as he drums on the table and hums, I woke up in Houston…
LSM: Whose idea was the video for “I Want What She’s Got,” specifically to go that far with it?
Jesper: “I think it is a part of Rock history to dress up as women. Stones have done it. New York Dolls have done it. We’ve paid our dues and I think it was time to start thinking about it. There were a lot of songs that it would’ve been stupid to do it for a video, so when ‘I Want What She’s Got’ was selected as the first single you could see the record company execs say, We can get tits and ass in there now! At last! At last!”
LSM: It was just the wrong tits and ass! I gotta admit, as a heterosexual guy, you were pretty damn pretty. You guys have quite a history—
Jesper: “It is a heavy burden to bear,” he states with a sardonic grin.
LSM: What are some of your most fulfilling moments in D:A:D?
Jesper: “Building a piece of art in the studio, for me, is sometimes: Wow, we came from nothing to this!”
LSM: You’ve been together a number of years, what are your favorite songs to play and which ones do you wish you could stop playing?
Jesper: “The ones we want to stop playing…we stop playing. I think it is great to play the new ones. It feels new to listen to them and you find new aspects of them. We play ‘Sleeping My Day Away’ at every gig because it is still fun.”