As the curtains draw on their 'White Flag' era a new horizon of opportunity comes forth for Swedish rockers NORMANDIE. Riding on the success of two amazing full-lengths, there’s much anticipation building toward their third album.
Speaking about touring with White Flag, the Swedish music climate and what’s next for their music, including their reimagined series, is Phillip and Håkan of Normandie.
So, you’re back on tour with Hands Like Houses! What’s the past year of touring with ‘White Flag’ been like?
Håkan (Guitar): ‘It’s unreal. It’s been so nice for us to play new music since we released our debut album.’
Phillip (Vocals): ‘Yeah, the whole headliner was way over expectation and a response to us that the album actually had an impact on people.’
For those who don’t know you guys come from Sweden, coming to the UK is the musical climate much different, Is there anything in the Swedish scene that the UK is missing?
Phillip: ‘I think the Swedish music that is good is making it outside of Sweden as well. Lots of house music from Sweden that’s doing great.’
Håkan: ‘I mean we have the Swedish Post Malone and the Swedish Lil Pump but it’s all in Swedish’
Coming from the success of 'White Flag', whilst writing any new material did you feel any kind of pressure to live up to the same caliber of your previous work?
Håkan: ‘Well I guess we had a lot of pressure writing the next album since we were really proud of the debut album 'Inguz'.’
Phillip: ‘We felt like a lot of people were waiting for it, it took a lot of time but it was worth it. We’re pretty hard on ourselves as well cause we don’t just want to put it out there, we want people to be happy with it as well.’
‘You have to take new steps in music, it’s way boring to play the same album for ten years.’
Looking more at the song writing process, is it ever daunting to put out songs that take from real life experiences knowing they’ll be criticized or scrutinised?
Phillip: ‘I mean as long we like I’m fine with what other people think. It’s amazing when people like our music, I don’t care too much about the negative comments.
You have to take new steps in music, it’s way boring to play the same album for ten years.’
You launched the 'White Flag' reimagined series, how has it been to step outside of your music and try to rethink it. And also, what’s your favourite song on the series?
Håkan: ‘Yeah it’s always fun to do something new, like on this reimagined EP we tried to work with a friend of ours who did remixes and we did all the stripped back versions ourselves. It’s fun to try something new with the music.’
Phillip: ‘It was fun to not only do acoustic versions for all of the song. We tried a lot of different genres and then we did my favourite which is the synth version of ‘(Don’t) Need You’ which we had to do a video to it, it’s the funniest video we’ve ever done.’
‘It’s fun to try something new with the music’
Here’s a question I’ve asked bands all weekend and everyone seems to struggle. There’s a scene in the 2000’s thriller ‘American Psycho’ where Christian Bale kills someone but plays a lively track from Huey Lewis and The News. What would be your murder song? but the catch is it has to be something fun!
Håkan: ‘A murder song…. Shit!’
Phillip: ‘That’s a hard question, maybe ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’?’
Håkan: ‘I wanna have ‘She’s American’ by 1975’
Phillip: ‘Wait I change my mind! ‘Lush Life’ by Zara Larsson.’
Håkan: ‘Speaking of Zara Larsson we just put out a cover for one of her songs.’
Oh really! I don’t think I’ve managed to hear it yet. Could you explain it for me and possibly talk about what went into it?
Håkan: ‘I can’t answer any of that because Phillip made it all, he’s the genius!’
Phillip: ‘We made a video for it five days ago in Brussels on tour and went to a little theme park. We’re literally putting out the video right now, it’s gonna be fun!’
You guys recently tweeted about supporting independent festivals in Stockholm, as we’re at a huge independent music festival I have to ask, what can fans and music lovers do from your artist perspective to support these events?
Phillip: ‘I mean the reason with Stockholm is pretty much just bitter naysayers who are tired of noises in the weekend. It’s not even loud.
As for what we can do, there’s not many festivals in Sweden anymore other than the mainstream big ones.’
Håkan: ‘Otherwise it’s just a bunch of smaller one day festivals with lots of Swedish artists.’
Phillip: ‘But I wouldn’t say they’re festivals they’re just one day events in towns’
That’s quite similar to what Slam Dunk Festival used to be. A lot of people say to support artists and events we should invest in them and their merch more.
Phillip: ‘Buy merch, merch is the best way to support an artist. Buy their CD and buy a ticket to the show instead of just sitting at home and pushing a button on ITunes’
Let’s finish on something simple but serious, where are you guys going next?
Håkan: ‘We’re gonna write a killer album, gonna go on tour!’
Phillip: ‘We have a few surprises… like just small things to keep going before the next album. We’ve got stuff coming real soon.’
Interview - Yasmine Summan.