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Casiokids to Numusic

During Numusic 2012 you can expect to hear several of Casiokids’ new songs being played live for the very first time. Vocalist Ketil Kinden Endresen believes that the energy they send out through their music is one of the reasons why the Norweigan synthpop band has achieved such great success. We have had a chat with him about this, their development over the years, his favourite songs, why they keep coming back to Numusic and much more.

How would you describe your development as a band since you first started?

It all started with me (Ketil) getting a demo version of the music program Cubase (which didn't work properly) on my PC in Stavanger in 1999. Then we made some songs with Feddi's ex-girlfriend's Casio keyboard (that we stole from her) based on melodies that our friend Ben hummed loudly in the streets (whilst cycling). After we made some songs I quickly came up with the most horrible name I could think of, which was Casiokids, a name that I later came to think of as brilliant. 5 years after this, Feddi and I listened to the tapes we made during our years in Stavanger and found them still to be interesting and amusing, and then we formed the band Casiokids in Bergen together with Omar Johnsen and Kjetil Aabø.

You´ve said that your latest album “Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen” is a bit deeper than your last album. What can people expect from you in the future?

God only knows.

Most people who are not from Norway, probably won´t understand what you are singing, but still you have achieved great success abroad. Why do you think this?

When we first started playing abroad, in France and UK from 2005, we where continuously amazed that the reactions were so overwhelming when no-one could understand the lyrics. After a while we discovered how much of the energy we could send out and still catch the audience’s attention without them understanding what was said, both melodically and of course rhythmically. Dance is definitely universal.

Have you ever been tempted to start singing in English?

In the beginning we actually decided not to sing, and only used human voices sampled from audio books and interviews we did ourselves. As we experimented more with vocal harmonies in the studio, we decided to follow the idea of making something as true to our everyday lives and personal experiences as possible, hence using the Norwegian language. I truly believe one of our main goals as artists and musicians has to be to create something unique and original, and the Norwegian language was for us a natural part to achieve just that.

Can you talk about a favorite song?

This is the kind of thing that will often change, depending on when songs were made and the situations related to them, but if you ask me today I would say “Selskapets triste avslutning”. Not only was it the last song to make the cut on our new album and perhaps then also most fresh for me, but how it came together was in many ways a bundle of luck and joy. I had the idea for a lyric and suddenly discovered a sketch Omar and Fredrik had been working on which had been filed away in the ‘maybe?’ pile. I browsed through some sketches to try my idea, and this ‘maybe?’ one fitted together almost immediately with the vocal melody and the build-up of my lyrics. Right after this little discovery the entire of Montreal collective was visiting our tiny studio in Bergen, and “Selskapets triste avslutning” was one of the songs Kevin Barnes, K Ishibashi, Bryan Poole and the others helped us on the most on "Aabenbaringen over aaskammen".

Where do you find inspiration to your songs?

Oh, it could be anywhere. I see something or hear someone say something, and I take a note of it. The other day I was on the bus in London and I think I heard someone say: "Life is such a waste of money". I can't say for sure that that was what they actually said. Maybe I misheard? Still, it instantly gave me some ideas for a song. Yesterday I was at the club Turkish Delight in Oslo when Rune Lindbæk was Dj-ing and he played a Brazilian track that I enjoyed the bass drum figure on. Then, today I saw a funny David Shrigley drawing, and that gave me a song idea. It could be things like that. Anything.

 

What kind of music do you listen to yourselves?

I make some mixxxtapes now and again. Here's the latest:

You have played at Numusic previously. What makes this festival so appealing to you?

Numusic 2005 was one of the first concerts we ever played, and over the years we have been involved in many projects at Numusic together with the theatre troupe Digitalteateret or just us. It's an honor to be invited back again, and we will enjoy every second of it. I respect Martyn Reed's taste and vision and always look forward to seeing who will be on the bill, both music and art. I see you have Olafur Arnalds on the program this year! Nice. We did an interview with him once in Reykjavik.

What can people expect from your performance at Tou Scene? Do you have a specific plan?

We have so many new songs to try out, so it will be a lot of premieres. Get your smart phone cameras and your illegal mp3 recorders ready!

You´re also going to have a workshop at the local library in Stavanger while you´re here, can you tell us a bit about this?

Using the music catalogue at the Music Library in Stavanger, we will interpret the history of music, chronologically (where applicable) in 45min. During the performance we will need help from the audience to collect musical examples from the CD catalogue to represent the different directions musichas taken the last couple of thousand years, and use elements of this tomakea Casiokids musical piece. To get some visual eye candy to go with this music class, we will use an overhead projector, combined with white chalk on blackboard, and a stick to point with (telescopic).

What part of performing do you enjoy the most?

When I feel a connection with the audience and people enjoy our music.

What have been some highlights of your career so far?

Playing house parties in Paris, doing work-shops in kindergartens in Bergen, being on tour with Hot Chip and of Montreal, watching the sun set over lower Manhattan from stage summer 2009, doing the countdown for 5000 people new years eve 2011 at Falls festival in Australia, Øya 2009, touring the US, Japan, winning the a-ha grant, meeting the 17 year old monkey Anastacia on the streets of Moscow, playing in a hot air balloon at Hove festival. So much more.

We have a lot to be grateful for and a lot of memories to cherish.

If I had to choose? Well. It has over the years seemed hard to beat the feeling of our first massive festival show at Roskilde festival in Denmark 2008. It came as such a surprise to us, the wild reactions and number of people that were there. Still, after this, we have played to even bigger crowds with even more energy to share and in even nicer settings, but I think that shock and utter joy that came with that special evening in the summer of 2008 will never fade for me, and it stands as one of my best concert experiences ever.

 

Casiokids perform at Tou Scene Friday the 28th of September. Buy Tickets Their free workshop at Stavanger Musikbiblioteket will be Saturday the 29th at 14:00.

More info on Casiokids

 

Photo by: sjursjur

 

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