Right before their concert in Zurich, I had the opportunity to visit Go Go Berlin in their nightliner to do an interview. It’s very rare, that you have to ask only a few questions, and get so many answers. Thanks again for the nice chat
Go Go Berlin are:
Christian Vium – Lead vocals, guitar
Mikkel Dyrehave – Lead guitar
Anders Søndergaard – Organ
Emil Rothmann – Bass
Christoffer Østergaard – Drums
Indiespect: Last year you played over 100 concerts. How do you arrange that amount of shows?
Emil: We have a booker which contacts other bookers and they made it happen. He’s really a firesoul, how we call it in Danish. He really believes in this company with all his heart.
Christian: I think, it’s because we want to play everything. We wanna play every stage there is, at least the ones that make sense for us to play. We don’t play popular music, maybe rock pop sometimes. And to do that, in order to make a living or put your name out there, you can either been hit on blocks or you can go out there at all the festivals, from the biggest to the smallest. The small clubs in Zurich or in Munich or the big show. You’re building up your territory. It’s expensive for us to go on a tour like this, but in Denmark, luckily, things are going on a bit better. Then you play two shows in Denmark to be able to afford to go out and make your territory bigger. And that’s why we’ve played so many shows. One thing is, that we want it, because we love being on tour and it’s weird for us, not to play live like one or two times in the week. But also we’re pretty serious or we’re dead serious about. We don’t do anything besides that and we’re just focused on Go Go Berlin.
I: But the whole touring must be quite hard physically, no?
Christoffer: Last year in the middle of the summer, my arms really really felt sore. And that was the first time, I really could feel it physically. That was the first time we had a two week break.
Anders: But actually we talked about it, some weeks ago, the five of us. We actually never had a very big break. We had a month or three weeks this year and then we started to make the new album. So, we haven’t really had that much time off in this three or four years. Maybe that’s also why we can feel, that we are more tired.
Christoffer: But it doesn’t matter. When you go on stage then you are just born again.
I: I heard two versions of your visit at the German tv show Circus HalliGalli and I don’t know, which one is true. In one interview you said, that it was great to meet «The Black Keys» and I also heard, that they were kind of arrogant, back then. So, which version is true?
Mikkel: I just think, they were quick in and out. But I don’t think they were arrogant. We talked with the drummer and he was really cool. He wanted to find somewhere to go on a drink.
Christoffer: I think, that maybe somebody felt that they were arrogant, just because we didn’t meet them.
(laughts all around)
Mikkel: And they were out, before we were done. We know that feeling, when you go somewhere. You don’t want to sit around and wait for a band you don’t know.
Anders: They probably had to play a show in London the day after. I waited around him. And the just had to get to the flight.
Christoffer: But the drummer was really really nice.
I: When you played your first show in Zurich last year in May, you already had two songs of your current record on the setlist. You played «Electric Lives» and «The Party» that night. Does this mean, that you already wrote new material even before «New Gold» was released in Switzerland?
Christian: Obviously. Electric Lives has already been played for one and a half years. When we were just finishing «New Gold», a song like «All Mine» came up. Then we had that song and we said, there is something happening in the songwriting. But we weren’t able to make this sound work on «New Gold». So we thought let’s see, if it works for the next album. Pretty close afterwards we made «Electric Lives» and we could see some connection between these two songs. Maybe this answers your question. It’s been going on ever since we stopped recording «New Gold». We just continued writing new songs.
I: So you don’t have that kind of writing process, where you say, we have this amount of time and then it has to be done?
Christian: No. I think, right now, we’re in kind of a break. We just made the album and you want to get inspired again. When I say inspired, I mean you wanna do something new again. Songwriting is always there.
Mikkel: And also sometimes, I feel like, you just put down small memos and stuff like that. You save them, come back to them and develop them.
Christian: Anders, you make a lot of these things right now.
Anders: Yes, when I’m at home and bored.
Christian: Then he brings like a beat and stuff and I start singing on it. You know, it’s a lot of bricks to been put on top of the job.
Christoffer: It’s slowly starting again.
Mikkel: There is a period, where we think: Okay, we have to make this kind of finished songs a bit more finished. At least on this album, we had to do that, before we went to the studio.
Christian: We have a couple of sticks, but it’s not a bonfire, yet (laughs).
Mikkel: Exactly! And I think, that’s where you take the long break. To make sure, that when we start to complete the new songs and find the way we wanna go production wise, that we have a new attitude. Because somehow, we are still mixing on «Electric Lives» in our heads. You just have to lay it to rest and say, it’s out now and you can do nothing. Even the vinyl isn’t out yet, so we’re still approving mixes for that.
I: But it’s not like, that you regret anything, you have done before? That you think: Oh I don’t like it anymore ore something like that?
Mikkel: Sometimes, I think. But it’s also a curse, and we’re not the right persons to ask about that. We try to make it better all the time and that’s stuff, that is already done. It’s like going back and have a look on a childhood drawing and you think, that you could draw so much better today. But there’s also something cute and innocent about your flaws earlier on. But in your own head, you just keep mixing and developping.
Christian: Obviously, there is a lot of songwriting parts, that we learned a lot about. I think there is especially a big difference between the two albums. But it would be stupid to say, something you don’t like about the first album, because you made it yourself. Of course it’s constant development and you got to let it live.
Christoffer: I also think, that it would be difficult for us to write a new «Gimme Your» or «Shoot The Night».
Christian: Yeah, because your approach is changing.
Christoffer: It was another time, it was another energy. I actually heard «New Gold» a couple of months ago and I was like, oh that’s cool. I could also hear, that I play the drums different now. And there’s some of the drum skills from three years ago, which are like: Oh damn! I would like to do that again and I actually don’t know how. You’re changing every day, so it’s actually kind of weird. I watched an old live performance we played from back in 2011. The way I play the drums and the way I acted on stage was so.. What the fuck happened to that guy?
(laughs all around)
Christian: You used to be cool, man!
Christoffer: I want to do that again. I used to be so fast..
I: So, you’re not fast anymore?
Christoffer: I’m fast, but.. ehm..
Anders: Fast in other things, yeah! Like walking..
Christoffer: Much faster, but it became more easy to play fast, so it doesn’t look that cool anymore. I don’t know.
Mikkel: There is a lot of people asking me, why I don’t jump around this much as I used to do. And you just have to say, it’s because you don’t feel like it anymore. I had a crisis, where I had to figure out, what to do with my feet.
Anders: Life is hard sometimes.
Mikkel: No, no. It’s a funny thing, because it’s a big part of being on stage and it changes. You can’t keep doing the same thing with the same feel to it.
Christian: It’s funny, because this is a guitar player’s problem. I’m a guitar player, too, but I mean I also sing and I just have to focus on not hitting my teeth against the microphone. But I can imagine, that when you are just standing around and playing guitar, that you start of getting aware of what am I doing with my feet right now. I never thought in my life on a stage like: «Oh, hey you guys come on! What the fuck man? Look cool!»
Mikkel: I don’t think it’s so much what I do now, it’s just like I don’t have to think about it anymore. Because now it’s moving right. It’s a small stage tonight, so people wouldn’t notice if I was standing still, anyway.
I: You know this kind of stages, don’t you?
Mikkel: Yeah! I love this kind of stages. Last time in Zurich, it was so much smaller, though.
Emil: That was a good concert!
Mikkel: But I like the stage better here, because it’s a bigger stage and that’s nice. I love, when small venues still prioritize or let’s say think about making a bigger stage. It’s so important for bands to have space.
Anders: And the sound, which is great down there.
I: While you are on tour, you often have spare time between arriving, soundcheck and stage time. What are you usually doing all day?
Christian: Taking heroine, take a walk. (laughs)
Christoffer: No, we just try to aim for the city. And to find the middle of it. We see how far we can come.
Christian: We try to go for a walk and I really wanna shop, but the other guys don’t like it. And then, they are tired, because they got something to eat. Normally we don’t have a tour bus like this. So we’re really happy.
Mikkel: Normally a day on a tour like this is getting up really early and then driving all the way. Then you have like an hour before your soundcheck. Then soundcheck, eating, playing, either go out or go to the hotel and do the same thing the day after. It gets really hard. It’s okay when it’s three days in a week, that’s no problem. But when it’s like now, fourteen days in a row, that’s when it’s so great to just wake up and have the whole day to just explore, sit around or take a nap – whatever. It feels like here we can choose, what we wanna do. Normally, we just sit in the bus and play some cards or watching a movie or something.
I: But the distances aren’t that big, even after the shows in Switzerland. Then you go to Karlsruhe and it’s less than three hours to drive.
Mikkel: Exactly. But in this tour bus it is. Because the average speed is 65 km/h.
I: As the last question, I should maybe ask something about your German shows again. I also heard, that some stuff was stolen, during your performance at the Germany’s Next Topmodel final…
Mikkel: First it was the worst evening ever and afterwards it was the best evening ever, because we got to go to a model party, where everything was for free.
Christian: Ah, yeah. The afterparty.
Emil: We were coming back from the show, we did in the arena and we could see, that the door was broken. And all our passports, our money, computers – many many thousands of crowns worth of equipment was stolen. That was kind of depressing at this time. But something hit us and we thought, the shit is stolen, but you can’t do anything about it. So let’s go to this afterparty and then suddenly all turned around.
Christoffer: Luckily, we didn’t get stopped at the Swiss border, afterwards. The other guys have the drivers licence, but I don’t have one.
Mikkel: And the photographer, she didn’t have any paper.
Christoffer: We would have been really fucked, if we were stopped there.
Mikkel: But it was a lot of fun and luckily, the top model insurance covered all our loss, because it was on their ground. But still, it was a big hit at first. Everyone was so down. It was like 200’000 crowns. (27’000 Swiss francs).
Emil: And also a lot of pictures.
Mikkel: That was the worst. All the footage, so much footage…
Emil: From LA and from that show. That was actually the worst thing.