Interview: Slaughter Beach

Slaughter Beach is the project of Nikolaj WestiHasse Mydtskov, and Mads Emil Aagaard; 3 friends from Odense, Denmark who skillfully crafts their own version of the contemporary shoegaze revival. Taking influences and aesthetics from the 60s, 70s, and 90s rock movements and blending them with more contemporary styles of indie rock/pop, the 3-piece band doles out saccharine-laden shoegaze filled with gleaming melodies and a dreamy melancholia. Check out our interview with the up-and-coming Danish band below as we chat about the early days of the band, the Odense music scene, and upcoming endeavors for the guys of Slaughter Beach.

HG: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time out to chat with us! What can you tell us about Slaughter Beach’s origins?

SB: No problem! It started a couple of years ago with the two of us [Mads and Nikolaj]. We know each other from school and started making music together. Shortly thereafter we met Hasse who wanted to join the band after listening to some of our demos. And that was kind of the beginning of the band as it is today.

HG: Did all three members of the band share the same taste in music style? What were the kinds of styles you guys were into that influenced the direction of the band’s sound?

SB: Yeah sort of. From the beginning we didn’t really have any specific style of music we wanted to make. We all agree that the melody comes before the sound. We pretty much like the same things because we spend so much time together. We’ve had several periods where we’ve been listening to a lot of 60’s and 70’s stuff, but lately we’ve been into a lot of 90’s bands. So it’s pretty much a mix of all kinds of styles that we like.

HG: Yes, we definitely notice a heavy 70’s and 90’s indie influence to your sound. There is a dreamy melancholia to your aesthetic that takes cues from 90s American shoegaze and indie rock bands. Would you say these styles and influences are popular in Odense or more so in North America?

SB: The music scene in Odense is pretty much non-existing. Almost all of the interest in our music has come from outside of Denmark and we don’t think that it’s a coincidence. So no, we don’t believe our style and influences are as popular in Denmark as they are in North America. We believe that there is a bigger audience for our style of music in North America than there is here.

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HG: That is interesting. How do your friends and family in Odense find your music? Do they find it appealing at all despite the lack of a music scene there?

SB: Our friends and family have always been very supportive. It’s a very common thing among our friends to be unsatisfied with the music scene here, so it’s not like people here don’t get our music. We get a lot of kind words from the people around us.

HG: That’s great to hear. We can say the same about being unsatisfied with the music scene in Vancouver but it is still very supportive at the same time. Are you guys quite active in the music community online at all?

SB: Well, we’re trying as much as we can to keep the buzz going online. In the end, that’s the best way to get the music out there. We’re using SoundCloud and Facebook mostly.

HG: Definitely, it’s important to engage with the community and build a loyal following. What can we expect from Slaughter Beach in the upcoming months?

SB: Yeah exactly. At the moment we’re working hard on writing new songs. We don’t really have any specific release dates for anything, but hopefully we’ll be able to release an EP soon! At the same time we’re rehearsing a lot to get ready for live shows starting from spring. Actually, we’re going to play a show at the Canadian Music Week in the beginning of May.

HG: Yes we are itching for more material from you guys! The first 2 songs from you guys are amazing and we can’t wait to hear more. It’d be awesome to finally have you guys translate your sounds to a live setting as well. Nice, Canadian Music Week is great, congrats! Will this be the first festival experience for the band?

SB: Thanks! We’re really excited about it ourselves. We can’t wait to start playing live. Yeah, it’s going to be our debut on a festival.

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HG: Awesome, excited for you guys! Will you guys be considering a tour of some sort in the near future as well? Also, where would you guys want to tour?

SB: As for touring we haven’t got so far on the planning. It will probably come together with us putting out an EP or album. But we’d really love to tour in North America!

HG: That sounds like a great plan. We would love to see you guys live at some point! We wish you guys the best of luck with your project and hope to see you guys soon up here. Before we wrap this up, in your guys’ opinion, which up-and-coming act(s) are you guys into that we should all be listening to as well?

SB: Thanks a lot! Well, we haven’t had the time to dig in to a lot of new music for a while. But the first band that comes to mind is the shogaze/rock band Dråpe from Norway which sounds very promising! Other than that check out the British band Circa Waves.

HG: Cool, we’ve never heard of them before so we’ll check them out. Thanks again guys for taking the time out to chat with us! Could you leave us with an interesting, weird, or funny fact about the band?

SB: We’re actually spending more time writing music than going to the gym…

HG: Haha. Thanks guys, hear from you guys soon!

SB: Thanks so much for the chat!

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