broen

Hiya Broen, so first thing’s first. Tell me a little about that band name and how the five of you came to form and make music?

Hey! Lars Ove and Hans were at a winter mountain hike, and in a cabin after a couple of glasses of whiskey and they started brainstorming on a name for the new band. It was an important case occupying all the band members’ heads at the time. 

We soon came up with the name Broen, which in Norwegian is translated ‘The Bridge’. We just liked the sound of it. But a more intellectual/childish view you could say is that we’re kind of a bridge between different inspirations.

The band consists of Anja playing the keys, Heida playing tuba, Marianna singing, Lars Ove playing guitar and Hans playing drums. We were good friends and played in some different bands together already, when we decided to form Broen. We’re still good friends.

I’d say it’s quite difficult to label your sound to one genre, how would you label your music in a word or two? Is it a conscious decision to stay outside the genre boundary lines? 

It’s a conscious decision to try and make something new. We want to expand the pop music term, in our own way. Pop music is our jug, but we put different things in it, every time. We’re really experimenting together. 

A lot of the music is made together at the rehearsals. That’s the most fun way of making music, because then everyone can contribute with their own qualities and ideas and the music will develop based on those factors. Then we will always be surprised and curious. And we like democracy.

You’ve just released your ‘Yoga’ EP, how does it feel to have it out in the world? 

It’s great that it’s out there! Hope people listen to it.

It includes two of your early singles ‘Boy’ and ‘Iris’, how did you find the reaction to these tracks? Did you expect them to be received so positively by the likes of The Guardian and BBC6 Music? 

I don’t think we knew what to expect, really. But of course we hoped that it would get some good attention! We’re really really happy for all feedback and attention!

There has been a huge interest from British audiences in music from Scandinavia in recent years as artists such with Lykke Li, Agnes Obel and iamamiwhoami all doing extremely well in the UK. Do you find British crowds are open to your music? 

 I think they are. We’ve only played two concerts in the UK so far. And only in London. But that was great. People were smiling and dancing and throwing flowers at us. We’re definitely a live band and we love to play concerts. We want to tour in the UK and play at a lot of festivals. And then tour the world.

And how is it recording and performing in a country like Norway by contrast? 

 A lot of our music is danceable. It has a good groove. Norwegians can tend to be a little stiff 🙂 The UK seems better. But Norway has a lot of good festivals. And recording studios. And good music funding.

We’re very curious about the UK and want to experience it more.

Who would you say are the band’s biggest collective influences? And a few of your own personal favourites? 

Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, The Police, Micachu, Talking Heads, Mykki Blanco, The Beatles, Jai Paul, Hodgy Beats.

Festival season is right around the corner, do you have plans to attend any events this year and where would you like to be playing this time next year? 

Not that many plans for the summer actually. We’re releasing a new album this autumn. So we’re waiting a bit for that to be released. Can’t wait 🙁 🙂

Now that ‘Yoga’ has been released, are you heading back to Norway to write? What’s the next step for Broen? 

We’re already working on our third album, making new songs and thinking about a kind of structure or theme. It’s exciting! And we’re also making music videos. We just had some intense days of filming a dance choreography made by Lars Ove’s wife May. The whole band was dancing. It was crazy exhausting, but it’s gonna be fun to see the result.