The Entrepreneurs is probably the most fashionable band out of Copenhagen: longhaired(-ish) dudes in sunglasses and outfits that make girls (including me) envious. Their “Noise & Romance” music, as they describe it themselves, is more than just curated tunes; it’s an art space for experimentation and freedom. I met them on a Monday morning at 8:30AM and we actually managed to be social thanks to strong Cortados. Before their gig this Friday the 16th of October at Vega, we talked about how hard it is to be a stereotypical rockstar sometimes, that if a concert isn’t draining it wasn’t good enough, and where they see themselves in the near future.
Cover picture by Tommy Frost.
Other pictures by Tue Blichfeldt from the #RF15 series.
From left to right: Jonas, Anders, Mathias
Whose idea was it to schedule an interview on a Monday morning? You look like you are really suffering.
Jonas: No, it’s fine. Anders is normally the worst in the morning (laughs). We have to attend a class at 10.
Anders: I think it’s a combination of all the things we need to manage in our lives right now; it just ended up having to be early today.
I feel like you are quite good at interviews – I saw the performance interview at Roskilde Festival this year. What are your thoughts about that in retrospective?
Jonas: Holy Macaroni!
Anders: We actually didn’t really know what it was before we did it.
Mathias: It was actually before our show, and usually we use that time to just focus on what might happen on stage. We were kind of nervous actually. It was a strange experience because we got thrown into it; there wasn’t any briefing.
Jonas: We believed that it was going to be a “normal” interview (laughs) but it wasn’t bad at all thinking back at it. The timing was maybe not the best, like Mathias already said, as it was before our gig.
Anders: I quickly realized that it wasn’t what we thought it would be, especially after one of the people in charge told me that we were really brave for doing this.
I can imagine, I think it was one of the most intimate live interviews I’ve ever seen. How was Roskilde anyways?
Mathias: It was really great. It was something that we will probably still remember in 20 years.
Anders: It would be amazing to open Orange Stage. I think every Danish band feels that way. We put a lot of work into The Entrepreneurs and we are hoping to tour around in Europe next year. We haven’t done it that much; we have played in Hamburg before but we would really like to try to play abroad more. At the moment we are figuring out what countries might like your music. We are interested in, for example, Holland, Germany…
Mathias: and England. Russia could be cool too. That’s where the true punk scene seems to be like these days. I would like to do the real deal, like a punk show somewhere in a basement in Moscow with fucked up people (laughs). And then we also want to do Orange Stage. It’s really about being able to fill that span, from punk to festival.
Jonas: We really like the diversity of ur shows, sometimes you are on a big stage far away from people and other times they are right in your face. We love doing both. Interacting with different audiences is fun.
How do you actually feel about the Danish crowd?
Jonas: We haven’t really tried anything else really.
Anders: But they have been really nice to us.
Mathias: When we were involved in other projects in the past, we “tested” the German crowd and I really like their focus when they listen to music. They really took it in; it’s a little different in Denmark but our concerts here have been really great nevertheless. To me it’s not really important that people jump around – it’s nice when they do though. The most important thing is that they get us and that we can see they are into our music.
Jonas: I get a bit scared when they are getting too wild sometimes. There was this guy once who was going up on a pole right by the stage. He was swinging around and I remember yelling that he should be careful and get down again. I was really scared for him.
What about crowd surfing, is that a thing for you guys?
Mathias: I haven’t done that but Jonas did once.
Jonas: Yeah (laughs).
Mathias: Sometimes I just jump down the stage and scream into the microphone but I haven’t tried the other thing yet.
Anders: There have been times where people in the crowd had thrown their underwear up on stage. But we did absolutely nothing with them.
Jonas: I didn’t know at the time, otherwise I would have hung them to my drums (laughs).
Mathias: Yeah, it was stuck on my cap and I didn’t realize until after 10 seconds into it that I had something on my head. Maybe I should have done something more exciting than just removing it.
Anders: Now we at least know that this can happen again and we’ll be more prepared for it.
Let’s talk about your new EP that’s coming up. Are you experimenting with different sounds?
Anders: Yes, we have been working with a guy called Jens who has worked with Young Dinosaurs and many other bands. He is very brilliant and it’s been interesting to work with him because he has some different angles towards music. We try to mix it up a little.
Mathias: I have the feeling that maybe we are actually heading towards a more niche audience; we are really trying to nail it in. We don’t want to play it too safe. We talked about that with Jens. You can have the immediate success but for us our music should have a thing in the world for a more sustainable success in the long run, if that’s makes sense.
Jonas: We are trying to find a unique sound and instead of doing what seems to be the easiest, we are figuring out what we really are about. That might risk loosing a big gig at Roskilde but hopefully we can manage to do it.
Anders: Yes, what we are doing right now could be considered a big “don’t” and people might not really understand it if it’s too far out but maybe people really get it. You never know what’s gonna happen in this industry.
Jonas: I agree, a lot has happened in only one year, and also since I officially started being a permanent member of the band basically.
Are you at the level where people recognize you on the street?
Mathias: Yeah, that happened to me a few times but not that much. Every time it happens though I’m like “shit yeah, that’s me” (laughs).
I think it’s safe to say that you are definitely the most fashionable band in Denmark right now. Maybe that’s also why people recognize you.
Anders: That’s amazing.
Everybody laughs and agrees.
Mathias: I mean…we try to do something with it, in terms of aesthetics that is. But it’s always nice to hear.
What about the aesthetics of shows – do you care a lot about that?
Anders: We definitely try out different things. There is so much more to just playing music. We are trying to create a great experience for the audience, as good as we possibly can. We are all about light design, sound, stage set-up etc. But how we are playing or acting on stage is more random than the rest. It’s about setting the right framework.
Mathias: Yes, we paint a picture that we can navigate in. That goes for everything we do. If you have that space then you can do whatever you want to between the corners. We want to move people.
Are your parents attending your concerts?
Mathias: Sometimes. Anders’ mom and also mine live 5 hours from here. My mom saw one of the first concerts and she didn’t like it at all. We had some visuals during our show that were really macabre. She didn’t understand the brutality of it.
Jonas: My dad got angry once. He couldn’t understand “this noisy thing” we were doing. I could see that he was so annoyed with our music.
Mathias: My got to like it. I think that’s because we are more settled. But maybe if you hear our music a couple of times you might understand it better…
Anders: or actually start to like it.
Mathias: I think our quality also improved. You can actually hear the sound behind the wall of noise and distortion.
Anders: I actually figured out that we are making the perfect music for my dad. He has a hearing aid and when it gets too loud it just shuts off and then it’s actually kind of nice. One time everybody thought it was way too loud; people’s ears were ringing and he just loved it.
Do you have a guilty pleasure in music, like the stuff you listen to when you shower?
Mathias: I am in a period right now where I don’t listen to a lot of music; it’s been like that for a couple of weeks. There is just so much music going around every day. I used to listen to 30 records a week but not anymore. If I want to hear music now, it has to be good music.
Anders: Depends on the mood, really. It’s different for every setting you are in. At a party where I know the people, I’d maybe put on Lionel Richie.
Jonas: I actually just realized that’s it’s been ages since we partied. I can’t remember the last time.
Anders: Yeah, we are very professional. We meet up on Mondays to do stuff like giving interviews (laughs). We actually talked about that before: if you are playing a lot of shows then it’s hard to party every time because you also want to be good on stage for the next concert.
Mathias: The intensity we are playing at is draining; it takes a lot of energy. I feel exhausted after playing a show and if I’m not exhausted, then it wasn’t good enough.
Jonas: You can either go in two directions: you can continue until 7 in the morning or just grab a beer and go to bed afterwards. I missed so many parties the last months.
So you have to party even more after your concert at Vega on Friday!
Anders: Yes, we are really looking forward to it. We have really worked hard for it. We kind of want to thank the people that support us. We will try out something different, maybe it will be a bit of a surprise for the audience.
Mathias: It’s also the last concert of the year. It’s gonna be a great night to sum up the past 6 months. We really love Vega, it’s a special place for us and I always dreamed of playing there.
Buy tickets for the show tonight here.