After success from the sophomore album, ‘Rivers That Run for a Sea That Is Gone’, Reptile Youth continued their progress with tours throughout Europe and Central America. Seemingly abrupt, the band has dismembered from their original pact. Esben Valløe will sustain as a musician under the project, Antonio Gramwhile Reptile Youth proceeds with the direction of Mads Damsgaard Kristiansen. Today marks the release of the downloadable EP ‘Away’. Here’s what Mads has to say.

Images Composed from Reptile Youth (homepage) via Justin Tyler Close , et al

How would explain to a three-year-old the split of Reptile Youth?

Mom and Dad are not in the same space anymore. It’s all love though. Sometimes you have a significant other and one wants to live in the countryside and the other wants to live in the city. It’s been coming for a while but it has felt very natural. It felt good for both of us.


No hard feelings?

We both got a lot of energy out of it. We both have been making a lot of music since, and see the world in a new way. I think it’s been really good for both Esben and me.


How’s working with Abby Portner?

We are very much on the same page. Hanging out with her feels very easy and nice. We only have one rule on the collaboration, which is to have a good time. And it makes a lot of sense that way. She’s so nice. I’m really happy that she is on board, since she is very busy working on other pieces. She’s working on this huge opening with John Cale from the Velvet Underground in New York, projecting visuals on the Whitney Museum.


How long do you plan to continue your collaboration with her?

Aside from the two piano concerts that we have been doing, she plans to do three new shows in the Fall where the stage is going to be a complete set and we will perform in old Danish Theaters. It will be like sitting and watching a play.

So no stage diving?

Ya, normally people are dancing. I really like to do something that is unconventional. To continue to do stuff not [based on] what people think we should do or would normally do.


You have this blissful, tropical, hypnotic single. What can we expect from the rest of ‘Away’?

All of the songs are very groovy and have a bit of an African influence. It’s always hard to describe your own music.


Was that based on your coast-to-coast travels?

It was made before I headed out to L.A.. We decided mid-December that there should have an EP done by the first of February. So that gave us a month and a half. And we were like ‘Ok, let’s just fucking do it’. And I actually didn’t feel ready for it. I felt like I needed some time away from Reptile Youth, before I could get into it. But it felt kind of nice to get pushed into it. We worked really hard to get it done.


What feels more foreign now? What does ‘Away’ mean to you?

To me, ‘Away’ probably means nature. To be away from the noise of the world. The most away I could be is like a Summer House. Alone for a week. Without internet, without anything.

mads_04_bitchslapAlbum Art

You’re not shaving your beard until the release?

I don’t know. It’s the same with my hair. I look like a wildling.

So you’ll just stay in your Summer House and eat nuts?

[Mads Laughs] Exactly!


How would someone earn your respect?

I think that’s a fucking great question, since your character says a lot about your music. People would earn my respect if I have a sense that their intentions are out of love somehow. I know sitting here with a beard and long hair, it sounds like I am a hippie. But treating people with kindness, and hoping the best for people. I have a lot of respect for that and that would earn respect from me.

mads_05_bitchslapphoto from previous interview