Datarock Interview

August 13, 2009 at 1:36 am | Posted in Music | Leave a comment
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Link to interview

Datarock are next EA Artwerk’s endevour to bring great music to the games that you cant put down. Datarock’s Fredrik tells us more what its like for the band…

Mechanical R: Can we have some history on Datarock?
Fredrik: The band was started back in 2000 by me, Ketil Mosnes, Tom Mæland and a guy from Boston called Kevin O’Brien. Kevin moved back to the states even before we even had a name, Tom left after a few years on the road, so me and Ketil kept going as a duo with Stig The Mystical Casio Operator on MT-64 until a few years ago. Nine years down the line we’re now a full on collective with around 50 associated members, close to 600 shows under our belt, two albums and a bunch of EP out, songs in tons of games, tv series, films and adds, we’ve got a top of the line management, label and publisher, and we’re laughing all the way to the bank.

Mech: Who are your main influences when it comes to writing and performing?
Fredrik: DEVO, Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, Happy Mondays and Daft Punk. In that order.

Mech: For Datarock, what’s in store for 2009?
Fredrik: An insane international tour hitting 25 cities in the US alone and twice as many in Europe and Australia. We’ve already released videos for “Give It Up” and “True Stories” but next month you’ll get to see the video for our third single, “The Pretender”. It’s directed by the same guys that shot the classic “Revenge Of The Nerds”-inspired “Computer Camp Love” video. This time The Parallax Corporation took inspiration from the insane John Carpenter movie “They Live” from 10988. As with “Computer Camp Love” we shot it in Paris, and again it turn out pretty damn awasome. Check it out!

Mech: Can you tell us more about the new album Red, which was released earlier this month?
Fredrik: It’s the best thing to happen madkind since the release of the C64. No doubt about it! Which other album has songs in two FIFA games? Besides our debut, of course.

Mech: How long had you be recording/writing for this new album, was the process easy this time round?
Fredrik: These songs were actually written over 17 years and recorded over 4. Most of the tracks are brand new though. Writing them came pretty easy when we finally had time off from touring. We simply decided not to think about any kind of preassure and rather just make another album for us and our friend. And of course to make sure we’d have fun performing it live over the next couple of years. The positive feedback is still overwhelming, don’t get me wrong, but we didn’t really strive to please anyone but ourselves to be honest. That took a lot of stress out of the process…

Mech: What does being under Artwerks label mean for the band?
Fredrik: Well, it certainly helps reaching out to wast masses of people, and hey, it helps getting our songs plugged into some absolutely insane games. I’m really happy we were picked up, man, cause doing what we do, getting picked up by such a powerful force in this industry truly made a big impact on our career.

Mech: How did you get involved with EA and getting your songs into the games?
Fredrik: A guy working for EA in Norway sent Steve Schnur a few of our tracks, he dug it and sought us out at SXSW back in 2007. We sat down talking for hours and got to know the whole music team. We totally clicked and been friend ever since.

Mech: Were you interested in branching music and gaming together before you joined Artwerk?
Fredrik: We actually wrote our own game back in 2003 and we’ve always been joking about reaching out to the gaming indutry. We didn’t think anyone would care to work with us though, and never took it serious anyways, so it cought us by total surprise when Steve called us. I’m extreemely happy he did. Steve’s progressive you know. I guess he and his team has a special eye and ear for potential.

Mech: What’s it like to be able to play a video game and to have one of your own songs pop up in game?
Fredrik: Mindblowing and very, very weird.

Mech: Beyond just having songs in EA Games, what other benefits do you get being apart of Artwerks label?
Fredrik: Getting to be part of an exeptionally progressive group of highly talented people. It’s inspirational, educational, and very beneficial for all sides of what we do, working with innovative professionals such as these. Keep in mind, DATAROCK run a lable called YAP Records where we produce, release, distribute and partly manage 10 bands in addition to ourselves. Getting this kind of inside know-how gives us the upper hand in finding ways to deal with the ups and downs of the current state of the music indutry. Sounds boring, but we have a responsibility for all these artists and I’m happy to say we now have a fairly good understanding of how to survive in a world where most music consumers seam absurdly unwilling to pay for music – physical formats and digital files alike. Under these circumstances one has to focus on the positive aspects of the current situation and try look for a positiv and pregressiv approach. The guys at Artwerk has not only opened the worlds eyes to us, but aslo our eyes to lots of new world of opportunities. A grand but honest answer.

Mech: Do you guys play a lot of video games?
Fredrik: One more than the others, but there’s always one of us glued to some kind of console.

Mech: If so which are you all finding yourselves glued to currently?
Fredrik: Still FIFA’09, but soon to be swapped with FIFA’10.

Mech: Who’s the biggest gamer out of you both?
Fredrik: I’s have to say the K-man.

Mech: Are any of you looking forward to any releases coming soon?
Fredrik: The upcoming expansion pack for Sims™ 3, simply called DATAROCK. Nobody seams to know when though.

Datarocks latest album ‘Red’ release on ‘Young Aspiring Professionals’ (YAP) records.

Catch some of Datarock tracks in games including Need For Speed: Prostreet, Fifa 09 and the upcoming Fifa 10.

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