Prior to seeing Katzenjammer headline at London’s Scala I was lucky enough to get some time with this amazing Norwegian 4 piece band. In attendance were Anne Marit Bergheim, Marianne Sveen and Turid Jørgensen.
How was Katzenjammer formed?
AM: It started in 2005. We all met in Oslo were we studied music and a friend of ours Mats Rybø. He had a few songs or a lot of songs actually just lying in a draw. They were all dusty and muddy and we asked him if we could form a band and start to play them. He said yeah sure, the songs kind of decided which instruments we had to collect and learn to play. That’s how it developed into 15 instruments.
Last week you released lead single I Will Dance (When I Walk Away). But what made this song stand out from the rest?
T: I think that song is one of the 2 songs on that album that is maybe a little more poppy and easy listening. Everything is easy listening but we have a lot of different genres in our music. It’s the most poppy and normally that’s more easy to get on the radio. I guess it’s therefore one of the singles.
How are you feeling about finally releasing A Kiss Before You Go in the UK this May?
M: It’s always a bit exciting, it’s very exciting but it’s sort of scary as well because we haven’t been playing much live here in England. We have been playing a lot live in other countries in Europe. So in the other countries we know that a lot of the people buying our album have seen us before, so they get the whole thing. They know what it’s all about. But here we haven’t that much to show for in live performances. It’s kind of more naked, we don’t have that much meat on the bones like we do in other countries. In that way I feel a bit more vulnerable in this country because we don’t have that much live experience here. It’s also kind of cool because people can listen to it without any presumptions or any ideas beforehand.
What is your favourite song to play live and why?
T: That’s different from time to time. Right now my favourite is I think Land Of Confusion. We can feel everyone likes to play it very much. Also God’s Greatest Storm, we have played that song from the beginning and we never get tired of that song.
AM: From the album I personally love to play Cocktails and Ruby Slippers. Coz then I can scream as ugly as I can and it’s just cool when I do
You are known for playing many different instruments but what was your first musical instrument you learnt to play?
AM: I learnt to play the Piano first.
T: I think Guitar.
M: I think the Piano. I started to sing first but then I guess that’s for everybody. The Piano was the first instrument.
T: Actually I’m lying it was the Flute because at school in Norway we had to learn the Flute. It sounds terrible that’s why we never play it again when we grow up.
Are there any instruments you cannot play?
T: Oh yeah Fiddle. I would love to play it though.
M: That depends how you see it. I just bought myself a Contra Bass or Double Bass I mean, a Cello and a Violin. I can physically play them. It doesn’t sound too good yet. Like I can physically manage how to play it. That’s sort of our approach to our music as well. It’s about daring and just really trying and not being afraid of making a fool of yourself.
Describe your music in 3 words?
AM: Chanderlis. If that’s a word.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
M: We get our inspiration from a lot of different stuff. Everything from movies to food. But we are first of all 4 different girls with very different tastes in music and different personalities. When we come together that’s a big bang right there. I think mostly it’s our own personal relationship to music that collides and makes our sound.
If you were to collaborate with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
T: Tom Waits is someone we would like to work with.
M: I would love to collaborate with the old 70’s Led Zeppelin.
AM: I would have to say Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley.
Who is your favourite singer or band at the moment?
T: These days I’m listening to Ida Maria
M: I just got a complete hang up on Florence and the Machine. All the albums are just as good. My favourite song at the moment is What The Water Gave Me. Fantastic.
AM: My favourite is Gillian Welch and David Rawlings from Nashville, Tennessee. They’re fantastic.
At the end of May you are coming back to the UK for a 6 date tour. What can people who haven’t seen you perform live before expect from a Katzenjammer show?
T: You can expect to have fun, you can expect to go home with a smile on your face and you can expect to be touched in every aspect of your emotions.
The band are back on UK soil from 17th May (which is Norwegian National Day) and ends 23rd May.
May 17th Bristol – Academy 2
May 18th Manchester – Ruby Lounge
May 19th Glasgow – King Tut’s
May 20th Birmingham – Academy 3
May 22nd Brighton – Concorde 2
May 23rd London – XOYO