Music & Me: When Saints Go Machine

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The Independent Culture

When Saints Go Machine produce ice-cool shimmering pop that belies their tongue- in-cheek moniker. Signed to hip dance label !K7 records, expect to hear a lot more of the Danish foursome’s stunning songs this summer. Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild took time out to answer our questions.

The first record I bought was?:

The First record I ever bought with my own money was Tragedy’s Saga Of A Hoodlum. I first heard “The Posse (Shoot ’em Up)” on a mixtape one of my friends had made for me. That album to me is still one of the best rap albums from that era of rap music.

The first gig I went to was?

Public Enemy in ’93 or ’94. My parents drove me back and forth from the concert and I was so embarrassed that I told them to wait around the corner. I still remember having that hissing sound in my ears for the first time from standing too close to the speakers. And I still have Flavor Flav and Chuck D’s autographs!

My favourite album is?

I listen to music all hours of the day and have been doing that for the last 16 years so that’s a hard question to answer, but one of the records I keep coming back to is Broadcast’s The Noise Made By People.

But my parents always liked?

My parents really had a thing for Leonard Cohen and I didn’t understand it at the time and I really hated his voice, but I got a lot smarter, I think he is one of the best songwriters of our time. I didn’t even get to say thank you. They also listened to a lot of Bob Marley and Dylan because I was sought of a difficult child and it made me relax. They always used to tell me this story about going to London and buying all of these reggae records from Rastafarians and going to see Bob Marley in concert in Sweden.

I couldn’t marry someone who liked?

Right wing politics.

On stage I like to wear?

A hoody, jeans and Converse All Stars. I would like to try something else one day, but this is what I normally wear. I like having a hood over my head because it feels like that’s where all these feelings go.

I’d love to perform with?

Beth Gibbons from Portishead I can’t really think of anyone else. Her voice is so beautiful and haunting at the same time.

One thing that must change in the music industry is?

That people don’t take time out to listen to whole albums and go for a quick fix of one song. We need more classic albums. I like the direct line between the listener and the artist, but it’s strange how many people respond instantly to you having a cold compared to how they respond to the music you put out. I normally find the music much more personal and compelling than the person behind it.

A great album cover is?

Grace Jones - Island Life. She might be a sweet person, she still scares me a bit though, but I would never say no to a date or a night out with her although she is over 60. I saw her live two years ago and she was amazing.

On my iPod I listen most to?

Arthur Russell “This is How we Walk on the Moon” when the sun is out and I have all the time in the world. And Deerhoof’s “The Tears And Music Of Love” when people have to get out the way because I have places to be.

If I could have written any song it would have been

Another hard one, there are so many fantastic writers and songs, but one I recently heard through my younger brother Oliver was Silver Jews’ “Horseleg Swastikas”. I love David Berman’s lyrics, there are all these elements of surprise that just sticks in my head forever.

The worst song I’ve heard is?

Everything ever produced by Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas.

Saints Go Machine release their second album Konkylie (!K7 records) on 6 June.