WhoMadeWho is a genre-tripping, Danish dance rock band who may be named after an AC/DC song, which is apropos, since their tight jams and falsetto-strewn choruses would make Angus Young, in his prime, quake with jealousy. Their charm and comic twists are one with their music, but in no way does that make it a schtick show.

These three dazzling musicians also have their own side projects, like Tomas (Tomboy) Barford on drums, who’s also known worldwide as a renowned electronic DJ and music producer. Jeppe Kjellberg, the lean guitarist with the devilish grin who kicks songs off with quips like, “Let’s have fun while we’re destroying it!”, came from the world of avant-garde jazz. Falsetto-blessed and bearded bassist Tomas Hoffding hailed from the underground Scandinavian rock scene. Their music is so changeable and alive, it’s best that you just get on the WhoMadeWho train and try not to fall off. They’d better make it back to the U.S. again soon.

To write Knee Deep (out April 26th on Kompakt), the three of you were said to have isolated yourselves each to his own, to come up with different ideas.  How easily did you then combine the material to complete the songs?

It was very easy, because we, on this album, had no pressure whatsoever to do commercial stuff, like radio singles or dance hymns. In WhoMadeWho, we have always worked like this, we start out together 2 or 3 of us, and then we just mail the initial mp3 around, and we will put dubs and vocals on it, or even (often) slice up in pieces, and make different chords and structures to make some new idea fit the original track. Finally, we met up one week to put the pieces together. This was very successful, because we had so many songs to choose from. The songs that were too pop for the Part 1, just went on to the big pile of songs for Part 2, coming late 2011.

How was this a different process than your song writing style in the past?

Mainly, it was a refinement of the process we have developed [while] recording the last 2, (3) albums. It was also easier in a lot of ways. Being an alternative band, it’s extremely hard and boring work trying to make a “hit”.

Why do you think Knee Deep came to reveal a more dark, theatrical side of your sound, as compared to your previous album, The Plot?

Well, on The Plot, we had an idea that we would make a super eclectic album, a brave idea, but perhaps it got a bit confused…. As for the darkness, being Scandinavian, I think we always tried to fight it because almost every Scandinavian band has this strong melancholic nerve. We started out wanting to be different, so we tried to seek into the part of the Scandinavian mind where there is sunshine, and cocktails. We all have great affection for the dark side, so making the Knee Deep album was easy, it was just a matter of letting out the darkness and melancholy.

Having already headlined festivals like Benicassim as well as quite a few tours, and playing alongside bands like LCD Soundsystem, Daft Punk, and Justice, what’s the next step you are looking forward to most?

Basically, its always about artistic development. We have been so fortunate that our following has been growing steadily the whole way through, and in these times of so-called crisis in the album-selling industry, it’s nice to know that our popularity as a live band is ever growing.

We have tried a lot of cool stuff, so I guess our goals are more in the direction of the music we are going to make, [rather] than a dream of playing some stadium. I mean, after the poster with WhoMadeWho+LCD Soundsystem+Daft Punk, where do you go?

Would you rather be described as “handsome” or “otherworldly” Danes?

Definitely handsome!

How do you come up with costume themes for each tour?

It’s often by coincidence, and it’s sometimes morphing slowly between different ideas. These days, it’s all about finding the right balance. we don’t want to look like another dead boring, indie rock band, but on the other hand, we don’t want to fall in the trap of being the band you go see because of the crazy costumes.

The last month’s, our Amish style outfit has slowly turned in the direction of train conductor. We are not sure where to go from here.

How was your SXSW 2011?

Just got home! We rented bicycles, and played 8 very successful gigs in 8 days. We also had a beer or two.

Video by Zabatay

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