This duo caught our attention with the first single “RUOK” and we were looking very much forward both, to see them live for the first time at SPOT Festival 2015 and to have a little talk with Matilde and Jeppe from FAE. After ending the adventure with Battlekat, the two started a new project and seem to really enjoy the musical journey they got onto with it.
After their super cool performance at SPOT, we sat down on the staircase of the Scandinavian Congress Center in Aarhus and had a chat about techno music, the meaning of “FAE”, differences between working together in a bigger band and as a duo… and more! Read the interview below:
Good because Danish: You are a very fresh new project on the Danish music scene, there is just one song released worldwide so far. Why did you pick “RUOK” as your first single?
Jeppe: We were trying hard to figure out what FAE should be about and wanted to show what we came up with in the first single. It became clear to us that “RUOK” should be the first single, because it starts in a very indie, low-key way, but ends up with a really techno beat. That was like the transmission of what we wanted to do with the entire project. So, in that song you can really hear, almost in a time line, our effort in finding our sound and with what we ended up with.
What is the main message locked in FAE’s music? What do you want to share with the listener in your songs.
Matilde: We want to experiment in merging the traditional songs, the “song-written” songs, with these really hard-core techno sounds. We think it can be really interesting to see what comes up from that. We are two very different people regarding music and genres, so we also want to merge our personalities and ways to look at music and work with music.
But you played in a different band before, with other artists – Battlekat. What is different in FAE? And what are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of the fact that you two have already worked together as musicians before?
Jeppe: Sometimes we get into a not so constructive work dynamic, because we know each other so well. I think if FAE would have been a totally new project and if we wouldn’t have known each other, we would have some more respect towards each other. But because we know each other so well, it’s sometimes like reading in each other’s minds, which might not always be good. But the advantage is that we really understand the small signals and we have a very clear vision of what we want to do.
Matilde: It’s like in a family, this kind of “love and hate” relationship. But I think that the music we make together as FAE is more clear to us. We really know what we are doing with this project. In Battlekat there were so many people, with so different characters, who decided in what direction the band would go. Now it’s really nice to be more sure about what we want and how to get there as a duo.
We know many bands don’t like the following questions, but we have to ask you – what does the name “FAE”stand for? We googled a bit and we are wondering if it has something to do with the German phrase “Frei aber einsam” (“free but lonely”) and the F-A-E Sonata? Can you tell a bit more about why you chose this name for the project?
Matilde: We must admit that we’re not good with names (smiles).
Jeppe: But with Battlekat we got stuck with a name that got a lot of meaning, also for me personally. People kind of expected something when they heard the name. What we really wanted with FAE was a name that people can project anything they want into when they hear it and a name that doesn’t really say too much about anything, so we can shape the project any way we want.
Matilde: It can mean many different things to different people. There can be so many things that are”FAE”. It’s also a very nice and interesting sound itself, when you say it.
Jeppe: It really doesn’t say too much and that’s why we like it so much. Because when you call yourself “Suicide Lovers From Hell” for example, people expect something when they come to your show. We wanted to avoid such a situation.
Matilde: It also a name that covers our music a lot. Because the music has a lot in itself, but the little things and little details around it are very delicate and subtle – such as the sound when you say “FAE”.
Jeppe: But the thing with the German phrase “free but lonely” also matches the music we make and I can really identify with that.
Matilde: When I was researching for meanings of “FAE”, I also found that one and figured it really fits as well. This little phrase can have a lot of different meanings and that’s what we like about it the most, that way it really matches with the music and what we want to do with the project: not being attached to one concrete projection or idea, but having the freedom to experiment.
We got a chance to see you live at SPOT Festival, but if you had to invite someone to your concert, what would you say? What do you think the audience can expect from your live performance?
Jeppe: Okay, I’ll try to do it in one sentence: It’s an energetic, yet still emotional and melancholic rave party.
It’s something we find very interesting in Danish electronic music and “party” music in general and what we once talked about with Asbjørn when he said he makes songs that allow you to be sad on the dance floor. And it seems that Danish artists really know how to do that…
Matilde: Yes, that’s true. But it’s really nice about the music we make now, that we can be a part of the party ourselves. Of course we are on the stage, but not so much as we used to. It’s more creating a group of people with the audience and doing something together and that’s just so nice. That is what we want to do. To go to places where there’s something going on and make the experience even bigger with our music.
There seems to be a kind of comeback of electronic music at SPOT Festival this year and in general in Danish music nowadays. But so far, from what we’ve heard and seen, you are the only ones really coming back to this heavy techno sound, which is not such a common inspiration anymore. Why did you decide to go in this direction with your music, to come back to the roots of electronic music in a way?
Jeppe: WhenI was a kid, I listened to a lot of early 90’s techno, but I couldn’t tell my friends. So it was a bit like a dirty pleasure for me to listen to that kind of music. Now I can let it out with Matilde and we can really bound through it. It’s very effective music, there’s no nonsense, there’s just this powerful sound. I think some people don’t go all the way with that sound, we try to maybe go a little too far, to a little more dangerous areas of it.
Matilde: We discussed a lot of things while creating the project and then we found this Nexus sound that was so good when it was combined with my vocals, melodies and arrangements we wanted, it was just a great merge. So we kind of clinched to it and said: “okay, we have to use it, because this is something good that comes from it all together”.
Jeppe: For me, the first time that I heard someone doing something with such sound again, was the later work of Crystal Castles. They did it in a very interesting way, just using those very big sounds. It was an eye-opener for me, that you can do something other than… plastic pop, with this kind of a sound.
What are the plans now for FAE? What can we expect from you guys in the nearest future?
Jeppe: We really want to work on our live set and just put it really together. Then we want to go out to people and just play our music, so they can enjoy it and have fun. We are in the planning of the future shows and setting down more details. When we played with Battlekat, there were always these important shows, for the important people. That is an important part of course, but now we really want to get out to the people who are moreenthusiasts of the music, not only the music industry people.
Matilde: Last night there were a lot of people just having a good time and really letting go to the music. I sang that part of the song “and to let gooo” and I thought to myself “yes, that’s it!”. It was really beautiful to experience.
It was really nice to also see that not only the audience had fun, but also you on stage were having a good time and simply enjoyed playing together for people.
Jeppe: Yes, that’s the first rule of FAE. This time we just need to simply have fun. Otherwise the project will end up being crappy.
Matilde: Now it’s about finding the right people in the music and outside the music, so to say. Because if you won’t find the right business partners and people around the project, it doesn’t go anywhere.
Photo by Joanna Wróbel