Even if you don’t realize it, you’ve probably heard the Asteroids Galaxy Tour before. Their song ‘Around the Bend’ was used for an iPod Touch commercial, and some of their other songs have been featured on Gossip Girl and The September Issue. And with their fun, funkadelic sound, it’s no wonder the Danish band is getting so much commercial exposure. I talked to lead singer Mette Lindberg last week, and here is what she had to say:
BYT: So how did you and Lars get together for this project, and how did everyone else that’s currently performing with the band sort of fall into place?
ML: Well, Lars and I are the main core of the Asteroids Galaxy Tour; we’ve known each other for years, but we met up and started the band in the summer of 2007. Lars called me and said, “Hey Mette, I have some sketches, and I know that you’re doing your things and I’m doing mine, but this would be totally perfect.” We’ve worked together before, but nothing seriously that ever became anything. So I listened to it, and I thought it was amazing; the songs and the production of all the songs–Lars is the producer, and he’d just been doing it in his home, a small one-room flat where he did the recording. I really dug his sound; it was like what I had in my head, but I’m not a producer, I’m not good at creating sound with my computer and instruments. So we started working on songs and giving them a touch of “us”, and then we were asked to play live for Amy Winehouse! She was in Copenhagen, and we hadn’t played before so we were like, “Fuck! What’re we going to do?” But of course we wanted to play this show because it was a great opportunity to just jump right into it, because at that time we had about six almost finished songs. So we had a demo and a booking agency but we’d never played. And then we gathered people we knew and friends that we thought would be just perfect for this, and we rehearsed one and a half times I think, because we have six people so it’s a big band. And then we played for twenty minutes, and that was the kick start of the Asteroids Galaxy Tour.
BYT: Wow, that’s great!
ML: Yeah, and then we played many different places, like small clubs and pubs around England and Denmark and Germany, and then after a year or something we were about to release an EP, we had a song in an iPod Touch commercial which was the main song from our EP called ‘Around the Bend’. And then it was all over the world, and it was a big kick for us to start to be known because we didn’t have anything out! So we played a lot, both in the States and in Europe, and also in 2009 we played many festivals and tours–we were with Katy Perry for her tour.
BYT: Now, with the iPod commercial, it seems like (from what I’ve read) no one can seem to wrap their head around your decision to do that. I mean, I think it makes sense, so I’m not going to ask you about that, but I would like to know one thing…what happens when you do an iPod commercial? Do you get free iPods for life? I feel like if they don’t do that, they should.
ML: Yeah, we got some free iPods.
BYT: Well that’s good news.
ML: Yeah. (laughs)
BYT: Now have you always been from the actual city of Copenhagen or did you grow up outside the city and move there later?
ML: I am from the city. I grew up about fifteen minutes in a car from the center; it’s in a town, pre-Copenhagen. But I’m definitely from Copenhagen. Lars is from the countryside, and the band is from many different parts of Denmark, but we all live in Copenhagen.
BYT: Okay cool. Now with your music videos, you’ve worked with a guy named Diego Vasquez. How did you get involved with him on those, and how was it working in front of a greenscreen?
ML: Well, to answer your first question, with the first video that we made for ‘The Sun Ain’t Shining No More’, Diego was filming and we just loved his vibe, it was just really nice to be around him. He also did the visuals for the ‘Around the Bend’ video; he was the one doing all the glitter stuff. He’s very young, he’s in his early twenties, and we just felt that we really wanted to work with him more. So we sat down with him and talked about how we wanted to have ‘The Golden Age’ universe and what we wanted to have in it. We wanted him to dig into it and create this world for us using greenscreen, and he worked with his girlfriend Lucita who drew the storyboard like a cartoon so you could see everything. We talked about ideas, and they came up with something visual that we could see, and that way we could perform in front of the greenscreen knowing exactly what to do. After that, Diego worked on it a lot and came back to us and we tweaked things here and there, and now we’ve got the finished product! (laughs) It was really simply made, and then he locked himself in for a couple of months and did everything. It was really cool to give him the opportunity to work on something on his own even though he’s young. You know, we are a new band as well, so we just figured we’d see what happened.
BYT: Yeah, well it turned out really nicely!
ML: Thank you!
BYT: Now, you guys seem to do a really good job of keeping your fans in the know, especially on your Myspace with the video blogs. How often do you do those?
ML: Well, I’m the one doing the video blogs, so I’m mostly recording and people around us are using our camera, and then I edit it on my computer and put it up. But these days you have the internet to communicate with your fans, whereas back in the day you didn’t. You know, an interview in a magazine was everything…you’d buy the magazine and just soak everything up to learn about the artist. And most Hollywood movie stars were really secretive, so we didn’t really know anything personal about them. It was all about their character and their charisma. And I think that’s beautiful if you can admire something without knowing too much. I think it’s great to be in contact and ask questions and meet people you admire, and I like that as well. I think by doing video blogs you don’t have to write too much; it’s more of the vibe from where we are. You get a sneak peek of backstage or the bus or a funny situation or inside the tour, and I think that’s more exciting than reading too much. I try to make it a quick flow, so it’s not about something specific, it’s just more of a peephole into our world without being too much. So to answer your question (laughs) it’s something we do on tour to be in touch with our fans, to tell them about our adventure and to make a diary for people to know what we’re doing right now.
BYT: Right. Now will this be your first time in DC to perform?
ML: Well, we’ve never played there before, and I’ve never been. I don’t know about Lars or the others. So I think it’s going to be great, we’re really excited about it.
BYT: And how long are you in town for? Just the day?
ML: Yeah, I think just the day. That’s unfortunately how it works.
BYT: Right, right. And for the concert, are there any songs (you obviously love all of them) but are there any that you’re particularly looking forward to performing live?
ML: I really like all the songs, you know, I love to perform them all. We’re also going to be playing some new songs, three new songs, and we have a cover of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Inner City Blues’ which can also be found on the record. And of course it’s exciting to play new songs, but I still really love playing ‘Around the Bend’. I think it’s so energetic, and people sing along to it a lot. It’s amazing to stand on stage and hear people singing, it’s just great.