I had a little chat with Bjarke Porsmose from 4 Guys From The Future, just before their concert at Radar. We talked about the groups new album, Spotify, live-shows and Det Elektriske Barometer. 4 Guys From The future has recently sent out their second album Adagio.
Your new album has received great reviews, and one thing the reviewers seem to agree on, is the production of the album, so who’s the producer and why do you think the production has succeeded that well?
The record is produced by me and Mads Brinch (bass player of 4 Guys From The Future). I don’t know why the production seems so important to reviewers, I think that the production of a song or an album gives some kind of gravity to the material if it is produced in a certain way. We’ve tried to be ambitious on the production side of the album and wanted to make an album that seemed as one big piece. The songs fit with each other and that’s maybe the not the thing all people hear, but it’s good to know that somebody have.
Is 4 Guys From The Future then a studio band or a live band?
It’s a good question… we’ve spent a lot of time making the new album and played only 4 or 5 concerts in Denmark last year, and in 2012 we only played in France and 6 concerts in Denmark. But now we’re ready to do more live shows. We’ve got the material and the band and the lust for playing more concerts.
What’s your best live experience with 4 Guys From The Future?
We have always had a lot of average concerts, because we have never been a band which practiced alot, that kind of was our gimmick. But we have changed that now. Three of us have played in a band called Lily Electric, so we have a lot of experiences together. But I think our best concert so far was at Loppen in Copenhagen (Dec.2013). Everything just seemed right at that concert!
You reached the top of DR’s Det Elektriske Barometer for 8 weeks, and Det Elektriske Barometer reaches out to a lot of young listeners, so what do you think young people hears in your music that they like?
I think the song that went number one for eight weeks, “Nothing To Say”, has a lot of melancholic substance, and think that fits very well to Det Elektriske Barometers listeners. That makes a lot of sense I think.
What did you hear yourself when you were young?
Oh god… I lived a bit isolated in the northern part of Jutland… I heard a lot of Kim Larsen, Gnags, Shu-Bi-Du. A lot of melodic music. A lot of The Bealtes, and later on Guns n’ Roses.
How do you use social media to brand yourself?
Actually we don’t use it that much… Well… We write something on Facebook sometimes, but that’s about it. The branding is something our management controls more than we do.
There has been a lot of arguments for and against streaming services like Spotify lately. What is your opinion on that?
We (the band) don’t have an official opinion on that, but I think we share the same critical views that a lot of other musicians have, because it is very hard earning money as a musician now. It can be better to pay for the music instead of taking it for free, but when you get such a small amount of money as Spotify pays you, the problem is that there can’t be made new music. “The machine” around the music gets reproduced but the musicians get kicked out of the business, ’cause they can’t afford to make new music. Especially if they don’t make the music that the business wants, ’cause musicians don’t have money to pay for the publicity that is needed to bring the music forth. And even though it is now possible to produce and distribute music more ’locally’ and ’alternatively’, Spotify gains popularity – which makes sense for consumers – on behalf of the quality of the music-productions and the musicians indebting themselves. My opinion right now, is for musicians to make the music they really need to make, not to put themselves in too much debt in the process of it – ’cause its not economically worth it right now.
We’re always told that these medias are good for the industry because a lot of new bands get discovered. But do you guys think it really is a trap because they really don’t get anything economic out of it?
Well, I like the fact that there’s made a lot of music out there, because I love music. I don’t if it’s a trap, but I think there is a problem connected to users getting the music for, basically, free by powerful economic investors, who don’t ”reinvest” their earnings in the musicians that produce the music – enough as I see it. We’re in a period in time where we musicians don’t know what to do to earn money on producing music alternatively to mainstream music, and there’s a lot of bands who has the same economic fundament as we do, who are really struggling. But my opinion on music is that music is always a good thing, its just that musicians seem to be at the bottom of the food chain somehow, which makes it tough for the bands who try to survive in the music business.