Photo: Anders Filtenborg Spliid
Writer: Sebastian Egholm Lund
On a cold Thursday night we sat down with P3’s uundgåelige Mont Oliver at Radar in town. With raw hip hop beats and enchanting vocals, they’ve already kicked their name into the business. Even before their first official release they supported US chart-breaker Imagine Dragons at a sold out Store Vega in Copenhagen. Actually the night after this interview they would capture the stage as one of VEGA’s chosen ones in 2014. That said, their sound and genre is still indescribable..
What is Mont Oliver simply put?
Well, Simply put, we are a trio from Thy who like breaking down the various assumptions people have concerning pop, rock and hip-hop by blending it all together. Burst the limits of the common genres.
How did your interest in music start?
Jakob Hammershøj: In my family no one has a special focus on music. So I guess I found interest in my cellar with a Spanish guitar that should have been thrown out a long time ago.
Niels Christian Sommer: At an early age I started playing various instruments like drums and piano. I have played since then – now I play keyboard.
Mads Bernt Pedersen: I have played for almost as long as I can remember. I got my first drum set in second grade and have played the drums since.
How did you guys meet?
We met each other through high school. It was kind of Jakob who rallied the troops. He met Mads through another band and scouted Niels Christian when he started as a freshman.
How did the band name ‘Mont Oliver’ occur?
It sounded good. When you hear the name you don’t associate the band to be in any particular genre. It is neutral. The point was to have a name that wouldn’t determine any kind of genre or point in a certain direction.
You are a band who has achieved a relative amount of success in a short time span. What do you guys see as your biggest milestones this far?
Our first milestone was most definitely getting signed by Fake Diamond Records in February last year. Our second milestone was probably when we played as support for Imagine Dragons in front of a sold-out Store Vega – that was special experience because it was our first concert with the new material. Our third milestone has to be getting the Ugens Uundgåelig på P3 with our track ‘Give me Nothing’.
It’s quite obvious that you get inspired across different genres such as pop, rock and hip-hop. It is possible to define your sound?
Our goal is to avoid categorization. We are fairly in the start-up phase so our sound can seem kind of messy. We are trying out all sorts of things but our goal is to have a fresh, urban sound.
You had a collaboration with rapper Felix de Luca on your EP ’19’ – is there room for any future collaborations with rappers?
We do not plan on it – but we are not dismissive of it. It was an experiment which was totally cool but it is not that kind of sound or face we are. We won’t ever be a hip-hop orchestra.
Tell us about the process behind the release of your EP ‘19’.
It was a very long process – too long. We did a lot of tracks then scrapped them. Made more tracks then scrapped them also. It was around summer when we got an overall idea of the project. It was a very tough process.
If one has to boil Mont Oliver down to one track – which one do you think is most fitting in describing you musically?
We all agree about this. Our title track from our EP ‘19’. We all feel that ‘19’ is the track where we were most successful in combining genres. The inspiration to do the track came from the string arrangement from a Billie Holiday track Jakob heard. We then changed and remade the strings to the chorus of ‘19’. Shout-out to Billie Holiday. It was a great relief doing this track. It gave us new hope and belief in the project.
We know the most basic things about you guys. So we want to hear how it’s been touring Denmark – what are your funniest road stories?
We once had a funny situation happening when we played in Herning. We had a lot of bass on the stage so Niel Christian’s computer, the computer which controls all our music, tilted and then the screen split down the middle. All the music stopped and there we stood. Fortunately we could see just enough on the computer screen to start the music again. Haha.
In Odense we also had a funny episode. A very large man with tattoos insisted on getting Mads to kiss his wife. That was pretty strange. Mads thought it was a trick but the wife then kissed him and he got a huge hug from big man.
Do you guys have any certain types of rituals before playing concerts?
We always have a group-hug and some silly battle cry. Often we make a football line-up where Niels Christian regularly plays the sweep with two wings and Jakob as striker. Of course we always remember to watch out for offside!
What does the future hold for Mont Oliver? Is there an album on the way?
The future will most certainly feature a debut album from Mont Oliver. The plan is to finish the album within the summer with forthcoming release in autumn. We are playing our last concert tomorrow (last Friday red.) and then we won’t be playing until April which gives us a couple of months to record. Besides from recording we are going to be playing a lot of Danish festivals – almost all of them.
Which other upcoming bands and artist do you guys see having a huge 2014 in Denmark?
Ourselves. Just kidding. Our good friend, Patrick, who has an electronic band named Sekuoia. He is pretty cool and played Roskilde last and has a growing popularity in foreign countries. We think he will have a very, very successful 2014.