Hello Cate, Jonas, and Hans! Let’s jump straight into it. Why did you decide to cover the classic “Roads” by Portishead?
Cate: Well, we all do like this band very much, but to be honest, it was just an accident… One of those things that just came together.
Jonas: First of all, we never dreamt of actually covering Portishead. Truth is, it just happened. Hans and I were working together on music back in the early summer of 2015 and this track was one of the first beats that we liked from this session, that aggressive distorted synth, a slightly industrial and mechanical feel. It had something. So later that day we previewed it with Cate and all she could hear was the haunting, nostalgic vocal melody from the song. It was addicting and seductive, and really fun for Cate to sing. We all had our own memories and admiration for the song.
Hans: We were missing one chord of the original track, but the vocal melody just fit on there like a glove, and it felt really, really good; although we were still a little hesitant if we should try to nail it, or if we should erase the idea from our heads and work on something original. We decided it was too persuasive, so right then and there we recorded the vocals. We made it for our own pleasure; an homage to such an epic song. The first take was the final take. It was one of those magical moments, you know?
Did you send the final version to Portishead? If you did, I’m wondering what the members thought of it.
Hans: No… but do you have a valid email address? Just kidding… I dealt with the publisher and they were not exactly forthcoming or helpful. We would love for them to hear the cover!
This unofficial cover is not on your upcoming album, entitled She’s Bad, yet you decided to release it anyway as a one-off. Why doesn’t it appear on the album?
Cate: It didn’t fit on the album mood-wise, but we felt it was just too nostalgic and good to throw it out, and everybody we played it to felt the same, so here it is.
It seems like the October/November season is the perfect time for this type of sound…
Jonas: That’s how we feel and I hope the rest of the world feels same way.
Tell us a little bit about your new album, which is actually your third record. What’s changed since you dropped the previous two?
Hans: Many things have changed. For one, our creating and recording process is faster now. I guess – or we just got lucky this time around. We wrote and recorded 80% of the album within 4 weeks this past spring and by June all the songs were finished.
Jonas: Our first record, Trickster Trickster, was more of a patchwork sound-wise, production-wise, and for the fact that we recorded bits and pieces on two continents over a longer period of time. Although Blitzpop, the second record, stemmed from a single session, it took us a good year to wrap up.
She’s Bad was the shortest production time for any album I ever did. The wonderful thing about that is that the record still feels fresh and I’m not quite sick of hearing it. Big plus. Musically, this new record feels more mature, seasoned, and thought out. It has a defined vibe to it that I’m really fond of.
Cate: We had sort of a conceptual idea of the music going into the session and we were able to translate part of that into the tracks.
Hans: Also, I feel it’s more personal sonically, since we build most of the sounds from scratch, using sampling and recording real instruments, and using hardware synths and drum machines, rather than plug-ins.