Interview with MEW – By @shein_dean
By Dean Shein
Interview with MEW
‘Scandinavian Indie progressive rock’ might not roll off the tongue but the mellow yet sometimes electric sounds of Danish band ‘Mew’ are sure to provide you with something truly unique. The other day, I was lucky enough to catch up with lead vocals of the quartet, Jonas Bjerre, on album inspiration, his favourite hidden genres and national anthems as well as a bit of football, here’s how it went:
DS: Hey brother how are you and where are you in the world?
JB: Hey Deano, I’m in Cöpenhagen now, I’m fine thanks but it’s getting pretty cold.
DS: Hahaha I bet! So before we start tell us a little about how you guys all came together?
JB: Well me, Johan, Silas and Bo (since left) were actually all good friends at school and we would always spend hours listening to music together, once school finished we naturally just decided to form a band so we could jam and express the sound we envisioned.
DS: Living the dream ey? A band with your best mates, awesome! So did you guys plan the sound you offer or did it come naturally?
JB: That’s an interesting one Deano, as we all had so many different ideas, but there seemed to be a common link we all loved some older indie rock. In our sound we wanted to express that but also add our own touch which came naturally on ‘And The Glass Handed Kites’. I actually use to think that the city we were in really inspired our music and I always tried to get the band to amazing and exotic places so we could reflect on where we were but I then realised because we were in the studio for hours each day, we had very little time to soak up the culture and that the city we recorded in didn’t have a huge impact on our style.
DS: I see, from what I gather the cities still inspired you but you guys put in everything when you recorded…
JB: Exactly, so much goes in physically and emotionally when creating an album so we now tend to record in our home studio in Denmark and then we leave just a little bit of stuff for touring.
DS: Okay, the most intriguing song I came across was ‘Satellites’, What was the creative process behind that?
JB: yes Deano that’s an interesting one, a really sad one, we actually wanted it to depict lots of emotion and that’s why it can get heavy from time to time but that heaviness is just raw emotion, it’s one of my favourites because it really shares with the listener our struggles both as a band and personally, which have been extremely tough.
DS: You really capture that emotion and dystopic identity throughout the piece, it had me deeply reflecting…
JB: Exactly, that was the tone we wanted to set in the +- album, a pensive mood that was raw and still sticking to our sound.
DS: I see, so what inspires you musically and what is you favourite hidden genre?
JB: I actually love countries national anthems, whenever we tour and arrive in another country the first thing I will Listen to is the anthem of the country…
DS: I love the Mexican national anthem, it is both happy and sad in certain sections.
JB: I need to check that one out as well as the Aussie anthem haha, in terms of my favourite hidden genre, I’m very inspired by gospel and early blues music from the 1920’s in America!
DS: Ah amazing me too! That’s great to hear, have you been to Mississippi yet and some of the traditional blues towns or jazz cities in the states?
JB: Hahahaha not yet Deano but it’s something I have always wanted to do and I would love to spend a bit of time there one day.
DS: I must tell you Jonas that my favourite soccer team is Tottenham Hotspur and my favourite player at the moment is…
JB: Let me guess, Christian Erickson, did you see those free-kicks he scored the other day!
DS: I couldn’t believe it, he has done so many incredible things and he’s only 23, he’s Denmark’s best and brightest and what a player he is.
JB: Now Deano I’m a Chelsea fan so we aren’t supposed to be talking at the moment Hahahaha, but we can still be friends.
DS: hahahah I’ll let that slide but only because you are still a fan of Erickson, thanks so much for you time today Jonas and I wish you best of luck in he future.
So nice chatting and I hope you have a wonderful day and that Chelsea win for you sake.
JB: Deano I hope that Tottenham wins for you, it’s been such a pleasure and talking to you and I’ll think of you when I finally get to those southern American states.
Feel free to have a listen: