Kakkmaddafakka fallen nicht nur durch einen eigenwilligen Namen auf, sondern vor allem durch Live-Shows, die eher einer riesen Party gleichen. Am 3. April erscheint ihre neue EP “ONTAS?”. Ich habe mit Frontmann Pish und Drummer Kristoffer vor ihrer Show im Festsaal Kreuzberg über Songwriting-Prozesse und die Vor- und Nachteile des Lebens und Bekanntseins in einer Kleinstadt gesprochen. Und mir nebenbei noch einen nicht ganz geheimen aber dennoch überlebenswichtigen Geheimtipp zweier selbsternannter „Hard Working Party People“ geben lassen.
Nina: You say your new EP “ONTAS?” has a fuck it-attitude. Is that one reason why you recorded it in only one week?
Pish: We recorded but also wrote it really fast. We had done a lot of fast writing before. But this one was especially fast. The reason is a very eager guy in the front who just likes to do things really fast: me.
N.: Do you have a typical writing process or does it change with every EP or album you make?
P.: It changes all the time. It really is very different every time.
Kristoffer: And also this time we had three different songwriters. There are two songs from Pish, two from Axel and one from our bass player Stian. It’s been a long time since he wrote that song.
P.: Yes, it’s very cool! Very refreshing. We should release that song tomorrow.
Kakkmaddafakka – Baby
N.: When writing new songs, do you keep in mind that the songs have to convey your typical Kakkmaddafakka energy live? Or are you more focused on the fact that the music works primarily as a record?
P.: Oh, good question! We started doing that lately actually. We also did it very much in the beginning but then we kind of forgot about it a little bit. But we brought it back when we wrote the album “Diplomacy”.
K.: But also before, on “Hest” or “Six Months Is A Long Time”. We always just wanted to record the instruments we were actually playing on stage. We didn’t really work with effects. And this is what we changed on “Diplomacy”. Do you agree with that, Pish?
P.: I agree somewhat. But the whole thought process if a song will work good life. This went a little bit away for a couple of albums but on “Diplomacy” I started to think about it again. But yes, Kristoffer, you are one hundred percent right. We always try to limit ourselves to the instruments we are playing on stage, so we can do the same live as we do in the studio.
N.: Also, your songs are cheerful and funny mostly. But the song „Echoes“ sounds like a disco song, but is about a serious topic. About dealing with decisions you made impulsively and whose consequences you now have to deal with. Why and how do you put such sad lyrics into such danceable and cheerful music?
P.: We do that all the time. That’s what we’ve been doing since forever actually. It’s just a way for us to handle these thoughts. If you just work with something that is a little bit more light toned but with a dark matter, it becomes easier to work with it. It’s more fun. Otherwise it would become very depressing.
N.: So it’s also kind of a therapy for you?
P.: I would say yes. It’s very nice to make songs.
Kakkmaddafakka – Sin
N.: Pish, you and your brother Axel have your own label called “Bergen Mafia Records”.
P.: Yeah! Bergen Mafia Records! We’ve got a gang sign! See it?
N.: Ah, I got it. Nice! Did you come up with it yourself?
P.: Thank you! No, we actually had it a long time ago. We were a skateboarding crew called “Bergen Mafia”. We released our very first EP “Allready Your Favourite EP” and our first album “Down To Earth” under our own record label. But then we got signed to “Bubbles Records”, a German record label, which releases all the Whitest Boy Alive and Erlend Øyes solo stuff. We went with them for a few years and then we got signed by Universal. In the end we went back to “Bergen Mafia Records” and released our stuff ourselves again.
N.: What was the motivation to start your own label?
P.: It was just to release our own music and being in control of the pace of getting our music out. The pace of major labels or labels in general can be very slow.
N.: Sure, because there a lot more people involved.
P.: Exactly. Can be good, but can also be bad.
Kakkmaddafakka – Frequency
N.: You give yourself a reputation as “Hard Working Party People”. How do you survive a tour, you are already partying on stage and after that surely also? Is there a secret recipe?
P.: Oh yes! Eat healthy food, exercise a little bit and drink a lot of water!
K.: Good tips, very good tips!
N.: Well, I never would have thought of it myself. Now I know.
P.: Haha, you’re welcome!
N.: Alright, you’ve been talking about your hometown Bergen before. The city has quite a big music scene and put out a lot of well known acts. How are you connected to the Bergen music scene?
P.: We are very well connected. It’s weird. Everybody knows everybody except the biggest star: Kygo. Nobody knows him. But the rest of the guys all know each other by first and second name. Everybody!
K.: Kygo came to one of my shows. But I didn’t meet him. But he was my aunts neighbour. Everytime I went to see her, I met Kygo.
P.: You’re a lucky man! (lacht)
N.: Is it rather an advantage or a disadvantage to live in a city where so many talented musicians live?
P.: It’s nice. It’s cool to meet them and tell them: You are doing great things!
N.: So it’s not a competition?
K.: It’s a healthy competition. Everybody wants to impress the other ones.
N.: As I’ve been living in Bergen myself, I know it’s very small. In „Neighbourhood“ you sing „I’m tired now everybody knows my name, I wanna get out of here, I wanna run away, no matter what the others say (…) I meet my heartaches everywhere and I’m stuck in a neighbourhood.” Is it a curse or a blessing to be so famous in such a small town?
K.: The song was written for the album “Hus”, but the lyrics are about me back in the days, many years before. And i ended up leaving. I moved to Oslo. At that time it was just too much. I lived in the middle of Bergen and every time I went to the shop just to get some breakfast or something I met about twenty people and I had to talk to everybody. I just couldn’t walk past people of course. And that was pretty hard. So I moved away for a bit and then came back to Bergen and found a great apartment outside of the city and now it’s really nice.
Kakkmaddafakka – Runaway Girl
N.: Do you all want to stay in Bergen?
K.: Yes, we all stay there. It was tough for a while living in such a small city but now it’s a blessing.
N.: I guess touring and not being home so much also makes it easier?
K.: Yes, definitely!
P.: You know Bergen, you have been there. It’s a very dark place. And it can be very destructive. But if you travel, it’s very healthy for the mind.
K.: I’m not sure if I would have stayed in Bergen if I wasn’t touring a couple of times a year. Because being away makes you missing the city in a way.
P.: But if you look at people who are just staying in Bergen. They don’t look great.
N. They don’t?
P.:They don’t! It’s a very destructive place.
N.: How does your heritage influence you and your music then?
P.: You get a lot of time to just be indoors. And then making music is actually something productive to spend your time with. And it’s ok to be inside. You have nothing better to do than to sit inside and write songs.
N.: Which is good for your fans as well i would say! So, to end the interview, tell me, what’s one question you always wanted to be asked in an interview?
P.: “How did you come up with that genius song?” (lacht)
N.: Good one! I will remember that for the next time! Thank you guys!
Foto: Hania Komasińska