We have had the great fortune to chat with the band Vinyl Floor, a great indie pop/rock/alternative band from Copenhagen, Denmark. Charlie Pedersen, lead guitar and vocals chatted with us at length about how they got their beginnings, they history behind where they make their music, and their top five coolest things in the world.
[Backstage Vibe] Tell us about your band. Where are you from? Who is in your band? How did you all get together? [Charlie] We live in Copenhagen, Denmark but hail from the countryside. We grew up side by side. Our parents are still neighbors. Charlie (vocal, guitar) and Daniel (drums) are brothers and Rasmus (guitar) lived, like, 20 meters away. So we always say we are just as much a family as we are a band. Daniel and Charlie have played together since 2001. In 2003 we needed an additional guitar player and Rasmus had just started out on the guitar so we thought we should try him out. I mean, he was just 17 years old or something. I don’t remember him auditioning but more like Daniel and I jamming one day, Rasmus happened to be there and then he just started playing along. It wasn´t planned really. We don´t have a certain date for when the band was founded or when Rasmus finally joined the band, it just kind of happened.
[Backstage Vibe] What brought you to music? How did you get started? [Charlie] Daniel and I have played since the age of 4, maybe 5. We grew up amongst a variety of instruments and our dad, being a musician himself, just let us explore all that stuff. We drummed on everything, strummed on everything, sang, screamed. There was just a lot of noise in that house when we were kids! I have a memory of dad jamming with a Hammond organ player and he had set up this huge organ in our living room. As a kid it was really exciting to see that big machine create sounds. I recall they played ‘A whiter shade of pale’ a lot. I think that´s why the sound of a Hammond organ, to this day, makes me emotional. There´s always been a lot of music in that house and I think that´s also what attracted Rasmus. Once he discovered his own talents he sort of became part of this whole thing.
Today we have built our own studio next to the house we grew up in. All in all it´s an estate with some musical history. Before our parents moved in it was owned by a known Danish record producer. He did a lot of stuff in the 70´s and the studio was frequently visited by artists, serving as a sort of oasis for them to rest and just walk around anonymously. There´s a story about Cat Stevens having done some demos there at some point. We haven´t had it confirmed though, but it´s a place to get inspired for sure. I even wrote a song about it which will be on our new album.
[Backstage Vibe] What kind of music do you create? What are some of your influences? [Charlie] Well we do not really know ourselves, ha! Our foundation is rock, that’s for sure. However, you will find so many directions on our new album that we almost don´t even know who we are ourselves, ha ha! Joke aside, we just try to give each song a unique mood and we can´t think of anything more boring than an album where every song sounds alike. I mean, we love the Beatles but we also love Tom Waits. I think the best way to describe our music would be to call it alternative rock with symphonic and progressive elements. But maybe someone can do it better than I can.
[Backstage Vibe] What is your favorite part of creating music? Where do you get your inspiration? [Charlie] I usually say writing a song is the purest part of creating music. Because when a song is bornyou more or less spend the rest of the process fighting for it to maintain the sound and expression you first imagined. I mean, when a song is written you need to let other people shape it and have their share, but you gotta stay true to your original vision, too. But as we record and produce our music ourselves now, I have to say that the arranging and recording process is just as important to me. As we recorded the new album it became clear to me that I worship this part just as much as the songwriting itself. The new album is so dark and I love that. We found a lot of inspiration in our personal lives this time, life close to or after the age of 30 you know, and believe me, there was plenty of stuff to wade through, ha ha!
[Backstage Vibe] Why is making music important to you? [Charlie] Let me give you an example from the new album and one of the reasons it´s my favorite so far. You experience some bad things which are very difficult to deal with whether it’d be lost relationships, sickness or angst. You feel low and can only express exactly how you feel through those songs and afterwards there´s a feeling of redemption and a feeling of some sense being made. And I think this pretty much sums it up.
[Backstage Vibe] What were some of the highlights from the past year? [Charlie] Recording the new album. We spent so much time recording it that we didn´t really have the time to play live. We did, however, play some shows in the UK in order to get out of the bubble for a while. That was fun!
[Backstage Vibe] What’s in store for the second half of 2014? [Charlie] We will release the new album on October 6th and we will promote it as much as we can. We do have some touring options abroad but I think 2015 will be more likely for those. We will play a handful of shows in Denmark around release. We are in the midst of sorting everything out at the moment.
[Backstage Vibe] What is one thing you’ve learned during your career in music so far? Any advice for people starting out in the industry? [Charlie] Well, we are still very much an underground band but one thing that has worked well for us thus far is to surround ourselves with the same people every time we put out a new record. We use the same artwork designer, the same studio in Sweden for mixing and recording strings, etc. You kind of get this mutual understanding over time. And though it´s somewhat a cliché, you´ve got to stay 100% true to your vision and don´t let anybody tell you what you can or can´t do. You won´t grow if you move in restricted areas and never take chances. Our previous album (Peninsula) generally received favorable reviews, and that’s of course a wonderful thing, but one reviewer called it the worst album in the history of music and I can´t help but thinking that´s a wonderful thing too, ha ha. The worst thing that can happen to you as an artist is if people feel indifferent about your work.
[Backstage Vibe] What are your top 5 coolest things in the world? [Charlie] I would say:
- Neil Young
- Japanese karaoke bars
- Strings and the people playing them
- People that like our music
- Alternative thinkers of all kinds
[Backstage Vibe] Anything else you’d like to share about your band? [Charlie] Each Monday until album release, starting from today actually, we will stream our new album on www.vinylfloorband.com. A new song will be up every week. Keep an eye on our Facebook and/or Twitter sites where we will announce it.
[Backstage Vibe] Where can your fans find you on the web?
- Do you Still Dream (ALBUM) 2009
- Peninsula (ALBUM) 2012
- ‘No title yet’ (ALBUM) 2014