The Psychedelic Sounds of Dråpe

Oslo five-piece Dråpe (pronounced ‘Draw-peh’) have established themselves as one of Scandianavia’s most exciting young bands since their unanimously acclaimed “Dråpe EP” was released in 2011, impressing furthermore with the release of their debut album “Canicular Days” in April 2013. With songs filled with hypnotic, weightless, colourful dreampop combined with sparkling shoegaze, their music is clearly influenced by the psychedelia of the 60s, most notably The Beatles. We spoke to the band about their newest release “Relax/Relapse”, out now on indie label Riot Factory, and their Scandi roots.

KALTLBLUT: Tell us a little about yourself, who are you? Where are you from?
Dråpe: We are Dråpe from Norway. Eirik Kirkemyr is our drummer, Lars K. Boquist is our bass guitarist, Even Hafnor is our classic-rock guitarist, Eirik Fidjeland is our multi-instrumentalist (mainly synth and harp but he occasionally rocks out a noisy guitar solo), Ketil Myhre does vocals and guitar.

KALTLBLUT: How do you all know each other?
Dråpe: Ketil and Eirik Fidjeland have known each other all their lives, and have been playing music together the past decade. They both come from a small town south in Norway called Kristiansand. In 2009 they decided to move to Oslo where they met Eirik K. and Lars. Then we decided to start a band. Even Hafnor is Ketil’s second cousin and is also from Kristiansand. They know each other through lame family gatherings etc.. When we needed to bring in a hint of classic rock to our sound he was the first person we thought of. Fortunately he had just moved back to Norway from Australia, where he had been the past three years, studying film.

KALTLBLUT: Do you all have similar musical backgrounds?
Dråpe: We all had the same music taste when we met but came from slightly different genres playing in older bands. Bassist Lars used to play guitar in a sludge metal band, while the rest played indie rock, pop and classic rock. It was also one of the reasons this band came to be. A band t-shirt sparked a conversation between Ketil and Eirik K. when they worked together in a kindergarten in Oslo. Just a couple days later we had our first band practice/hangout.

KALTLBLUT: What inspired your band name?
Dråpe: Our band name is inspired by Sigur Rós. We all liked the idea of using our native language in our band name and realized that the letter “å” is kind of cool, being a “Scandinavian” letter and all. We found Dråpe to be a pretty word on paper and felt like it stood out in a crowd. The word itself means “a drop” in Norwegian. The “å” is pronounced like you would pronounce the ˝aw˝ in ˝draw˝.

KALTLBLUT: Scandinavia holds many talented artists at the moment, where do you think this increase has come from?
Dråpe: From the possibilities of the internet nowadays maybe. You can get noticed for free, reach out to more people by yourself. Also there is a really good scene for new music because people want to seek out the newest cool stuff to be able to show their friends something they haven’t heard yet.

KALTLBLUT: Could you tell us a little about ‘Relax/Relapse’?
Dråpe: The title represents both our lyrics and the recording process. We have all experienced defeats on a personal level, and gone through a small crisis as a band. These experiences have made us the people and the band what we are today and weʼre really proud of the result. It feels like weʼve taken a few steps back in time both personally and musically and though it sometimes felt like we were on the verge of killing ourselves (vastly exaggerated of course) we got through it. So the idea is that sometimes a relapse might actually be a good thing, kind of a second chance to get better again and perhaps change things? In our case anyhow.

KALTBLUT: How would you best describe your music in three words?
Dråpe: Very Good Music

KALTBLUT: What type of environment do you feel most creative?
Dråpe: Usually when there is no time to make new music, when we are traveling or just released something new. Then we have so many new ideas that we want to try out.

KALTBLUT: Do you come to many disagreements when coming to a final decision on a track?
Dråpe: Luckily with this album we all had the same idea of thoughts about the songs, the songs got made with little arguments, but at the recording stage of it there were more things we disagreed with, mostly sounds like having grand piano on to many things, just because we had access to a nice one. The final product has a good level of grand piano, not too much.

KALTBLUT: How was it creating this album to the last? Would you say your music has matured in a way?
Dråpe: We wanted to make something different from the first record. We also wanted to keep our options open sound-wise. We wanted to find the best sides of ourselves and see what that sounded like, instead of deciding everything on beforehand. Only thing we decided on was to record everything on tape. That process matured our sound and way of building our songs up. We were able to remove unnecessary sounds and tracks that would just use up space in mixing from recording live on a 24 track tape recorder.

KALTBLUT: Do you find that it’s easy to follow a theme during the creative process?
Dråpe: Yeah, when making songs we usually feel out the mood of a song and we try a lot of different ways to enhance that mood. Often we are able to stitch older ideas and melodies together with a new idea to finish a song. We all think very alike in that process.

KALTBLUT: Who are some of your main influences, artists or otherwise?
Dråpe: The Beatles are one of the bands that inspire us to make music, the late stuff mixing psychedelic and catchy is truly amazing. The things they managed to create without the overload of technology we have today is as far as weʼre concerned mind blowing. We also listen to a lot of newer bands like Foxygen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tame Impala, Deerhunter, Mac Demarco etc etc.

KALTBLUT: Who would be an ideal person (or group) to collaborate with?
Dråpe: It could be fun to make something together with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, use Ruban Nielson’s studio and his mind a bit perhaps.

KALTBLUT: How did you finish 2015?
Traveling around Norway playing shows, then celebrated with some x-mas goodies and food. Planning the new year as well. Then we finished the year with our tradition of celebrating New Years Eve at Ketil’s house where he made an amazing turkey dinner for us.

Relax/Relapse is out now on Riot Factory
drape album