Kings of Convenience on new album and key to longevity


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – “What happened to Kings of Convenience” was, until recently, an important search result that popped up when searching for information about the Norwegian indie-pop folk duo.

Largely silent since releasing their last album, the band recently broke their silence with “Peace Or Love”, the debut album by Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe together in 12 years.

The duo picked up right where they left off, returning with a bundle of warm familiar melodies in their previous albums, their official debut album “Quiet is the New Loud” in 2001, “Riot on an Empty Street” in 2004 and “Declaration” in 2009 of Independence.

Originally from Bergen, a town on the southwest coast of Norway, Øye and Bøe first bonded at school. Their first musical collaboration was a comedy song about a gym teacher that reminded them of a “failed colonel” trying to instill soldier-like disciplines in children.

“Quiet is the New Loud” was praised for its clear, intimate lyrics and evocative acoustic sounds, and the duo became sought-after artists on the festival circuit before disappearing.

In an interview, the duo discussed the long gap between recordings and how their music and friendship stand the test of time.

Notes have been edited for clarity and brevity.


AP: “Peace Or Love” is your first album in 12 years! What did you do ? What took so long?

BØE: Many, many different reasons. We both have busy lives. I have three children. We toured a lot. So we have been active. We spent a lot of time making the album, for sure. We spent almost five years recording this.

ØYE: It’s kind of like, you know, when you talk about dog years and cat years, like a Kings of Convenience year is four years. Because me and Eirik, we never spend more than three months a year together, so to speak, and it’s something very natural for the band to continue because if we were to be in a band 12 months a year, we would probably start arguing a lot more. And then maybe we’d be, we’ll be in a big fight and maybe the group will be over. We realized that if we did about three months a year with the band, we could continue for a very long time.

AP: Why did you choose “Rocky Trail” from the album as a pre-released single?

BØE: It sounds like a very representative song. It’s a very familiar sound, I think, to people who know our old songs. So when choosing songs for a single, they should be songs that both people who already love your music like, but they also need to appeal to people who have never heard your music before and “Rocky Trail”. sounded like a song like that.

AP: Outside of Kings of Convenience, you were part of The Whitest Boy Alive. The tunes and vibrations of the two groups are very different. How would you define yourself between these two characters?

ØYE: The Whitest Boy Alive premiered in Berlin. And that was a time in my life when I went out to nightclubs a lot. So many songs from The Whitest Boy Alive were created by sitting in a club, hearing a loud boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and singing over them while the music for Kings of Convenience was mostly composed in Bergen. basically playing acoustic guitar, so it came from a very, very different atmosphere.

AP: In what atmosphere are you most comfortable?

ØYE: Well, I mean, now I have an amazing problem with my ears. I have this thing called tinnitus so for me now I sit in my house here in Italy every day and play acoustic guitar and it’s something my ears still really enjoy. whereas dance music is very difficult for me to enjoy. So for this reason, The Whitest Boy Alive is a band that has become a smaller and smaller part of my life because it no longer represents my life. I mean, I still love this music that we made, and I still love playing with these guys. But again, with Kings of Convenience, we have more longevity because the project is more respectful of the body.

AP: You’ve been really successful since you started. Have you ever felt pressure about this?

ØYE: If we want to release something, we don’t want it to be a disappointment. So you have to make sure it’s as good or better than what you posted before. And that’s maybe the main reason why it took so long to release this album because you don’t know, and you very often feel uncertain when you record, because when you listen to a song fifty times, perhaps you no longer hear the essence of it. You hear a lot of details that might annoy or frustrate you. But if you take a long break, you can get a better perspective.

I mean, no one wants to listen to music that seems complicated and frustrating to play. You want to listen to somebody who’s right, you know, very tuned in with their own fingers and their voice and who’s just very comfortable singing.

AP: What you just said about comfort is interesting because every cafe here plays “Cayman Islands” from your previous album.

BØE: It’s funny how we thought about it at the very beginning. We thought, “Let’s make music that can be played in cafes.” So we’re going to do it without drums or percussion as that’s usually what gets loud and annoying when you’re in a cafe or restaurant. So we made music without drums and percussion so that it could be played in cafes. And here we are.


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