Photo by Simon Hojbo Hansen
You may be familiar with Denmark’s Snake & Jet’s Amazing Bullit Band if you picked up a copy of issue one but there is so much more to these synth-pop/surf garage guys than we could fit onto paper. Their superb debut X-Ray Spirit is out on March 25th so we asked Thor and Thomas some questions and they gave us some entertaining answers.
How did you meet?
We met in our hometown EspergÃ¦rde, a mutual friend (and Black Sabbath freak) had just forced me into drumming, and now wanted Thor to come play some keys. So we meet at the local youth club in a very ungroovy rehearsal space and played some wannabe jazz-rock-sounding stuff. Our friends jazz skills soon accelerated beyond ours, so he left to play with some guys who really had chops. And we found new possibilities in the duo and its limitations. Used combo organs are cheap and useful instruments. So are old youth club drums’¦
Is the Amazing Bullit Band a reference to anything in particular?
Our name is, like all other band names, really stupid. The word amazing just looks good – a nice combination of letters.. And Bullit is a mixture of Steve McQueen and an object for shooting. Band… That’s kind of old school and Showtime-like to put in the end of you name..
How would you describe the music you make?
Listening to our music will give you the satisfaction like when eating a greasy burger – but when finished discover that it was a damn healthy meal.
What inspires you?
Fine wines of the world… well, we, as postmodernists, are confused culturally. But as a band we are drawn towards the more lo-fi, homemade, DIY, and sketchy/sketchbook-sounding recordings. The space between finished and unfinished interest and haunts us. But to drop some names: Gang of Four, Captain Beefheart, Mississippi soul from the 60´s, The Ethiopique Compilations, Bay Area early hardcore, Snoop Dogg. 60’s pot heads like Soft Machine, Gong, The Pretty Things and Pink Floyd and lots of german kraut heros Can.
Have you guys had much luck outside of Denmark?
I guess it was lucky to get back from a Swedish hippie festival without being to damaged.. We didn’t know anybody and all the people had long medieval beards and the festival was packed with performance artists in tights. We got really drunk and played a sloppy concert – that couldn’t draw nearly as much attention as the campfire that also was listed in the official program at the same time as our concert. Hippies seem to love campfires, and acoustic instruments.
You travelled to Iceland for the Airways Festival last year, how did you get on?
Iceland is a strange island. We had four jobs in three days, did heavy drinking, inspired by the local population, so time got distorted. Iceland is the Cuba of Scandinavia, they work in their own tempo, so our first show was delayed with five hours. We were offered free drinks, and Anton, from Brian Jonestown Massacre, showed up as sound engineer. The concert became more than destructive, and after 30 minutes of noise, some American shoe designer, said, a bit to loud, ‘I think they are very famous in their own country’¦’. From there it just got better and better. But we forgot our instruments(or the person with the key to the only locked room on Iceland was a heavy sleeper), so after Iceland we had a nice break.
Visual design is an important part of your band with the artwork and website standing out. Who designs it and what is the importance of the designs to you?
When bored as always, we used to ride our bikes around our hometown with sketchbooks, drawing buildings, trees and people. When drinking beer at night and listening to Nordic fusion records, we made stupid drawings of fake record covers, monsters with long breasts and other neo-psychedelic stuff. Later it became a part of our school – I studied visual communication and Thor is an architect who specializes in landscape. We try to work with the visual part, the same way we work with the musical part, which is spontaneous and without to many rules.. Ha ha.. At least that’s what we think.. We do the artwork in corporation with friends from TTC, wich is a small gallery / zineshop we are part of.
Each song on the album has received individual video treatments as part of a project called 13 Bullits, What’s been the reaction?
The national TV channel DR1, made a 30 minute special on the project. We played a song in the studio and there were good interviews of the directors, and they squeezed in six of the videos. In addition to that, we held an exhibition, in the TTC fanzine gallery. The opening went really well, and we had a good party with everybody involved in the project. Besides from that, I think 13 bullits is a statement of how much there can be done in DIY/Independent communities, If there is the talent, and will.
Tell me about X-Ray Spirit? Where was it recorded? Why were some tracks remixed and remastered?
X-ray spirit was recorded in a little red house, in a forest, situated in the south-east corner of Sweden. It was recorded on to 8 tracks of magnetic tape in 35 degrees mosquito land. It took about a week to record, and then additional dubs were made in the TTC studio in Copenhagen. But only one week in the forest left the album a bit to (sub)urban’¦. So we had to remix it once more, in the very centre of Copenhagen, to get more ‘coffee to go, shop girl’ atmosphere on the record.
In reality, by doing everything your self, you end up being your own creative enemy. You slowly develop too many dogmas and rules for your self. It is arrogant to think that you can do things better than hundreds of professionals, so at last we got some help to mix more drum sound on the record.