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Datarockin' The Suburbs

Author: Jane Stabler
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
They’re back. Norway’s most well known musical exports, Datarock, return to Australia for the Future Music Festival and to play even more regional shows. 3D’s Jane Stabler swapped data with the boys.

Datarock are certainly not your average musical pair – the aural eclecticism produced by the pair makes sense when you consider the original Datarock was a melding of very different music scenes.

“Me and Fredrik started making music eight years ago,” Ket-ill recalls, “and we came from different scenes and we had pretty different tastes in music, but we had a couple of common references like Talking Heads obviously, and Happy Mondays and Stone Roses Manchester things. It was two specific time periods that’s influenced us, between 1978 and 1981 and 1988 and 1991 so I guess you can call that retro!”

With their diverse musical interests and a definite feel for recent retro, Datarock have been known in the past to say their production style is designed to make fun of those who think electronic music is just sounds that come out of a computer. In time, this has translated to people thinking Datarock are just making fun generally. Ket-ill assures me this is not the case, although fun is definitely on the agenda.

“It’s basically about having a good time,” he says of their music. “We’re not having a laugh because we’re definitely very serious when we go into the studio, but it’s just about using the influence from musical styles and bands and we’ve tried to make it sound less decent and nice as possible. Well, at least decent, if not nice.”

Although they take their trade very seriously now, Datarock weren’t so dedicated when they first started, Ket-ill admitting as much. Although the idea was always to have fun, the boys never thought their penchant for retro influenced electro indie pop would one day see them playing alongside the likes of the Chemical Brothers and Roger Sanchez.

“We [weren’t] really that ambitious when we started out,” Ket-ill admits. “It was a fun thing. The first shows we did were so lo-fi we played all the backing tracks from a cassette player and I hardly knew how to play and it was all a bit messy. And the first EP we released was very DYI. Like we hand-painted the cover art and stuff, so we just pulled it off in order to have fun. Things started changing around 2003/2004 and we experienced increasing interest from other countries and started touring and it was a big snowball. It’s been a very weird experience for us but we’re obviously very happy. I’m very happy about it.”

WHO: Datarock
WHAT: Play ANU Bar, Canberra / Waves, Wollongong / Panthers, Newcastle / Future Music Festival, Royal Randwick Racecourse
WHEN: Wednesday 5 March / Thursday 6 / Friday 7 / Saturday 8