A compilation of e-mail interviews

APRIL 2009

1. You once played a kindergarten tour. Did anyone get thrown out of the gigs and what for?

Crying, peeing on themselves, throwing up on stage. Basically the same things we get on shows for grown-ups.

2. You mention 1964 Norwegian Eurovison legend Arne Bendiksen on your blog. Would you ever considering attempting to win the competition for Norway?

Arne Bendiksen is a big hero to us, and we greatly admire his simple yet so catchy and joyful tunes. It’s hard to get up into his league, and we would
feel too much pressure being in the competition. No is the answer.

3. You seem an infectiously happy bunch of people. What – if anything – really gets you down?

Remember that you can only see our outsides. Inside we’re as miserable as the next person. But then again we do have some things that gets us down on the outside as well, amongst other things: torture, wars and Chick Corea’s dress sense.

4. Was it a difficult decision to sing your music in your native tongue, and were you worried that it would lessen your global appeal?

In the beginning we thought it would be fun to do something without vocals (our first norwegian release only album was mainly instrumentals, with some spoken word tracks in norwegian), but we just had too many ideas for vocals after a while and couldn’t keep our filthy mouths away from the mics.
We tried to sing in english and french and norwegian, but finally settled on norwegian as it felt more right for the feel of the music. more personal.

5. What’s the best thing about being in a band?

Traveling, seeing new places. Some people in the band would mention shagging under this point, but then again you can shag at home if the urge came to you so that really isn’t necessary to include. Some would probably say food, and some would maybe (if you ask them on a sunny day) include the special and intense friendship that evolves between you.

6. What do you hope people take away from your live shows?


7. I was once warned away from Norwegian ladies by a Swedish girl who claimed that they were all “ice maidens”. Is this true or was she just jealous?

Sounds like a classic neighboring rivalry between the norwegians and the swedes. See joke attached and forward this to her:

The Animal-like Swede

A Swede was walking down the street with a duck under his arm.
– “Where did you find that monkey?” asked the fellow pedestrian.
– “It happens to be a duck.” claimed the Swede.
– “Shut up, Swede! I am talking to the duck.”

8. If we were to meet any Norwegian ladies/men at the Great Escape can you give us a couple of handy phrases with which to impress them?

“Eg e sildakongen!” should do the trick (I am the herring king! – The herring king is an actual character and a legend from the west coast of Norway. This knowledge will surprise, put a nice twist on the evening, and will work as a cheerful icebreaker). Then maybe follow up with quoting Hamsun, as 2009 is the Hamsun year, “Forelskelse gjør den kloke dum” (falling in love makes the wise stupid). That could work well if the first phrase doesn’t get a good reaction. If none of this works, say “dra dit pepperen gror!”, and run.

9. If you could be one other band, from any era, who would you be?

I’ve had a Beatles revival lately, so Ill go for them. Oh my, there will never be any band like them again, and their story is so unbelievable and magical.

10. As lovers of puppets, who is your all time favourite puppet, and why?

We bought a pet monkey last time we played in Newcastle. It was like a baby to us! everything it did was so funny and interesting, and we took loads of photos
of it, and our friends in Glasgow also helped us make a little fez for it. But then, alas, we lost it a sunny day in Austin Texas! Monkey, come back! You were our favorite!

11. What other music are you really enjoying listening to at the moment?

Currently listening a lot to Osunlade, the Very best and the latest Amadou & Mariam.

12. You recently played at the Freebutt, now the Great Escape festival and later in the year you are playing the Loop festival. Have you had time to relax in the city and if so what did you enjoy doing?

Oh yes! We’ve spent a lot of time in Brighton lately. Love it! Rummaging at Snoopers paradise is an essential TO DO whilst we’re there. Same with a stop at Lick, grab the infamous bonbon caffeine shock at the Red Roaster, and also have a stroll on the beach. Then maybe finish the evening in DJ Henrons company at “It is still 1985”.

JULY 2009

1. Ok Festivals then, believe there have been many of them within the British Isles for you boys this summer. What was your best moment/festival/event in the last 2 months?

Oh, that must be our hot air balloon ride at the Hove festival in Norway. It was something Ive never done before. Quite scary in fact! We landed in someone’s garden during a party
far from the festival site. Here’s a video from when we played a song in the balloon:


2. And where there any scary/funny happenings you can recall amongst all that craziness?

We’ve driven 50 000 km around Europe this spring, so everything is a bit blurry. One random memory that springs to mind this morning is when we stayed at a youth hostel in Kiel on the way to Netherlands and the only other people staying there were this punk band from Finland. We were really tired after driving the whole day and just wanted to go to sleep, but they really really wanted to party with us. Aggressive friendly guys. We had to throw their bass player out of the room whilst he was screaming “let’s talk about Led Zeppelin! Let’s talk about Bob Dylan! The Birds! Anything! Please!”. Later that night they trashed the bathroom, and we got all the blame.

3. I also see Fela Kuti is a main influence of yours, excellent choice; you take samples from cassette books about Africa for your songs, where does this African connection come from?

I think it just comes from a curiosity for music in general. Between 2002 and 2005 I listened my way through different genres at the Bergen Library systematically, and when I came to the poorly lit “world”-section african music from the likes of Fela, Kwela-music, Ali Farka Touré and Ethiopian Jazz got me particularly excited. With Fela it’s so much more than his music though, his ideology and what he’s meant for the people of Nigeria is indisputable. I was in Lagos Nigeria the whole of October 2008 making a radio documentary on the legacy of Fela, which also spurred my interest in his music even more. Also, I run a club night with my friends Geir and Audinho in Bergen and Oslo called Klubb Kannibal, where we play a lot of afro and techno.

4. And a puppet show to help your audience who don’t speak Norwegian follow the stories behind the songs, which incidentally are about a starving tribe of African robots, tell us more?

From the start we wanted to go beyond only being a pop act playing rock clubs, and early in the process this led to the collaboration with Digitalteateret. We’ve done a couple of work-shops for kids with them and we’ll make the music for a play they’re putting on at Barnas Hus in Bergen this october. We’ve done a lot of club shows with the theatre troupe as well, but it’s not always doable bringing them on tour, alas!

5. And what would be your words of encouragement for Torontonian’s to attend your gig?

Im looking forward to Toronto gig! We’ll meet up with our new friends in Thunderheist whom we met playing Netherlands in July. I strained my ankle from all the dancing playing Switzerland last week, but I think it should be fine again for this date. So, yes, there will be dancing.

6. Ok and one final question 3 words to describe: 1. Yourselves as a band 2. Your music and 3. Your dress sense

1. Moveable birthday party
2. Cheerful, danceable, shambolic
3. Variable, colorful, world


Which song do you listen to when…

(if possible with a short explanation)

you wake up?

Ivor Cutler, “Good Morning! How are you? Shut up!”
-A cheerful start to the day.

you make love?

BBC Sound effects library, the Africa natural world selection, “Lions roaring”

you prepare a candle light dinner?

the Sapphires “Who do you love?”.
I have a soft spot for 60s girl groups.

you sit in a plane?

Hmm I guess I would listen to audio books then. It’s my new favorite activity on tour. Im currently listening to
“A moveable feast” by Ernest Hemingway.

you go to a club?

Holger Czukay “Cool in the pool”. Silly and very danceable.

you are love sick?

Arthur Russell, “A little lost”

you relax on a beach?

Caetano Veloso “Ile Aye”.

you feel like 1982?

I guess I would have to make that a birthday song. I would say “Happy Birthday” by Jens Lekman.

you run naked through a cornfield?

Cat Stevens “If you want to sing out, sing out”.

you jog?

Maybe my favorite situation to listen to music. Hmm. I guess the album I listen most to whilst jogging is Paul Simon’s Graceland.


1) Casiokids! Give us a short introduction of yourself! Why should the uninitated check out your show?

You sound excited. I will suggest you start more cautiously by first checking out our music and videos on Spotify or Myspace. Then, if you’re still positive and
thrilled, come to our show and we will try our best.

2) Next week, you will board a flight to RVK. We assume you’ll be making an iPod playlist. Give us ten tracks you would put on it (and if you want to include a sentence on why for each one, then by all means do).

I must say first that I am very much looking forward to coming! My first time in Reykjavik and Iceland and I am very excited. Sorry that this playlist turned out so melancholy and sad, I promise to put my dancing
shoes on in the evenings during the Airwaves festival.

Burt Bacharach – Ill never fall in love again
Jens Lekman – I Don’t Know if She’s worth 900 kr
Bob Hund – Den Ensamme Sjömannens Födelsedag
Jonathan Johansson – En hand i Himlen
Cat Stevens – Don’t be shy
Wetete Mare – Muluqen Mellesse
Lloyd Chambers & The Soul Stirrers – Come See About Me
Teeny Grownups – I Was a Teacher
Bjørn Torske – Møljekalas
Familjen – Kom Säger dom

3) Do you plan on catching any shows at Airwaves? Who are you interested in seeing and why?

I want to see Micachu & The Shapes. I have some of their tracks in my collection, like my favorites “Turn me well” and “Guts”, so curious to catch them live. I’ve had so many chances to see them this summer on various festivals in the UK, but I’m always eating or getting there too late or perhaps even playing myself when they are on. This time I believe we even play the same stage on the same evening, so I promise to finally go see them, I’ll even bring my food to the concert if I have to.

4) What was the idea with the kindergarten gigs? Were the kids into it?

We did a gig at Gyldenpris Kindergarten in Bergen for our Norwegian release of the album “Fück MIDI!” in 2006 and did not know what to expect, and we were relieved and happy to see the kids so excited. Playing for kids, and especially in kindergartens when their parents are not around and they are just around their friends, is as crazy as any chaotic teenage home alone party. They let themselves go completely, not caring what anyone thinks, and just roam around us in excitement, climbing us and joining in on percussion and instruments we lay around the room. We respect them as much as any other audience and since Casiokids started in 2004 we’ve done shows from everyone from 0 – 90. We don’t have a target audience, and I think that no music has got that.

5) Does the band have any sort of MO and if so, what is it?

Our overall mission, even from the early years when we made edits of our favorite tracks of New Kids on the Block, Queen and Beck +++ to bring to our friend’s parties, is to have a good time.

6) How should Airwaves guests prepare for your show?

We would prefer if everyone came in animal costumes. We like to believe we connect well with animals, and this summer we did a show in a farm outside of Oslo where we
played an acoustic show for a sow, a goat and a handful of cows (a gang of chickens were also nearby, though I suspect they were not paying attention judging by their loud clucking).


So, you’re touring the UK in February…looking forward to it?

We did 170 shows last year, and around half of them were in the UK. It’s our second home basically, so we look forward to meeting all our dear english friends again!
And yes, we do want chips with “that”.

How do you feel about opening for the mighty Hot Chip?

I respect Hot Chip for their fantastic songs and look forward to seeing them live as I’ve heard they’re amazing. Favorite Hot Chip song: “Made in The Dark”.

How did this support come about?

They asked us and we said yes. That was the short answer, the truest answer.

Any particular places or venues you’re looking forward to?

The only city we haven’t played on the tour is Norwich. So people of Norwich, we will look forward to meeting you! I see on the wikipedia that Bill Bryson lives near Norwich. Hmm, I might drop him a line to get him to the show. We read a lot of Bill Bryson in the band, favorites being “A short history of nearly everything” and “Shakespeare”. Also, I enjoyed the Bill Bryson tour in the Roman Baths in Bath. Bath is one of my favorite cities in England. We love the club Moles and their dance troupe! Sorry about all the digressions.

Apart from band mates, instruments etc, what are your essential items to make life on the road that little bit more bearable?

1. Laptops with movies
2. Camera
3. Feddi’s mixtapes in the car

Who’s the biggest rock and roll animal in the band?

That must be our monkey. He’s a superb dancer and puts on a great show every night!

What’s your best experience from life on the road?

Meeting the 18 year old monkey Anastasia on the streets of Moscow.

…and the worst?

Being away from friends and girlfriends.

Lets end on a high note…can Clash come along and party like its no longer 2009?

If you must.

MAY 2010

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

I always get very emotional every time I see Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”. There’s just something about that film that gets to me, inspires me and touches me.

2. The fictional character most like you?

Woody Allen, although Im not sure if he really is fictional. He claims that his persona in his movies is 100 % fictional, but for me that’s real enough. We’re born on the same day, december 1st, which should be a sign. Though a sign of what Im not sure. I just like him, his thinking and his films.

3. The greatest album, ever?

I must go with Pet Sounds by Beach Boys here, though I once wrote a paper where I proved with help of logic academic systems that Beatles could be called “the best band of all time” (my only A at university, which basically then shows Im right. As a side note here I’d like to mention that Fredrik in Casiokids once wrote an essay at school on the topic “the meaning of life” and got an A. That should mean that he too was right! Sadly he can’t find this essay again, and the meaning, it seems, is now lost forever) By the way we’re going to play with Brian Wilson in September at the festival Rått & Råde, and Im hoping for a brief meeting where I can thank him for such amazing and amazingly catchy music.

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Wars, although neither of them have ever fascinated me particularly. Well, yes, at least I’ve seen all the Star Wars films, though I would never ever contemplate buying a plastic model of characters from neither of these two films and series. By the way, for the record, the only plastic model of any TV series or film I’ve ever bought was a model of the Happy Smurf (though when I think of it I actually did not buy it, but rather got it for free with a cereal box).

5. Your ideal brain food?

Hemingway, Werner Herzog, Woody Allen, Bill Bryson, Daniil Kharms and Amos Tutuola never fail to inspire me and give me some fresh brain fuel, though at the moment it is Klaus Kinski’s Autobiography that is on my bedside table. It has a roughness and raunchyness to it that is very enjoyable and entertaining, and Im eager to learn more about his background and thinking as Im such a big fan of his films with director Werner Herzog.

6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?

When I was 3 or 4 years old I found a marker and opened a some of my parents books and wrote them all over again. They weren’t so happy with it, but I was suddenly the proud author of many literary classics.

7. You want to be remembered for . .?

I would like to be remembered for things I created, the writing and the music.

8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?

Writers like Daniil Kharms, Bukowski and Hemingway I really admire, and whenever I read any of their books Im just bubbling with inspiration. There’s something about Kharms’ humour that gets to me deep down, and no other writer I think can make me laugh out loud like that.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

I think 2001: a space odyssey is one of my favorite pieces of art of all time, though I don’t think in a million years that I could have made it. Anyway, its a silly question to even consider, and I hope that instead other people’s amazing masterpieces can inspire me to create my own.

10. Your hidden talents . . .?

Whenever I mention my previous career as a tennis player many people act quite surprised, though I wouldnt say I was at any point particularly good.

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?

When you decide to put your mind to do something, do it properly, my father used to say, and I often think about that phrase. I think Ive followed it to the extent that Ive quit doing a lot of things I was just doing half heartedly, and now focus on the essential things in my life that I really really want to do.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

Most of the Casio keyboards we use are actually just borrowed from friends, and as we’ve never given them back some might say we actually stole them.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or . . .?

I just bought a pair of purple jeans for 20 pounds at UNIQLO in Oxford street that I am very happy with. I think the sale is still on if anyone’s in the area. I was torn between the purple or the pink ones, but I went for the purple jeans as I think their mild purpleness compared to the risque pink would be easier to get away with should I encounter any hooligans later that day.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

I would go for Woody here again, I just love him. His work speaks to me so clearly and fabulously. No one can inspire me and wake me from apathy or laziness like him, and I need my Woody dose weekly.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?

Year 3000 would be interesting to check out, though I think, surprisingly it would be disappointingly much like year 2000. I expect the year 2000- shaped sunglasses to still be in fashion (though with number changes of course) and also that there still would not be any flying cars. My guess is, if I dare speculate, is that people will by then actually go back to living in caves again as the cities will get so overpopulated.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?

I would like to have yoga to chose from here, as It has certainly proved to be an ideal stress management treatment for me that I would highly recommend. The ideal work-out.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or . . .?

Money, though it seems so hard to find most days! I hate money, but it brings me so much trouble if I don’t have it available. I crave it most days, to buy some of the things there on your “essential to life” – list.

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

Skopelos in Greece has always very much appealed to me.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

I would like to use the opportunity to cut him some slack and let him know I appreciate his work.

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

Well today we’re off painting and building a couple of walls in our new studio in Bergen Norway. We’re all very psyched about the location and the building the studio is in which in the end will inhabit 100s of artists and musicians in Bergen, a highly inspirational place.

June 2010

1) Having caught your fantastic live show at SXSW, your last one whilst in Austin, we were all rather enchanted by the pineapple shaker that is a part of your live show. Are Casiokids simply fond of pineapples? Is there a backstory here that we’re missing?

On tour we steal a lot. Well, small, unimportant, cheap things. Still, its stealing. On the other hand people steal from us, and whenever we have some exciting props on stage with us people just grab it. I remember once a guy at Audio in Brighton stole our backdrop whilst we were rigging down (!) and hit the road.
I can’t tell you how many pineapple shakers have been nicked from stage during wild shows over these last couple of years. Jokke, our drummer, jumped out in the audience during our last song in Edinburgh last autumn to try and resteal/de-stealify as a girl had stolen all our small plastic animals off stage telling us that “you’re so rich anyway! You can just buy new plastic animals!” She got away with them as Jokke had to run back on stage again for the final chorus. By the way she could not be further from the truth. Ive caught Omar munching on that pineapple shaker one early cold morning in a youth hostel in Belgium when all we had to eat for days was softly cooked left-over gaffa tape bits scraped off other bands’ flight cases.

2) You’re good friends of Of Montreal have been tremendously supportive of you – when did you meet each other? How have they buoyed your band?

Whenever we meet of Montreal it’s like a family reunion. We love that happy troupe! We got to know them after supporting them during their European tour in January 2009, and after that they put us in touch with what is now our US label, Polyvinyl.

3) Were you always attracted to electronic or synth music? What was the music (or radio) like in Norway when you were growing up? Early influences?

My first Casio was a white and blue one I bought in Spain on holiday. I loved that Casio! My first instrument, and the love for it has ever since stuck with me ever since.
I think that this meeting with the Casio had a very big impact on my taste for synth music.
For me the radio has never been particularly important for my music taste. When I was younger I listened a lot to what my father and elder brother listened to.
Also, I read a lot of music magazines, my favorites at the time being Q and BEAT.

3a) What is it about dance music that you feel is so invigorating and creative for you and the band? How do you think dance or alt-pop music is often misunderstood by indie rock snobs? Casiokids seems to be a confluence of all styles and sounds … and like your former tourmates Hot Chip, you seem to embrace disparate elements in your music.

Fredrik and me also used to play in a more post rock kind of band and I think what we liked with Casiokids was that the effect the danceable music had on people was more direct.

4) Unlike many of your fellow Norwegian musicians, Casiokids doesn’t bend to English lyrics. Was there any trepidation that by doing so you’d limit the band’s scope? Or has it simply worked in your favor?

In the beginning we actually decided not to sing, and only used human voices sampled from audio books and interviews we did ourselves. As we experimented more with vocal harmonies in the studio be decided to follow the idea of making something as true to our everyday lives and personal experiences as possible, hence using the Norwegian language. I truly believe one of our main goals as artists and musicians has to be to create something unique and original, and the Norwegian language was for us a natural part to achieve just that.

5) “Fot I Hose” is a perfect dance track. Why did you choose to keep it instrumental? What music makes you want to dance? What makes a perfect dance song?

The perfect dance song is difficult to choose, but one of the songs I never get tired of is “Bizarre love triangle” by New Order. One of my favorite songs of all time.

6) You have a very funny new video for “Finn Bikkjen” – for those of us who can’t speak Norwegian, what is the song about? Whose concept was the video (and who does your choreography? I’m assuming it was all of you doing the dancing?) And whose adorable border collie is galloping through the woods?

The video was done by the extremely talented English director Greg Taylor, and we were not ourselves involved directly in the making of it. The song is quite a hard one to translate because it has a childish and funny twist to itself which is hard to put right in English. Basically the idea behind the song is a small boy losing track of his best friend, his dog, and then realizing, when he finds him again, how much he loves him.

7) Who is the main lyricist? How do you tend to work – emailing music to one another? Jamming in a studio? Do you prefer playing live or are you all happier in a studio?

When we work in the studio Omar, Kjetil, Ketil and Fredrik are involved, bringing our very different tastes into the mix. Sometimes one of us does the whole song and sometimes we make it in the studio, together. When we have a good song ready I look forward to playing it live, and when I have a good idea I look forward to recording it, so that changes back and forth all the time. I’m the main lyricist. Check out casiokids.com for translations.

7a) You’re signed to the great Moshi Moshi – what is it about that label that they understand how to to break so many artists? Thoughts of Kate Nash, Florence and the Machine, James Yuill, Slow Club and more. How did they find you?

Stephen Bass heard us the first time at By:larm festival in Oslo Norway I think, and after that we’ve become a part of his very talented musical family. We’ve played with James Yuill and Slow Club in the US, Norway and UK and they’re good friends of ours.

8) You have a summer of festivals ahead, including Dot to Dot and Roskilde. What are a few indispensable festival survival skills that you’ve learned? What festival has the best catering – and the worst? Any horrendous festival experiences that you particularly recall?

Best catering and backstage area: Hove festival in Norway.

9) The title of your album, Topp stemning på lokal bar, loosely translates to “Great Vibe At A Local Bar.” What is the genesis of that and what would you consider to be a particularly great vibe at a Bergen bar?

When France won against Portugal in the semi-finals of the 2006 world cup in soccer my mom was in France in a bar that showed the game and sent me an SMS saying “Topp stemning på lokal bar”. Not that I, or my mother for that matter are soccer fans in any way, but that sentence just stuck with me, and it appealed to me so much that I knew I had to use it one day. When we had to name our album I thought that this sentence would finally come in handy as it kind of sums up some of our characteristics as a band and our music as such. If you ever visit Bergen I would suggest you come visit us at our local bar Vamoose.

9a) You’re fans of all sorts of keyboards – are there any especially old or vintage instruments that you use?

Well, its mostly Casios, but we have a very beautiful Korg as well.

10) If you could ask anyone to remix a Casiokids track, who would you ask? What song do you wish that Casiokids could officially remix?

Oh, dream remixers would be Lindstrøm or Bjørn Torske I think. We only tend to remix songs we could somehow make into a Casiokids track, so then I would say Whigfield “Saturday night”.

11) Bergen is a bit like the Brooklyn of Norway, given its rich expanse of musicians and bands. What is the scene like there? What are some up-and-coming bands that you’re particularly fond of?

Bergen is small and the music scene is very inclusive and friendly.
I very much like The New Wine and Velferd. Also I am a massive fan of Bjørn Torske.

12) Did you truly embark on a 12-date kindergarden tour? What in the world was that like? Did you love working with the kids?

Yep, we’ve done hundreds of shows for kids, also in kindergartens, the last 5 years. Its quite a different experience than playing for adults, but we respect the kids just as much as any other audience. Also, we’ve been involved in doing work-shops for kids. In 2008 we did a work-shop in the centre of Bergen to celebrate the famous Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, where we made music that played out through a large wall of grass. The installation/work-shop was built in collaboration with Bergen Art Academy, and made as a homage to Grieg for being the world’s first “sampler” seeing as he incorporated musical references to Norwegian folk music and nature sounds in his works. What we did was sample passers-by and city sounds which we then played out through speakers in the grass wall to make it seem like the music came out of the grass itself. At the Sous La Plage Festival in Paris 2007 and at Festspillene in Bergen 2009 we set up a playground for kids and made music on a musical workstation with speakers put up inside the playground. Small microphones were attached to the different toys, and a trampoline became a bass drum, looping the sound of a jumping ball turned into a funny rhythm, rattling from a helter-skelter became a small melody +++. The idea was that the kids would fool around with the different toys for themselves later to realize that they’ve actually made music whilst playing in the playground. You’ll find a lot of amazing footage on this done by photographer Sandra Jecmenica at our myspace.

13) You’re often fond of animal costumes and puppetry in your live shows and work with a group called Digitalteateret. why was it so important to add that theatrical element to what you do? Any notable wardrobe malfunctions you can recall? How would you like to expand your live gigs? Have you ever contemplated doing even more in theatre or dance?

When we started the band in 2004 in Bergen I was really into the music that would be categorized as “electronic music”, and during that period Fredrik Saroea (from Bergen band Datarock) amongst others were really good at booking those kinds of bands to Bergen music venues. I enjoyed the music very much, but the visual part could not have been duller. I mean, most of these electronic artists were quite simply sitting still behind their laptop during their live set. When we got enough songs with Casiokids to play live I had some meetings with Aslak Helgesen (leader of Digitalteateret) and Petri Henriksson (our designer Blank Blank) to work out how to present our music in a more exciting way, still using the sounds that we’ve come to love from electronic musicians and with computers on stage. I remember the first concert we did we created a little jungle in the venue Landmark in Bergen, and Petri put together a video that we had made from loads of safari films from the library in Bergen. And every gig after that would have a special theme, trying to engage audience, and also to mix the electronic element with improvised live playing. Then when Aslak came up with the idea of doing a shadow puppet theatre live on stage we did that for a couple of years, then we did some shows with our friend Olli doing live data visuals on a screen. During this time we developed very much as a band, and after a couple of years we started to do more visually stripped down shows without all the heavy visual imagery in addition to instruments, and now in 2010 the two live settings are for us more separated. When we do visual projects, we work closely with our collaborators to make the package focus on the visual, and when we do concerts as a band we try to add just the right amount of visual imagery and give more of ourselves on stage (some say too much, hence Omar being compared to a gospel choir member).

14) There is such a joyous, happy, generous vibe to your live shows – for you, personally, what is your most memorable gig you’ve ever had and why?

Playing in a hot air ballong during the Hove festival in Norway was legendary!

15) Will you be returning to tour the States soon? What do you enjoy about visiting New York?

Yes, we hope to be back there very soon. I love New York, and everytime we’re there I love it more and more. The best city in the world.

16) Several of you apparently work as DJs – what is a perfect segue that you’re particularly proud of? The best song to play to get everyone on the dance floor?

Oh, well I Dj quite a lot these days, yes, but there is really no particular mix of two songs that I can think of this very moment, and I’m not such a good mixer anyway so only rarely can I make smooth changes from one track to the next. I just try to adjust to who’s dancing, and not think too much about the mixing. When we Dj with Casiokids we often bring mics and a couple of synths to throw some additional sounds in there, getting the locals in the mood.

thanks for taking time to come up with so many and interesting questions. I appreciate it and hope that my answers where ok.


JUNE 2010

Finn bikkjen! is a quite hard one to translate as the lyrics sound very humoristic in Norwegian, and it has a deliberately childish tone.
It is a song about a boy who loses his best(est) friend, a dog called quite simply “The Dog” or “Doggy”. Then when he finds him again he realizes how much he loves him. It is a quite childish song, and a funny one to play live, especially in Scandinavia where everyone knows the words. The bridge of the song is the part where the game hide-and-seek is played and names of different animals is suggested to find out if the mother has hidden the dog somewhere low (turtle? Fish?) or somewhere high (bird?). Also colder and warmer is given as suggestions if you’re moving nearer to what you want to find, or moving away from it. It is quite common to get these kind of hints for Norwegian kids in birthday parties (at least when I was younger) whilst trying to find hidden candy or other treats. Check http://www.casiokids.com for more translations of Casiokids lyrics.


Where is The Dog?
We have to find it!
‘Cause he who finds The Dog gets the best prize
Where is The Dog?
We have to find it!
Mama hid it and Papa is timing us finding it
‘Cause should we not find it
there will be no cake
and no chocolate

It’s difficult enough as it is!
Bird, fish or turtle?
It is difficult to find the dog, when it is so terribly small
Did you check behind the window plant?
or in the lowest drawer?

The dog! My very bestest friend! I am never going to lose you again!

JUNE 2010

– I really like the tracks Verdens Storste Land and Finn Bikkjen! Can you explain what each song is about for the non-Norwegian speakers?

Finn bikkjen! is a quite hard one to translate as the lyrics sound very humoristic in Norwegian, and it has a deliberately childish tone.
It is a song about a boy who loses his best(est) friend, a dog called quite simply “The Dog” or “Doggy”. Then when he finds him again he realizes how much he loves him. It is a quite childish song, and a funny one to play live, especially in Scandinavia where everyone knows the words. The bridge of the song is the part where the game hide-and-seek is played and names of different animals is suggested to find out if the mother has hidden the dog somewhere low (turtle? Fish?) or somewhere high (bird?). Also colder and warmer is given as suggestions if you’re moving nearer to what you want to find, or moving away from it. It is quite common to get these kind of hints for Norwegian kids in birthday parties (at least when I was younger) whilst trying to find hidden candy or other treats. Verdens største land is a love song, and it translates to The World’s Biggest Country. Check http://www.casiokids.com for full translations of these and other Casiokids lyrics.

– Your songs are in Norwegian, yet you still have a really strong non-Norwegian speaking fan base. Does that surprise you?

When we first started playing abroad, in France and UK from 2005, we where continuously amazed that the reactions where so overwhelming when no-one could understand the lyrics. After a while we discovered how much of the energy we could send out and still catch the audience’s attention without them understanding what was said, both melodically and of course rhythmically. Dance is definitely universal.

– Can you provide a little bit of background on how the new album was created, how long it took, where you wrote the songs, how you got ideas etc.?

Kjetil, Omar, Feddi and I have very different musical backgrounds, and all the songs have different starting points, sometimes one of us did almost everything on a song and sometimes we made the whole thing together in the studio. We have certain pointers, boxes we have to check before we finish a song, production tricks and signature sounds, but apart from that the writing process was very different from session to session.

– What is the idea behind the album cover? Max from Where the Wild Things Are is the first thing that comes to mind.

The cover was made by our extremely talented designer Petri Henriksson in Blank Blank, and the photos were taken by Aki-Pekka Sinikoski in Berlin spring 2010. The imagery is a play on the animal references in the lyrics, and also inspired by the title of the album which roughly translates to “Great atmosphere in the local pub”. When France won against Portugal in the semi-finals of the 2006 world cup in soccer my mom was in France in a bar that showed the game and sent me an SMS saying “Topp stemning på lokal bar”. Not that I, or my mother for that matter are soccer fans in any way, but that sentence just stuck with me, and it appealed to me so much that I knew I had to use it one day. When Petri heard the title of the album he immediately got the vision of the animals in these brown pubs in Berlin, and he also decided to get photographer Aki-Pekka involved. They made a little picture story with the animals (and a vegetable) that you can see in the album booklet.

– I saw you guys when you played in New York at the Seaport, and at SXSW this past year. Your live shows are great, and really high energy. At the seaport show, I remember their being some costumes and such – can we look forward to more of that on your upcoming tours?

We have had a whole gang of monkeys joining us on stage lately, and we fear that they will continue to follow us on tour in the future as well.


1. So reading over your dates on MySpace, I believe you have just finished your stay in this great land of ours (America) and are now back in Norway. How did you like this tour? What do you think made it different than when you play shows in Scandinavia, Europe, etc.?

The tour we recently did in the US was fun. This time around we also found time to do some sightseeing, both in San Francisco (Alcatraz) and Washington. Ive always enjoyed our trips in America (the Great Land), ever since our first tour there in 2008, and we now have a gang of friends in many of the cities we visit, which increase the fun within the funliness. How is it different? Its longer distances to travel and the portions are bigger.

2. I am so glad you rescheduled your cancelled Washington D.C. date. How did you find the Washington crowd? Really liked the pineapple maraca. It was great to watch so many people reacting so positively to your music.

We were amazed by the Washington crowd. It was our first show there with Casiokids and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, footloose and fancy free.

3. I talked to Fredrik after the show, he said you were going to try to get some sightseeing in Washington in the day after. How’d it go? (Besides the creepy National Museum of American History robot. I am embarrassed to say that in all my years living here, I don’t remember seeing this!)

We did some sightseeing, indeed, at the National Museum of American History (where we met the robot as you rightly remember:
http://vimeo.com/15492805), also we went to the Natural History Museum, where we met this guy:

4. So before the show in Washington I saw part of your set at Roskilde this summer. It was really an emotional experience for me, watching all these fans of yours singing together with you for ‘Finn Bikkjen’, the beach balls flying through the air above them. Is that a standard reaction when you play to Scandinavian crowds?

We generally get a lot of crowds to join in for sing-alongs in Scandinavia, as it is the only place where the majority understand the lyrics. Still, as we have come to find from touring all over the world the last couple of years, dance in universal, and it is possible to focus on the rhtythms and melodies in the vocals instead of the words and still find enjoyment and inspiration.

5. It had been my first time at Roskilde, but imagine you all had been there when you were younger…maybe you can tell me what that festival means to you.

Denmark. the Jamaica of Scandinavia. Roskilde, it’s centre. I envy Denmark for Roskilde, and I think many Norwegians would agree with me. Norwegians travel down there every summer by the thousands. And I think the Norwegian government are grateful to Denmark for their festival, for the Norwegians can then live out their inner Rasta yearly, and come back again to their own country as law abiding citizens, content and calm after their little crazy outing. I think it is quite simply the best festival in the world.

6. I have to ask…where were all your furry friends? I was expecting them to pop out of nowhere during the DC show! Next time, maybe?

Unfortunately they now have too many babies between them to travel much. We still do the occasional work-shop or show with Digitalteateret (as they are called), but unfortunately not as often as we used to.

7. How do you think being Norwegian has shaped the way you look at making music? Do you think you would sound completely different or have a different approach to your type of dance music if you weren’t based in Norway?

That is impossible to say as Norwegian is the only nationality I have ever been.

8. I read in a couple different interviews that ‘Casiokids’ was a throwaway name, just to give the band a name, yet you stuck with it. Who came up with it originally? Are there plans to come up with another name once you get into another phase of Casiokids? Or maybe not, since you play so many Casio keyboards onstage…

Well, yes, I came up with it when trying to think of a very silly name for the project. Then, it actually fitted better than I could ever have dreamt of!

9. What are your most treasured instruments?

Our casios. All the rhythms and instruments imaginable, all neatly placed and presented in a colourful plastic piano.

10. Lastly, tell us something about Casiokids that we never would have guessed. Maybe you each have an unusual favourite film, favourite food, etc…whatever you want to tell us 🙂

I used to row, in a rowing club, and people are often surprised when they hear this. There’s probably been better fun facts shared between people, but it is the best I can come up with right now.

Thanks very much again for a wonderful, wonderful show in Washington on 1st October. I hope you will come back and play for us again soon!


1- Critics define your sound as an electronic pop, How would you define Casiokids?

Music genres have become such vague concepts over the years, haven’t they? If you hit something instead of pushing a button, does that make it acoustic rather than electronic? It is hard to define electronic music, but I guess what is often categorized as such would be something repetative with frequent use of sounds that is hard to pin down the origin of. That would be a way to define our sound, but I would say we aim for being something between Whigfield and ABBA, yet fail.

2- Have been sponsored by Of Montreal, How do you live that relationship?

Whenever we meet of Montreal it’s like a family reunion. We love that happy troupe! We got to know them after supporting them during their European tour in January 2009, and after that they put us in touch with what is now our US label, Polyvinyl.

3- You are from Norway. How is the music scene there?

Well, in Bergen where we are based there is a small and active music scene, and it is very inspiring to be around artists such as Bjørn Torske, Kings of Convenience, Datarock and Young Dreams.

4- Tell us about your musical influences

Personally I love high-life music from West Africa (60-80s) and Afro-beat (Fela Kuti and Tony Allen), as well as much of the releases on Honest Jons records + Sa-Ra. Lindstrøm, Bjørn Torske + pop magic such as Jens Lekman and Beach Boys. Newer things that excites me includes Tanlines, Wild Nothing and Lo-fi-fnk.

5- Your album has received many accolades from the international press, What do you think this new album has given to the band?

The album was in a way a collection of everything we did in 2009, with the double disc version collecting not only our singles, but also remixes and remakes of other people’s songs. It became finally like we had a document of all the ideas scattered around on travels and in the studio, so to get that little box was very comforting for us. We’re in our studio in Bergen these days to record the follow-up.

6- What things inspires you when you are composing?

Kjetil, Ketil, Omar and Feddi have very different musical backgrounds, and all the songs have different starting points, sometimes one of us did almost everything on a song and sometimes we made the whole thing together in the studio. We have certain pointers, boxes we have to check before we finish a song, production tricks and signature sounds, but apart from that the writing process is very different from session to session.We inspire each other by the artistic agreements and disagreements.

7- Tell us about a strange anecdote that happened in one of your shows or tours

When we played the Hove festival on the south coast of Norway we did a concert in a hot air balloon, playing an acoustic set flying over the festival site. It was fun but also very frightening as the only way to control a hot air balloon is to go higher or lower, you cant control the horizontal direction yourself.. So, at one point the hot air balloon captain turned to us nervously and said we were steering off to sea, which is not the direction you want to go if you still want to be alive. After a couple of panic attacks we miraculously managed to catch a wind going inwards again, flew over some tree tops and landed in someone’s BBQ party.

8- If you had to choose a city in the world, What would it be?

I really love New York, never get tired of exploring new areas and see familiar places and friends there again. Still, it also depends on the time of the year. I fell in love with Melbourne when we were there to play a concert with Neon Indian last week, such a beautiful and exciting place that Id like to see more of. We have still not played in South America, so hope to visit Argentina soon!

9- What is your greatest achievement?

We once had a concert at 7 o clock in the morning in a kindergarten for an audience with kids aged 0 to 3. It was quite a challenge getting their attention for the 15 minutes our concert lasted, but I think we pulled it off! Well, Ill take the drooling and glazed eyes as a sign of approval.

10- Finishing, recommend a book, a movie and a disc:

MOVIE: ELF – stupid and funny, and almost always right to see at any time of the year.
DISC: ONE LIFE STAND BY HOT CHIP – incredibly catchy, dancy and good songs.



Where do you come from and what are you usually doing there?

Humans have been asking themselves this for thousands of years, often with the two parts of your question intertwined in the more common “what the hell am I doing here?”, or the shorter “what’up”. Im just chillaxing in Bergen Norway for the moment.

What are you looking for (in Munich)?

Most of us are simply looking for a good time, others for meat, some for love.

What have you brought us?

6 Norwegians dressed in checkered shirts and strange colours on our socks. We come in peace.

Which person in Munich would you like to meet?

Im a big admirer of Werner Herzog’s work.

Where do you rest your head?

On my…pillow?

Which clichee about Munich do you like best?

Ive never been to Munich, so clichees are hard to come by then.

What comes into your mind when you think of Munich?

Werner Herzog, Bavaria, 1972 Olympics (and possibly 2018 it seems), Wagner, Oktoberfest,

How could Munich make you stay?

Can we stay? Great, you don’t have to ask us twice!

How do you want to be remembered in Munich?

No, we’re staying.


When did “meet” the subject of your album, Dr. Tarzan Monsoon? (Internet searches indicate he may not exist—so now’s the chance for him/you to prove his existence!)

Dr. Tarzan Monsoon is constantly traveling, exploring new worlds, and therefore hard to get hold of. I hope our roads may meet one day.

Would this new album have been possible without the 1 million kroner grant from a-ha? (Can we request you start covering “Take on Me” in their honor?)

The a-ha fund made it possible to take a break from touring, and focus all our efforts on creating the stories and melodies that make up “Aabenbaringen over aaskammen”.
Casiokids recording sessions: Controlled chaos or diplomacy in action?

Fredrik, Aabø, Omar and me (Ketil) are all in the studio producing and writing, so it’s different from song to song. Sometimes one of us will create the meat of the song whilst others do the condiments, other times its more like a creative soup.
How did you decide to sing in English for the first time? (Dr. Monsoon put you up to it, didn’t he?)

You are perhaps referring to “Golden years”? Its common in Norwegian to sometimes use English expressions and words to lightly pepper and salt our native Norwegian tongue.
For those of us who don’t speak Norwegian—and fear the linguistic mess of Google Translate—how would you describe the themes of the new album?

Mostly about nostalgia and animals.

Casio sponsoring Casiokids: Greatest idea ever or the marketing equivalent of dividing by zero?

In April 2011 we did a show for Casio Mexico in Mexico City, which was a pleasant experience. Casio for us is mostly about nostalgia for our first Casio keyboards, still the meat of our act.
What one non-musical item would the Casiokids be lost without?

If your time traveler of choice appeared and offered you a show in any era, where in the past/future would you perform?

Dinosaur show?

Be honest: Do your labelmates (and collaborators on “Selskapets triste avslutning”) of Montreal have secret lives where they work boring day jobs and wear sweaters and running shoes?

We mostly meet them on tour, and since both of us are constantly touring it should suggest that there would be no time for anything else apart from music.

Are Kentil and Beck secretly the same person? We’ve never seen them in a room together…

Beck has been a great inspiration for me. Same person? I wish.


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