Indietracks interview #3: Finnmark!

Finnmark! was conceived from a conversation about about indiepop between good friends in a Gothenburg kitchen. Fuelled by a relentless hangover, jet black coffee, and a plate of day old kanelbullar, it made its way home to a cold house in Leeds. Taking inspiration from the Bergman films, indiepop records and long cold bike rides that were filling the founding members time, along with a longing to return to the place of its conception, a jangly melancholic pop sound emerged, and the band was born! Edward from the band joined us for a quick chat ahead of their Indietracks appearance.

Hi Edward, so how do you all know each other?

The main band members (me and Owen) met through Don’t Falter, Leeds premier Indiepop club night. Owen is a regular DJ and part organiser, and I am an occasional DJ and regular attendee. Owen had a tendency to play all of the songs I wanted to DJ slot in the before mine, so he was a natural choice for the band! The part time members are friends who are current or ex Loiners (Leeds folk).

You’re open about your love for Scandinavia! What’s the appeal and which is your favourite Scandinavian spot? Have you been to Finnmark?

I think bands should wear their hearts on their sleeves and be more open! Mystery is overrated!

I just really like the place. It makes a lot more sense to me in many ways than the UK. It was the music that got me interested to start with, and growing up with a Swede as a next door neighbour probably had an effect in hindsight! The people, the scenery, the lifestyle, the music, the food, the politics, the tolerance of bicycles! It’s all good!

I have a definite soft spot for Gothenburg! The band started in a kitchen in Gothenburg. It’s a good city, I would recommend it! I also liked the island of Brännö so much I wrote a song about it!

We haven’t been to Finnmark….yet! The band was actually named after the film ‘Cool and Crazy’. As soon as I heard Finnmark I liked it. It’s a fun word to say!

You’ve been described as “Felt, fronted by Morten Harket, approximating ‘Emma’s House’” and “Jonny Cash goes Wedding Present”. Are those fair? How would you describe yourselves?

Ahhhh, Gareth Ware! He has a brilliant way with words! I would go for the former rather than the latter description. I love Felt, Morten Harket has an amazing voice and Emma’s House is one of my favourite songs! We’ve also been loosely compared to Another Sunny Day. I would just describe us as a melancholic jangly pop band.

You’ve made Through A Glass Darkly available as a pay-what-you-like download. Any plans for future formal releases?

Yes! We’re recording an EP! I’m going to completely contradict myself now and keep the details a mystery! Hopefully it will be out before the festival! We’ll keep you updated on the Internet!

What’s going on in Leeds at the moment? There’s This Many Boyfriends, The Birthday Kiss, The French Defence, you and loads more! Is Leeds where it’s all happening now?

It’s funny, I was actually thinking the other day that Leeds is going through a bit of a quiet patch, but then I think about it now and there’s our pals TMB’s, The Birthday Kiss (their new single is great), T.O.Y.S. The French Defence, The 7 Inches etc. I think it is quite difficult to look at it objectively when the bands are full of people you are friends with! You look at them in a different way I suppose!

I think there is a lack of student bands in Leeds at the moment. Leeds has had quite a rich history of student bands, and there used to be loads. Maybe the students have become more studious and don’t have the time for bands as their too busy writing essays! Poor show!

Do you have any other exciting plans for 2013?

We would like to play lots of shows! Hi Promoters! We’re just really excited about getting the EP finished and playing pop music! I’ve never played a pop show outside of the UK. That would be amazing. Let’s make that happen this year!

Have you been to Indietracks before? What are you most looking forward to?

Yes, I’ve been for the last few years, and I’m in love! The Librarians Wanted crew say ‘Every Year Until I Die’ (Lisa Bouvier has written a great song about it), and I am very quickly coming round to their point of view!

I’m looking forward to seeing Alpaca Sports, Making Marks, When Nalda Became Punk and Pale Spectres as they are all brilliant, catching up with friends and drinking and dancing a lot! I can’t wait! See you there!

Through A Glass Darkly by Finnmark!