Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
Emil: Malmö, Sweden. Quite a few good venues here. I especially like Plan B, Babel and Inkonst.
Sam: East Dulwich, London. South East London has a very vibrant music scene. From bands like Black Country New Road, Squid, The Golden Dregs, Alaskalaska and artists such as Jerkcurb, Tony Njoku and Pixx. Venue wise it’s pretty limited in comparison to East London but a new venue opened up last year called Peckham Audio which is a lovely addition to the area. Not quite South East London, but the infamous Windmill in Brixton isn’t too far away and is the pinnacle for discovering up and coming artists from the area. Lets just hope these venues survive these tough times because it would be a major blow to not just the venues themselves but to the whole independent music community.
How did you first start playing music?
Emil: Standard Swedish compulsory music education!
Sam: As a kid, I was obsessed with the sound of distortion so my lovely Mother bought me a guitar! At first I didn’t really take to playing as I found it really difficult and didn’t enjoy lessons. I was about 8 so wanted to be instantly good. However when I was about 13 me and a group of friends decided to start a band and I’ve been playing in different bands ever since.
How has your COVID19 experience been so far?
Emil: Terrific, everything slows down-
Sam: Other than the UK Government absolutely ballsing up their response to the virus and the fact that 1000’s and 1000’s of people have died because of it, I agree with Emil. It has been a much slower pace but also a little unnerving due to the lack of any plan from the government. I guess I’ll just ’Stay Alert’!
What’s been happening recently?
Emil: Not much!
Sam: I’ve been spending time with my girlfriend, cooking food and making music. It’s been a great time for me to be able to take a step back and just relax.
Please tell us about how the Normal Average People project came about:
Emil: We lived in the same flat in Nunhead, South London, we worked at the same bar and ended up playing together in a silly manner. Before we knew it we had a permanent recording set-up in our living room. Simply spending a lot of time in a relaxed environment is how the project came about really.
Sam: Yeah the whole project came about in a very natural way. We spent A LOT of time together.
Your second single Baggy Ankles is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting for this track?
Emil: All I can say is that the sound was definitely inspired by Bruce Springsteen.
Sam: Hahahaha yes! There is an element of Springsteen in there. You really have to listen out for it though. Other than that I guess we were quite inspired by artists such as Talking Heads, Stereolab, Faust, CAN and Parquet Courts at the time.
Where and when did you record/produce?
Emil: We recorded everything live in the bar we worked at at the time. The bar We enjoyed the acoustics and thought it might add to the vibe. During the production process we also worked a lot with re-amping, sending sounds through different speakers and amps to different parts of the bar.
Sam: Yeah it was a really interesting process as the room just really added to everything. It wasn’t your conventional studio set-up at all and I think we thrived off that.
What programs/instruments did you use?
Emil: Standard guitar-band setup plus a few synths. And loads of silly stuff!
Sam: We even used a microphone in a bucket at one stage to get what we thought was a desired sound. We definitely experimented.
How do you approach recording and production?
Emil: Building a stage on which players can act freely, capturing something honest within controlled settings. Creating the format before the substance!
Sam: Emil’s great at getting good performances out of people and a pleasure to work with. So yeah I just mostly went a long with his approach.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Emil: Really like the new King Krule album.
Sam: Yeah the new King Krule album is great!! I’ve also been listening to a lot of (Sandy) Alex G and Art Feynman recently.
What do you like to do away from music?
Emil: I’d like to be a rockstar!
Sam: I like sleeping!
What’s planned for 2020?
Emil: Hopefully the gigging situation will be back to normal before the year ends! Otherwise focus will be on collecting new ideas and then get together either in London or Sweden to record!
Sam: Yes ideally gigging would be the next stage but unfortunately we can’t currently. We will be releasing more songs from previous recording sessions throughout the rest of the year and yes get working on the next thing. Got to keep things rolling!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Emil: Anywhere but Voodoo Rays in Peckham!
Sam: Hahaha! He only says that cos that’s where I work. Got really into making Tacos recently and hanging out in my girlfriends kitchen where I have a little recording set-up. It’s a nice space with great light so yeah I’d say there. Other than that I’d say Emil’s Mum’s house on the west cost of Sweden. It’s beautiful there, very relaxing and a very creative place.