Some are busy trying to fit everything into systems and semantics. They create boxes for everything in this black and white world, and are comforted by the thought of order and authority. And then there are those whose minds wander into magical places, those whose eyes see twice the colours of the same reality. They don’t see rules, nor do they see norms, instead they crush the boxes in order to find their own system in the mess we all were given by birth – the mess we call life. They have a rebellion inside. One that is loud enough for the outside world to stop and listen. These thoughts and actions are some of the many characteristics that the two 22 year old guys from Copenhagen, Denmark, Anton Falck Gansted and Joakim Nørgaard has based their creative world upon, and now also their music. With an uplifting, yet very melancholic sound, and a bizarre predilection for snakes, they have created their own universe, which are being celebrated tonight as their debut EP is released. Event in Copenhagen. We asked First Hate about their universe, melancholy and debut EP. Read the full interview with First Hate in the coming issue of Dry Magazine.
Which thoughts have you put into the name First Hate?
Anton: It’s funny cause we’ve actually used a band name generator to come up with the name. I typed in “hate”, and then it suggested, “first hate”. It was quite a coincidence because I had just talked to a friend about how it isn’t possible to hate someone before you have been hurt by them. So you see, the first hate is in some ways the same as the first love, only a few months later when everything has fallen apart and you have been left with a hatred feeling.
Are there some certain first hates that you’ve had in mind when choosing the name?
Anton: I believe that everyone has hated someone for their first time. It’s a dualistic feeling of really wanting to be with a person and at the same time just wanting to kill them, in figured speech of course. It’s the combination of missing someone, and their existence in your life, and actually wishing for them to be dead.
Joakim: My first hate was actually myself, and it will always stay that way. It’s sort of a self-hatred, which I believe everyone must have felt at some point of their life.
Anton: I agree. Hatred of other people is often rooted in a hatred of yourself. That’s why I’m always striving to become a better person, to myself but also to others.
Can you tell us about your great fascination of snakes?
Anton: The snake is a symbol of a thousand things, both loneliness and powerfulness. The snake is a cheater, it’s a slimy creature, but at the same time it’s a supernatural animal – in some ways almost magical. It can bite its own tail and by that be a symbol of eternity. It’s toxic. I guess the fascination started a while back when a viper bit me and I had an allergic reaction to its poison, so I ended up at the hospital. Since then I’ve seen a lot of snake documentaries and done a lot of research.
That loneliness you mentioned, is that something you guys have felt too?
Joakim: I believe loneliness is why we started making music in the first place, or at least it is for me.
Anton: You’re right; I think we both have felt that way. We’ve mostly created our songs in loneliness at night when you don’t feel like going to bed because you know you won’t be able to sleep anyway.
What do you think about in such situations?
Anton: The thing about those situations, or those times, is that you don’t need to think about anything, and that is when the music is taking over your mind. It’s almost floating like a stream replacing all the stuff you would have thought about if you weren’t making music. It’s like we convert those feelings into music.
Joakim: I agree, and that is also why music can donate a feeling of what we might have felt when making it, or what mood we were in, even without lyrics.
Is the melancholy apparent in your music?
Joakim: Yes, I can easily make happy sounding tracks, but I’m not feeling happy while I’m doing it. That is definitely a melancholic thing.
Anton: Yeah, if Joakim has produced a happy song and you get to read the lyrics for it, you’ll realize that the song is about something completely horrible.
Joakim: Our track “Next Dimension” is for example a rather cheery song sonically, but the lyrics are about stabbing yourself with a knife and leaving this world. I think it’s a good combination because dealing with another side of life than only the beautiful, is not necessarily bad.
Do you see yourself as melancholic?
Anton: Yes we are indeed melancholic, but that is probably just as much a wonder about life.
Joakim: We once discovered a series of compilation albums called “Symphony of Science”, which is a combination of various talented physicians, philosophers etc, who explains the mysteries of the universe and mankind while cathcy music plays in the background. That is really fantastic!
Anton: We spend a lot of time on those albums, it was somehow a sort of life changing music for us.
Can you tell us a little about your debut EP?
Joakim: We have made the record in collaboration with a guy called Ben Cook from Canada, who represents a label called Bad Actors Inc. He is involved in many music projects and he is among other things playing guitar in a punk band called Fucked Up. Our collaboration with Ben happened very randomly through common friends who played our music for him.
Who has designed the cover for the EP?
Joakim: Since I’m studying design it was somehow natural that I did a lot of drafts for the cover, but then Anton did one, and it just was just much better. So that’s great, haha.
Anton: Haha. I think it’s a really cool record. It’s white and clean with “First Hate” written in green on the front. The vinyl has some green stickers with our logo that consists of green intertwined snakes. We have worked really hard to make it aesthetically pleasing, since it’s very important to us when buying records that you want to look at it and explore the visual side of the music.
Joakim: To us it is almost as exciting to do a beautiful record as it is to do a good record. The connection between the two aspects is key and we feel that way in every part of life.
Have you been busy during the summer, before the release?
Anton: Yes we have. We have among other things been on a very busy Europe tour with the band Communions. We played nine shows in eleven days. It was actually two Frenchmen who contacted us, wanting to arrange a tour, after hearing us play at Drone (music venue in Copenhagen). They asked us to play with a French band that we didn’t knew, but then we suggested them to play with Communions and they agreed on that. It was really amazing to drive around only with your friends and discover new cities in Germany, France, Belgium and The Netherlands.
Which was the best gig?
Anton: Probably Amsterdam, that was really cool venue and they got us a room at the 5-starred Lloyd Hotel, with one massive bed for us all to sleep in. It must at least have been 10 meters wide.
Do you have a funny/crazy story from the tour?
Joakim: We stayed in an apartment with a French couple, Baptiste and Adéle – they were really cool. Many of the guys tattooed each other with Baptistes machine and we drank a lot of champagne at their place, that for sure was a good evening.
Is there a specific reason that you are releasing your first EP on vinyl?
Anton: We wanted to have a product that you could hold in your hand, something for people to treasure.
How does it feel to have a physical product of your music for the first time?
Joakim: It was very strange to put the needle to the EP for the first time and hear our own voices and music printed in vinyl. It feels good.
What is happening for First Hate right now?
Anton: We’ve been working really hard on three music videos, and the first one has just been released today. The film student of the Royal Danish Film School, Annika Berg gave the song to a tween girl dance team and let them rehearse to it for 2 months. They came op with their own choreography and performed it in front of the camera. In My Dreams is the unofficial title song of our newly debut EP. Besides that we have been busy printing t-shirst and making our own stickers during the summer. We’re doing everything ourselves so we get it exactly how we want it. But I think it’s because I’m a perfectionist, and Joakim is more or less so too. That’s why it’s really rare that we get others to takes over something that we believe we could have done better ourselves.
Interview by Emma Marie M. Johnsen.
Photography by Mads Teglers, madsteglers.com.