pom poko’s music is complex, angular, and sometimes even disorienting. these qualities are a testament to their superior musicianship. that’s no surprise, as they met at the trondheim music conservatory in norway. but what makes pom poko so exciting is that while their music is challenging, they also manage to be loose, fun and dancey.
ahead of their north american debut in zone one on 3/11 they took the time to answer a few of our questions
You play music that’s presumably a lot different from what you studied at Trondheim Music Conservatory. What’s your perspective on what you studied? How do you look back on your time at school?
We had a great time in school, and even though we didn’t exactly study rock’n’roll there we learned a lot about being flexible musicians and having an open mind when you play. And we still enjoy jazz music and improvisation a lot!
What’s your process for creating music? I know Day Tripper came from a jam around the Beatles’ song. Do most of your songs form by jamming together like that?
We make all our songs together by jamming, so it’s a very democratic process. If someone in the band brings an idea we often do a lot of changes to it and end up with something that’s completely different from the original idea.
Ola, I read that you once said, “We want to explore the line between what we love and what we hate” What do you hate and what’s so enjoyable about approaching it?
Sometimes if we’re jamming and something really ugly comes out, if it’s ugly enough we try to make it into a song. Sometimes the outcome is catastrophic and sometimes it turns out great.
I’ve noticed that your music is very referential and you’re open about your influences. Is the title track from your LP, ‘Birthday’ a reference to The Sugarcubes’ song?
Actually no! We haven’t heard it.
Your videos are all really fun and surreal. ‘Leg Day’ is your first video that doesn’t feature any animation. How did the idea for that video come about?
We actually just asked De Naive, the dancers that choreographed the video and danced in it, if they wanted to make a video for us. So they had the whole idea about the costumes and the kind of aerobic-inspired dancing.
Your show at Zone One is going to be your first ever show in the U.S. What are your expectations and aspirations for this tour?
We’re really excited to experience your mysterious country and audience there! Also very very excited to eat lots and lots of great food.