They are currently the biggest musicians in Northern Norway, mostly known as the Red Headed Sluts. However, a month ago they changed their name, signed a new contract with the big record company Drabant Music and now they’re planning on touring abroad.
Text: Konstancja Suchanek
Two members of the band, Jon (guitar) and Isak (drums), told us a little bit more about their name change, upcoming album and plans for the future.
Utropia: You are the biggest music band in Northern Norway, but we have a lot of readers from abroad who might not know you yet. Introduce yourself!
Jon: We are five friends, all from Tromsø. We play rock music influenced by punk, post punk…
Isak: Noise indie, noise pop….
Jon: 70’s punk and pop punk with a little taste of the old Beatles, Beach Boys… Pop bands from the 60’s in general.
Utropia: How did the band start?
Jon: We started four years ago. We got really drunk down at Bastard and we made a bet with the owner that we would sell out all the tickets for our concert. So we made a deal with him that if we did, we would get all the money and if we didn’t, they’d get it all. We really regretted it the next day. But eventually we succeeded — we made ten songs in two weeks and we forced all of our friends to come. We were really bad. But then we just continued playing. As a result, we got a record release in 2014 and did a couple of Norway tours.
Utropia: You’ve recently changed the band’s name. Why «The Modern Times»?
Isak: We didn’t like our first name, but we got kinda stuck with it.
Jon: Our music changed, so we decided to start a new band.
Isak: What’s more, when you google «Red Headed Sluts», you’ll find a lot of porn.
Jon: We found that name at some drink recipe website. It was ten days before the gig so we just had to come up with a name…. And as it comes to the new name, we just really liked it. Everyone came up with lots of solutions, lots of different band names… We put them all on a list and just went through every single one of them. And «The Modern Times» felt right to us. Everyone gave saying «Hello, I play in «The Modern Times»» a try. It sounded perfect!
Jon: When you have a band and you change the name, everyone asks why. But if you start a band, no one questions your name. No one questioned «Red Headed Sluts».
Isak: We just like our new name, no other reasons.
Jon: «The Modern Times» is a Charlie Chaplin movie and a Bob Dylan album, by the way.
Isak: I knew about the Bob Dylan album, but not about the movie. We changed the name on Friday, September the 16th and then some guy told me that on this day 10 years ago the album «The Modern Times» reached the billboard. That’s kinda cool!
Utropia: You’re going to release a new album quite soon. What kind of music can we expect?
Jon: It’s a mix of happy songs and punk. The lyrics are everything from the menu at the Blårock pub… Yeah, in one song we almost just read the menu! A song about meeting high school friends who you don’t know anymore, the dry conversations you have with them… Another one is about having too many friends…
Isak: Our lyrics got a little bit more serious, but at the same time we do not talk about serious problems. We try to make fun of first world problems. We make the kind of lyrics that we think a lot of people can relate to if they are young, European and do not have any huge issues. We’re Norwegian, we don’t have too many problems.
Jon: One of the songs is about how boring everything is when you’re rich.
Isak: There’s a lot of irony and sarcasm in our lyrics.
Jon: And they’re pretty stupid sometimes. But we like them.
Isak: As it comes to music, we have a lot of backup vocals, a lot of falsetto, a lot of guitar solos.
Utropia: Are you going to tour abroad?
Isak: It’s not official yet, but we plan to do a Europe tour in a year. After we tour Norway, we hope to go to Germany and the Netherlands in 2017.
Utropia: What can people do to support the local music scene?
Jon: Just go to concerts. Keep checking what’s going on in Bastard and other music places in Tromsø. There are some concerts almost every weekend.