So there is no doubt about it. Danish pop band Private are hot at the moment and on the up and up. Having released one of my hands down favourite albums late last year entitled ‘My Secret Lover’, Private are ready and set to take the pop world by storm having already garnered major success in Denmark and winning the hearts of music bloggers in the US and UK and beyond. EQ got a chance to chat to Thomas Troelsen from Private about their music, the Danish pop immersion, their ideas for live shows and "that girl" who speaks novels of attitude in the title track…
So how long have you been together as a band? It seems that you popped up overnight on the pop music blogs and suddenly everyone was talking about you!
It’s been great seeing the reactions around the world. We actually didn’t want international attention before our debut album ‘My Secret Lover’ was released worldwide, but I guess it was easier to control before the rise of the internet. I’ve been working on the record since 2005, and Asger and Tanja came to the studio in late 2006 to record their parts.
So what is the pop and electronic music scene like in Denmark? You’ve had some real success there haven’t you?
I don’t think there’s a Danish scene per se, but I think we have some truly original bands like Junior Senior, Raveonettes and I Scream Ice Cream.
With Alphabeat building up momentum along with yourselves in the UK, is Denmark the new pop music breeding ground like Sweden is?
I really like Alphabeat’s songs and I love how their personalities fit their music, but I don’t think that there’s a momentum in Danish pop music. I think that both Private and Alphabeat want to be a part of the international scene, not just the Danish scene.
There is an obvious connection to Prince and Madonna in your music. Was this intentional or did it just kind of happen that way?
I’ve been a record collector since I was thirteen, and therefore I like a lot of obscure music, but I guess my favorite music was made in the mid 80s when the standard and competition were at their best. I’m a perfectionist and I can work for hours on a shaker, tambourine or finding the right drum fills for a song. Nothing on our record is a coincidence except some of the actual songwriting. I believe that’s how ‘Rumors’, ‘Purple Rain’, ‘Bad’ and ‘Like a Prayer’ were made too.
‘My Secret Lover’ is so fresh sounding, yet heavily retro tinged – how did this song come about?
It came to me at my home recording studio when playing my piano. Suddenly, all the words, notes and chords came out. Don’t ask me why. Most the choruses on the album are written like that – Ooops, that was pretty good! When something comes to me, I record it on a voice recorder so I won’t forget about it. In the case of ‘My Secret Lover’, I recorded it about a year later.
How did it feel to hear your songs on the radio for the first time?
It’s always great to hear your own music on radio and in nightclubs, but I don’t get as excited as when I was 15. Nevertheless, it’s definitely a great feeling. My favorite thing though, is when someone really old or really young comes to me and tells me they like our music.
And who is that gal doing the speaking bit in ‘My Secret Lover’? You know, the bit where she goes "I want a real man, I don’t have time for this shit…" so flawless.
It’s a girl from New York we tracked down because we were looking for a sexy voice. I think we recorded about 40 minutes from her, but some of it was too silly and some was too dirty.
You have a bit of a gothic and dramtic look to your imagery – What’s that all about? Lots of black and white, we love it!
We don’t think of it as being goth at all. I see it more like a fine British gentleman thing. I think it goes very well with our music and personalities.
You’ve been nominated for a ton of awards at the Danish Music Awards this year? How do you feel about that? You gonna win or not? What’s your competition like?
That’s great. We never thought we would have this much success in Denmark. We have some pretty good competition. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind if we don’t win anything as an award goes to The Raveonettes.
Tell us a little bit about ‘Crucify My Heart’. Based on real life events? Who’s the inspiration behind that tune? She sounds like a real piece of work!
The chorus was written in real time and the strong words pretty much set the scene for the rest of the song, so it’s not a Thomas Troelsen biography, but i definitely had some girls in mind. This was actually the hardest song to write, and I had a really hard time finding the right verse for it.
Any plans to go on tour? What can we expect from a Private show? I personally am expecting lots of neon on black…loads of keyboardage…synchronized dance moves ala Robert Palmer, flinging of the hair…that sort of thing…
The only show that we have done so far went extremely well. The scene was at the old stock market in Copenhagen built in 1735 by King Christian the 4th. We don’t want to perform at festivals and venues. We want to bring our fans to more aesthetic places.
So which one of you is the real ‘Killer On The Dancefloor’ ? Be honest.
Definitely Tanja. She’s always rocking it. I rarely go out, but when I do I’m usually in a pretty good dancing mood!
Any plans to release the album in the UK or the states at the moment?
Yes, there’s been interest from various UK and US labels. We’re beginning to look at who might be the best partner.
‘That Boy Is Hurting You’ is such a beautiful track – how did this one come about?
You know when one of your friends is with a complete idiot, and you don’t have the guts to tell her that? Well this is a story about just that.
Well that’s it! Thanks for chatting with us Thomas. Any parting words for the EQ readers?
Bring out the gentleman!
And so we shall! And just in case you have yet to be turned into a fan of the electronic pop maestros themselves, take a look and a listen to the below YouTubage and make sure to check them out on MySpazz.
|My Secret Lover
||Crucify My Heart