They were burnt out, empty, aimless. After the second album "Start Stop Worrying" (2013) the motivation to continue making music had reached zero. The Shaking Sensations had fallen into an existential crisis. But now the quintet from Copenhagen presents a new, famous post rock album with "How Are We To Fight The Blight? Full of New Artrock, which is completely dedicated to the instrumental Walls Of Sound and combines opposites like quiet and loud, fast and slow or friendly and dark. Guitarist Jeppe Nygaard Christensen explains eclipsed the background.
eclipsed: How happy are you that a new album of yours has been released after all?
Jeppe Nygaard Christensen: We are very happy. Two years ago we didn't think that we would make an album together again. It is a great relief that the album is finally out. We are proud to have come back again with an album that we think is our best and most ambitious yet.
eclipsed: What happened to the band after you released your second album in 2013?
Christensen: Our first two albums and all the tours have been very hard on us. When you're active in post rock - like in any other niche genre - you have to do some extra laps to get people's attention. We worked our asses off and were exhausted. We made friends for life, had some great experiences and we had the chance to record and release music that we love. Maybe we were just saturated
eclipsed: So what made you decide to produce an album again?
Christensen: In 2017 we got an invitation to a festival. At first we thought about a one-off performance. But when we rehearsed together again, we quickly realized that it would not work without music together. We were separated for some time and got to know how it works outside a band. We finished our studies, got married, had children. We also noticed that the world keeps turning and moving towards something bad. As individuals we also needed an outlet through which we could speak out about all the evil. We had always expressed ourselves through music. And now we've done it again with music
eclipsed: Last summer you officially added a second drummer to the band, Mads Hantho. What possibilities does this open up for you?
Christensen: Mads has already played on our first album "East Of Youth" 2011. Over the years it became clear that the joint drum playing of Christian Wejs Sørensen, our first drummer, and Mads became a core element of The Shaking Sensations. You can feel this clearly on "How Are We To Fight The Blight? That Mads is now a full member of the band has the simple reason that he is a very good friend. We have no real concept for two drummers. In the beginning Mads was more of a percussionist who added something here and there. Only on "Start Stop Worrying" we realized what potential lies in two drummers. We also got inspired by other bands with two drummers. There is a certain freedom in the creative process, not just to have two arms and two legs behind the cauldrons
eclipsed: Your version of postrock plays with the contrasts of quiet and loud, fast and slow, dark and friendly. Do you consciously proceed in this way?
Christensen: We are concerned with emotions. We want to give them time and space to develop. That's what we're about as a band, as individuals and also as listeners. Everyone can develop their own visions to the music. Our music directly contains the mood we were in when we created the music. In this sense it is a very personal album. It is a very intimate space into which we invite the listener. It is very important to us to create contrasts, to tell stories and to create emotions
eclipsed: How are your tracks created?
Christensen: It's a mixture of jamming and composing. Usually we have some ideas to start with. Then we add the mood that prevails in the room. It all develops very slowly. We work on riffs, chords and melodies sometimes for a very long time without putting them into a certain context. Suddenly one day we realize that these are exactly the things we were looking for. When we jam, we like to define an area in which we are going to move. It's helpful to have some rules. Sometimes it's also quite funny to do the exact opposite of what we actually intended to do. So the songs develop a life of their own
eclipsed: How would you compare the new album with its predecessors?
Christensen: We were really still very young when we recorded the first two albums. We didn't think much about it. That can also have its charm. We have become much better musicians now, which I think you can hear on the album. We recorded the first two albums in a carefree and optimistic mood in a very short time. We played a lot of shows back then and didn't care about a direction or a goal. We still love the old albums. They represent a period in our lives. But the new album is definitely the most ambitious work we have produced so far.
eclipsed: On "How Are We To Flight The Blight?" you reflect on the current state of the planet. What do you think is going wrong right now?
Christensen: From our point of view we are in a big sh***. If we want to save the planet from dying because of climate change or wars, we must develop as individuals and see ourselves as part of the solution. In our opinion, humanity is making the wrong decisions. But it is not too late. We cannot trust that politicians will fix it. Each and every one of us must take responsibility and rethink our behaviour. We tend to shirk responsibility. As long as we do, the planet will die
eclipsed: On the other hand, it's a very personal album. How does that fit together?
Christensen: Living in this world can be pretty tough. Is this the world in which your children are to be born? We have to question our own consciousness. Does it make a difference if I do something? Everybody has his own opinion about it and this album expresses our opinion. It describes how we deal with such questions. And if this album makes other people think about it too, then maybe some people do something.
eclipsed: How do you try to convey this message with purely instrumental music?
Christensen: Our music is also a self-therapy. We are a five-piece band and we have different opinions. We discuss about that. And so such fears and frustrations are automatically part of our music. But we don't dictate what the listener should think. That's the beauty of instrumental music. Also, the song titles, which we spend an eternity working on, by the way, give a hint
eclipsed: Have you grown up now?
Christensen: We have definitely matured. The old albums were more about nostalgia and growing up. The new album is about the here and now. There is nothing nostalgic about "How Are We To Fight The Blight?".
*** Interview: Bernd Sievers