Name: Misty Coast
Members: Linn Frøkedal, Richard Myklebust
Occupation: Singers, songwriters
Current release: Misty Coast's new single "The End of The Beginning" is out now via Fysisk Format.
If you enjoyed this interview with Misty Coast and would like to find out more about their music, visit their official website. The band is also on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter.
When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
We both started writing music around the age of 10. Amongst the two of us, some of our earliest influences were Nirvana, Beatles and Bonnie Tyler.
At an early age we both found music as a way to express ourselves without having to explain anything. To hold on to a guitar or a bass is one of the safest feelings in the world, and pedal dancing is the only dance we know.
When I listen to music, I see shapes, objects and colours. What happens in your body when you're listening and how does it influence your approach to creativity?
I (Linn) think we are inspired by all the music we hear, and everything else we experience, whether we like it or not.
It’s really fascinating how our brain reacts to different elements of music, and how it can cause physical reactions. How really, really cheesy love songs can give you goosebumps, or how the sound of a high pitched snare can force your eyes to shut everytime it hits.
How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?
Well, the only way to be creative in our world is to push your limits in every direction.
The reason for making something new is often a desire to play an instrument in a new way, new gear, inspiring art or strange ideas and dogmatic ways of making songs. It all makes it interesting and alive.
If we manage to surprise ourselves we’re on the right path.
Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.
We identify as creative humans in search of something interesting. What we find interesting can change from day to day, but we tend to lean to music that contains some sort of resistance.
What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?
Our approach to music is similar to the way we make food. it’s all about creating something that we really like ourselves, and that we’d be happy and proud to serve our guests.
While we cook we add new elements and different spices, and we never know exactly what we’ll end up with before the meal is done.
How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?
In one of our songs we sing “perfection never wins”, and this is some sort of mantra in the way we produce music. Very often the first take captures a nerve and feel to the music that cannot be recreated, and then there’s really no point in trying to record it again.
As we are hailing from more noisy bands than Misty Coast, we still tend to add lots of elements to our music that creates disruption or noise. In our opinion resistance in music makes it more interesting to listen to.
Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?
Let’s be honest. We love guitars. Making it sound like something else, like a seagull, strings, brass horns or pure noise is an eternal endeavor and favorite pastime.
But the most important instrument has to be our home recording studio. It makes it possible to experiment and record whenever the inspiration hits, and before it’s gone with the wind.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.
In addition to being musicians, we both have part time jobs in Oslo, but let's say it's a Friday when none of us goes to the office. We wake up early, and on Fridays it’s Linn’s turn to make breakfast, usually fruits, yogurt, müsli, Kombucha and coffee. Our Fridays are never really the same, sometimes there’s lots of administrative work and emails to be taken care of, other times we play gigs or create music in our home studio.
But last Friday was sick. One of Richard’s homemade bottles of Kombucha that was sitting on the kitchen bench, suddently exploded - like a massiv bomb - spreading fragments of glass and sticky liquid all over the kitchen.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please
We’ve found a way of creating music which works extremely well for us, and forces us to push our boundaries and come up with new ideas. It works like a “musical relay”, where one of us records an idea - usually a bass line, a drum beat or a guitar riff. The other person is then challenged to record something on top of it, and then it goes on.
This way we end up making music that none of us could ever have made on our own. A good example is our latest single “The End of the Beginning”.
Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?
Misty Coast has always been a collaborative project. We’ve been making music together for so long that it almost feels unnatural not to.
Our way of working together changes. Sometimes we’re in the same room, sometimes we challenge each other with ideas. A combination of solitary and collaborative is sometimes the very best.
We spent this summer in a lighthouse on an island called Utsira, way out in the North Sea. Away from everyone and everything. The only thing to do was to make music (and go fishing). It was magical!
How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?
We get inspired by everything we experience in the world, so it's very tightly related.
Music plays such a huge role in society, so it’s a wonder why people don’t want to pay for it any longer. Nothing is really the same without music. Think about it: a movie with no background music, a silent dance floor, a Christmas party without carols, no tv theme songs, no singing on the football stadium or a church without hymns.
The two of us can probably count on one hand the amount of days in our lives we’ve not heard any music at all.
Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?
Ever since we were children we’ve been writing music, exploring big topics in life. One of the first songs I (Linn) wrote was about a horse that I really loved, and a few years later I made another one about my dead goldfish that I buried in the garden.
As adults we’re still exploring lots of these big topics, but perhaps not in the same literal way we did as kids.
How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?
Music is waves and vibrations. It’s mathematical, yet sounds and chords can make something that’s never been heard before. It can vibrate emotionally.
It’s proven that music is one of the best ways for people with no memory to remember again. It hits a chord in us. It’s our first and last language.
Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?
As we said earlier, we can compare our way of making music to cooking (and we both really enjoy making food!).
Still there’s nothing in the world we love more than creating music, so I think the more mundane tasks in life can never be done with the same passion.
Music is vibration in the air, captured by our eardrums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it is able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?
Hm. No, and I (Richard) think that is one of my favorite things about art. The combination of mechanical events adds up to a magical unity.
I (Linn) think that the fact that there’s not one answer to this question, is partly why music is such an inexplicable and incredible thing. We’re still not quite sure how music works.