Interfew with: Team Me.

We featured Team Me recently in our roundup of current Norwegian music. The band is the brainchild of Marius Drogsås Hagen . They made their debut in Trondheim in January 2010. They first came to national attention with the song “Fools” thanks to their participation in Urørtfinalen, a yearly competition for up and coming Norwegian bands hosted by NRK Urørt, which is a part of The Norwegian Broadcasting channel P3.

In the winter of 2011 Team Me signed with Norwegian label Propeller Recordings, releasing their first EP shortly afterwards. The song “Dear Sister” from the EP was a radio hit in Norway, Europe, the UK and the US.

Throughout 2011, Team Me played festivals across Europe, including The Great Escape in Brighton, Club NME in London, Reeperbahn, Hamburg, Øyafestivalen in Oslo, Iceland Airwaves, and Berlin Independent Nights. They also did several tours in the UK, Europe and Norway with The Wombats.

They have since released two excellent albums, To The Treetops! and Blind as Night, and followed up with the single June (shades of The Beach Boys and classic fifties American pop), in 2015. Team Me produced beautiful, multi-layered songs that are strong on melody and use orchestration to wonderful effect.  The band announced they were breaking up in November 2015. We’re sure that whatever Marius does next will be well worth watching 😉 We caught up with him to get an insight into his influences.

What is your favourite song/piece of music that you’ve written and why do you think this?

I’m still a bit surprised that I wrote a song like “Blind as Night” to be honest. It’s a song from our latest album, and it’s not very typical Team Me in the sense that the chord progressions are a bit different, compared to what I’ve been writing previously.

The song has got some kind of theatrical quality to it, I guess, and I`ve always been really into dramatic, pompous and cinematic music, such as Kate Bush and The Smashing Pumpkins, to mention a few.

I’m happy with how that song turned out.

What song by another artist do you wish you had written and why?

There are so many good songs, hard to pick only one.

I`ve been a huge fan of The Smashing Pumpkins ever since I heard their EPIC double album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” for the first time. That album was a game changer, for sure.

I went from skateboarding and listening to Green Day, to lying in my bed listening to this massive, intricate piece of music, including everything from Black Sabbath inspired metal, to weird ballads played on an autoharp.

One of the singles on that album, “Tonight, Tonight” must be one of my favourite songs.

I read somewhere that it’s actually a song about Chicago, the place where songwriter, co-producer, band leader, visionary, control freak Billy Corgan grew up. But for me it’s a love song, and it’s always gonna be a love song. Whenever I hear that intro, with those beautiful strings and those marching drums, I immediately go back to my teenage years. That song, and that album is basically the soundtrack of my youth.

What artist(s) has been your biggest influence and in what way?

Patrick Wolf has been another big influence of mine.

I remember seeing him play this festival in Sweden and it blew my mind!

His laptop broke down in the middle of the first song, so he had to do his entire set playing only his viola, stomping the beat and singing. It felt so real, and it was such a beautiful performance.

I went on and bought his debut album “Lycanthrope” and listened to it non-stop.

That album is sort of lo-fi, I guess, which actually made me think I could do something similar on my own.

After the festival, I went straight home and wrote a whole bunch of lousy dark folk songs.

None of them ever turned into something listenable. Hehe.

What is the best new band that you’ve heard recently?

Son Lux! Recently discovered them, thanks to my friend Anders from the band “Ludvig Moon” (check them out!!). The song “Lost it to trying” is such an inspiring song. I’m a huge fan of orchestral elements in pop music, and this song has got a genius flute pattern. We have checked them both out, excellent choices 🙂

What’s your favourite radio station?

NRK P13. They play a lot of good stuff from the 90s, such as Grandaddy and Mercury Rev.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

Alphaville performing their classic “Forever Young”, would be nice.

Thanks for your time Marius, and best of luck to you in 2016.

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