Interview with Unn from Tusen Takk

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We featured Tusen Takk back in May 2016. They released their rather wonderful first EP “Lakrisbåter” (liquorice) in the same month. These are damn catchy tunes! We caught up with the articulate and arresting Unn from the band and she very kindly answered some questioned for us 🙂 Check them out , you’ll no regret it lads and lassies.


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*Foto: Håkon Borg

 How did you choose the name for your band?

Tusen Takk means a thousand thanks, and is a common Norwegian phrase. I wanted to make people more aware of how they used it. Besides. I have a lot to be thankful for.

How does the dynamic work in the band? Do you always agree on musical direction?

As the songwriter of the group I try to show the tunes to the others early in my composing. Our first EP Lakrisbåter was first recorded and produced with the whole band present. During a recording session we try to track every little idea and thought, not talking so much about it, just do. Afterwards we always have a great time discussing what we should keep, and what we should remove. It’s all about kill your darlings, but we always seems to end up in a place where we all get to keep some treasures of the mind.

When we first posted your tracks the post was taken off Facebook, we guess due to the cover of your new EP. What did you think?

Facebook finally caught up with us on our cover. It shows a girl sitting on a bed with her breasts out, with a jumping cat in the background. I love that photo. We got to keep it there for two whole weeks. Maybe we should have used man boobs instead? The internet is filled to the brim with boobs and cats, (two of my favourite things btw), so why not on our first EP? It is a wonderful picture taken by my good friend Linn. She is an amazing photographer and person.

Do you think non-English singing groups get enough exposure in the major British and American magazines? Does it matter to you?

I guess that is pretty normal. Norwegian is a really weird but wonderful language; you can assemble different words together and make up new ones, and it will all make sense to the receiver. It is a language where humour and vocals is a big part of communication. In Tusen Takk I try to reflect on the sound of all the words I use. So non-Norwegians can get a glimpse of what I try to communicate.

What was the first piece of music you loved, and why?

The first piece of music that made me wanna become a songwriter was The Smiths song “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”. I fell in love with the simplicity and that it made my brain go on a little vacation. I pictured myself in a warm, safe place by the ocean, the feel of the sand, the loneliness and yet the feeling of content at the same time. In real life I was sitting in my childhood bedroom, listening to music on my big, grey boomblaster with recording equipment only fit for those who still used cassettes. It was freezing winter, and I remember thinking how magical music is.

What is your favourite song that you’ve written and why?

My favourite song that I have written must be my first recorded song ever. It was naive and young, and written one night on a piano placed in a gymnastic room on a school I went to. The acoustic was incredible and I was heartbroken, and the piano ridiculously untuned. Not my greatest accomplishment, but I miss that feeling of being so in control of my emotions and still be so young and confused. Youth is perfect and miserable. Plenty of inspiration just being alive!

How do you know when a song you’ve working on is complete?

A song is never complete, it’s a work in progress, and I am more interested in the progress than the goal. There is always room for little tweaks and changes. Shouldn’t the song fit your life, instead of the other way around?

Do your songs change much when played on front of a live audience?

We try to perform a live set that is pretty much the same as our released songs, but then again, we always get a little inspired by the stage we´re playing on, and sometimes it is good to play a song in a different clothing. That way we are never bored when playing the same stuff over and over again.

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

I wish that I had written Pyramid Song by Radiohead. Because it is one of the most beautiful songs on this planet.

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

The Smiths have always been close to my heart and saved me when I felt confused and too much alive. Jenny Wilson’s Love and Youth saved my summer some years ago, Bjørk created a safe haven. Radiohead keeps me company on nights without sleep. N.I.N showed me how to feel what I do. Stevie Wonder helps me keep my apartment clean. It is difficult to name just one, because like life; music is meaningless without variations and different impulses. Music helps me to understand life.

Name a song that makes you happy and why does it have that effect?

The song Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears always makes me happy- It has the perfect blend of pop music with electronic influences, and those mountaintop chords! Always makes me wanna run fast in the woods, screaming my head off.

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

This spring I´ve been listening to Anderson Paak’s newest album Malibu. Just what I needed to get me through the Norwegian rain season.

What do you think of music streaming sites like Spotify and Deezer?

I love that music is so close all the time, even though it pays next to nothing to the artists. We should do something about that.

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

I would wish for people to remember me as playful, honest and real- and everyone who knows me know that I love the song Dramamine by Modest Mouse.

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