Listening to the soothing quiet sounds of Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience’s brand of acoustic folk pop, one wouldn’t be surprised to find the duo—Eirik Glambek Boe and Erlend Oye—to be equally Zen-like too. In an exclusive telephone interview, Glambek Boe sounds very much like the quiet Norwegian—he is still in bed, and his answers are short but sufficient. This is not to say that he is unfriendly. In fact, Boe was very courteous and accommodating, just like the duo’s music really, which sounds best when you’re chilling out in bed, or simply as background music. Boe talks to I-S about the group’s musical influences, collaborations and upcoming gig at the Esplanade during the Mosaic Music Festival.
You’re based in Norway, but Oye is in London. Tell us how do you guys work together?
Well, if we see each other too much, we would have probably killed each other. But seriously, it’s good that we work individually first … as I’m a very nightlife person and I like to work only when it’s dark. We can produce more variety when we have individual outputs, especially after two or three months that we don’t see each other, and we start jamming and touring when we do.
How would you describe your music?
Acoustic pop music—that’s the closest that I can describe it. Our music is based on a very intuitive approach, especially at the start of writing our songs. Following that, when we try to finish each tune, our working style becomes more structured and systematic.
You guys make relaxing acoustic pop songs, but what are you listening to at the moment?
I’m listening to lots of Brazilian records lately, as I’ve just celebrated my birthday in Rio. I’m especially fond of acts such as Del Costa and Joao Donaldo. They remind me of the ’70s, as they are acts that I used to listen to.
What inspires your music?
I actually like to go to the clubs and dance, and hence I’m inspired by some of the things I hear there. Yeah, we’re often inspired by dance genres such as techno and house. The first record that I ever bought was one of house music—when I was 12 years old in 1989. Since then, I’ve been listening to more recent acts such as Biosphere and Royksopp.
You’ve done a collaboration with talented vocalist Feist (Let It Die) in your last album, Riot on an Empty Street (2004). Will we be seeing more collaborations from you soon?
Nothing in the pipeline for now. How it happened with Feist is that we went to see her show in Berlin a couple of years back. She gave us a demo, which also happens to be one of my favorite records, so we decided to collaborate.
Do you guys prefer to perform live or work in the studios?
It’s usually more tense and personal in the studios, while live performances are more intense and spontaneous. I would choose performing live anytime.
What can we expect from your upcoming concert here?
I can’t tell you. Basically, we’ll just be doing our thing.