“We are in it together,” begins Tomas Høffding of WhoMadeWho, reflecting the deep connection and spirit that defines the band’s relationship with their audience and the broader dance community. This thoughts sets the stage for an insightful interview, where Høffding delves into the journey that shape WhoMadeWho’s artistic world.
The band, comprised of Tomas Høffding, Tomas Barfod, and Jeppe Kjellberg, have together cultivated a distinctive sound that resonates globally. Known for its eclectic blend of sounds, they showcase a unique artistic view that is as much about pushing musical boundaries as it is about creating a shared experience with their listeners. This ethos is evident in Høffding’s words, “We are trying to explain the special bond you can feel between artist and crowd in the wee hours as the sun rises,” highlighting the intimate connection they foster through their music.
Their new release “Children” grooves along nicely with the beats, offering a warm and relaxing experience that effortlessly uplifts the mood. It’s a track that not only resonates with the listener but also invites them into a world where the rhythm and melody mix up to create a sense of well-being and joy. We are delighted to premiere it on C-Heads today.
In our interview, we talk about the inspiration behind their latest single “Children“, their approach to maintaining balance while on tour, and what they love about the electronic scene.
Cover photo by Kristoffer Juul
Congratulations on your new single”Children!” To create this track, you recruited the voices from the Danish children’s choir, Vesterbros Ungdomsgård. Can you tell us more about the recording process? Who came up with this idea?
Vesterbros Ungdomsgård Is a legendary institution in Danish children’s music. It was a huge thing for Danish kids in the 80s and they made some pretty big albums singing about kids stuff.
On the demo I was I was changing the chorus in a high-pitched voice and I dubbed myself a couple of times. We agreed it sounded like a children’s choir. Naturally, we got the idea to call Vesterbros Ungdomsgård and ask them if they wanted to join. Recording was easy, they have a basement studio as good as any recording studio around the world. This is the happiest country in the world as you know!
“Children” is described as an ode to your fans and the international dance scene. What do you love most about the dance community?
I love the fact that these shows are as much about the performer as they are about the audience. We are in it together. It is very international, it is very open and music flows over borders. When I started playing music, you either had to be from London, LA, or New York City to be taken seriously in music. These days, it doesn’t seem to matter where you come from. I love that. Also, I love the fact that it’s not driven by radio hits or Pitchfork reviews. It feels like a much more direct relationship between the artist and the audience.
Can you share what inspired the lyrics of “Children”? Are there any personal stories or experiences that influenced the songwriting?
When I create the songs, I always imagine myself singing the song to a crowd. I’m in front of the mic, I close my eyes, and I’m there. How can I get a vibe going, how can we connect? So in this particular case, I was wondering: who is coming? Who are they? Why are they coming? Where do they come from? And what do they get out of coming to the show? What are their desires? What are their longings? Did they come to escape their pain? We are trying to explain the special bond you can feel between artist and crowd in the wee hours as the sun rises.
“I guess the reason why we are still a band and still enjoying each other so much is that our differences, shortcomings, strengths, and weaknesses fit well together.”
Over the years, WhoMadeWho has evolved and refined its sound. How do you feel your music has changed since your debut, and what has driven this evolution?
It has changed quite a lot in some ways. When we started we were tripping over being crazy and not following any rules. Tomas Barfod came from house music. Jeppe came from the jazz scene. And I was in a rock band. Singing songs in regular clubs. Together, the three of us exploded into frantic creativity. Over 4/4 beat on the drums, played live. So we spent a couple of years in the club scene being crazy and weird. Then for years, we were tripping over crossing over to Indie, playing bigger regular clubs and festivals. Trying to get songs on the radio etc.
Then the last five years we’ve been returning to the club scene, but in a more electronic way than ever before. Also, we tone down the funny bone and the quirky craziness for a deeper emotional impact. This has been super inspirational for all 3 of us and we really feel that we are in a flow these days.
Your collaboration history is quite rich, including the recent team-up with Adriatique and RÜFÜS DU SOL for “Miracle.” This is really amazing! How do these collaborations influence your music, and are there any dream collaborations you have in mind for the future?
Thank you. That’s one other great thing about the electronic scene, the fact that you don’t stay in closed bands, but you let the music and the voices and the sounds flow between groups and artists all over the world. Rufus and Adriatique are people we met in the world and digitally and it has been super inspirational for us to listen to their music and ultimately to work with them and tour with them. For the future, we have some very nice things in the pipeline, but I can’t talk about them just yet!
Having made a significant impact on the global music scene, what do you think sets the Danish music scene apart?
So we’ve made a significant impact? Nice. It’s very hard to see yourself from the outside, but I guess one thing would be the Scandinavian melancholy and darkness. In our case, it’s a melancholy and darkness mixed with a very energetic vibe. Perhaps to escape our roots.
“We are trying to explain the special bond you can feel between artist and crowd in the wee hours as the sun rises.”
With your busy upcoming tour schedule, especially with your new live tour show, can you tell us a little bit about how you plan on maintaining your physical and mental health while on the road?
(laughs) We have very different takes on this one. For me personally, I always take long walks everywhere I go. I get depressed from staying in a hotel room or at a venue. I love to feel connected to the place I am by walking randomly around. Also, as a new thing for me, it gives me a lot of energy when we play late set times on the other side of the Atlantic making it a morning concert when you’re on European time. Meaning I get kind of a full night’s sleep, wake up fresh in the middle of the night, and go to the club and do the show. I love the feeling of coming from a different vibe than the audience and then melting together in a beautiful moment of Techno and love. Like atoms smashing into each other creating energy.
And how do you stay connected with family and friends back home, while on tour?
We don’t. When you’re gone, you’re kinda gone, but we all got used to that rhythm. Maybe that’s why we don’t tour as hard as some other bands. We never did month-long tours in buses and stuff. It’s more like weekends and quick ins and outs.
How would you describe the chemistry between band members? Can you share a fun story that captures your bond?
The chemistry is sparkling. Still. I guess the reason why we are still a band and still enjoying each other so much is that our differences, shortcomings, strengths, and weaknesses fit well together. We are idiots, all 3 of us, and we drive everyone around us insane, but internally its pretty balanced.
Stories, well…. maybe we are best off keeping them for ourselves. (laughs)
“It’s a show and we are performers. And we should dress up.”
I was scrolling through your Instagram and couldn’t help but admire your fashion sense, especially your cool shirts (smile). How important is style and fashion to you?
We always dressed up for the shows. I never liked standing on a stage pretending to have gone up there by coincidence. It’s a show and we are performers. And we should dress up.
Where do you see WhoMadeWho heading in the next few years? Is there a new album in the works that we can look forward to? If so, can you share any details about the themes or sounds we can expect from this album?
We are heading up, up, up. And yes, there is a new album in the works. As mentioned earlier, we feel like we are on kind of a new path and we are still just in the beginning of exploring all the gold that lies in these more emotional directions.