Drone

8월 9, 2011 at 5:32 오후
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By: Nina Nørgaard Lorentzen

A couple of days after the Joe and Honey release party, I revisited Drone in the light of day, this time to have an interview with the owner of Drone, Rasmus Poulsen, to get his opinion on Danish underground music, and why he has chosen to run Drone and how.
Rasmus Poulsen became owner of the bar and music venue, Drone on the 6th of march 2009. The exact same location used to host Apparatet, which was a place known for its cheap cocktails and relaxed atmosphere.

Int: In what ways does Drone differ in comparison to the Apparatet which was here before Drone?
Rasmus answers, that Drone is more of a party-place than its predecessor, and credits Drone’s dance floor which was non-existent in the old Apparatet-days.
Moreover, the music profile of the place has become more tight, and more sharp, in a way, Rasmus adds.

What kind of bands play here, what is the genre?
“Primarily rock, rock and garage. Music that has its roots in back in the 60s, all the way back from blues, garage, beat, punk and so on… Sometimes we play a bit of electronic too.”

Where do you look for your bands?
“A lot of cool bands find us, Rasmus grins. They write me.
Other wise it’s word of mouth, what you hear about through the grapevine. A lot of musicians come here, and a lot of the bartenders are musicians, or have their feet planted in the Copenhagen music scene, so I pick up on some tips from them too.”

Have you had success with those concerts you’ve been playing so far?
“Yeah, but it also varies a bit, depending on… we have a lot of upcoming bands, or bands that you discover and wish to promote or that you would like to offer the chance to perform. So, sometimes you take a risk, since it’s hard to predict how many people will show up.
But it gets better and better now, since more people have heard the news that cool things are happening in our basement” (stage –red.)

Did you consider expanding the stage area, and perhaps make more room for the audience?
“I thought about moving the down stairs bar, but on the other hand we’re primarily a night club, after all, even though the concerts are an important part of the place too…
For a party I think the down stairs bar works really well. I have considered moving it, but I also really like the primitive style, a lot of the bands like it too, the fact that they are just standing on a plain floor when they play, in stead of getting up on a real stage.”

So there is no real stage?
“No, it’s just the floor.”

Do you have any particular ambition about doing something for the Danish artist –and music scene?
“Absolutely, most definitely, Rasmus says with a serious look on his face.
With all the musicians we have coming here, and the fact that I think it’s important to support some of those smaller bands that might not get played on the radio. Bands that don’t fit in that category, you know…”

Is there a reason why you have chosen this place, has it got something to do with the fact that it is in Nørrebro, and what do you like about this part of town?
“I like the diversity of the area, and I don’t think this place would fit in the mid-town scene. I think Drone is too niche to be anywhere else. Perhaps it could be in Vesterbro, but then again that would make it a bit different.”

Is Nørrebro special to you?
“No, not apart from the fact that I think it is an amazing part of town.”

Do you live here yourself?
No, but I’d like to”, Rasmus smiles.

How do you think Danish underground music is doing right now?
“I think it’s doing really well. Down here you get in touch with everything that stirs. I think a lot of great stuff has been going on lately, and a lot of cool albums have been released.”

Is there a particular record label that you keep your eye on?
“A Danish one? Tambourinocerous, which is a new one – We had a label night here for them. They’ve got Thulebasen which I find, is one the most interesting bands in Denmark, and “Four Guys From the Future” which is also a new band which is totally amazing. Those guys used to come here from the beginning. We supported them and they held their debut concert here, and their release. I think it’s some of the best music to be found on Danish soil.
I’m also very fond of Emma Acs, a band like Death Valley Sleepers and Setting Son,” Rasmus adds.

What does it mean to you to support these musicians and bands?
“It’s exciting, it’s just exciting. It’s not about money, we don’t take an entrance, so we don’t earn much (Rasmus laughs). Making a lot of money is not the primary ambition.
The music is the reason why I opened this place, because I find it interesting and exciting, and it’s fun to be able to promote stuff you think is awesome.”

Did you feel the financial crisis at all, or is that all the same to you?
(Rasmus sniggers)
“I don’t really know about that crisis… we were “clever” enough to open in the midst of the financial crisis… so the first year… But the first year is always hard on a new place. I think people where more aware of the fact that Apparatet closed down, then they where that we were opening up. So people needed some time before they found out that things were happening again out here.”

One thing is the façade, it’s really dark…
“That is very much on purpose.”

Why is that? I remember walking up and down the street several times first time I was here, before I found it…
“I like it when it’s a bit anonymous. That it’s not so obvious and yet cool stuff is happening inside. When you enter, on a Friday night or a Saturday night, some of the most insane parties are taking place down stairs. It’s so crazy (Rasmus grins).
So I just think it’s cool, that you can’t really spot it straight away.”

You mentioned Four Guys From The Future, are there any other bands that you’d like to see play at Drone?
“Most of the Danish bands I think are cool, have already been here. Howl Baby Howl, is one of my favourites. The Good The Bad, which is sort of surf and one of the best bands we have, also played here. I don’t know what’s left…
Many of those bands that are too known are too big to play here, and I don’t really find it that interesting to be honest. The Raveonettes might be cool, but they’re way to big… obviously.”

I remember you scored Ariel Pink. That was one heavily packed night…
“There was a line outside the place one hour before we opened. The band showed up so late that the place was on the verge of collapsing. It was so packed… here by the stairs we had to hold people back. The band didn’t arrive until 11-12 midnight, sadly.
It was a very spontaneous concert, I only found out the day before that we could throw the concert, and it wasn’t until the night before that we got all the details straight, so we only had that same Saturday on which they were playing to promote it. But it was completely insane. It’s one of the wildest concerts I’ve ever experienced here, people were out of their minds.”

Did they run amuck?
“They ran amuck. I had to hold up a table, in front of the stage, in order to keep people back, and away from the stage area. I even think I elbowed a dude at some point.
(Laughing).And this guy, Ariel Pink, is that his real name? Any way, he was sitting on that table, which I was holding and trying to balance, and dancing on it during most of the concert. Shit.”

He was playing at Loppen (concert house at Christiania in Copenhagen –red.) the day after right?
“Yeah. Smash Bang Pow! (a booking and event agency in Copenhagen –red.) got Ariel to play at Drone, asked me if I wanted him down here.
I didn’t know Ariel that well, but found out that it was really, really neat.”

How long do you think you’ll keep Drone up and running?
“For as long as I want to; right now, I feel like going on for lots of years. Places like this have their life span, which you must keep in mind, but I’d like to keep it up for 5, 6, 7 years still, if possible, and if people still think it rocks.
One great advantage is that the music we play has a timeless sound to it, so I think this place will always appeal to people. But then there are trends and different waves and all that crap, so you never really know what’s going to happen.”

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