Artist Talks – Søren Koch – Part 1 – Career

Artist Talks – Søren Koch – Part 1 – Career


How was that? This video is brought to you by The Guitar Skyhook Hi there everyone and welcome to Artist Talks My name is Morten K Artist Talks is a slow TV talkshow Where I’ll be having different artists visiting me in my tiny attic studio To talk about their career Today’s guest is a fantastic singer and songwriter but also a skilled guitar- and bassplayer. He’s a huge Beatles fan, and these days he has become a member of another famous British 60s rock band The Zombies – on bass. He is fronting The Beatophonics on guitar and lead vocal, but he has also been a sideman with names like Tim Christensen Michael Falch, Peter Belli and Marie Frank, as well as being a member of the band Boat Man Love. He has just been touring the United States with The Zombies, but now he’s here in my tiny attic studio and his name is SØREN KOCH – Welcome Søren Thank you What do they call you in England or America at the moment? I try to get them to call me “Soren Kock” Can they do that? Some Americans are a little bit embarrassed about it When you get to the hotel and say I’m Soren Kock – and they look… – Oh yeah – but thats my name – I’m sorry Søren – So good to have you here Pleasure to be here I’d like to have a talk about you and your career as a musician and I’d like to get a little talk going about -how did you start music? My parents were really into music They were not musicians or anything but they really loved music My mom was a huge Beatles fan and – and played me The Beatles from my very early childhood So to me The music’s always been there My dad played a little guitar his sparetime We had an electric guitar in the house so it was always there, when I grew up So music has always been a part of my life I started playing drums at the age 5-6 – 5 years old I start drumming on a Stool Playing along to records by the danish band Gasolin’ I was a huge fan – still are I wanted to be Søren Berlev – the drummer Of course yeah – With good hair He had this enormous drumkit You couldn’t actually see Søren Berlev, Because he was hidden behind the drums. I wanted to be that guy And I was always very fascinated by bands I grew up with my mom playing The Beatles to me and she had this huge collection of Records With the Beatles and a lot of sexties stuff like Cliff Richard and The Shadows and some Elvis records as well But The Beatles had a special spot in my heart She was always talking about The Beatles and playing it, so it’s has been a kind of indoctrinating from a very early age So I always had this this thing with beeing in a band I never wanted to be like Elvis I just wanted to be like one of these guys with the mob hair I always seemed to understand when people were talking about The Beatles as the the four headed monster because it’s like – that was expecting what they were They were all same – they were in a band Nothing else really spoke to me Like most people I like to get my way Writing music and stuff But I really wanted to do it in a band content As soon as I started to play I wanted to form a band I played on my little stool to the Gasolin’ records for a couple years And then my parents gave me a drum kit at the age of 7 and started to play along to records and once in a while my my dad would bring out his electric guitar and he had bought a little tiny amp and play just to jam he would be more into he sixties Instrumental bands like The Shadows and the Danish band The Clifters and Swedish band The Sputniks. He knew a couple songs by these groups So he would play would play long on the drums NERD ALLERT – This part became a bit too nerdy so to hear Søren tell about how he started to play guitar and learning chords go to the Nerd Alert video after this one – So I formed a band and we call ourselfs “The young boys” -A good name for a band with 10 years olds That was me and on guitar On my dad’s hollowbody Egmont guitar with his tiny little 10 watts amp and my mate Eric – whom I’ve know now for 45 years – He was on drums. I had my little drum kit. So I would tell him to do you just go kick – snare – kick – snare We didn’t have a high-hat so that was a cymbal He would just concentrate – Doo gag Doo gag Just keep doing that for like 3 minutes and I’ll sing a song to that – so that was a band The young boys – That was the Young Boys! As I told you, I remember picking up the guitar at Christmas of 1980 and I had this reel-to-reel tape, Witch I recorded in January 81. I must have been playing guitar for like two weeks and it’s got 10 songs on it And there’s Beatles songs, Cliff Richard Elvis songs and a couple songs that we wrote ourselves. A Rolling Stone song with the Danish lyrics. A lyric that we wrote ourselfs. I just knew how to. I mean I didn’t get all the chords right and I could only play songs in in the key of D. But it was never a question of how to use these 3 chords I was natural It comes natural for you And it’s been like that ever since I always felt, that I had a good ear, and in that sense it has been quite easy to to play with other musicians When did you write your own songs then? We did we did write a few songs I remember we wrote a song my friend Eric and I The song was called “Hot dog” because that was one of the few English words that we knew “Hot dog” – “Hot dog” You know It had to be in English? Yes, it suddenly had to be English Because all the music I listened to was English Except for Gasolin’? Except for Gasolin’ – but somehow singing in Danish wasn’t cool to me – it had to be in English Okay we’ll have a short break to tell you about our sponsor The Guitar Skyhook A Skyhook is a new and discreet way to hang your guitar on a wall Use the strap button on the back of the guitar If you don’t have one on your guitar yet The Skyhook comes with one for you to mount find more information on the website skyhook.dk So what happened after that? There was a guy at school who had a drum kit He played drums and these two guys – they played bass and guitar They asked me to join the band as a guitarist, and that was my first proper band – So you here around 11-12 years old? Yeah, I would have been around 11 at the time -And being asked to be in a band with… With some kid around 16 was crazy I mean – At that time, I was feeling “This is it” – The next moment I’ll be famous At the age of 11 – being able to play with kids – that was 16 – these guys wants to play with me… We had this band for half a year and of course they left school and they formed a new band and you know didn’t want to play with me anymore I was heartbroken I way weeping all day They didn’t wanna play with me or the band broke up or whatever. I couldn’t get over it. It took me weeks Then yeah I got asked to join the local music schools big band The Rainbow Stars I remember we played Count Basies C-Jam blues – A classic blues They would put these sheets in front of me Within a year we were doing Birdland by Weather Report and stuff like that I learned so much from that – because He just put the sheets in from me And said Eb major B7 something, and I was like what!? And the bassplayer in this big band He was really into the scales and all the kind of thing Just count the notes like 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 And that was the way I learned it In between – when our teacher he was training all the horns in the big band I was sitting counting all these notes and figuring out, how to do these jazz chords in different positions I learned so much in like two years -But do you read music now? I can I can spell my way through -But you do a lot by ear I guess? Using my years has always been much easier to me So when I’m using… I mean If I don’t know a song, I can spell my way through I can read all the chords and stuff but I easily start to guess because I know whats going on -It’s like putting down a puzzel? -But then you formed a band – C.B. and the Tranquilizers Yeah, that was like this stupid name which just thought was really, really funny We had various guys in and out of that band, and after a year or two We got the band together – more or less We got a really good bass player and his friend of drums and the keyboard player was a guy from school Anders Trentemøller – whom is was now famous producer -A very famoud producer, musician and songwriter Great guy He was on keyboards, and he was also also writing songs And we were like Yeah – we’re going for this I mean especially me and him We went to the same school When we finished school – it was like “let’s move to Copenhagen” To do the thing Get the record deal – so we went to Copenhagen Got a rehearsal room Started rehearsing 4-5 days a week -And you changed your name C.B. and the Tranquilizers to the more appropriate “Flow” And at that time we were really The guy Anders Trentemøller and me We were really into – not Britpop – because Britpop wasn’t realy around that time It wasn’t called Britpop yet -So You invented Britpop??? No – but we went to the kind of music that became britpop Anders has always been a kind of a first mover with stuff like that He was listening to “Wonder Stuff” and The Cure and which I love as well and I was all more into Elvis Costello and Squeeze and we we could actually meet around the band XTC We both loved that So that would be kind of that british guitarbased melodic pop rock But Anders was a keyboard player at that time A great keyboard player And he loved guitars And he loved the guitar sound and he was always trying to get his his keyboards to sound like guitars which was quite interesting so that became like our sound he was doing this – Uiuihhh – like like this feedie sounds With his keyboards And people was like – he’s using a Korg M1 and you know He’s supposed to do keyboardpads, but his keyboards sounded different I remember Jesper Ranum used distortion for his keyboard to get that kind of sound He always played he’s keyboards through a guitar amp And so it’s quite interesting what we did But you know – its like it has always been the case in Denmark We’re never the first movers so by the time We had our our first album out in 1996 Which was just called “Flow” We got a deal with Virgin and released an album in 1996 And by the time that came out Britpop was well established with Oasis and Blur and all this – and you know It was kind of too late for that We were never really inspired… – We loved Oasis and Blur but – We were not inspired by them We have proberbly been listening to same music as they have been listening to all the the the late 70s early 80s British popgroups And a bit Beatles But Flow wasn’t my first record When I was about 17 and living in this town – Vordingborg I was asked by some guys, who were quite older than me to join a band They wanted to form a new band And we formed a band called “Dans Moderne” “Modern dance” in English The guitarist were 11 years old than me and the singer was 15 years old me I was like the kid – You know I was like 17 But it somehow knew me and wanted me to join the band And I was like proud because they were the older guys and the guitarist were a real lead guitarist and he asked can you play bass? And I said – yeah – if I can play guitar – I can play bass [Laughter] Actually my dad had a bass around the house as well, An old ItalianEco bass So I have been fiddling a bit around and I’ve been playing a bit of bass in the music school bands, so I knew my way around playing bass, so I joined band and they were really serious because they were much older than me they really knew how to arrange stuff in an band content so I learned a lot from these guys and playing with these guys and we did some things that were quite crazy for me when I was 19 we went to Czechoslovakia we toured for two weeks in Czechoslovakia with a Czechoslovakian punk group and it was so… this must have been ’89 The iron curtain were just opening up and it was so exciting And being in these small Czechoslovakian clubs It was So underground and everything was black The musicians that we hung out with they were like… We came with all our vintage guitars and nice amps and pedals and stuff – and they where like – OMG you guys have a chorus pedal? Yep – I’ve got a chorus pedal… I mean they didnt have stuff like that The guitarist sad it would take him five years to get the money to buy a chorus pedal So we thought – we gotta help these guys So we got this thing going. These guys they came to Denmark the year after And we toured with them in Danmark and went back again and toured with them down there tried to help them getting stuff. It was very interesting but but it was always a lot of hard work for the band And around the time released a 45 vinyl – which was my first release – One side were the one of our own songs that we did together and the b-side was a cover of the Doors “Love Me two times” And back in those days, doing stuff like that making a 45 without having a record deal you know was just complicated it wasn’t like these days “let’s do a record” It was a lot of hard work and it costed a lot of money Which we saved up from gigs And at the same time we had this thing going with the Czechoslovakian band -So when all that ended The tour was over The record were out, the band was like exhausted -And what are we to do now? What would be the next move? We’ve done a 45 We’re gonna do an album, but we didn’t have the energy was just completely – we’d been working so hard it was like… -and the band just slowly fell apart -And you went with “Flow”? Yeah, we concentrated on “Flow” from then on -And “Flow” was touring Denmark? Yeah, we did play the venues The Danish venues and clubs at that time and for some reason – I don’t remember why but we played a venue in the town Randers called Café von Hatten which was a fantastical place. It’s still there. I mean so many places – venues has disappeared since then Café Hatten is still there And for some reason the young people who ran this place – they really liked our band and they wanted us back and we started to building up a reputation within that town so we played there every like six-month or so -But then you got a phone call? And that was when “Flow” was kind of… We did this album which turned out real well And – didn’t sell that much of course but we did tour quite a lot with that band We played the Skanderborg Festival – the main stage That was a big thing Then the guy Trentemøller left the band he wanted to concentrate more on electronic music At the same time I had this phone call from a guy Kent Olsen who was a sound engineer front-of-house guy at the venue Café Von Hatten He was also a drummer He was started playing with a new female artist a singer-songwriter – Marie Frank and they were at that time signing up with BMG And he just got in touch with me and asked “Do you have some songs – because I’ve started working with this girl and we don’t really have any songs…” A couple of months later They called me again and asked “Do you want to play guitar with us”? And I said “but what about the song”? “well we don’t think the songs work, but we would like you as a guitar player” so I joined the band and start working very intensely with Marie and the band In ’99 we went to New York to record her debut album And spent like 2 or 3 weeks I Manhatten – and I was like -Yeah – I can dig that… It was a great experience But they ended up being a very successful record Sold like nearly 50,000 copies And the year after – I mean she took more less every Grammy it was nominated for… I was crazy. We went from being this We did this club circuit first before the album came out I remember we were realy good at playing softly We were a really dynamic band We really did concentrate on little parts had to make a big sense you know I was very interested in working with that So what happened was The band gots this huge amount of succes We started doing the big festivals and it’s just like – moving into the big stages I’ve seen this happen with almost every band I’ve been in since When you move from the small venues on to the big festival stages the larger stages – The dynamic just tend to kind of I don’t know – something happens to the band it’s just so hard to keep that very fragile thing on a large stage you need to do like you really have to move your arms to get out to a crowd of 20,000 people and that was what happen to the band Marie was brilliant on stage she was great at doing that I thought the band was great but somehow we lost that magic dynamic thing we had going at the start and it became more like this big machine Thats going out on tour Big Production – but I always loved both planes I really loved plying the small clubs smaller stages but you just have to keep in mind that it’s two different things and kind of respond to it in different ways I mean it’s fantastic beeing standing… I’m remember playing Skanderborg Festival with Marie and it was just like it’s just people – people people people and at the end of the hill there’s just people and just they disappeared standing on the other side where you couldn’t see them and the same thing I tried with Tim at Roskilde festival just keep going it’s fantastic you know who doesn’t want to try that – wow but at the same time, playing to a crowded club of 200 people who is right in your face like this that’s just as fantastic – a different thing and I really love both of it -You did four albums with Marie, did you get involved in the songwriting afterwards? Yeah we did. The first album she wrote with mainly American songwriters and with a guy called Jacob Eriksen who sadly passed away He was in Shirtsville – Danish group. And with a few other danish songwriters But the first album was mainly with American songwriters. Jesse Harris he did he all songs for the first Norah Jones album he wrote with Marie for our first album And she actually turned down that song “Don’t know why I didn’t come” She just turned that down She loves to tell the story because it’s such a great story. He came with a song… “Hey I’ve got this song “Don’t know why I didn’t come” and she said “Well Jesse, if you don’t know how, who should know then””? So she turned that down – but Marie always say I doesn’t have to have become a hit, if she’d done it It proably wouldn’t Norah Jones just did a great job -But you got into the songwriting as well? I got into songwriting. For the second album “Vermilion” we co-wrote most of songs in the band I was quite involved in that as well and for her last album as well we did some cowriting. So I did some songwriting with Marie and the band, but it was never in the same sense, as when I was with Flow Were I was singing and playing my own songs you know writing lyrics -So you actually became a Sideman -I became a Sideman by playing, and I really never had an intention of becoming Actually to be honest with you I’ve never found it cool to be a sideman As I told you, I always wanted to be a part of the band That was like the cool thing for me You could be fronting a band but you still have to be a band, not solo carier. I was really into that and then and for some reason, I just ended up being a sideman I know I developed my way of playing guitar. That was the good thing about begin Sideman because I kind of stepped back from singing apart from a lot of harmonies but leadsinger – I steped back from that and just concentrate more on playing guitar and I kind of created my personal style during this time. -Then you were asked to become a sideman in a band or what ended up to become a band with Lars Skjærbæk? Yeah Wasn’t that a band at the end? At the end it turned out to be a band yeah. Lars and I did a couple of projects together We did a thing with some Danish sixties singers One of them was Peter Belli A famous Danish singing – Great singer Nalle – famous Fynsk singer – Great guy and Sir Henry – Ole Bredal was his real name They were all like the big names from the sixties and the last guy was Jørgen Krabbenhøft of The Hitmakers – one of my favorite Danish sixties bands So it was kind of an honor being on that and the same time it was interesting meeting Lars working with… He put together great band with Jesper Lind on drums Thomas Høfting on bass Great guys you know, so we did that album and have great fun doing that and after that, Lars and I started working with Peter Belli on an acoustic project featuring Lars and me on acoustic guitars and Niels Ole Thorning on keyboard And we did two albums and tours for that album – with this project – it was really great and Peter is a fantastic singer I never heard that guy sing out of tune He has just has this like John Lennon kind of this broad, wide voice, that’s always in tune After that I turned into Lars one day -Hey you wanna record some demos with me, I’ve got a couple of songs written Would be interesting to see what happens if we’re going into a studio. Yeah, lots of years – let’s do it man, and so we went into the studio and he said I know a great drummer Johan Lei Gellett and my brother Troels is on bass. I knew Troels a little bit So we just meet up at Studio and Lars just sat down with an acoustic “Sounds great” “-What about I’ll go and pick up the…” For every song it was like – I like that – maybe I should pick up a 12-string Rickenbacker for this, or maybe I should go to the piano for this one. And everything was just easy. We started recording and it sound fantastic and immediately it just sounded like a band. There was no intention of forming a band but it just sounded like band, and at the end we had these 12 songs or whatever – was it 12 songs and Lars said “I really like this. Let’s put it out” So we released the album, and “what are we calling this is?” “I don’t want call it Lars Skjærbæk , because it feels like a band”. So he came up with a name “Boat Man Love”, I think from Nick Caves Boatmans Call” album which he loves, so we had a band going. The album came out, and I remember we had a phone call or Lars had a phone call from Michael Falch a Danish singer – asking if we wanna back him. Be his backingband, on tour, because he wanted to bit like Neil Young and Crazy Horse Yeah – with the kind of “Eih eih” – Yeah – you have that wibe. And we were like – Oh – we were so into this – we had this band going, – are we going to be a backing band? – and at the same time we got another offer from sadly passed away Louise Hart and she wanted to do an album with us as a backing bands as well, and it was like – oh yeah that sounds interesting. We actually were more into that – yeah let’s do that So we went in and did the album but it didn’t work out She was great singer, but for some reason, it didn’t work out and that the album never came out with us as a backing band. But the tour with Michael came together. And it is like sometimes I feel – if you’re expecting something too much, it’s like putting something in the wheel. It’s like sometimes, you just have to be pragmatic about it “Let’s go along and see, what happens” And that was actually happend, – I mean I knew Michael, and his old band Malurt, which I listened to a lot, when I was a kid I even remember playing some of the songs, in one of my first bands. But I wasn’t really too keen on the work, but someone was like “yeah let’s do it” And it turned out to be great relation. He’s great guy. A lovely guy and he’s just so sweet to be around, so we had great fun with that, and… -You toured for six years. – We end up being his backing band for six years. -While still doing our own stuff at the side, -but the second Boat Man Love album “Black on blue” was more like a band afford. Where the first one was more like Lars songs And second one, me and Lars wrote a lot together. And Troels was involved in a few of the songs as well, So that was more of a band thing… But you also joined Tim Christensens band!? That was in 2010, after Boat Man Love have been together like 4-5 years. Tim was working on a new album, his third album “Superior” and we knew each other from a distance. We would bump into each other. We lived around the corner from each other. We would sometimes bump into each other. “Hey how’s it going?” I was also big fan. I love his first two solo albums and Dizzy Mizz Lizzy. And I knew he had this fascination for the same kind of music, that I love. The British and the The Beatles stuff and So if I bumpd into him in the Street, We would talk music. There was this thing going. So we knew who each were. I went to New York, and and saw this American singer-songwriter Mike Viola – a great songwriter and I was just feeling Tim should hear this, because it was realy up his alley It’s kind of same acoustic thing he’s got going on his first couple of albums, so I said “You got to hear this man, and I sent him a file with this guys music, and he got back to me, and he loved it “I really love this guy” and then didn’t hear from him for a long time before after a couple of months he wrote me “Hey – you knew this guy, could you please put me in touch with him” It turned out, Tim was in New York, and he wanted to meet Mike Viola, and have him help write lyrics for one of the songs on his upcoming album – which turned out to be “Superior”. So I went straight to the email. Hey Mike – meet my “friend” – we didn’t knew each other that much – meet my friend Tim, and within a few hours they obviously got together and wrote “Superior”. And then after some time, Tim called me up again and said “I just wanted to know – I was just wondering – Do you play bass – by any chance? – If you are asking – yeah – I guess I could play some bass. “Because I wanna do this band with you, Lars and Jesper Lind on drums. Just the four of us, and then maybe, we should all share keyboard stuff and be a little – maybe you could play guitar on some song In the end it turned out as a five piece band, with Christoffer Møller – a great keyboardplayer, great arranger as well, and he joined as well, so it didn’t make sense to have this playground band So i just ended up to play bass wich is fine by me – I love playing bass so I just end up on bass with him. But at that time I only had my little Höfner Bass which sounds great, but it’s not like a punchy rock-and-roll, like tok tok tok tok – they can’t do that thing. I was using you one of Tim’s basses until I got my own Rickenbacker Bass. But he had already recorded the album at that time The “Superior” album, so it was just like a touring band, and we started touring with him, and had so many great experiences with him. On and off stage – Because – it’s such joy playing his songs He’s a fantastic songwriter, I love that. And we had a good chance to some lovely vocal harmonies. He’s a fantastic singer, so when you’re singing with Tim, it’s like you don’t have to concentrate if you’re in pitch or anything. It’s like. It’s just a natural thing. You can use all your concentrating on the sound. Are you going “Waaaooo” – that kind of thing And just focus on getting everything right. He’s such a great and reliable singer to sing with. So that was a great joy as well being the backing, doing harmonies with him, and we did great touring – played all the venues in Denmark, and festivals an amazing amount of gigs. It was great fun and big stadions stuff, and we also did tour a lot in Holland and went to Japan for four days as well. So I had some great experience with that guy, and at the same time outside the stage, he became great friend to be around. I was always loved collecting records and stuff like that, and he did the same thing, when we were in Holland he was like “Tomorrow morning after breakfast – meet up and go out and find some record shops. We’d spend a lot of time doing that. It was great – great fun great great camaraderie – having a thing while you’re on tour. The same nerdy stuff. As well I was talking about the Beatles I guess? Yeah we did that from time to time you can imagine. I forgot to ask you. I read that Tim was in Abbey Road the first time, The Dizzy Mizz Lizzy guys were not that impressed, but actually with “Flow” the album – you were in Abbey Road. What was that like? When we’re about to do the mastering of the album. It was in 96 the first debut album, we found out, that it wasn’t that expensive having it mastered at Abbey Road. and it was quite surprising to me back then, and I would have been about 25 at that time, so the record company – Virgin – decided – let’s go to and do it in Abbey Road Studio and there was this guy – Chris Blair taking care of the the mastering. He’s been working with Oasis at that time and he’s just been doing The Beatles Anthology And beeing 25 it was like “Oh my god” So we went over there. He did a great mastering with the album – most importantly, but also – being and that building was like – I mean – I was also very proud moment going inside the lobby and they were asking “What’s your name sir?! And you’re putting down your name, and it said “Søren Koch entered the building at 10.30” and when you when you left the building “left the building at 3.30” And this this lady would take me from the reception up to the mastering suite -Making sure that you didn’t go anywere else? Yeah – I remember we passed through – I don’t remember if it was studio 2 or studio 3 – like a door with a little window – and just passing through – and I was so – beeing a The Beatles fan and a fan of the sixties – all the music was recorded there So I had to look inside the window – dragging to look through the window – and she told me NO You cant’t do that – So we went upstairs to the masterngsuite, and spend some hours there And then I checked out did the crossing and went away. I haven’t been at Abbey Road since then And then when started working with Tim – he always told me about that thing, that he went there with Dizzy Mizz Lizzy to do second album, but felt that he didn’t have anyone to share that’s kind of thing with, You know the guys in my band back then they wasn’t that much into the Beatles… I didn’t really have anyone… like him I didn’t have anyone to share that experience with. It was special beeing there, I knew not only The Beatles but I knew a lot about what has happend in that building. A lot of music that I really love, was recorded there Of course The Beatles and The Hollies and all those British bands from the sixties Everything that came out on EMI was recorded – more or less – there It was just crazy being there. I felt a bit starstruck. -But Tim Christensen started working with Dizzy Mizz Lizzy again. We had long and great tour. I played with Tim for like 4 or 5 years. We did the album Tim Christensen and the Damn Chrystals which became the name of this band – “Damn it Crystals” “Damn it Crystal we’re drifting apart” Yeah, that’s were its from. We did that album and also one of the greatest things we did with Tim – Which I enjoyed a lot as Beatles fan – was on Paul McCartney 70’s birthday. We celebrated him by inviting Mike Viola and Tracy Bonham to Denmark and we rehearsed for like three days, and went into Vega large venue area, and did his “Ram” album. Which is Tim’s favorite Paul McCartney album and which has become mine as well, because it’s such great album. We rehearsed that whole album, from start to finish, and after that we did a set of greatest hits Paul McCartney hits and we only did that for one night. Everything was filmed and recorded and we put a lot of energy and certainly a lot of money, I think Tim putted into that project, because he’s – we just loves Paul McCartney It’s like a tribute to his big hero, and it was released as a live DVD and a double album and CD as well. -Did Paul McCartney ever hear about it? -We dont know We’ve never heard anything. You didn’t send a copy for him? I’m quite sure he must have heard it or at least about it. There’s a Beatles album called “Meet the Beatles” But if you say that wrong, you could say “Beat the Meetles”, what does that mean to you? Beat the Meetles… That’s a band to me That’s my Beatles tribute band, that I’ve been a part of now for like 25 years It was a sixties cover band which in 1994 needed a new guitar player They were doing lots of Beatles, but was also doing Stones and Birds and stuff like that, and I saw an ad in one of the papers this band searching for George Harrison guitar playing guy singing Paul McCartney voices, for this Beatles kind of thing Not a 100% Beatles tribute band but it sounded interesting enough to me to respond to it, and at that time I was working with “Flow”, but I was also having a kind of a part-time job in a kindergarten, and I could do with a little more money, and I loved The Beatles. That was the main thing, so I was like – maybe I should There a Danish Beatles tributeband called Rubber Band Which I used to listen to as a kid and I always fancied doing that kind of thing you know So I phoned the guy up Let’s meet up and and it turned out I joined the band. I came up with the name “Beat the Meetles”. To some people Beat the Meetles means something else I want to get into that. I said “I wanna join the band, But only if we decide to become a 100% Beatles Tribute band I don’t want to do various covers of sixties tunes.” And they agreed in doing that and we really started working serious on that and somehow that has just continued for 25 years now. It’s like – wow – and I mean in the mid 90s late 90s, we were quite busy. We’d be doing like 40 gigs a year, and like that playing all over Denmark, and even going to Liverpool Playing a Beatles conventions, at the Cavern Club I played the small Cavern Club stage a couple times, or as close you get to the real one – it’s been moved you know. but yeah and in the large stage as well, and we’ve been playing Sweden and we’ve just been to Norway couple weeks ago. There have been personal changes in the band through out the years, but at the moment consists of me and my friend through 25 years Michael Stanley as John Lennon and these days – I’m not – when we’re doing this Beatles stuff – we’re doing we do like five gigs a year it’s just for the fun of it because we love The Beatles of course but when we’re doing it now, I’ll be singing the George Harrison parts and playing with George Harrison guitar and we got a bass player Magnus von Bülow -Great guy, great singer, a great bass player, great songwriter as well, and he’s Paul McCartney, and he’s playing the Höfner bass, so it’s great fun doing that, -But the three of you formed a band Yeah as I said, we had different person changed through the years, and at that time in 2010, the band consisted of me Michael Stanley and Rasmus Schrøder on bass and Flemming Koch on drums And we were asked to do – there was big, huge Beatles exhibition at a museum here in “Kolding Hus”, and I was part of working on that exhibition doing different setups and stuff, and we were asked to do a recreation of The Beatles 1964 Danish show – in K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen. -“The one without the Ringo”? Yeah exactly Jimmy Nicol on drums, so the thing was, we’ve got to recreate that, doing the same set list all the speeches in between a songs, has to be seen same suits, same amps, same guitars and stuff and we really – especially me and the singer Michael we’re really into collecting old guitars and stuff like that so we have all these Beatles guitars among us you so we said let’s do that, but the problem was, the shows was only 20 minutes The Beatles show, and we were like “People are paying money to get into hear this Beatles tribute play for 20 minutes “We can’t do that” [Music] -Well anyway, so we we’ve got to give them something more and I was familiar with that the three bands that supported the Beatles that night was three dansih bands, The Weedons, The Beethovens and The Hitmakers – which at that time, I had become friends with a couple of these guys I mean that they’re quite older than me they’re like my parents age so I did invite The Hitmakers to the show, and said, “I’m gonna do this class on Beatles” with this danish Beatles expert Per Wium. We’re gonna talk about The Beatles for six hours and a part of that is gonna be you guys being there, I want to interview you about it So they came over the two of them and also we did the show and we had to do this support slot, and I said “Let’s do a band together” A fictive sixties band, that can do songs that would have be played by these three bands that night and I knew about The Hitmakers, because I knew the guys, so I knew the setlist for the night So me and the drummer and Rasmus the bass player, we got together, and just rehearsed as a trio We rehearsed a set of 45 minutes doing covers, that would have been played that night And for some reason that was just such a relief to us, you know doing this the sixties stuff, without having to sound exactly like something, that was on the record I was just us pretending being that 60s band, doing this stuff and somehow that caught on they were like “Lets’s continuous this” and for that night we just decided lets call the band The Beatophonics, because sounds like beat music not because of The Beatles actually because – it sounds like beat music and the stereophonic, you know -Echophonic? -Echophonic -was the name of my studio at home, and we which became the name of our record label. Our own little record label So we just kept on going, and we started doing a few gigs here and there, and there was no really intention but then we started talking about -what about if we do like pretend we are a band who are existing in 1963-64-65 doing this kind of beat music Beeing an European band in that time, and we’re playing this music, the way we think it should sound, and being really true to – like when we’re on stage will be dressed in suits but not to look like The Beatles – just sixties playing all the guitars and stuff like that So we started doing that, and said “let’s record a 45” because back then band will start releasing a 45, and they would also start with a cover song So we decided to do that. For a debut, we don’t want to do our own songs, we’d do two cover songs so we picked “Poison Ivy”, which was a quite a popular song for sixties bands at that time and another song “I can tell” Released is as a 45 and… got called up by this Danish TV station. “Hey – that’s great – you sound so autenthic” – Yeah – that was the idea… Everybody loved bands tried to do that, but don’t get it right. -Why is that? -“I think it’s just because, we know how you’re supposed to record it.” I’ve been digging this music years I know what to play and what not to play if it’s supposed to sounds like 1965 So we just kept going Started doing more shows and we got to do this television thing and for some reason we ended up in the Danish TV news – national TV news – 8 o’clock news – like crazy because we release this 45. I mean so many bands would love to have the spot. They would spent hours doing albums. We just released the 45. Well – it must do something to people. I think it’s kind of the honesty about the project So we decided – let’s go on further – let’s do an album like record an album – like you would recorded an album in 1964/65 Which would be you will have an album of like half original composition and half obscure American rhythm blues. But I put together a list of cover songs and we started writing some songs and just literally take a guitar Our drummer he was like – hey I got this idea and he was singing something into his phone and it was coming up on my answering machine [singing] Yeah – great – I just picked the guitar up and wrote a song and the whole approach was just like like that you can imagine the Hollies or The Beatles doing it on the tourbus in 1964 “Let’s write a song John yeah let’s do that Paul” but like that it was so easy because if yeah it just felt natural So we ended up having a full album we did the cover artwork you know original layout and releases and it sold quite well did a great tour and had great fun with that. After a couple of years we did our second album. Which was a live album and we did an EP with Peter Belli Called Peter saying “Do you want to come to our show and you know we can do four songs together and he was yeah great – I love you guys So we did a four track EP with him and then we decided, if we’re gonna continue this we’re not gonna repeat ourselfs not gonna do the same thing people was like “your next album is gonna be you playin like what’s 1968” no we’re not you know because you’re expecting that So how are we gonna approach this So we spent the last three – or two at least – 2 1/2 years getting to at sound, thats us, without the dogma of being pretending to be 1965 and the album was just finished the other day it’s just been sent to the pressing plant and it just feels so nice We’ve got an album – the third album – yeah and it’s gonna be released on the 31st of january 2020 and you have to listen to it man – when it comes out you but I will say that it’s more like style vice still sounds sixties inspired but it sounds more like us because it’s more personal to us it’s this time there’re no cover songs all original songs and we kind of used all our you know inspiration of the music we love like so 60s inspired songwriting but the sounds are more like It’s everything – like mellow and we’ve got 12 string guitars but also using seventies synths and stuff like that -So no rules this time -No rules – it’s more like a personal sound I’d like to get into something special cos I read about a guy in Gaffa, who was suddenly touring with an English band [Music] And that guy was you!? Oh yeah – And I found out about a wonderful English band from the sixties that I’ve never heard of called The Zombies and after reading that Søren was going on tour with these guys I had to go and check the music out, and it was fantastic. But can you tell us about what happened? It was last year? 2018 yeah. I’ve been familiar with The Zombies. I know they’re not famous in Denmark and that not too many people knows about them but I’ve been familiar with that band since I got hold of the first album “Begin here” from 1965, when I was like 19 years old. I found it in a record store, and some years later in ’94 on a trip to London I found the second album, which has just been released on cd called “Odyssey and Oracle” which is a fantastic album It was released in 1968 and to me that has become like a desert island disc. I mean my all-time favorite record ever would be The Beatles “A Hard Days Night”. But I’ll say number two is The Zombies “Odyssey and Oracle” It means a lot to me, and especially now So I’ve been a fan of The Zombies Mainly The Zombies from the 60s for years In 2008 they did a 40 anniversary show in London for this album and me and my friend Michael from my Beatles band we went to see it and met up with Tim in London and we went to see the show together It was great – so touching moment hearing those songs performed live by the original band you The guitarist sadly passed away so he wasn’t there but the rest of the band was original guys and it was like – wow wow this is such a great – probably the best live show I’ve ever been to such a great moment yeah 10 years after they’re doing the same thing in 2017 doing their 50th anniversary show -Premature wasn’t it ? Yeah the album was recorded in 67 but was released like early 68 January 1968 They were celebrating the 50th anniversary in October 67 – so we went again my friend Michael and me and saw the shown and it was like the same thing Great band you know – and I remember after the show We went outside the venue and we saw the bass player Chris White an the stairs And I was like – oh Michael are we gonne…? We are huge fans Are we gonna approach this guy – oh no I can’t… Too much you know – it’s Chris White [Laugh] We didn’t do it [laugh] stupid – but anyway A few months after this – in January 2018 I got this text message from a friend Henrik Irgens a lovely guy – a bassplayer Whom at that time lived in London “Hey – have you got… some kind of mp3 of you playing bass with Tim or anything and have you got some – like a YouTube video? And I replied “Why?” You probably read that the current bass player for The Zombies at this time – a lovely guy named Jim Rodford who used to play bass with the Kinks in the 70s and 80s Late 70s and up through the rest of their career he joined his cousin Rod Argent – who’s the keyboardplayer and main songwriter of The Zombies – in the early zeroes and he sadly passed away after a tour – and the band obviously had a tour coming up in a few weeks or like three or four weeks and they were like discussing – are we gonna continue because Jim was such a big part of this band and the current Zombies and Jim’s son Steve Rodford is on the drums in the band and he said – my dad would prefer that we would continue so they decided to continue and what happened is that Rod Argent in the keyboardplayer he’s asking around his connections of anyone who knows a guy who would fit in with us and- can do this and one of his relatives – a studio engineer Who said – yeah I know this guy Henrik he’s a great bass player – but Henrik couldn’t do it he was like – I know a guy in Denmark Who’s a big fan of you, and know all your tunes and love the “Odessey and Oracle” album and he can’t just jump in and do it and so that’s why he got in touch with me and say could send off some stuff So I got an email together I was like- that’s not gonna happen A Danish guy… Its just too complicating – having a Danish bass player so but anyway I send over the stuff The manager got back to me in a few hours it looks great – I’ll send it to Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone of the band they like it you know – would you like to come to an audition? And what I sent over was actually a part of that Tim Christensen Paul McCartney tribute film there was one song were I’m singing the lead vocal so they could hear like it what I could do and I send up – at that time we’ve just finished doing a new Christmas song by The Beatophonics and I’m playing the bass part as well as guitar and it was kind of melodic Beatles – Sgt. Pepperish I know they’d probably woul dig that, that approach to playing bass so I sent it over, and they liked it and the manager got on the phone -yeah come to an audition And the set up an audition It worked out well in the rehearsal room and I was very familiar with all the vocal arrangements I said before that kind of thing feels natural and easy to me just jumping in and doing stuff like that and I could actually say – Oh I’m not realy sure Rod Argent that thing you sing theres is actually what you did on the record -Oh [Laugh] – just more for the fun of it Good sign, that they wanted me in the band, to do the tour So I joined for – Oh – this is only the tour I’m only joining for the tour and went straight to New York – did three nights City Winery in New York and that was like my debut with these guys and – wow – being there on stage with some of your biggest heroes That was crazy But I mean – for the very the first time I went to Colin Blunstones home he was just – Yeah come on in mate Have a cup of tea – it’s just so relaxed it’s not like you’re entering the house of your big heroes It just felt natural so everything just turned out really fine and I love hanging out with the guys and touring with them and midways through this American tour I was like “so – what do you guys think? Are you satisfied?” -Cos they didn’t say a thing? And Colin Blunstone was like “Oh yeah mate – just hope you stay as long as possible s -“So it doesn’t mean – you think I’m in the band?” “-oh yeah – you’re in the band” Oh – ok great -So you actually are a Zombie So I’ve become a Zombie Right after being in The Beatles [Laughter] Right after being in The Beatles – what more can you hope for?
[Laughter] Right after being in The Beatles – what more can you hope for? No it’s great and I mean – I’m still a fan of the old Zombies records It feels like an honor, but it’s always like I’m touring with my mates – you know At the moment we’ve just started recording songs for a new album Rod is writing – Colin as well is writing new songs That’s one of the things I really like about working with these guys As much as they love doing the old stuff they also want to move on also wanna continue writing new stuff and creating new music and I mean that’s not an obvious thing for a 73 year old pop musician – a rock musician that has done quite a few achievements in the history of rock But you are in the studio with them from time to time Where do you record? The last couple session were done at Rods – he has his own studio at his house – lovely little studio with some great equipment and sounds great oh it’s just like having fun Join recording with these guys in the studio I’m trying to find my way around What do the expect from me – I’ve been touring a lot with them and that’s one thing – but working with them in a creative situation Is kind of at different thing – working in the studio So at the moment – I’m trying to find out What they expect from me – how much they want me to participate What they want me to put into it. because they actually – a musician like Rod has a clear idea of what he want And he could easily get by – with sidemen or hired guns It’s not that I’m not doing, what he likes – hopefully But I also love to give them some – ad some personality to it because that’s the way I’m used to working, when I’m working with bands here I’m expecting that I have to give something of myself Not just being someone doing – “Yeah – that note, and then you want that note…” So that balance kind of thing, we’re working on at the moment I just feel you know that if, if I’m not delivering that -that personal thing – it was like – feeling you were making fun of them because it’s like you know – they could do it themselves I think they deserve that – to get that part of me as well And it’s working out fine actually this is interesting – but it’s great fun And it’s enjoyable company -But this year you toured United States and you actually went to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I mean – not everybody gets in there? The band was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year And it means a lot to them, the band has always been bigger in the states than in the UK although they’re a British band It means a lot to them – and I’m really happy on their behalf And we had a great show – the induction – I wasn’t part of that Because that was the original zombies and it’s not the current zombies that’s inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame It’s the original Zombies with Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone Hugh Grundy the original drummer and Chris White the original bass player and songwriter of half the material actually and of course the sadly passed away guitarist Paul Atkinson these guys got inducted and of course Chris White was there to do the bass when they got inducted – so I didn’t see the actual induction -I wasn’t there, but we did play The Rock Roll Hall of Fame when we went on this last tour – we did a show at at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – the main stage this huge outdoor stage – it was great being there and you know – I had time to down the museum and see like John Lennon’s Mellotron – which is the Mellotron that Rod Argent played on the “Odyssey and Oracle” album Because – this is a great story – because The Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper. And they finished Sgt. Pepper, and they went out of the studio and the next week The Zombies went in to do “Odyssey and Oracle” This is like summer 67, and John Lennon just happened to leave his Mellotron – there they did [humming] Stravberry Fields Forever and so Rod just played around – hey we could ad some strings And he did some great Mellotron stuff on that album, and it became part of that albums sound so when are people talking about the Mellotron which is a fantastic instrument you have to – if mention the big Mellotron albums “Odyssey and Oracle” is one of them And that its played on John Lennons – fantastic and that is actually in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame We went we went down with the whole band and saw the Mellotron, and then we went up and saw there’s a zombies exhibition as well At The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with some of the original equipment and keyboards and Rods Hohner electric pianet and stuff like that I saw you uploaded a picture of the first bass, that the bass player used Yeah, Chris White’s first bass was there in the exhibition So we had a picture of that This tour we’ve been doing – which we call the current Zombies which is me an bass and and Steve Rudford on drums Tom Toomey on guitars and the two originals The singer and the keyboardplayer And then there’s the original zombies which is the band that’s doing the “Odyssey and Oracle” part When we do that we extend the band by having Darian Sahanaja of the Brian Wilson band doing all the Mellotron part,s and he’s a lovely bloke as well great to hang around with, just a great guy and we have Chris White the original bass players wife Vivienne Boucherat and she’s doing backing vocals with me and so it’s quite an extended band. Steve our current drummer will join in for a couple songs do percussion and additional drums and Tom Toomey – the guitarplayer is taking care of Paul Atkinson’s the original guitar players part it’s a huge band like 8 or 9 people and they’re great. It’s like a family – touring with The Zombies it’s like touring with a family and that goes for the crew as well – it’s like part of the family it’s a great thing when you when you get that thing in a band it’s not an obvious thing – you don’t get it all the time so that’s that’s great So for the future – you’re a member of The Zombies And this is just great with this band – like when you’re touring in Denmark you meet fellow musicians – and the same thing happens When you’re in the UK or the US -it’s just some other guys yeah and sometimes it’s this guys like Brian Wilson and it’s guys like Alan White of Yes coming backstage or who you know -You met Paul Weller? Paul Weller yeah like a big hero of mine We did show with Paul Weller and he’s a fan of The Zombies and it’s like – wow – I mean that guy his music means a lot as well The guitar Steve Craddock – fantastic guy So it’s like you get to meet some of your heroes, But they’re all normal people like you. It just feels natural – it’s not – uhh I don’t get star struk in that sense. It’s not like – it’s “Paul Weller”… Just be natural about it. Turns out he was a nice bloke. – So are you. Thank you. I think that was all for now about Sørens career If you want to hear more about Søren have a look on the next video Artist Talks – Nerd Alert. Here we’ll go into the more musically nerdy stuff Søren will tell us about, how he started to play guitar We’ll have a look on Sørens Rickenbacker bass as well as his Gretsch Chet Atkins electric guitar and one of his Binson echomaschines Søren will also play us a special song. Thank you so much for watching Thank You skyhook fo the support Please like the video if you do. Please subscribe to this channel and hit the bell button not to miss any more artists talks from me [Music]

2 Comments

  • Daniella smith says:

    So glad that he joined The Zombies! Nice guy and very talented musician! I will be seeing them again this next year! Great interview!

  • Kevin Madsen says:

    So great to hear the Stories Søren has to tell. I have been missing a thing like this. Where one would sit down and talk to some of the many great Danish artists. (And maybe world wide artists in the future )

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