A band of brothers

Vancouver Weekly interview with Iceage


The childhood bonds people form while growing up stay with them forever, building a foundation for greater things to come. For Copenhagen’s Iceage, that is the exactly foundation that has kept them together and thriving since 2008 when they were only 17 years old. 

“The extraordinary thing for me is that we’ve kept going in a way that’s good for us,” says lead vocalist Elias Rønnenfelt. “I mean, we’re not still playing to keep an old tradition or to keep going for the sake of going. We’re still doing this because it has proven itself a journey that has managed to develop over the years.”

He laughs quietly.

““I’ve been running around with those boys since I was 11 or 12. The extraordinary thing for me is longevity at this point. The important thing is that … we were very old friends and the friendship became old before we picked up instruments. That’s a bond that’s much deeper than music.”

This brotherhood of sorts is coming the Rickshaw Theatre on November 5, the second time they have played Vancouver this year.

“Vancouver’s been good to us in the past,” he says with a raspy voice and a cold, apologizing for being ‘sick as a dog.’ “There seems to be an interest in our band there – they’re a pretty giving, enthusiastic audience.”

Their latest release, Beyondless, is a bold album combining the aesthetics of punk rock and brooding romanticism. Rønnenfelt says a “multitude” of factors inspired the ambitious album.

“It was a matter of gathering inspiration over a long period of time and little flints of pieces of experience and impressions of life, music, melody and imagery,” he explains. “It’s fairly evident there’s a lot going on in these songs. Love and politics are a few colours of the palette.”

The lead singer says that looking back, it is somewhat surprising he became a musician.

“I was always seeking out for this mysterious methodism out there that made me want to discover what existed in my city, what existed in history, the outer limits of this music thing,” he says. “But I never had any hopes of dreams of becoming a musician myself. We didn’t start this band with aspirations of an audience or of ‘making it.’”

Instead, the band set out to make music they wanted to hear, filling a sonic and creative gap that they felt existed in the rock and roll scene.

“Part of the reason we started creating music was because nobody else was exhibiting that force – nobody else was giving us that appeal, and the music scene was a bit stagnant.”

Catch Iceage at the Rickshaw Theatre on November 5.