Kicking off the 2015 winner’s podium of our hallowed ReverbNation songwriting competition is a three piece grunge band from Copenhagen
he 90s have seen such a revival during the last couple of years that it seems that they never went away; the appetite for retro Nintendo games consoles grows ever stronger, the penchant for flannel shirts and stonewashed jeans ever fonder, and the list of acts that take early 90s bands as their benchmark becomes longer and longer.
InCrest are no exception to the rule. However, having formed while guitarist Malte and bassist Anders were still in school, the Danish three-piece have been playing together since long before the likes of Pavement and Sonic Youth once again became the go-to for any young band seeking songwriting inspiration. Keeping ahead of the curve has meant that they’ve had years to hone their sound, and as such their metallic and progressive take on alt-rock saw them jump ahead of the other contenders and take the prize as 2015’s first winners of our ReverbNation songwriting competition.
Here the band tells us that becoming winners of our competition is just the beginning of a very exciting 2015 for InCrest…
How does it feel to win and what do you hope it will do for InCrest?
Jonas Godtkjær: “Thanks so much for picking us as the winners of your Reverbnation competition, it feels great winning. Hopefully it can help our music go out to more listeners and give people an idea of how new-age grunge is created and will sound like.”
Tell us about yourselves…
Jonas (Drums): “I’m a house painter from Copenhagen. I spend most of my free time listening to a lot of good old rock music. I started playing drums around the age of 13, when I started listening to Nirvana. I just loved the energy from Dave Grohl and that inspired me to become a drummer.”
Anders Olsen (Bass): “During the day I work as a bike mechanic and by night I’m the drummer of InCrest! I’ve loved music my whole life and began playing guitar about 13 years ago. After a while of playing guitar I moved on to bass. I’ve played with a lot of different people in a lot of different bands, mostly people I met while at school, but InCrest has always been the band I’ve most cherished playing with.”
Malte Sandbjerg (Guitar and vocals): “I come from a musical family, no one famous though! I started playing drums and piano pretty from quite an early age. I moved to playing guitar when I was about 12 and that’s been my instrument ever since then. Outside of music I’m an event manager and the co-owner of a film production company.”
Malte: “The band was born at a boarding school we all attended, Jonas had only hit the drums a few times before we started and the band was initially founded with another bassist. A couple of years later, he left the band and Anders filled his spot.”
Jonas: “Actually the former bass player was the one who got the band together, but after the school year ended it was mostly Malte and I who made the music together and the old bass player lost his interest for making music.”
Who were your influences growing up?
Jonas: “For me it was mostly Nirvana, they were the band that really got me started and set off my interest in music. I also listened to some Limp Bizkit and after a bit of time I couldn’t help but listen to Slipknot’s Joey Jordison. But I didn’t really find it interesting playing only fast and hard like Joey, so I moved towards Gavin Harrison and Porcupine Tree, which is much more progressive. I think that they had the biggest influence on my drumming.”
Malte: “Well I guess me and Anders both started out in the college rock and pop-punk era of Blink 182 and Sum 41. Then as we entered our teenage years we moved on to grunge, metal and progressive music. At that point we started to swing back and forth between Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Slipknot and Korn. All of these bands and styles of music came together, but I think that grunge was the biggest influence on our music.”
In the early days of the band who would write the music and has that changed since then?
Jonas: “Since the start Malte has always been writing the lyrics. In the first few years it was mostly me and Malte who made the music together. Now it’s more like Malte comes up with a lot of riffs and ideas and then we all form something together from that.”
Malte, is there a certain way that you then turn these ideas into songs?
Malte: “I mostly use all my spare time coming up with ideas. I then turn the ideas into a rough sketch and outline with a guitar, record it and then present to the others. If they like the idea we try adding bass and drums, and work it around, adding and removing parts until the song has a good shape and flow. The lyrics are usually the last part I add, which I build over the pre-made song rhymes and tones.”
What influences your lyrics, what do you write about and are there any lyricists you admire?
Malte: “I mostly concentrate around stories seen from a third-person perspective. The topics are very wide, from system-critical punches and old war victims, to sad love stories, religious beliefs and boosting motivation by doing something with your life.
“In terms of who influences them, the songs depends much on what kind of music I hear at the time when I write… but my main vocal influences are Maynard Keenan, Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain, Thom Yorke and Steven Wilson.”
What are your plans for InCrest now?
Anders: “We’re currently working on a bunch of songs for our next album – as yet untitled – and we’ll start the recording over the course of the next couple of months. We’re trying out a new recording process this time and are really excited about that. We’re also going to be shooting a video in February for our song Even Though. As well as that we’ll be gigging and we’re working on an unplugged set for for some upcoming concerts, and are planning a Northern European tour this summer, which will be both electric and acoustic. So far 2015 looks exciting!”
Do you guys ever write music on tour?
Malte: “We’ve not written so much on tour yet, but I guess when gigs and tours are getting more serious and longer, it will become necessary and more of our songs will be written while we’re on the road.”
How do you see your music developing? Are the songs on the new album different to what you’ve done before?
Malte: “Actually we see the music turning out a bit more simplified, with more punch and grungier edges. It’s always difficult settling down on a specific genre, but we’ve chosen Alternative Grunge, and we’re going to carry that on for the future of our songwriting.”
Interview: Damien Girling
To listen to InCrest’s music and find out more about the band, check out their official website and their ReverbNation page. But before you do that, you can listen to InCrest’s winning song Changing Time below…
If you’d like the chance to be featured in an article like this on Songwriting, then the good news is, this songwriting competition is still ongoing! To enter, you’ll need to be registered with ReverbNation and submit your track via the competition page. We’ll listen to every entry and select the most promising artist, who’ll be the subject of an interview feature similar to this one.