GIGsoup had the pleasure to chat with Swedish newcomers Normandie right before they took to the stage at Bristol O2 Academy, as part of their massive main support slot for the legendary Yellowcard’s final ever tour. As the first date of their biggest UK tour yet, they answered all questions fired at them…
So first up, tell us a bit about yourselves. Who are Normandie?
Philip Strand (singer): We’re three crazy Swedish boys – right now, we’re three – and we’re happy about living, playing music and trying to explain happiness in songs. We’re trying to make people happy rather than sad, and get them to feel a positive vibe instead of a negative one. That’s the main thing.
How’s it felt for you being asked to do such a large scale European tour for the first time?
Jesper Malmberg (drummer): I still don’t really know how this has been – we haven’t really grasped it yet. Its so big for us. Do you have any words to explain how it is?
P: I tried to explain it the other day, and I was looking at the photos while talking to my girlfriend – and she said, ‘how does it feel to be in front of 4000 people?’ and I was like I don’t really remember the feeling, I remember the moment seeing all the hands clapping – but its not before I see the pictures afterwards that I go like ‘did we actually do that?! Did we do it?! Yeah we did!’. The crowd connected with us and we had a really good time, but I just don’t remember the moment it happened. It sort of just came, and then it was over, and I knew it was good.
Håkan Almbladh (guitar): Yeah I don’t know why it is like that, I guess you’re pumped with adrenaline.
[contentblock id=141 img=adsense.png]
Obviously it’s also Yellowcard’s final tour, how do you think that’s affected the way the crowd have approached the shows? Have they been happy, sad?
P: They’re happy in the moment, and as soon as Yellowcard go off stage – that’s when they realise its over. So they enjoy the moment.
But how are they treating you guys? That’s the important question.
P: Yes, they’re treating us well. Of course they’re gonna stand with their arms crossed for the first 30 seconds, and then when they know we give 100% then they sort of get into it in the next song. Our first introduction with the crowd is actually after the first song, so it makes it a bit tougher – but we want the music to explain who we are. So we try to do the song first, and then go ‘hey, we’re Normandie from Sweden!’. And it works out.
How was your first UK headline tour earlier this year?
P: Ooo, that’s tough. It was a bit emotional because we knew that we pushed the album quite hard in the UK, so this was a sort of receive on how well it did. And it did well. *laughs* For our first time in the UK, and we came in as headliners – so exciting in a country like England because we’ve heard so much about the English crowds, like they can be quite tough on new bands. But yeah, we came to open arms.
From here on, how do you see yourselves progressing after your debut, Inguz? Would you go more towards the pop side – as I know you are a big fan of the 1975, Philip – or continue with the same kind of mixed experimental genre that you guys are rocking right now?
P: We’re almost done with the new album, and we’ve tried to fit in more songs that we can connect to as people, and they don’t have to necessarily have to have that many lyrics in them – they’re just going to be some way of expressing a feeling without trying to be ‘the hit song’ if you know what I mean. We’re trying to fill up an album that is both at the same time quite hitty and quite emotional – we’ve got more fun with this one, as last time we only had two months, so writing and recording the album was quite hectic. This time, we’ve had one year so far. So yeah, a lot more feeling has been pushed into it.
One for you all now – if you guys could support any band on tour, who would it be?
P: Oh, Yellowcard, for sure. *laughs*
J: Yeah, I’m gonna say Yellowcard now. Although I’m gonna be honest, its Blink-182.
H: I’ve got to break the cycle and say Muse.
Obviously you have older, very different material out there on the internet, would you ever consider revisiting that stuff? We’re aware you don’t want to return to such hardcore vocals and heavy sounds, which is fair enough as the singing is excellent – but would be tempted to acoustically rearrange them?
P: I don’t think so. Probably not. Maybe for like a 10-year anniversary, but I guess that’s pretty far off… *laughs* but that’s how much I don’t want to think about it. Not that its bad.
That’s totally fair enough. Lastly, what are your musical plans after this tour? You said an album is in the works?
P: Yep. Album is done – not ready for release, theres a long cycle left. Apart from that, I don’t know. What do you think boys?
H: Theres a lot of writing going on, and maybe a tour? Don’t know. Lets see.
P: We wanna try more support tours, I think. We’ve done two headline tours this year – so hopefully one more supporting run before the Inguz cycle is over.
Catch Normandie out on tour with Yellowcard around the UK until December 22nd.