Interview: Ketil Kinden Endresen of Casiokids

By on Monday, 22nd November 2010 at 12:00 pm

Electronic band Casiokids of Bergen, Norway played an amazing, amazing show at Washington’s DC9 on 1st October. After getting blown away by their performance at home and on the second day of Roskilde this year, I definitely had some questions for the guys, and Ketil Kinden Endresen of the band was kind enough to answer them for me. He tells me about their recent trip over here to America and what Roskilde means to him.

You recently finished your stay in this great land of ours (America) and are now back in Norway. How did you like this tour? What do you think made it different than when you play shows in Scandinavia, Europe, etc.?
The tour we recently did in the U.S. was fun. This time around we also found time to do some sightseeing, both in San Francisco (Alcatraz) and Washington. Ive always enjoyed our trips in America (the Great Land), ever since our first tour there in 2008, and we now have a gang of friends in many of the cities we visit, which increase the fun within the funliness. How is it different? Its longer distances to travel and the portions are bigger.

I am so glad you rescheduled your cancelled Washington D.C. date. How did you find the Washington crowd? Really liked the pineapple maraca. It was great to watch so many people reacting so positively to your music.
We were amazed by the Washington crowd. It was our first show there with Casiokids and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, footloose and fancy free.

I talked to Fredrik after the show, he said you were going to try to get some sightseeing in Washington in the day after. How’d it go? (Besides the creepy National Museum of American History robot. I am embarrassed to say that in all my years living here, I don’t remember seeing this!)
We did some sightseeing, indeed, at the National Museum of American History (where we met the robot, as you rightly remember). Also we went to the Natural History Museum, where we met this guy:

So before the show in Washington I saw part of your set at Roskilde this summer. It was really an emotional experience for me, watching all these fans of yours singing together with you for ‘Finn Bikkjen’, the beach balls flying through the air above them. Is that a standard reaction when you play to Scandinavian crowds?
We generally get a lot of crowds to join in for sing-alongs in Scandinavia, as it is the only place where the majority understand the lyrics. Still, as we have come to find from touring all over the world the last couple of years, dance in universal, and it is possible to focus on the rhythms and melodies in the vocals instead of the words and still find enjoyment and inspiration. (Editor’s note: you can watch an ‘acoustic’ version of ‘Finn Bikkjen’ they performed in a hot-air balloon at the 2009 Hove Festival below.)

It had been my first time at Roskilde, but imagine you all had been there when you were younger…maybe you can tell me what that festival means to you.
Denmark. The Jamaica of Scandinavia. Roskilde, its centre. I envy Denmark for Roskilde, and I think many Norwegians would agree with me. Norwegians travel down there every summer by the thousands. And I think the Norwegian government are grateful to Denmark for their festival, for the Norwegians can then live out their inner Rasta yearly, and come back again to their own country as law abiding citizens, content and calm after their little crazy outing. I think it is quite simply the best festival in the world.

I have to ask…where were all your furry friends? I was expecting them to pop out of nowhere during the DC show! Next time, maybe?
Unfortunately they now have too many babies between them to travel much. We still do the occasional workshop or show with Digitalteateret (as they are called), but unfortunately not as often as we used to.

How do you think being Norwegian has shaped the way you look at making music? Do you think you would sound completely different or have a different approach to your type of dance music if you weren’t based in Norway?
That is impossible to say as Norwegian is the only nationality I have ever been.

I read in a couple different interviews that ‘Casiokids’ was a throwaway name, just to give the band a name, yet you stuck with it. Who came up with it originally? Are there plans to come up with another name once you get into another phase of Casiokids? Or maybe not, since you play so many Casio keyboards onstage…
Well, yes, I came up with it when trying to think of a very silly name for the project. Then, it actually fitted better than I could ever have dreamt of!

What are your most treasured instruments?
Our Casios. All the rhythms and instruments imaginable, all neatly placed and presented in a colourful plastic piano.

Lastly, tell us something about Casiokids that we never would have guessed. Maybe you each have an unusual favourite film, favourite food, etc…whatever you want to tell us!
I used to row, in a rowing club, and people are often surprised when they hear this. There’s probably been better fun facts shared between people, but it is the best I can come up with right now.

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