Interview: Reptile Youth, Big in Japan?

by: Blaine Skrainka

September 13, 2012

We’ve got some high energy waves coming out of Denmark from the ever-manic Reptile Youth. With the duo’s new album set to drop and ahead of their stateside debut, The WILD caught up with these connoisseurs of the crowd surf.

Reptile Youth by Karen Rosetzsky
Photo by Karen Rosetzsky

How did the two of you meet?

Mads:
We met in a small city in Denmark. I saw Esben playing a weird electronic oneman concert in a squatted building. At the time I was playing in a rock band but had a lust for synthesizer music. Half a year later I asked Esben if he wanted to make music with me. One of the first things we did was traveling to China together. I actually think that it was somewhere between Copenhagen and Shanghai this band started. Or at least it was on this flight we fell in love with each other and the thought of this band.

 

What sorts of sounds colored your formative years?

Mads:
I got a lot of my early musical inspiration from my dad. We always listened to his records when we did the dishes together. Some of the stuff that hit me the most were Neil Young, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. I saw Neil Young a couple of years ago. That man is magic.

Esben:
Some of the first music I listened to was Genesis. As a child it gave me a dreamy feeling of being on the move towards something brighter. I also remember sneaking into music rooms in school while the older kids where playing. One of them showed me a synthesizer. It was brand new with a floppy disk drive. That was the point I fell in love with weird sounds.

 

When did you know that you were meant for music?

Mads:
Pretty late in my life actually. My dying teens maybe. Or the birth of my twenties. When I was a kid I thought I was going to be something with nature. I’ve always had music in my life though. Started my first band when I was 12. Recorded my first album when I was 13.

 

Why the name Reptile Youth?

Esben:
Because it gives us images in our heads that reflects the energy we have together. And the energy that surrounds the world we live in. We feel like Reptile Youth. We are Reptile Youth.

 

Where is the most bizarre place you’ve played a show?

Esben:
We played a gig in an abandoned coal mine in Germany. The scenery was amazing and the crowd was wild.

We also played a couple of gigs on boats. Thats special too. There is no escaping or running away. Actually the place that gets the prize was a bar in China. It was called sHOOTERS. And was a copy of the American concept. Just without the half naked girls. We got into an argument with the owner and had to start the concert two hours before it was scheduled. I think there were around five people there. The next day we played at a festival for more than 10.000 screaming chinese people. That was quite a surreal experience.

What’s your favorite crowd surfing moment?

Mads:
I kissed a girl while crowd surfing once. I remember the moment so clear. Sometimes I get pretty intense moments with the crowd when I’m in there. Small sparkles of magic. That gives me a lot of energy. And a feeling that we are all in it together. It’s very special feeling of total trust.

 

What do you think there is too much of, and too little of?

Mads:
There is too much worrying. It’s a useless feeling. Has no purpose. Its a black hole sucking energy out of this world. Doubt as well. Makes more sense though. There’s too little love. There’ll never be enough.

 

Reptile Youth are about to make their U.S. debut — What’s going through your head right now?

Esben:
I’ve been brought up to think America as a very liberal and open minded society but also a state spreading fast food, commercialism and war. I’m excited to finally get America on my skin.

Mads:
Just pure excitement. We are all about living a dream and trying to do something beautiful. Big in Japan? We want to be big in America.

 

What’s Your WILD Wish?

Mads:
To find love and raise children. Grow old with all the people I love. And die with joy.

Esben:
To always be as in love with this band as I am right now.

Reptile Youth by Kenneth Nguyen
Photo by Kenneth Nguyen

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