Uncovering Denmark’s Soul with D/troit
North of Germany and to the south of Norway and Sweden sits Denmark. Home of Hans Christian Andersen, tourists flock to see The Little Mermaid statue, along with architecture that makes one feel like they’ve stepped into a history book. Denmark is also the home of D/troit. An alternative rock band with a soulful twist, D/troit’s own Toke Bo was nice enough to take us into their world that includes new music, the soul scene in Denmark and more.
Kendra: So your name reads like Detroit and your EP was Do The Right Thing. How much influence do Motown and the African American music scene have on your sound?
Toke Bo: We have always been huge fans of the Motown sound. As always it’s hard to come up with a cool band name, and we spend many hours searching before settling with the name D/troit. We somehow wanted to include the city name, but we found the ideas we had somehow ridiculous. At last, we ended up with the different spelling of Detroit (to not end up with a crazy American lawsuit) and we all loved that.
Kendra: I’d assume a bit or more because while you’ve got this great alternative sound, there is soul in there. Did that blend come naturally when you guys started playing together?
Toke Bo: It definitely took us some time to find the sound. And we have the greatest respect for the classic sound and the talent of those musicians and singers. So it took us a few years in the rehearsal room and the studio to get to our sound. It was hard but we think the effort paid off. And with every show and every release, we are progressing.
Kendra: Really quick, when was the last time you did the right thing?
Toke Bo: That happens very often. At every show, we feel that, and as a band, we try to do the right thing and only do stuff that is positive and feels right to us. To us, soul music is just about that. It’s about people and the struggle to do good in life. It unites people in spite of all the terrible things that are going on in the world. It tells about equality and freedom, and that you cannot take these things for granted. If you make people feel like that or even think of that, then you’ve done the right thing.
Kendra: Okay, back to the music…where does a band like yours stand in the Denmark music scene?
Toke Bo: There is not a big soul scene in Denmark, but we hope that we can change that. It seems that with every show we play, we are having more and more followers. That is also something that makes us feel that we are doing the right thing…
Kendra: If you had to describe your debut LP Soul Sound System using three Danish words, what would they be and why?
Toke Bo: Sprød (Crunchy); In Denmark, you use this word for something hot and tasty – and the name of our record label is Crunchy Frog, and the record is presented init is released by Crunchy Frog Records and is presented in crunchilicious audio. Sjælfyldt (Soulful); This record is packed with soulful music and funky shit!!! Vinyl; Our music is intended for vinyl LP. It is our favourite format and the cover artwork is most beautiful when presented in the 12-inch format…We dig it and you should go and get your copy now.
Kendra: The video for that title track looked like a great time. Is that what a night out in Denmark is like where you live?
Toke Bo: We shot the video at a local bar, with a jukebox. It may not show the regular Danish party/night out, but more the place we would like to go to. What we were aiming at it the feeling people get when listening to D/troit music and attending our shows…And it also shows why we love soul music. It brings people to life and makes you want to dance and have a good time.
Kendra: The new album’s out now, but what’s to come now? Heading stateside in the new year at all?
Toke Bo: We are planning to go on tour in the new year. There’s a tour in the making for Germany and for Denmark. We also aim to play more shows in the UK. But right now we haven’t gotten any plans to go to the states – but we would surely love to go at some point