A bottle of Held Vodka with Kakkmaddafakka

von Lev Nordstrom

Hest ist da, das erste professionell – von Erlend Oye – produzierte Album der Band Kakkmaddafakka aus Norwegen. Kakkmaddafakka bedeutet Party Animals. Sich also kurz vor einem Vodka-Interview auf die Bread & Butter zu stürzen und dort innerhalb von zwei Stunden mehrere Gin und Vodka Tonic zu kippen und schließlich noch eine Flasche Prosecco in der Journalistenlounge zu tilgen, ist keine gute Idee. Nach drei Stunden wird einem das wirklich bewusst und man sagt das Interview ab. Noch mehr Alkohol ist nicht die Antwort. Kakkmaddafakka, ich muss das Interview absagen. Eine SMS als Antwort von Frontsänger Axel und Chorjunge Martin, ‘Okay, we are drinking Tequila!’ Neuer Tag, erneute kakkmaddafakking Chance. Das Interview findet statt, im heimischen proud Büro. Verkaterte Interviewpartner, verkaterter Musikredakteur – Kakkmaddafakka hatten wir einen Spaß! Bergen, Make The First Move! Berlin is so Restless.

Axel: Can we have some music on in the background, you know, to get the vibe up?

You want your music in the background?

A: Yeah, why not? You got our CD?

I did get your CD.

A: You like it?


A: Thank you. It’s called Hest.

I know. Cheers!

M: Skol! Skol!

So what did you end up doing last night after I cancelled?

A: You called, we were really disappointed, but then we went to this great bar called Maria Peligro and had good Tequila.

M: We were sitting there with the Finish mafia. The guy who mixed our record is Finish.

How did you meet Erlend Oye?

M: He’s from Bergen.

A: We met on New Year’s Eve and we became friends. He helped book us to Melt Festival in 2009. We played there and realized that this is good shit. All of these Germans, 1500 Germans that had never seen us before, they were going crazy.

How big is Bergen?

M: 250,000 people.

Do people in Bergen know you?

A: Yeah, they do.

Because this is your first album.

A: It’s the first international album. We made an album when we were 19. We are 24 now. We made that album with a 15 year old producer. It’s a joke if you compare it to this album. But it’s a fun album. It’s just not properly made.


You’re really setting the tone now.

A: I just want to get drunk.

So you grew up together?

A: I’ve known Martin for over ten years now. We met in middle school, when we were twelve years old and a little bit gangsta.

You said it doesn’t really get violent in Bergen, but you have a track called Gangsta on the album.

M: That’s because we want to be gangstas.

A: The track is actually inspired by watching Sopranos. My economic situation now has changed. But I was living in Bergen as a really poor guy for four years or so. It’s such a hassle when you don’t have any money because you always have to think about how to get money. I wasn’t dying, but…

…you had to hustle.

A: Yeah, I had to work. But when I wasn’t working I was watching a lot of Sopranos.


Gangsta by kakkmaddafakka


How happy are you in Bergen?

M: If you want to make it in the world, Norway is the place because it’s such good times right now.

A: I survived on working once a week. I’m a lazy guy, so what I like about Bergen is that it’s a maximum ten minute walk to everything you need.

M: But there are also a lot of things happening culture wise.

Tell me a little bit about the Kakkmaddachoir.

A: Martin is the main choreographer actually.

M: We sing, we dance, we do a lot of different stuff.

Who’s the guy on your album cover?

A: He’s our drummer.

Why is your drummer on the album cover?

A: He is great with girls. He is one of the guys I know that has slept with the most girls.


Most girls in Bergen?

M: All over.

A: All over. He’s great at picking up girls.

M: He used to be one of our choirboys actually.

A: For a long time we didn’t have a proper drummer. He was always saying he wanted to be the drummer. Actually one of the other choirboys also wanted to be a drummer. It was quite a competition.

M: Well, we all knew who was going to win that one.


A: You drink fast. I’m a puker. I’m probably going to puke. I’m not embarrassed.

M: He almost pukes when he brushes his teeth.

A: This is going to be a really interesting interview.

Kakkmaddafakka means party animal in what language?

A: Ballabang. It’s its own language. Someone else came up with it. Actually my brother went to class with the guys who started it. So him and his friends picked it up and taught us. We quickly learned that it’s really practical for public transportation for example.

M: When you want to talk about the last night or about somebody on the bus and you don’t want them or others to understand, you can just say (mumbles something).

What did that mean? It sounded really nice actually.

M: But it wasn’t.Exactly.

A: It’s been going on for years now.

Do people come to you to learn?

M: We have our own dictionary. It’s an audio dictionary. But it’s not very long.

A: It’s pretty long. It’s like 20 minutes. It’s fairly easy. You have words for drinks, girls…

You have really dark rings under your eyes.

M: Yeah, that’s in the family.

A: And the hard drinking. He is hard this man. But he’s not an alcoholic. He’s going to be our lawyer. He’s a law student. There are a lot of law students in Bergen, but most of them are shitheads.

M: They are, seriously. It’s probably the same here, isn’t it?

Yeah, business and law.

A: Yeah, business! Same in Bergen. Shitheads. It’s cool when you are really interested in law. I mean Martin is the coolest person in his law studies because he was actually cool before he started his studies. But most law students start studying law because they think they’re going to be cool when they’re a lawyer.

M: I love this vodka-being Russian-drunk. I think I need to stop drinking beer.

It’s more elegant.

M: I know that being a bartender. If someone orders a vodka on ice, I don’t ask any questions. But if they order a Sex On The Beach, I ask for ID.

A: Grappa. If I want to look cool I order Grappa. It’s a great pick-up.

M: We went out for a Döner last night. Germany has the best kebab in the world.

I know. It really does.

A: I don’t even eat kebab in Norway. It’s so shit. You can’t imagine how shit it is.

I can imagine.

A: No you can’t. You really can’t.

M: You really can’t. It’s really bad.

A: It’s so bad. The German kebab is heaven. I’m starting to feel it. I’m starting to get drunk.

That’s good.

A: What made you choose us? Did you like the record?

I liked the name. I honestly only listened to the record two days ago.

A: And what do you honestly think about the record?

I didn’t know what to expect. I’m more into electronic music and Hip Hop. Going by the name I expected you to be a Trash Metal band. Then I saw that Erlend Oye produced your album and after listing to your album I must say that I was really pleasantly surprised. My favorite track is Make The First Move, it’s like a disco track, it’s like ABBA. What I love about all of the tracks is that they are so musical and versatile. Your style switches throughout the album, but your sound is consistent.

A: This is what I love about Germany. People know their stuff. It’s so funny you mentioned electronic music and Rap because during the whole making of this album, those were the two main inspirations.


Make the First Move by kakkmaddafakka



A: I’m not kidding with you. I grew up with Gangsta Rap. That’s the music I’ve listened most to in my life. 2001 by Dre is my favorite album. Have you heard the new Kanye West album?

No. But I just don’t like Kanye West.

M: No, of course not, but the album’s great!

A: I didn’t like him. I hated Kanye West.

I liked his first two albums.

A: I didn’t. I hated his music. I hated him, but this album changed my mind.

M: We should drink.Gesundheit!

So what music do you listen to?

A: We listen to a lot of different music. I’m inspired by Hip Hop, but mostly I am a fan of melody. Paul Simon, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Abba.

Classics, basically.

A: Lots of classics! We love classics. That’s a Scandinavian thing. You gotta know this stuff if you’re in our gang. It’s always a competition between us to come up with a new song that is good, that people didn’t know was good. New or old.

Do you rap?

A: No.

M: Rapping in English as a person from Norway?!

Well, there was Looptroop from Sweden.

A: It’s not that good. You only like it because it’s from Sweden.

Maybe you’re right. It’s like the Jedi mind trick. I like Looptroop. No you don’t. Maybe I don’t.

M: Axel is good with the Jedi mind trick. He always get’s us through the check-in without extra charges. This is not overweight! It’s special baggage! It is not overweight.

A: But it’s not about the weight. If you call it an instrument, they will charge you. But if you categorize it as a music module they let it go through. It’s because of insurance. They won’t pay you if they ruin your instrument.

How are you feeling? Are you okay?

M: I’m okay, but Axel’s probably going to puke. But he bounces back.

Back to the album. There’s only nine tracks on the album. Shouldn’t there be more?

A: In one way we should have because then you can charge the full amount on iTunes. But the biggest reason for me, why there are only nine tracks is that the way people listen to music has changed, radically. When I listen to an album, it’s always the three first songs that I fall in love with because those are the songs you have time to listen to. You don’t want to disappoint a song with being number 11 on a record. Because hardly anybody is going to listen to it. I am a music interested guy. Lately I’ve been listening to Phoenix and Vampire Weekend a lot. But I realized that I only knew the songs up to 7 or 8. Because usually when you’re listening to music after half an hour something changes. You fall asleep, or you get off the train or something else happens.

Is this professionally mastered album a new way of hearing yourselves?

A: There has been a lot of work put into this album. And getting to know Erlend, getting to know how he does stuff, he’s never done anything that’s shit.

How does he do stuff?

A: He does stuff properly. Like Mercedes Benz properly.

He’s a perfectionist.

M: Very much so.

When you work together, do you get angry with him?

A: It’s really tiring. I feel like I want to get angry with him, but he’s always right. I decided early in the process that we’ll do what Erlend says. We write the songs, but when he tries to kill one of your darlings, instead of fighting it you say okay, we’ll do it your way. And every time, every darling I killed I found out a week, a month, two days later that he was totally right. He’s always been right. Our goal is always to make Erlend happy. Because if he is happy then we know it’s good.

M: This is a decent vodka. I thought A Bottle of Held Vodka, meant that you were supposed to hold the vodka.

You can if you like. Prost!

M: So what does Prost mean?

Good question. Cheers!

M: I like seeing Axel drunk. He has a girlfriend and he usually ends up going home early.

And it’s only 23:30.

M: You seriously need to see us live. You will be pleasantly surprised, again. In Kakkmaddafakka we are now at least seven people touring at the same time. We have this weird combination of the choir and the band and we are all friends with a lot of energy and different personalities, having the opportunity to share a bit of ourselves in front of a crowd wanting to listen to you what is going on there. The Kakkmaddafakka live show is not about presenting music in a cool way. It’s about you are there, we are there, can’t we have fun together? That’s the vibe.

What does Hest mean?

A: Party.

M: ‘Horse’, in Norwegian.

A: But, ‘Hest’ in Ballabang means party.You get it?

M: But what the creators of Ballabang didn’t think of is that Hest also means heroin.

How nice.


15.04. Levee Club (ehem. Bang Bang)

16.04. Magnet Club





Your Girl by kakkmaddafakka


Heidelberg by kakkmaddafakka


Lev Nordstrom

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