A humble chat with the three Aarhus-based sisters, poised to blast onto the world stage.
Noa, Nataja and Naomi are three sisters from Aarhus who make up what is arguably Jutland’s most promising band of the future, Velvet Volume. Together they’re basically a self-taught, self-sustaining powerhouse with rock’n’roll coursing through their (blood-related) veins. Incredibly, they’re also able to play loud, back-to-basics, no-fucks-given rock music without falling into cliches or lame posturing. It’s a commendable but all-too-rare feat they have managed to pull off, surprising in small part due to their young age but in larger part due to the times we’re living in. The last few years could appear to some as having been bleak for rock music (see: Nickelback), but Velvet Volume combines what was great about rock of the past while still making utmost use of what’s also great about today.
Actually, you may have already heard Velvet Volume while channel surfing: they’re behind the Danish theme song version of the new Powerpuff Girls reboot on Cartoon Network. Three superhero sisters flying around and being badass not only describes the animated trio: it’s also basically how Velvet Volume spent this past summer, playing festivals and shows throughout Denmark, such as Northside and Trailerpark. We caught a few of their thundering performances along the way and eventually got the opportunity to sit down with them for a chat.
GIRLS ARE AWESOME: So since you started the band, this is the first summer during which you’ve been doing a lot. Up until now, it’s just been writing and recording stuff?
Noa: Actually, we haven’t been recording stuff. We’ve been playing concerts, mostly festivals around Denmark—only Denmark.
Nataja: We’re kind of waiting with the recording because Noa and Naomi just finished high school/gymnasium. We’ve been playing alongside going to school, so it’s been a little bit difficult recording stuff because of that.
Noa: After the summer tour we’re gonna focus on recording more material that could potentially turn into our album.
Nataja: Up until now we’ve been focusing on creating an audience and putting on a good live show. And of course, playing a lot.
Noa: Gaining experience!
Do you come from a musical family, then? How much influence did your parents have, since all three of you are musicians?
Noa: Actually, our parents don’t play instruments in that way—they play a little guitar and piano, just for fun, y’know, coziness, hygge—but our father has a great, really big CD collection we listened to a lot as children. When CD stores still existed – back in the day – we had this tradition with the whole family of going to the music store. Our father would pick one CD and when we got home, we would hear the CD on repeat for the next two weeks. So it was a way for us to really get into the fundamental feeling of music, sort of. We come from a family that really loves music. Us being musicians just happened naturally. It’s like a chemical reaction.
I’m an only child so I don’t really know how it is with siblings, but I can imagine some things would be easier and some things would be harder. Being in a band with your relatives could give you a better connection, but at the same time you could be, like, Oasis.
Naomi: Well, we are sisters, and we behave like sisters. We can be mean to each other in front of people – we have to get used to not doing that in front of people when we are out playing – but yeah, I think there’s definitely something good about it. We know each other very well, so when we write music and stuff, it’s easier to be honest with each other.
Noa: It’s a difficult question because we don’t know anything else, you know? We’ve always been together and always known each other. I don’t know how it is without Naomi and Nataja. That’s how we’ve grown up, and that’s just how it is. It’s normal!
Naomi: But we’ve known each other all our lives, so we have the same goals and want to do the same things. I think that’s a big thumbs up.
So if you, Nataja, still have two more years of school, how does that work with coming to Copenhagen so much?
Nataja: We’re mostly focusing on Aarhus because it’s such a long trip, and that’s also why we said we wanted to wait with, for example, recording. We don’t have that much time to really focus on it, so doing it in Copenhagen would just be stupid.
Noa: But it’s fun because I think our greatest shows have been in Copenhagen, really. We have played a lot in Aarhus but that’s mostly just been these small venues and small crowds. Well, besides Northside, of course. But I think we get a bigger audience in Copenhagen.
Naomi: People in Copenhagen really like our music and it really shows at the concerts.
Nataja: I don’t know if there’s a difference between the audience in Jylland versus in Copenhagen…
Noa: We’ve been discussing that a lot because we think in Copenhagen, since there’s like ten times more people, it seems like the ones who really dig rock music get together, hear our concerts and get the most excited. In Aarhus, the concerts we’ve played have mostly been more quiet.
Do you think you’ll eventually move to Copenhagen in a couple years?
All: Naw, we love Aarhus…
It seems like everyone ends up moving to Copenhagen, sometimes even out of necessity.
Noa: That’s true.
Nataja: It’s very calm in Aarhus compared to Copenhagen. There’s a lot happening over here.
Noa: But not in a bad way.
You have dreams for future tours and taking over the world?
All: Of course!
Noa: We’re gonna play Madison Square Garden, and Hyde Park….
Naomi: I really want to play at a rock festival in Japan. I think there is a crazy and awesome audience over there. And the fanbase really supports you: there’s a different kind of fanbase over there that I think really appreciates the music you’re making, and, y’know, they still buy physical CDs over there. So there’s some kind of respect over there for artists like us that I really admire.
So you’re cool with CDs and not like diehard vinyl enthusiasts?
Noa: Actually we do really want to release on vinyl.
Naomi: Well, you know, you can get a lot on Spotify and stuff and you can get all the music for free. However, over there it seems they respect your music more in the sense that they actually BUY your music, and that supports you.
I’m a bit um, anti-Spotify, not to be like…
Noa: Well, we actually use it as well. It’s really smart and it has all the music you love in the same place and you can search for different artists and discover new artists much more easily versus if you have to go to a store and buy and go home and all that. But I think that’s also sort of a magical thing, somehow—to go down to the store and find that record and go home and press play. You know all the songs on the album, and you know all of it backwards and forwards. I think that’s also an experience we want to be able to give to people.
Speaking of memories, I saw that you recorded the Danish Powerpuff Girls theme song, which is so awesome!
Noa: Yeah, we love the Powerpuff Girls—Powerpuff Pigerne in Danish—it’s really a part of our childhood too. Fucking. Love. Omigod.
Nataja: It was a huge thing to be a part of. Especially because yeah, we all saw it when we were kids.
Naomi: It was really fun to do, too.
Is it already out and airing?
Nataja: Yeah, it’s already out.
So then when you’re channel surfing you can run across it.
Noa: And hear our own voices, omigod!
Velvet Volume will be playing September 30th at Voxhall in Aarhus and October 1st at Pumpehuset in Copenhagen, which basically means that if you’re anywhere in Denmark you no longer have a valid excuse for not yet having experienced their killer concerts live. However, if all else fails, there’s always the opportunity to experience them vicariously through their YouTube.