“I don’t remember us ever really thinking that we were going to America, touring the land, living the dream. That wasn’t really our mind-set,” says 26-year-old Iceage singer/guitarist Elias Bender Rønnenfelt. “We were fairly arrogant, so when suddenly we could go to Kansas City and there would be some kid that related to what we were doing, it was just like, ‘Yeah, of course, why shouldn’t he?’”
We’ll never know the relationship of Iceage’s brash assurance to their critical success (contributor? byproduct? both?), but 10 years in, the Dutch post-punk quartet still possess an indomitable confidence and equal sense of adventure. Their first three albums received nominations for IMPALAs (Independent Album of the Year Awards) in Europe, and judging by the reception for their latest, Beyondless, they’ll extend that streak.
Beyondless’s release in May 2018 ended a four-year recording hiatus—more time than it took to make the band’s first three albums—but it repays fans’ patience with grimy guitars searing in succulent hooks, ladled over with Rønnenfelt’s sneering vocal insouciance. Initially fueled by punk fury, Iceage’s instrumentation and tone widened significantly over the years.
Rønnenfelt, guitarist Johan Suurballe Wieth and drummer Dan Kjær Nielsen were outsiders at the same school in Copenhagen before forming a fast bond. “Before we even met each other, we eyed each other out and could sense there was some belonging there,” Rønnenfelt says. “Eventually, we got the courage to speak to each other, and we’ve never really been separate since.”
Bassist Jakob Tvilling Pless was a friend of a friend. When they first met, Pless followed Rønnenfelt to a soccer cage for a game involving a BB gun and a bicycle. “We would take turns,” Rønnenfelt offers, …
Author: Chris Parker / High Times