OFF BLOOM IN FULL BLOOM words Amy MacKenzie - photography Eva Pentel
We had the pleasure of catching up with Anglo-Danish trio Alex Flockhart, Matte Mortensen, and Mads Christensen before their show at Electrowerkz. The trio composes the ever so unique Off Bloom whose sound is just what you look for in contemporary music. Ahead of their London show - their first headline tour the Copenhagen-based trio has an excellent track record of supporting big acts and blends lyrical melodies with strong vocals to create compelling sounds. It was great to spend time with them, a trio who are clearly close and comfortable with each other.
Their relaxed demeanor before the gig contrasted spectacularly with their dynamic stage presence. They put a real focus on ensuring they deliver high-quality events; they aim to make as much of a personal connection as possible with their audience. At the gig later that night, their lead singer, Matte, jumped into the crowd multiple times, connecting on such a personal level with their fans that you couldn't deny their real affection for the trio. They truly do deliver on their desire to make the evening memorable and yet they seem unaware of their formidable presence as they delivered a standout show!
Amy MacKenzie: So, how are you guys? Alex Flockhart: Good! Matte Mortensen: Really good! A.F: Now we’re good, it’s been a stressful day.
A.M: Why has it been stressful?
Mads Christensen: Just a lot of technical stuff to sort out, we needed to make sure that everything was working perfectly because we are coming with a pretty big production for a place like this because we really want to make the most of it for people coming here.
A.M: Yes, cool! So this is the last show on the tour; how has it been? M.M: It’s been absolutely incredible, it’s been crazy! It’s the first headline tour we’ve done and the first one where we have our own show and I think it’s crazy how much it means to us to go out and feel that the music is out there also in reality like real people are listening to it, they come to the shows. Sometimes you can feel like you’re in your own bubble, you don’t know what’s going on. M.C: And then with Spotify, you can see what’s going on, you can see a lot of plays and stuff but you don’t really know what it means.
A.M: Putting numbers to faces... A.F: Yeah and you never know how it’s going to turn out so then when you get there on the night and it’s full and every person is singing every word, it feels pretty amazing! M.C: Yeah, it’s been really touching. M.M: Also because not many Danish bands can play outside of Danish borders so playing shows in Stockholm, and Amsterdam, and here, it’s super incredible to us. We just love it!
A.M: Have you had a favourite city so far? M.M: Copenhagen was pretty amazing, that’s our home city, it was fucking incredible of course! I think other than that, maybe, Amsterdam was really special. A.F: I think Amsterdam, only because it was the most surprising because it’s far away from home. [Laughs] M.M: It was full of people and they sang so loud! They knew every lyric and we were taken aback by that.
A.M: Are you looking forward to tonight then? A.F: No. [Laughs]
A.F: Yeah, of course! M.C: It feels like London is like our second hometown because we lived here. M.M: We lived here, we worked here. A.F: And I’m from here so it’s home at home!
A.M: When did you guys live here? M.M: Alex lived back and forth and only moved back to Copenhagen a few months ago, Mads and I lived here for a year, a year ago. So we have been back in Copenhagen for a while now.
A.M: What are you expecting from the crowd tonight, if anything? A.F: Fuck, I have no idea! We were talking about it earlier and I have no idea what to expect from tonight. We have always had really good shows in London actually. London has always been one of the places that have really brought it when we’ve played and we’ve felt a real connection with the people here.
A.M: I saw your show at The Pickle Factory. M.M: Oh, you did?!
A.M: Which feels like years ago now... A.F: It’s two years ago exactly, I think. M.C: Maybe it was a little earlier. M.M: I have no idea.
A.M: I can’t remember exactly, I just remember I loved it!! So I’m really looking forward to tonight! M.M: It’s gonna be fun!
A.M: So what would a dream venue and dream city be to play? M.M: Alexandra Palace, London. M.C: Terminal 5, New York, I think. A.F: The festivals I think, Roskilde, or Coachella. M.C: Obviously Coachella would be good!
A.M: What’s your favourite song to perform live? M.C: I think that’s different for each of us, isn’t it? I love to play ‘Love To Hate It’ because it’s really fun on drums. M.M: I actually don’t know! A.F: We just brought back the first song we ever realized called ‘Orchid’ and we haven’t played it live for two or three years and on this tour, we’ve re-worked it and brought it back and I think that’s my favourite this time around. M.M: Maybe also mine. I think that’s the one because it feels really special as the first song we released and it’s a new version of it and it’s really close to my heart so it’s amazing to sing it now and almost go back to the beginning in my head. A.F: Or the latest single, ‘Are You Feeling It Too?’ plug, plug, plug… [laughs].
A.M: So you’ve supported people like Dua Lipa and ALMA over the years, what have you learned from opening for artists like that? M.C: I mean everything! We’ve played so many shows as a support band but never really thought of ourselves as a support band, even when we were on the biggest tours with the people we’ve been on tour with. We just act like it’s our own show and give it everything. A.F: He’s trying to say we learned to be humble. [Laughs] M.C: If we had gone in with a support band attitude then we wouldn’t have learned that much. We also made a lot of mistakes, so in that sense, I felt like we learned everything, like how to play live. M.M: We really wanted to make it something special, for the people here, we are not just here for the time to pass, we want to make something of the time, we want to make an impression. I think that gives you, you kind of become fearless in a way, you just have to give it everything you’ve got, no matter what circumstance is around you. I think that was a good lesson to learn. M.C: I think we have also been lucky with the bands we have been on tour with because the crowds were very loving M.M: I learned something really funny which is the more people there are, the less nervous you become. I think that’s a really funny thing. We were supporting Dua, it was like an arena, almost 10,000 people or something. The minute we got in there because you can see everyone, I was like ‘fuck, this makes me feel so calm’. I get so much more nervous when there’s like only 10 people there and it’s super intimate.
A.M: That’s interesting. And what do you want people to be thinking when they leave an Off Bloom show? A.F: That’s a good question. M.C: That was fucking awesome! A.F: Hopefully to feel different from when they came, however, that is, moved in some way. M.M: And in some way feeling like they’ve been part of something a lot of people have shared, we included. M.C: Because that’s how we feel. Half of the reason it’s so fun to do this is because you feel like you connect with people in a way that is very different to do otherwise. It feels very special seeing someone and having a connection. That’s the beautiful thing about trying to be aware and break down the barriers, instead of seeing us just as doing our jobs, doing our thing, it’s more like we are all there together and to make this a good experience, we all need to be aware of each other
A.M: And the last question, what is your favourite f word? M.M: [Laughs] A.F: Fuck. M.C: I guess fuck would be mine, that’s what I thought of first of course. M.M: I can’t think of anything. M.C: Fun, fuck, food… M.M: Food, I’m going to say food… motherfucking food!
A.M: Cool, thank you so much! A.F: Thank you!
Words: Amy MacKenzie
Photography: Eva Pentel