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Progressive Rock Interviews

Big Dust

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Big Dust from 2016
MSJ:

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music – both individually and as a band?

Simon Skjødt Jensen: I played in a country/folk rock band called “The Fields” in the beginning of the 00s, an experimental rock band called “The Means” in the end of the 00s. I also have a solo alias called “Own Road” who has released several EPs and albums. 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: I’ve been involved in various bands since the mid 90s, and released my first real album with a band called “Mørk” in 2004. Since then I’ve been releasing all kinds of stuff and also been working a lot with distribution, mastering and production of other peoples stuff.

Christian Skelgaard: I’ve been playing guitar since I was a young boy, but did not have any serious band-experience until I met Mads in high school. We started a band and have practically been playing together ever since in different constellations - heavy metal, noisy country, electronica, hip hop. We’ve done it all. Over the years I’ve shifted away from the guitar, at first onto piano/keyboard, and now it seems that I have found my true calling behind the drums.

MSJ: If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: I’d be a seaman of some kind. 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: Trying to get into making music.

Christian Skelgaard: …going mad, I think.

MSJ: How did the name of the group originate?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: I think Mads wrote a lot of ideas down, and we picked Big Dust. It makes me think of the big bang and about stardust and the universe. 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: Yes, I had a long list, but I think it was Simon who pinpointed Big Dust as the winner.

MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: I can’t help thinking of too many, and it’s really hard to narrow down. 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: Depeche Mode - somehow it all goes back to them.

Christian Skelgaard: As Simon says, our inspirations and influences are many…and diverse, to say the least. All three of us have different musical preferences. Some of the stuff I listen to, the other two might find boring, corny or just plain bad, and vice versa.

MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: Well, during this summer and autumn we’ll play some festival gigs and do a little tour in Europe and work on music that will probably be released as an EP next year. 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: I think it’s going to be an album. I can feel it!

MSJ:

I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?

Simon Skjødt Jensen: Melodic and heavy. 

Christian Skelgaard: Manic yet joyful.

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: Maybe a little prog in there somewhere?

MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: (laughter) Anyone really, as long as it’s interesting. 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: A dirty duet with Simon and Siouxsie Sioux would be extremely cool!

Christian Skelgaard: I didn’t really know Simon all that well before I was invited into the band, and in a way I feel we’re still learning to know each other musically. After one of our recent shows we had a very enthusiastic guy offering his services as a bass player, but we had to tell him that we’re still learning how to be a trio.

MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading or streaming of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: I think it’s a two-edged sword. It can help promoting the music, which is essential for a lot of musicians. On the other hand, it takes income away from hard working musicians who already don’t get paid much.

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: I think you should buy your music, preferably on a physical format.

Christian Skelgaard: Yeah, that’s a tough one. You might say that streaming is helpful artistically, since you might be presented to a much broader audience, but economically you get screwed. Sometimes I feel like an a***hole for listening to a new album via streaming services, instead of going out and buying a vinyl copy.

MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them or posting them online?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: I think that is a good thing. Fans promoting the music for free! Of course, you can’t control what they put there, but I would be happy if someone thought that our show was so good they had to record it and put it out there. 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: I think it would be a huge compliment if someone took the time to tape one of our shows.

Christian Skelgaard: Yep - what Simon said. You can’t beat free advertisement!

MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: I think someone like Kanye West would be a good arch nemesis for me. He is kind of like the opposite of a superhero, but still people love him and then I would be the hated one who had to fight him or something like that. 

Christian Skelgaard: Phil Collins, maybe. I have nothing against him, but it might prove for an interesting fistfight (both wearing spandex, of course). I would imagine he’s pretty agile for a guy his age, but his short stature probably makes him more inclined to fighting dirty…two balding drummers head to head.

MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: Chelsea Wolfe - vocals, David Eugene Edwards - vocals, Warren Ellis - violin, Marc Ribot - electric guitar, Ben Chasny - electric guitar, Les Claypool - bass, Avey Tare - effects, Ralph Molina - drums and let Bradford Cox write the songs. I have no idea why, I just like all these artists. 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: That’s a big band! Add Frank Farian as producer, and we have a winner!

MSJ:

If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?

Simon Skjødt Jensen: If I narrow it down to ten names it could be something like: Swans, Larkin Grimm, Chad Vangaalen, Six Organs of Admittance, Woven Hand, Akron/Family, Entrance, A Silver Mount Zion, Deakin and Portishead. 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: I think it changes all the time for me.

MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: I bought Mute Swimmer’s EP Present Perfect. I have been listening a lot to Nick Cave ans Warren Ellis’ soundtracks for The Proposition and Far from Men

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: Bisse - Happy Meal. One of the most promising and prolific songwriters in Denmark at the moment.

Christian Skelgaard: I can’t remember when I last bought a CD. It might have been Tom Waits – Orphans, but that’s quite a few years ago.

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: The Measure of the Magic by Terry Brooks. I love fantasy! 

Christian Skelgaard: Been reading up on the Sherlock Holmes short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: Ty Segall and the Muggers at Primavera Sound in Barcelona - crazy, fantastic and hilarious! 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: I think it was Palace Winther at Spot Festival in Denmark – very promising, spacey alt-rock/pop.

MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?"
Simon Skjødt Jensen: No! 

Mads Bordinggaard Christensen: Yes! Although I don’t really feel guilty about it, I really like cheesy and over produced stuff ranging from Boney M to Alannah Myles and pretty much everything in-between. At the moment Cliff Richard really gets me going.

Christian Skelgaard: I love Roxette! Spent too much time trying to keep it a secret.

MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: Michael Gira, Neil Young and Eddie Vedder
MSJ: What would be on the menu?
Simon Skjødt Jensen: Spanish tapas, Italian food and the Danish course Brændende Kærlighed (Burning Love)
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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