EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Norwegian Band Kid Astray Talks New EP “Ignite”

Norwegian indie-pop band Kid Astray has returned with new music. In April, the band dropped their third EP Ignite. We got a chance to ask the band all about their new sound!

Kid Astray formed back in 2010, when members Benjamin, Alex, Even, Jakob and Håkon met in high school while studying music. Their first hit, “The Mess”, was a song the band created to enter a demo contest- and they finished it in just six hours! Soon after, they recorded their first EP “Easily Led Astray” in Benjamin’s basement. While they gained popularity in the Norwegian pop scene, they released their second EP Taking You With Me and their debut album Home Before the Dark in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The band has also supported acts such as Imagine Dragons, The Wombats, and Temper Trap on various world tours.

After signing with Sony Music Norway and Toothfairy in 2017, the band returned to the studio dedicated to creating new material. Their hard work came to fruition when the band dropped their most recent EP, Ignite, in April. The 5-track EP is undoubtedly the band’s most ambitious and exuberant project to date. The captivating melodies on the lead single “Joanne” set the tone for the rest of the record, where their electrifying indie-pop sound shines on every song.

We got a chance to ask Kid Astray member Even Steine some questions about the band, the music scene in Norway, their new EP, and more. Catch our full interview below!

Hi Kid Astray! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Tell us a bit about your new EP “Ignite”! What was your vision for the record and what was the writing process like?

Thank you! Ignite was conceived over the last year or so, and is very much a product of making the music we want, and letting the ideas lead the way. That sounds super pretentious, but it’s a fair description of how things went: The tracks on the EP are listed in the order they were written, so the opening track “Ignite” sat the bar. It’s a bit tangy and less straightforward than our previous releases, but we quickly decided to follow that line. The rest of the tracks followed effortlessly, and they all have that playful, fiery feel.

How is the sound of this EP different from your previous records?

Because of the hands-on attitude we had in the writing process, it feels a lot rougher, not as smooth as our first album for instance. Again, the word tangy comes to mind, like a really good cocktail, but with that one lurking, unidentifiable ingredient, which makes it taste amazing in a weird way.

Tell us more about the lead single “Joanne”! What was the inspiration behind such an uplifting song?

Haha, it definitely feels uplifting. Lyrically it’s not as fun and bright, as it’s about being in a frustrating relationship with someone that is really hard to have any relation with. This duality between the lyrics being pessimistic and the music being optimistic is something of a gimmick we have, sort of a kick towards the fact that few things are exactly as it seems on the surface.

What is collaboration like among the band? Do you all tend to agree on things or do you have very different ideas?

We certainly don’t always agree on all details, but we still have a sort of unspoken collective feeling of what Kid Astray is, and what we want to do. First and foremost we’re five friends, so having a good time together is a great foundation for anything.

You guys met in high school and are still going strong as a band. How have been able to stick together this long?

Being in a band is very much like being in a relationship. In 2010, we googled “relationship tips for men”, and by staying 100% true to the many tips and rules we found, we’ve managed to stick together. These, courtesy of Elite Man Magazine, are but a few of the rules that govern Kid Astray:

Tip #1 Be Forthcoming With Information
Tip #2 Take The Lock Off Your Phone
Tip #3 Communicate Your Plans For The Future
Tip #4 Eliminate All Female Friends

You’re all from Norway, and Kid Astray was formed in Sandvika. Has the Norwegian music scene or culture influenced your music at all?

The pop scene in Norway is having a pretty good time these days, so inspiration is really easy to come by. It’s cool to see people succeed, and aspire to accomplish stuff we see others do. Musically, there’s a good flow to the whole scandi-pop-thing, which by all means colours our music. Sandvika is also a great place to be making music, with a high density of artists, everyone backing each other up.

Last year you signed with Sony Music Norway and Toothfairy. What was that transition like?

It was really smooth and good for us. Our team is amazing, and we love them all to bits. As with anything, the clue is to work with people you trust and play well with.

What are some goals you guys have as a band?

Touring the US, for sure. We’ve never been, but we’ve heard a lot of good stuff about frozen margaritas and the cowboy lifestyle. Pushing our sound and productions further is always a goal, so we want to release some killer hits down the line. I think we would like to be to music what Gameboy Advance was to gaming.

Do you have any plans or projects on the go for the rest of this year?

We’re really hoping for a tour in Asia this fall, and we’re trying to pull all possible threads to make it happen. We went a couple of years ago, and it’s still one of the coolest things that ever happened to us. Japan is almost the exact opposite side of the globe from Norway, but the audience and industry over there were very welcoming. Heartwarming. Apart from that, we’ll keep on writing new music and playing shows.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about your EP “Ignite”?

Well, it’s one of the best EPs, trust us.

Thanks to Even Steine from Kid Astray for answering our questions! Keep tabs on Kid Astray by following them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Catch more of their music on YouTube or stream their songs on Spotify.

Are you a fan of Kid Astray’s new EP “Ignite”? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix!

Written by Annemarie Cutruzzola

Canadian arts & culture writer and journalism student.