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Q & A: Nils Martin Larsen from ‘Apothek’


Norwegian duo Apothek are currently taking the UK (and soon to be the world) by storm with their brooding electronica and emotive lyricism. We got to know the group’s producer Nils Martin Larsen a little better through some super deep life questions and asking about the nuances between their released tracks.

What’s your favourite trashy TV show to watch when no one is around?

Ouch! I don´t really have one. I’ve seen the entire first season of ‘Chef’s Table’ like five times, but that is hardly trashy I suppose. Does ‘Suits’ count as trashy? I’ll go for ‘Suits’. I don’t even understand why I like it, perfect!

Food you can’t live without?

Dumplings in all their glory. Ironically I just found my favourite dumplings of all the ones I’ve had. It’s a place in Berlin called Dr To’s, and they make dumplings where the casing is meat. So it’s meat, IN MEAT! Who thought of that? I would like to shake their hand.

Is there something you still keep from your childhood that you’re embarrassed to own up to?

It might not count as childhood, but I’ve framed the letter from the Norwegian Army letting me know they didn’t need me after I horribly failed at faking total failure in all the tests they wanted me to go through. Try faking a hearing test when you’re a musician with a slight competitive gene. It´s hell!

What song do you have on repeat at the moment?

A song off the debut record from brilliant piano player Morten Qvenild called Past. It’s part of his doctorate degree in something between composition and music technology, which doesn’t necessarily sound like it would yield truly beautiful music. I love surprises.

Which movie have you watched so many times that you can quote every line?

Guy Ritchie’s ‘Snatch’. I haven’t seen it in years but I do remember watching it once and literally knowing every line.

If you could only choose one person to hang out with for the rest of your life, who would it be?

Stephen Fry, easy!

Your debut single Family was well received, how have your lives changed since then?

We’ve travelled a bit playing for people who like what we do. That in itself is a bit of an astounding thing to be able to do in the grand scheme of things. We hope people will like the rest of the material on our record so we can keep doing that, basically. Hopefully we can get over where you guys are to have a look around, eat your food and try other stuff you enjoy and talk loudly about how much we love Tame Impala. But apart from that we just stay in our studio trying to make stuff that will let us keep doing what we do.

Your new single Waiting For The Thunder has been described as “icier and more distant” than Family, what inspired that change?

We didn’t really try to change anything. It came very naturally. I can understand how it could feel like a big change isolated like that, but I think when people get to hear the record we have coming they will understand that there is a very natural progression in all of it.

You say the old factory setting for the Waiting For The Thunder clip played a central role in the Norwegian rave community in the 90s, how did it feel to film the clip in such an ironically minimal style?

Oddly it felt kind of respectful. Neither of us were there to experience Oslo’s first stumbling attempts of trying to create a club scene and doing the whole rave thing in the 90s. But we respect that they at least tried! So we wanted to do our best at our thing in that room, just as they did…with less drugs. It’s a beautiful space, and I still want that piano in my studio!

Written by Jess Martyn