The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are an alternative dance band from Copenhagen, Denmark which formed in 2006. They consist of Mette Lindberg (vocals), Lars Iversen (bass, keyboards), Miloud Carl Sabri (trumpet), Sven Meinild (sax), Mads Brinch Nielsen (guitar, keyboards), Jesper Elnegaard (drums).
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are musicians on a mission. Formed less than a year ago, the band and their unique style of psychedelic pop are heading for fame at a speed even they didn’t expect.
Their debut gig saw them support Amy Winehouse at the biggest venue in their native Copenhagen, at the special request of the British singer’s management. In London, a demo found its way to industry veterans David Enthoven and Tim Clark, who have managed the careers of T-Rex and Roxy Music amongst others. Within half an hour of hearing it, Enthoven was on the phone to band founder Lars Iversen. Within days, he was on his way to Copenhagen to thrash out a deal.
Things have moved unnaturally fast for The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. But Lars, who composes most of the music and plays bass, spent a long time planning the sound.
In summer 2007, Lars met up with former band mate and singer Mette to play her some demos. She went home with a CD and returned the day after with lots of ideas of her own. The pair immediately set to work, spending last summer practically living, recording, eating, composing and sleeping in Lars’s self-built studio in his one room flat in Copenhagen. Every night after a hard day’s work, they would end up drunk on Lars’s balcony until early morning. They were on a constant high, but at the same time slowly building a repertoire and a signature sound of their own.
The first songs they recorded were steeped in a shared love of the soul of Marvin, Stevie and Sly. You can hear it in the horns that honk through the sexual, shimmery Around The Bend or the basslines that drive forthcoming first single The Sun Ain’t Shining No More, a kaleidoscopic pop epic that updates the best of the B-52s and demands you to shake your hips on first hearing.
“Mette has an incredible, quirky, unschooled voice that’s so strange, compelling and cool,” says Lars. “It’s her voice I have in my head when I write every song. She is a great inspiration and the longer we’re together, the more the music becomes a collaborative effort. If I present her with a song she always adds brilliant ideas of her own, or sings it in a way I hadn’t expected, taking the song to a new level.”
More recent additions to the Asteroids Galaxy canon include the more melancholic, teetering-on-trippy Hero and deliciously-groovy Lady Jesus, a song based on a recent, real-life event.
“Lady Jesus was inspired by a scary, Danish religious leader who has been in the papers a lot over here of late,” says Lars. “She bought an old building in Copenhagen, not far from my flat, famous for its alternative youth culture. A blend of young anarchists, progressive artists and musicians have lived and worked there since the late 70s. This woman threw the kids out and bulldozed the building, which caused a riot in the city. There were fires burning and police everywhere. For months, we felt like we couldn’t breathe. Lady Jesus still has the dusty, old soul vibe we love, but it captures the claustrophobic atmosphere it was written in.”
What the songs have in common is a sense of adventure and a feeling of freedom you rarely find in pop music anymore. The sounds of different decades rub shoulders as though they have always partied together and there is a genuine warmth that comes partly from friends making music purely for the love of it and partly from Lars’s vintage recording equipment.
Meanwhile, with just six gigs played so far, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are busy rehearsing for festival season - in an underground air-raid shelter built during Cold War time.
“It’s a round room with an arched roof, like an underground dome”, explains Mette. “The air down there is really damp and fusty, there is no daylight and no mobile phone reception. We love it. You couldn’t ask for a space with more atmosphere. Plus, no distractions keeps us focused.”
Mette and Lars are the core of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, but live, the band grows to a six-piece. Included are a fully fledged horn section of trumpet and sax players, clavinet sounds, a drummer and guitarist. They insist they are neither a duo nor a band. Think of them as more of a collective - a group of dedicated friends with similar minds and dreams. The line-up and the sound will constantly evolve. Who knows… on their second album they might all join in writing songs, they could even have a string quartet, percussion player and backing singers…
Finally, about that name…
“I stole it from Miloud, our Moroccan trumpet player, who runs a hippy jewellery shop when he’s not rehearsing with us”, laughs Lars. “He’s a dear friend and a special guy with a brilliant, random mind and a big influence on the band. He came up with the name and I grabbed it. I like it because it sounds like the title of a film or a book, rather than a band name. It’s asking you to step in to a story and join us on a journey - a trip in our galaxy”.www.theasteroidsgalaxytour.com