Smerz Makes the DIY Club Bangers Of Your Dreams
Is this your first time in the states? How is it compared to Copenhagen?
Henriette—Yeah, this is our first time in New York. All the promo stuff feels weird. I guess it just feels a little strange to talk about yourself and have people take photos of you.
Are you guys from a rural area?
Catharina—Yeah, very rural.
H—We’re from Oslo, and it’s a city. So compared to New York it feels small, but it’s the capital of Norway.
So when did you get into music together?
C—We’ve been singing and Henriette has been playing the violin since we were kids, but we didn’t start making music until we moved to Copenhagen after high school. We went to high school together, but we both decided to move to Copenhagen to go to music school and pursue music.
So were you into electronic music? Because it seems like you were classically trained.
C—I don’t think we really knew about electronic music until we moved to Denmark.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?
C—We went through a lot of phases as every teenager does, but we liked everything from R&B to The Beatles.
Can you define your sound?
C—We’ve never been able to define it, but I think that might be the best. If anything, I would say club-inspired R&B.
Do you guys go clubbing often?
C—Yeah, in Copenhagen there are a lot of good parties and good music.
H—You can go out clubbing and not drink and just listen to the music and still have a good time. It's that good. Everyone is just listening to the music. You can even go out and dance on your own. There’s no real pressure to dance with anyone or even hold a conversation.
C—And you can easily tell everyone is really enjoying the music because it feels like you all share the same moments.
So the music brings everyone together.
C—Yeah, and I feel like you never experience that. Especially not here in New York.
Were you guys best friends in high school?
H—Not BFFs, but we had a lot of mutual friends.
Why do you think you guys work so well together musically?
C—It's because we started making music together at the same time, so we developed production and taste-wise at the same time.
Tell us about your new song “Oh My My".
C—The lyrics are really out there. It’s about thinking about leaving someone but not really doing anything about it, just drifting—having that constant feeling of something being wrong and maybe wanting to change something but not doing so.
H—And not being able to communicate with the person either.
Your visuals are usually very DIY. Do you do them yourselves?
H—Yeah. Our latest video was the first one that someone else has done but it somehow still ended up being DIY. It has never really been our point to go about it that way, but up until now it has been the only way we can make sure it's done the way we want it.
So you were just signed to XL Recordings! Do you think you’re now ready for the American music scene? What are some of your goals?
C—I think our only goal is to make good music and release things that we are proud of. And of course it’s amazing when people like it, but its okay if some don’t.
Where are you guys most comfortable making music?
C—In our bedrooms. This week we were in a studio out here and a little out of our comfort zone, but I think it’s important to adapt.
What about your fashion inspirations?
H—We like fashion in the way we like visual things. But we’ve never really been "into" fashion, so that’s kind of new to us. I think it’s really stressful that we have to find new clothes every time we have a show. That actually might be my least favorite thing about being a “band”. It’s just never been my thing.
Well you guys are really good at it. Naturally. What are some of your favorite music releases right now?
H&C—We love Kendrick and Rihanna.
C—We also love Yves Tumor, BabyFather, and these Norweigan girls named Sassy009. We just went to an Yves Tumor concert, and that was one of the best music experiences I’ve had in a while. The production was just so different but good from sound to sound.
Is there anything that you keep in mind while in production? Everything just sounds so different but at the same time still so cohesive.
C—I think with the melodies, it's something that comes from earlier in our lives. I believe melodies are something from within that is deeply rooted. But many of our beats are influenced by a lot of the music that we listen to now. Our music is beat and melody based, so whenever we listen to something, Henrietta will focus on the melodies while I'll focus more on the beat.
Do you both sing equally?
C—No, Henriette sings.
H—She’s the lead speaker haha.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve been inspired by?
H—It’s not weird, but it’s a problem sometimes that I’m really inspired by classical music because sometimes I’ll make a melody and then not really like it.
C—It’ll be like this scary classical melody. But sometimes we’ll have a beat and Henrietta will sing, and I’ll tell her to stop once we find something that sounds good.
What can we can we expect from your next release?
C—It’s going to be an EP. The date isn’t set yet, but it’s almost finished. “Oh my my” will be on that, and the other songs will have some of the same vibes as our last EP but maybe be more of a continuation. I feel like the EP is a bit more chaotic when compared to our previous one.