Friday 21 October 2022

An Interview With MYTHIC SUNSHIP

Experimental Psych Rockers Mythic Sunship have released their new album Light/Flux recently and it shows the band in a new creative light with their style of Experimental Psych Stoner Rock and Jazz based influences. Famed for their incredible 2018 Roadburn Festival performance, which got them signed to TeePee Records. 

I caught up with Frederik and Rasmus from Mythic Sunship to discuss their new album and the evolution of their music. 

Hi guys. How’s it going? Thanks for doing the interview. For folks not in the know, can you give a brief history of the band and where it is today.

Frederik: Mythic Sunship started as a trio 12 years ago. We had an ambition of making some sort of improvised rock music with noise elements. The band was on/off until Rasmus joined on bass in 2015, and since then it’s been a steady stream of releases and shows. Søren joined on sax shortly after, when we intended to create Another Shape of Psychedelic Music, and though he isn’t as regular as the rest of us, he’s been on all records since, and still joins us for shows often.

How would you describe your music in your own words?

Frederik: Explorative

Rasmus: Great choice of word, Frederik. I think it encompasses both the improvised approach of our music as well as the sort of genre-fluid nature.

Why did you call the band - Mythic Sunship? Any specific meaning.

Frederik: Not really, we needed a name and this was the best one we could come up with. We’ve always thought that it’s kind of silly, but I think it’s grown on us through the years. Also, it’s good to not take yourself too seriously as a band.

We’re here to talk about your new album Light/Flux. What can people expect for this album?

Frederik: Yeah, the album was released a couple of weeks ago, and is available now. For long time listeners, people can expect a more harmonic, melodic and mellow approach. For newcomers, you won’t miss the vintage Mythic Sunship vibe. Grandiose, energetic explosions combined with a more clean production.

Rasmus: This might sound weird, but I think it’s both our most diverse and consistent record to date. Really feels like an album more than just a collection of jams.

What is Light/Flux all about and why did you call the album that?

Frederik: The album is conceptually about the shift that happens around autumn and winter. How nature changes and all the processes that happen around us. These changes affect you a lot when you live in a temperate climate, such as in Denmark.

: Making instrumental music without lyrics to channel thoughts through, we’ve always worked with rather abstract thematics. And here we were very inspired by the changes that happen first in the atmosphere (the light and air) and end up as a very tangible phenomenon close to us.

What were the recording sessions like for the new album? Was this a hard album to write and record for?

Frederik: Very professional. We went to a very high-end studio in Stockholm, and just focused on creating music for 4 days. Light/Flux wasn’t a particularly hard album to write or record, but we challenged ourselves in the way we approached the creative process by planning more ahead.

Rasmus: Also, hardly any alcohol was involved. That’s usually one (of many) catalysts in the creative process.

Did you do anything different when recording this album compared to your previous releases?

Frederik: Yeah, the material on this album was shaped more before we recorded, and shaped even more than our previous albums in the post production. We mixed it ourselves which gave us an opportunity to really dive deep into how we wanted to shape the material.

Rasmus: Mixing it ourselves also means that it sounds exactly like we want it to. We haven’t had to surrender any sense of control by handing it over to someone else shaping the recordings.

What is the creative process or setup within the band? Do you all write the music together or do certain people within the band do that?

Frederik: Our creative process is centered around improvisation, and even for the most composed stuff, it still starts out as a jam that we develop until it finds a more defined form.

Rasmus: Yeah, our stuff is always born out of the band situation. No one has ever sat down with an acoustic guitar or a piano and written something for the others to hear. It’s very much instant composition when it is at all composed.

Who and what influenced you all for the new album?

Frederik: Lots and lots and lots of artists. There is no specific artist that I’d point toward having a more distinct influence on this one compared to our previous material, but it does sometimes sound as if John Coltrane joined Talk Talk in the studio.

Rasmus: I guess our music will always sound like the result of all of our musical preferences combined with whatever magic happens when we play together.


Who designed the excellent artwork for the new album?

Frederik: Tobias Holmbeck. Check out his excellent band Narcosatanicos.

Tee Pee Records are once again releasing the album. How did you hook-up with that great label?

Frederik: Dave from Tee Pee caught our show at Roadburn in 2018, and the rest is history.

How did you get involved with music? Was it a particular album, group or artist that made you want to write and play your own music?

Frederik: We’ve all been deeply fascinated with music since we were kids, so I think most of us found it natural to try to create music ourselves.

Rasmus: I actually didn’t pick up an instrument until my mid-20’s, but music was always a huge part of my life and identity.

What is the current state of the Denmark Rock/Metal scene? Do you perform gigs on a regular basis and do you have a local scene that you're actively involved with?

Frederik: The Danish scene is great, but I wouldn’t say that we are particularly involved with a specific scene here. It varies a lot how much we play on home soil, and it hasn’t been much since Covid arrived. We’ve played much more outside of Denmark than within the borders.

Rasmus: We’re not that well-known in Denmark and much more involved in the scene as concert-goers or arrangers than playing gigs ourselves.

The band have been quite prolific especially over the last couple of years by releasing two new albums and a live album. Has the reaction surprised you all with your last few releases? As they’ve resonated with both fans and critics alike.

Frederik: I think that when we released Another Shape Of Psychedelic Music, it was clear to us that we succeeded in creating something special. Since then, it’s been important for us to not be satisfied with where we arrived at that point and continually challenge ourselves. I can’t say much else than we’re very happy that fans and critics alike seem to continually enjoy the music that we put out, but in the end we wouldn’t release it if we didn’t think it was worth it. So in that sense, saying that we are surprised that other people like it would be a stretch. Happy? Yes!

Rasmus: I feel very blessed being able to release music and go on tours around Europe. Never imagined that would be possible.

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans currently out there?

Frederik: Just a simple thank you to everyone who buys the records, comes to our shows, listens to the music, writes kind messages and generally just supports us.

Rasmus: Yeah, thanks so much for supporting music outside the mainstream and making all this possible 🙏

Words by Steve Howe and Mythic Sunship

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for arranging the interview and thanks to Mythic Sunship for doing the interview.