N I T E F I S H is an audio-visual punk project that’s making electronic punk songs from glitched out projections and mangled sounds. I make a lot of music from things that I see around me, everything from vacation commercials to pinball machines, and I make that into a grimey mess that you can dance to.
How do Dublin and Stolkholm compare to one another from your experience in the two music scenes?
This project started last June early July in Summer. I saw my friend who was gonna do a forest rave in Stockholm and I just thought ‘You know what? I’ll just pull something together for this.’ Before the forest rave, it was this kind of intermittent dream I had for a year where I would wake up in the middle of the night with these flashing noises and images in my head. I wanted something that sounded like that but I can’t even put it into words.
I had never played at a rave before, it was an entirely different audience to what I was used to. Before that, I basically played in Indie bands. It seemed like at the time Sweden was drawn towards dream pop and indie pop and I have a lot of friends who do that stuff; Bodega sisters, Steve Buscemi’s Dreamy Eyes there are a lot of really good bands that do that stuff. But the reception I got for this was really quite amazing. I got to meet a bunch of people who I never would have met before without making this kind of music. I got to do a lot of punk gigs and raves which are two ends of an extreme. But coming to Dublin, it got more on the dance side of things funnily enough by playing with people like Toké O’Drift, who I think is one of the best producers in Dublin right now. It’s this weird liminal space between the punk and rave but it’s fun.
How do you feel about placing yourself in two distinct categories like punk and rave?
That’s something I was thinking about a lot when making this project. When it comes to what punk is and what we consider ‘heavy music’. I just think we can’t limit it anymore to the normal aesthetics of punk with guitars and 80s hardcore, one can’t limit it to that. It has to be different because it has to go with the times. On a daily basis people are flooded with images and sounds and ads from all kinds of places, so in a way what punk should be doing is responding to that information overload in different ways. I think that Hip Hop has really taken that mantle in recent years. I usually like people that are thinking more broadly than the genres that they’re in and thinking about presenting a reality that they’re in as well as a way forward.
What are the sources of inspiration for ideas and how would you go about implementing those ideas into songs?
For example, Stainless Cashmere is literally from a slowed down commercial of two people fist bumping and that’s almost the entire song. I just slowed it down one time at 1:00am in the morning, that’s my usual routine. I can’t do anything until 1 in the morning, all the good ideas come when you can get in a delirious state of mind. My roommates aren’t too happy about it but it’s when all the good ideas come.
With lyrics, I try to take a holistic approach where I reference the samples I’m making. Stainless Cashmere also samples Coca-Cola commercials which I reference in the song. Moneyfuck as well uses a private jet commercial and I reference that in the song too. I usually get inspiration just going onto YouTube getting those commercials that you really just don’t want to see between videos about hair products or some shit. That’s my inspiration right now, that’s the kind of reality I want to turn on its head.
There’s an irony to using commercials to criticise big industry but it’s also quite ironic that you’re applying those lyrics to such an industrial sound. Could you elaborate on that?
Part of it is definitely that I’m just obsessed with the idea of reflecting back all the things that we get over-exposed to, it’s just an era of information overload. It’s awesome that a lot of people are talking to me about that after shows. What I like about it as well is that it’s not really a reference, a lot of music right is made out of references to the past. Whereas this is a reference to the current moment and somehow from those shards maybe try to encourage more people to do so. It’s super simple, I’d love if more people did that.
I feel people are afraid to be utopian, look forward and try to make the wackiest dreams we can conjure and make them happen. In the future, regardless of what will happen, I don’t think there will be this move back to the country-side in simple living. Part of our ecology is now the urban ecology, for better or for worse. And that’s affecting us negatively, so it’s a matter of addressing that the future will hold a mixture of the two the urban and the ecological.
Your shows seem to put a big emphasis on aesthetics. Is that focused on visuals there from the very inception or is it something you worked on after the fact?
It was kinda from the beginning of the project; the idea of N I T E F I S H came about while I was a VJ (which is a “Visual Jockey”) in some slightly dodgy clubs and bars around Stockholm with my friend Danni. I kind of realised over there that I wanted to somehow make music that spoke to that. That sampled videos and made them into songs. So it was from the beginning I was always thinking about live projections. All of the samples I usually base on a certain video then I add drums and bass. I’ve never really done that before but it’s fun and liberating.
Moneyfuck and Stainless Cashmere can be found on all streaming platforms, and a debut EP, GRIDLIFE is due to be out on the 23rd of March. Follow Nitefish on Instagram, or Facebook under these handles:
Stainless Cashmere / Official Video:
N I T E F I S H will also be playing live in the Vintage Room in Workmans on the 5th of March with Fomorian Vein and PDF Pockethole, event can be found below:
Music event in Dublin, Ireland by N I T E F I S H and Fomorian Vein on Thursday, March 5 2020