The Foreign Resort brings New Frontiers across the Atlantic
By Zach Rogers
Photo: The Foreign Resort will perform at South Park Tavern on March 21; photo: Morten Ryming
In Denmark, the music of New Order and The Cure rings loud and clear. From the city of Copenhagen comes The Foreign Resort, a band that mixes post-punk and ’80s new wave to create a sound straight out of 1985 – updated for the contemporary listener. A three-piece lineup that includes lead vocalist/guitarist Mikkel B. Jakobsen, guitarist/bassist Henrik Fischlein and drummer Morten Hansen, the group released their latest album, New Frontiers, on Feb. 24. Now, they’re about to wrap up a month-long U.S. tour in support of the release. On Friday, March 21, the band will play at South Park Tavern, bringing their new album to the streets of Dayton. Dayton City Paper recently caught up with Jakobsen via email to talk about the band, the new album and the new direction the group took on New Frontiers.
Tell me a little about the early beginnings of the group. How did you get your start?
The band was formed in the summer of 2006, but we all go way back. We first met playing a show in two different death metal bands, and later, when we were all living in Copenhagen, we met up again and started playing together. We spent the first two years working with our sound, buying different guitar pedals and experimenting with keyboards and drums before releasing our debut album, Offshore, in 2009. – Mikkel B. Jakobsen
How would you describe the band’s music?
It took us a while to figure out what kind of sound we wanted, as well as how to get that sound. Since the beginning, we’ve been influenced by noise pop and shoegaze bands like Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. At the same time, our sound has always leaned towards ’80s bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode and the Jesus and Mary Chain. On our latest release, we followed our ’80s influences and had John Fryer produce, engineer and mix the album. – MBJ
What can you tell me about New Frontiers?
With this album, we realized we were straying from the path of shoegaze and entering more of a new wave/post-punk kind of sound, so we just decided to embrace that direction. The decision to work with John Fryer was also a result of following that new path. We felt like he was the perfect person to guide us through the recording process. Some of the decisions in the studio seemed weird, like singing the entire album through a huge microphone from 1948, or Morten [Hansen] tuning down his drums until they felt like banging into pillows, but we trusted John’s judgment, and after going a couple steps further we could hear that he was totally right with everything. John was very pleasant to work with, and he maintained a relaxed atmosphere while pushing all of us to the limit, making us give our best and not stopping until every take was perfect. – MBJ
What was it like shooting the video for the single “Alone” off the album?
We shot the video in Los Angeles on our last U.S. tour in November. We’re all deeply fascinated with America, and through our friends in another band, Nightmare Air, we had the opportunity to work with a very creative and skillful director, Arian Soheili. It incorporates the lyrics “On the I-5 you’re alive,” showing the main character driving along the interstate freeway. The song itself is about a guy trying to be the definition of perfection, but his girlfriend is unimpressed and he becomes more and more desperate, with driving becoming his only relief. To us, it was perfect, and we’re super happy with the result. – MBJ
You guys are playing South Park Tavern in Dayton on Friday, March 21. Have you been to Dayton before?
This will be our first time in Dayton and we’re really excited about it! We had a show scheduled at SPT on our last tour, but rerouted the whole tour after teaming up with Chicago’s The Bellwether Syndicate for our Midwest shows. We’re playing with Dead Forever from Columbus who has friends in Dayton, so we’re hoping to get a tour of the city before and after the show. – MBJ
After the band’s stop at South Park, what’s the tour schedule like for the rest of 2014?
South Park is the second to last show on this tour. The next day, we’re playing in Columbus, and after that we’re flying back to Denmark. We have shows in Germany, Holland and Belgium coming up in the spring and are planning more shows in Europe in the fall, as well as a possible return to the U.S. in October. – MBJ
Besides shows, what other plans does the band have lined up for 2014?
We’re currently working on new material for one or two EPs. The writing will probably intensify in the periods where we’re not on tour, but there’s no deadline yet or release date set. – MBJ
The Foreign Resort will perform on Friday, March 21 at South Park Tavern, 1301 Wayne Ave. Also on the bill are New Canyons and Dead Forever. Admission is $5 for all ages. Doors at 9 p.m. For more information, please visit theforeignresort.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Zach Rogers at ZachRogers@DaytonCityPaper.com.