‘It’s still weird that a lot of companies want to use our music’

Electro music in the country of black metal? Yes. Norwegian band, Lemaitre started 8 years ago and has had so many success. Interview with Ulrik Denizou Lund.



Named after Georges Lemaître, a Belgian priest who first proposed the Big Bang Theory, Norwegian electronic band, Lemaitre started 8 years ago. The duo – formed by Ketil Jansen and Ulrik Denizou Lund – has had so many success since then. They had very good shots in the digital tech world, several songs were featured in mainstream media adverts from Apple to Google. In March 2016, along with other musical acts AlunaGeorge and Broiler they were collaborating with video game Minecraft to perform a show in the game setting, as a part of Norwegian game conference The Gathering. It was considered the world’s first live Minecraft concert.


They played at Sziget 2018, so we had an opportunity to have a conversation with Ulrik about music and ad business, Scandinavian music export and commitments. Oh, and their brand-new Single, ‘Big’ is out two weeks ago, so you can check it while you’re reading 🙂



The first thought of most people about Norwegian music is that the country is famous for black metal. But you chose a different path: electronic-pop music. What was your intention to do so?

– I never liked black metal, I loved punk. Black Metal is way too technical and dark. I grew up listening to a lot of French music and jazz, so I was never drawn to black metal rather to more melodic stuff. It’s very weird for Norwegians the most, because we have some of the biggest black metal bands, but they’re bigger outside of Norway. I really don’t know the (black metal) scene, but I rarely see them playing in Norway but they play all around the world. We never thought about where we make music. We grew up on the internet, so I just downloaded music that I wanted to listen to. And when we started putting our music on SoundCloud we didn’t want to be a Norwegian band, we just wanna make music that we like. We wanna play in France, in the US, we wanna play everywhere. It’s fun to play in Norway too, but we didn’t want to play the Norwegian typical music.


What was your breakthrough point, when you said ‘Wow, that’s it, we would like to do this’?

– The first time when we were like ‘Whoah, we didn’t know we could make a living by making music’ was just four weeks after we started making music together. We put a song and it made No. 1. Then we got an invitation to play in Lithuania, in California, and we were like ‘What the f…ck is happening?’. And from there on, we were like ‘Okay, we’re gonna work with this. We’re gonna try to make music’. And from there on it’s kinda step-by-step. It never felt like a breakthrough. It never felt like that we’ve broken through, it felt like we’re just working our way up.



We’ve seen Scandinavian music export is very successful for decades. What’s the essence of this march?

– I think it’s because we have a lot of cultural resources. We have so many festivals and great venues and a lot of free time to do the culture. So I think it comes from that.


Apple featured your song, ‘1:18’ in new iPhone 5c ad in 2013. Was it a planned choice, I mean, breaking to the commercial business?

– Well, not at all. The first ad we got was a juice commercial in Poland. And we were like… Because we’re not selling CDs, we need to make money somehow. We’re not making music for ads, we just make music that we wanna make, but if someone likes it and wanna share it and gives money, it’s a good business opportunity. Then we can also spend more time making music. And from there on we got, I guess, six from big media companies like Apple or Google. I don’t know why. I don’t know why do they wanna use our music but someone there likes our music. So we don’t wanna say no to that because you never know when you gonna get. You don’t make too much money from playing shows or streaming, so it’s very nice to be able to sell your music to companies.



So was your selection a surprise to you?

– Yeah! It’s still weird that a lot of companies want to use our music. We never thought of it as selling out, because we never make music that we don’t like. Just giving our music to the people. But if more people hear our music we get more freedom because if we have more money, we have more time to just be in the studio and not do gigs and stuff that are not paying well. We wanna do cool stuff. We wanna play at Sziget instead of playing at f…cking birthday parties or weddings.


Few musicians can live on making only music all around the world. Some say only 1 percent of them have the possibility to do so – the others, like in Hungary also, need a job to ‘survive’ as a performer. What’s the situation in Norway?

– I don’t know. We didn’t make money before a few years ago. We barely survived. We lived at our parents’ place or just making enough to pay rents. So yeah, it’s hard to make money but that’s why you wanna sell your music to commercials if you can.


Interview: Bence Penke and Roland Balogh

Photos: Bence Bodó


For more news, info and any other interesting projects, gigs, etc. @follow us on Facebook & Instagram. If you wanna support us, get a cool Titans’ T-shirt or Bag from Popshop.

Ígéretes titánok