Interview, photo: Elena Savlokhova

Joakim Nørgaard & Anton Falck

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Are you talented or are you obsessed?
Anton: It’s a mix. We are talented, yes, but you have to be obsessed too. I think everybody has a talent, but in order for it to blossom you have to obsess about it or at least spend some time on it.

Your music is accompanied with a very thought-through and strong visual component. If you had an opportunity to produce a film with an unlimited budget, what would the film be about?
Anton: Actually, I have a dream film that I’ve been writing for the past 5 years. It’s going to be really expensive to make but it would be a sci-fi movie about witches. I don’t want to elaborate, I’m afraid someone might steal my idea. But it’s about the medicine industry and about the magic of witches, witchcraft. It’s kind of like Star Wars and it’s all complicated. Also if we had the budget, we have this idea for a killer music video: a big Trojan horse comes into a Roman party with rich people, in the ancient times, and then soldiers come out, cut their heads off and their arms. Just a big splatter with lots of blood and intestines everywhere.
Joakim: I think in general if we had a high budget for music videos, we would spend most of the money on costume design. And visual effects.

What is your favorite conspiracy theory?
Joakim: I’m not sure I have one.
Anton: In general conspiracy theories are interesting because they are just as true as the news you hear. It’s very complicated to figure out what the actual truth is.
Joakim: I think a lot of conspiracy theories are integrated and are part of the truth.
Anton: I was in Jordan two months ago to make a documentary about refugees travelling through Jordan. I saw a lot of corruption, even in the help organizations. It was all corrupted in so many ways. I came back and told stories of what I’ve witnessed, I told the truth, but a lot of people reacted to my stories as if they were conspiracy theories. People were just: “Nah, that can’t be true.” So suddenly I became a conspiracy theorist.

What is the best gig you’ve ever attended as a viewer?
Joakim: For me it was probably the gig of Goat, a Swedish band. They dress up in different ritual-like clothing, hide their identities and just perform really well.  I like when people go full out, wear costumes, build a story all-around.
Anton: I think for me it was Genesis P-Orridge. She did a poetry reading with music in Copenhagen with really crazy visuals. Usually when I watch a concert there are moments where I’m like: “Maybe I should go smoke a cigarette”. But for this performance I was completely focused for the entire thing. Everything was so intense.

What is the best gig you’ve ever performed?
Anton: Tonight will be it.
Joakim: Tonight will go down in history.

What question do you hate answering the most?
Joakim: I hate answering why we’re called First Hate. It’s a really stupid question and we get asked every time. I think band names don’t have to do with anything necessarily.
Anton: I think the questions like “where did you meet”, “why do you make music”, “what inspires you”. We’ve answered them so many times so if you want to know you can just google it all and find any interview that pops up.
Joakim: Now you have to cross out some questions for this interview.

How to survive in the nightlife?
Joakim: How to survive in the nightlife? Stay home, stay safe.
Anton: Yeah.

What was the last thing you did for the very first time?
Anton: I went paintball shooting for the first time recently. It was very painful, yet very fun.
Joakim: I just got married for the first time.

What is something you own that you truly cherish?
Joakim: I own so many things I truly admire and like. I put too much feelings into stuff.
Anton: Wherever I’m somewhere I pick up crap like stones or plant material and I keep it all as a reminder. I really cherish all of those objects that I picked up around the world. When I was in Jordan I collected some goat hair and tied it together with a string: relics of sorts from around the planet.

What moment from your life would you want to last forever or relive it over and over again?
Joakim: I think it’s quite healthy that nothing is forever and that things develop and evolve. A lot of people think that if they could just freeze a moment in time, when they were young, when they were in a good time, then it would be the best thing for them. But I think the natural part of life is like a river, you need to follow it.
Anton: Time and change is bound together. Without change there is no time and without time there is no change. I think change is what keeps us going everyday and everyone wants to change to be better. I wouldn’t want to relive anything, I just want to keep changing.
Joakim: But it would be nice to live forever.

What would your eternity look like?
Joakim: I think I would just constantly develop and try to be better at different things.

Do you think there would be an endpoint?
Joakim: There might be a point where you’re so much in balance and in harmony with yourself that you might dissolve or something. Apart from that I don’t think there’s an endpoint in evolving.
Anton: I think it’s quite important not to think too much about the future or the past. Just focus on the present. A lot of people focus on plans and dreams but we’re already doing what we want to do. Success itself, or whatever you want to call it, is the fact that we can already do what we feel like doing. It doesn’t have to be any more than that.
Joakim: Also when we started the band.
Anton: Yeah. We never had any goals and everything that came to us was in the present.

What topics fascinate you outside of music at the moment?
Joakim: Water is very interesting at the moment. The different things that it consists of, how it affects your body and how your body consists of it.
Anton: Since I went to Jordan to work with the refugees, to do the documentary, I feel like there are a lot of things in the world that we, in the West, have to open our eyes to. I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can use our voices to make the world a better place. It’s a cliche, but that’s what my focus is right now – not to be too self-obsessed but to try and think of everybody.

What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
Joakim: It was in China. My father, my brother and I woke very late at night to walk to the top of the mountain and then we sat there waiting for the sun to rise. When the sun rose the view was the most beautiful thing that I’ve ever seen.
Anton: My father videotaped my birth and I saw myself coming out of my mother, and that was one of the most disgusting but also strange and beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
Joakim: I haven’t seen my own birth but I would have probably felt the same way.

What question would you want to be asked at an interview and what would your answer be?
Anton: Actually we sometimes ask each other what would we like to be asked. It’s a pretty hard question.
Joakim: I think it would be something as basic as being asked “What would you say to people who are reading or listening?”. We’d say to believe in yourself, keep dreaming, keep doing, keep forgiving.
Anton: I would say not to obsess too much about time. Just focus on what you can change while you’re in the moment. If you take control over the change then you also take control over time and then you have the whole world at your grace.
Joakim: Also don’t look at people in terms and don’t put anyone in categories. Just look at people as the people they are. Most people don’t realize how others are just as complex and fascinating as they are themselves.

Things you can’t unthink.
Joakim: I think a lot about mental illness. It runs in my family and a lot of my family members suffer from that. I keep it with me all the time. Sometimes I spend too much time thinking about it.
Anton: The things that stick to your mind are always the negative thoughts, things that you regret or things you wish you had done differently. I think the older you get the better you control it and it’s easier to let go. Also if you keep working towards something that is better, you can try to focus on that, but for both of us, we are vulnerable in our minds and we can think way too much about things. I think that goes for everybody and mostly negative thoughts come out, especially when you try to sleep. That’s every person’s battle in life.
Joakim: Which also brings us back to why we make music to begin with.
Anton: It’s a distraction.
Joakim: Escapism.

If you could travel in time, where would you go and why?
Joakim: I would go into the future. I think the past seems like a very dark place. Let’s say I’d travel 10,000 years into the future. I hope it would be a better world where everybody lives in good conditions, share wealth and have a good system.
Anton: I guess I would go back to my childhood and just be a kid. We used to have this backyard where a lot of kids hung out. It was sort of like a safe zone. We would just play with each other and I had a lot of good friends back then. I think I would just go back to that and be a kid for a day.
Joakim: You’d outsmart your friends.

What is your biggest challenge in life?
Joakim: Myself and me holding myself down at times. Sometimes letting myself down through other people, as in interpreting what other people say and focus on the negative part of it.
Anton: But if you succumb this challenge then you can really gain something from it. And if you’re aware of the challenge then you can become so many things. The biggest challenge is to become who you really want to be.
Joakim:  It’s also important to keep moving to overcome those challenges.

Has a stranger ever change your life?
Joakim: I’m not sure a stranger ever changed my life but I once talked to a really old lady. She came into one of my daytime jobs, we had a good chat with her and I asked her to share her life-attained wisdom and give me an advice how I could live my life better. She told me that the only thing she regrets is that she worried too much when she was younger and through her entire life. She said that every time you worry, things don’t turn out the way you want them to be, it’s not constructive if you don’t do anything about it. Worrying is a waste of time.
Anton: Strangers in a sense of television.
Joakim: I think it’s important to remember that thr figures on the screen are strangers, no matter how familiar they might seem.
Anton: There are a lot of strangers throughout life, but I never had this magical meeting with someone that changed my life.

What ultimate truth have you discovered after living all these years?
Anton: I’m going to talk about Jordan again. In Denmark everything is under control, you are rich and you have everything you want, people are equally frustrated, depressed and confused about things. So when I came to the Middle East, I discovered that everything was out of control, there was no system but because of that you have to be aware all the time, you have to navigate, so people see each other much more. In Denmark, where everything operates in a system, where you rely on it, you don’t even have to look around you. You just walk on the pavement and you know that nothing is going to happen. You become a little bit numb. I realised that all this safety and playing safe doesn’t necessarily make your life better, it just makes it safe. But without danger and without uncertainty you won’t have a very interesting life. I thought about the last time I’ve been truly scared was when I was a kid. Maybe the older you grow, all of the things that scare you are the things from your imagination: is there a wolf in the forest or is there a dark man under my bed. So you put a lid on your imagination to keep your fears away. But you also put a lid on the rest of it so you become less imaginative. I think a revelation for me was to let fear back into my life, let danger into my life, and be a bit more careless, be a bit more scared. Maybe then life will have more stories in the end.
Joakim: This contradicts a little bit with “stay home, stay safe.”
Anton: That’s why I’m going to CXEMA tomorrow.

If you had to choose between sex and music, what would you choose?
Anton: Sex.
Joakim: Sex and music.

You have to pick one.
Joakim: Sex.