Scandinavian post-punk shoegaze outfit MAYFLOWER MADAME from Oslo. Their brilliantly sinister single ‘Swallow’ is the second taste of their new album ‘Prepared for a Nightmare’, set for release simultaneously on March 27 by three separate labels. Their album offers a dreamscape of dark psychedelic melody over layered with vocals that can haunt any resident goth kid. Over the past years they’ve shared the stage with bands like Killing Joke, Moon Duo, Night Beats, Psychic Ills, Froth, The Underground Youth, Crocodiles, Cosmonauts and La Femme, which further might give you an indication of their sonic landscape.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you right now?
I was born in Kongsvinger. It’s a small, sleepy town most notorious for having a decent soccer team and once being named “the heroin capital” of Norway. I now reside in Oslo where I have lived my whole adult life.
Tell us about the history of your group:
Mayflower Madame was formed in Oslo, Norway in 2011. Good rehearsal spaces were very expensive and hard to find at that time, so we started rehearsing in a desolate industrial building where we had to share the space with a carwash company. Amidst the gritty surroundings, our dark and hazy “signature sound” seemed to be conceived naturally and we soon recorded a four-track demo. Just months later, we won the award Unsigned Band of the Week on one of Norway’s biggest radio channels and the ball started rolling. After a few years of playing a bunch of shows across Scandinavia, and further exploring and crafting our sound along the way, our debut LP Observed in a Dream finally arrived in 2016. The album earned us excellent reviews and comparisons to renowned post-punk, shoegaze and neo-psychedelic bands such as The Cure, Bauhaus, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Black Angels and A Place To Bury Strangers. Since then we have toured extensively in both North America and Europe. Last year we started recording our awaited second LP Prepared For A Nightmare which will be released worldwide March 27th 2020 via our main label Only Lovers Records (France) in collaboration with Little Cloud Records (US) and Icy Cold Records (France). On the same date we embark on a US tour which includes Desert Stars Festival in Joshua and Out From The Shadows Festival in Portland as well as a bunch of club shows.
You are performing live in Hollywood at Bar Sinister, is this your first show in Los Angeles?
We also played in Los Angeles on our first tour. That was at Complex in Glendale with two great local bands called Terminal A and Deaf Dance. We’ve heard great things about Bar Sinister and we are really looking forward to come back to LA. This time we’ll be playing with Glaare and Bizou which are both awesome. (Show is cancelled due to Covid-19)
Could you describe the music scene in Oslo for us:
The music scene in Oslo used to be really good, but lately a couple of the best live clubs have closed down and left a void that really needs to be filled soon. I guess many people here suffer from the modern disease of laziness/Netflix-addiction and need to start going to more shows again. There’s still a lot of bands in Oslo, some of them are great, but I think there’s a dominance of hip-hop and heavy rock acts and not many in the psych/post-punk/shoegaze genres where we operate.
We’re planning to tour a lot this year in support of our new album – first in the US in March/April and then a bunch of European shows throughout the spring, summer and fall which will be announced soon. We haven’t made any plans beyond that, we’ll see what happens, but we’re always working on new material so maybe a new release already in 2021.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
For me, art without dark nuances feels shallow. Dark beauty is often graceful and elegant, but often also involving something mysterious and eerie which hits you on a deeper emotional level and makes it much more interesting.