New Danish festival adds batch of big names

The Tinderbox festival has added ten new names over the past ten days to its inaugural line-up, highlighted by the likes of Faith No More, The Prodigy and Modest Mouse.

The Odense-based Tinderbox, the newest player on the competitive Danish music festival scene, may not have exactly blown fans away with its initial line-up announcement but it is quickly winning converts after a spate of recent announcements. 
The festival announced four new acts on Tuesday, highlighted by UK electro pioneers The Prodigy and American indie rock band Modest Mouse. 
“The Prodigy has cut a solitary path of noise through the unruly landscape of electronic music for the last 25 years. Known as one of the world’s most energetic live bands and loved at festivals and clubs throughout the world, [t]hey have released a long list of world famous club classics like Breathe, Smack My Bitch Up, Voodoo People and Firestarter,” the festival wrote in announcing Tuesday’s additions. 
The Washington-based Modest Mouse are venerable indie favourites that have been relatively quiet for the past several years but plan to release their sixth album, Strangers to Ourselves, next month. 
Also announced on Tuesday were Irish singer-songwriter Hozier and German folk duo Milky Chance. 
The new batch of acts came just days after Tinderbox announced a major coup with the booking of American cult rock legends Faith No More, who have experienced a recent renaissance of sorts after over a decade of silence and are preparing to release a new album this year. 
“We have worked hard in recent months to close the deal with Faith No More. They have been requested from the many Danish and international festivals, so of course it’s nice that they have chosen Tinderbox, even though we are a brand new festival,” Tinderbox manager Brian Nielsen said. 
“We think they compliment and reinforce the rock portion of the program, which includes significant names like Gaslight Anthem, D-A-D, Eagles of Death Metal, and All Time Low,” he continued. 
Other recent additions by Tinderbox include Ellie Goulding, Royal Blood, Love Shop and Echosmith. They will join previously-announced acts including Robbie Williams, Calvin Harris and The Cardigans. 
Festival organizers promise to add another additional 30 or so acts to the final line-up. 
The inaugural edition of the Tinderbox festival gets underway on June 26th in Odense’s Tusindårsskoven. Tickets are on sale now through the festival’s website.

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The Danish death metal band that became reality TV stars

The Aarhus band Baest is poised for an international breakthrough thanks to a recent documentary and an injection of taxpayer money.

The Danish death metal band that became reality TV stars
Baest is Sebastian Adildsten, Svend Karlsson, Lasse Revsbech, Mattias Melchiorsen and Simon Olsen. Photo: Nikolaj Bransholm
Death metal is a genre defined by growling vocals, blistering distorted guitars and blast beats. The sound is typically accompanied by dark imagery that borders on the downright evil. In a music world dominated by sugary pop and hip-hop, it’s about as far away from the mainstream one can get. 
But a young Danish death metal band is upending all of that. The Aarhus-based Baest found its way into the homes of ordinary Danes nationwide thanks to a documentary series on public television that chronicled their attempt to make music their full-time gig.
The series, ‘Den Satans Familie’, follows the young band as they leave Aarhus and embark on their first real European tour. It paints an intimate picture of the five members’ relationships, both with each other and the families they left behind while on the road. Baest only formed in 2015, so the documentary captures how members Sebastian Abildsten (drums), Svend Karlsson (guitar), Mattias Melchiorsen (bass), Simon Olsen (vocals) and Lasse Revsbech (guitar) in some ways still seem to be working out how to co-exist, something that's not always easy when crammed inside a small tour van. 
The DR3 series meant that these young, long-haired, heavily-tattooed metal dudes were suddenly reaching a much larger audience, including many who were not necessarily fans of their sound but couldn’t help but be drawn in by their personalities and their raw struggle to make it in the music business. 
But getting featured in a reality TV show wasn’t the only boost for Baest. The band was named 'best new Danish act' by highly-respected music magazine Gaffa, which also declared their debut album Danse Macabre the best metal or hard rock album of 2018.
Baest was also granted 250,000 kroner from the Danish Arts Foundation, a state-run fund for supporting Danish arts abroad. The financial boost is likely to come in handy as the young Aarhusians prepare to hit the road again in support of their upcoming second album, Venenum, which is due on September 13. 
Following the band’s standout performance at Copenhell, the annual heavy metal festival in Copenhagen, I caught up with guitarist Lasse Revsbech to talk about the band’s whirlwind success. 
First of all, I really enjoyed your performance at Copenhell. What was that like for you? 
“We’ve never played a crowd that big before, it was amazing. We’ve been building up over the past few years in Denmark, so to see where it’s gotten to now makes it all worth it. At Copenhell, we shared the stage with some fucking true legends. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. It’s insane.”
How do you describe Baest?
“Baest is an intense band, with high energy and raw power but with an enormous smile.”
How did the reality show come about? 
“Our manager was in a dialogue with [public broadcaster] DR and they decided to send a crew to cover one of our gigs at VoxHall in Aarhus. We told them we were on the verge of going on this tour and everyone just thought it would be fun to do it.”
The metal world can often seem overly concerned about image and authenticity and in the documentary you come across as this group of really nice, down-to-earth guys. Did you have any concerns about how this might affect your image? 
“We were definitely nervous about the metal community’s reaction and how things would be edited and presented but fortunately we really think that DR hit the nail on the head. There’s been such a great response. A lot of true metalheads and touring musicians have told us that it painted such an honest picture of the music industry. A lot of metal bands have a hard time with this concept of selling out but we’ve not been told once – not yet, at least – they were are sell-outs.”
You also received a grant from the Danish Arts Foundation. Isn’t it a bit crazy that public money is going to a death metal band? 
“Haha, it makes you happy to pay your taxes! It’s so Danish! But really, it’s all about people supporting people and it’s something I think other countries should do.” 
What are you hoping to achieve with the release of your new album? 
“First and foremost, we’re hoping it allows us to tour more. This autumn, we’ll be heading out for our biggest European tour thus far, as main support for an Entombed AD & Aborted co-headling tour. Entombed are one of the pioneers of death metal, so it’s insane to go on tour with those guys. 
“Even if the new album doesn’t make us explode, we hope it will get us one step closer to that. We’re a band that likes to dream big, so we want to play on the biggest stages all around the world. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction.” 
Baest’s tour in support of Entombed AD and Aborted kicks off on October 18 in London and will take them to 28 cities throughout Europe, including a November 1 stop at Vega in Copenhagen. Venenum will hit stores and streaming services on September 13 and lead single ‘As Above So Below’ is out now. The four-part documentary on Baest is available to stream here.