RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW DENMARK DUO CARMELSOUL
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Music has been in our lives from the very beginning. Since childhood music played an important role in our homes and was present all day, every day. There was something playing all the time – radio, tapes, later on, CDs… It was the most common form of entertainment for both of us. Since then music has always been close to us on different levels and we never thought we would someday be creating that entertainment for others.
Bertil: I still remember hunting for Michael Jackson tracks on the radio – waiting, ready to press the record button. It was the worst feeling when I’d wait for hours only for someone to come rushing into the room and the microphone to record everything they’d say.
But to the point. The idea to show it to the people, and release some proper tracks, appeared not so long ago, at the beginning of 2021, during the pandemic. After many years of making it for ourselves, we bought some proper equipment and said – what the hell, what do we have to lose?
Introduce us to all of the members and your musical history.
Carmelsoul is a duo: Bertil and Lucas. The name is a connection between Bertil’s surname (Limassoul) and Lucas DJ name (Carmelo – as he was a great fan of Carmelo Anthony, a basketball player) 😀
We both started to dabble with music as teenagers. For both of us, it was a hobby for a long time.
Bertil: My first productions were made on a very basic program, I can’t remember the name, but it was about connecting ready blocks with some patterns and tunes. But it got me. I’ve gone through many different programs and types of music, searching for my music “identity” since then. Later even some pads and keyboards – proper, physic ones – were appearing. It was just a free time activity, as we call it “closet creativity”. Then I met Lucas.
Lucas: Electronic vibes came into my life because of my older brother – He was a massive Prodigy fan. You may imagine 6-7 year-old me going crazy on “Voodoo People” or “Poison”. Not so long later, along with my “backyard” friends, it became all about electronic music. We were spending all summer days watching Love Parade, Mayday and other festivals on TV instead of having fun with other kids outside.
Bertil: We both had some music background. Lucas had an episode in music preliminary school (fleet), and I had some additional piano classes in high school. Lucas eventually hated fleet, and I couldn’t develop much due to “elephant fingers and wooden feet” (this is what I was being told at the time).
We met at the University in Copenhagen at the – don’t really know how to call it in English – “company management”. We were in the same group and connected pretty fast. It was so natural and because of our mutual love for music, we were meeting up to make tracks for the whole second semester of our first year. In our second year of college, we decided to rent an apartment which allowed us to make a whole lot more music.
It was then that we really started to dive deeper into music, exchanging our experiences, making beats, sampling, trying all sorts of different things. Our nights were filled with music… music and weed.
Bertil: The things I already knew about making music – as Lucas was more of a DJ at the time – I showed him, and pretty fast we were developing our skills and ideas together on a further level, complementing each other’s skills.
Even now – making music remotely, as Lucas has moved back to Sweden and e both have families – we know exactly what to expect from each other. We’ve probably shared terabytes of files back and forth.
Sometime ago 331 Records heard our music and reached out to us on Instagram and since then things just keep getting better.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Not at all. Life can be rough enough without all that. We both try to focus on our lives and that is enough to get our asses kicked from time to time. Life is short, and the longer it lasts, the more grey instead of bright colours it gets. We are very concerned with where the world is heading, and very worried about how the world will look for our kids. We are trying to separate ourselves from things we don’t have an influence on, and even more from life’s “what if’s”.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Well yes… As it was during the pandemic that we decided to start publishing our tracks, we bought some good equipment and software for music production. As we make it remotely (Denmark / Sweden) we had to invest in double. It wasn’t needed for sure. But as above – life is short. Today we are pretty much sure, that if we didn’t do it then – we would never do it.
What useless party trick do you have?
Bertil: I can open bottlecaps with my teeth.
Lucas: I may put a whole burning cigarette in my mouth, wrap it inside with my tongue and get it back outside… My god how stupid it is!
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Playing at parties is the closest we’ve gotten to take the stage. Gigs are hard to come by for an artist starting during the pandemic.
Always a good time playing parties… but the underground party scene makes for some very blurry memories.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Lucas: guess I may bring this fleet performance… It was end of the school year, in front of all groups, parents and teachers. Hmm… Now I’m thinking that this cigarette trick may be the best I learnt from this fleet lessons (laugh).
Also once I was playing at a party in literally the basement. It was big, decks were situated on the same level as the “dancefloor”. One drunk guy wanted to take a photo with me by the decks. He wrapped his hands, and fell down with me and the whole equipment… There was no change for it, the party ended (laugh).
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about.
This is a hard one. Maybe age – we are both 30+, pretty late age to start a music “career” right?.
Bertil: Well… When I had my 15th birthday, and two friends went into the basement and drank 1 litre of vodka in about fifteen minutes. It was a great birthday for all of ten minutes, the rest as catching up for me for many days later. Sorry, mom, they weren’t “old chips and Pepsi”.
However, when it comes to music if I hear a sound that I like in a track, I will loop it thousand of times to “bring it out”. Lucas hates it – he often doesn’t hear it at first – after 50+ loops he’s had enough and gets dizzy.
Lucas: Well… When I was 16 years old we had one bully on our housing estate. One day of the summer, my very good friend came to me saying “Peter beat me!”. The next day we were playing baseball in the yard with some friends and during it Peter the bully was walking down the pavement. Me and beaten friend wanted to bring justice. I took the baseball bat and walked towards him: “what now dude?! Do you want to get beat now?!” – we wanted to scare him. He was a big guy, 3 years older. He didn’t get scared, instead, he started walking our way saying “bring it on fuckers!” with his fists ready to punch. I panicked and swung the bat. Broke his leg at the knee… Shit got so many problems because of it… But Peter the bully stopped bullying once and for all.
Sometimes I imagine a sound, an effect, a pattern which I don’t really know how to make. What is worse – I often don’t know how to explain it to Bertil. It leads to hours of explanations and all kinds of strange noises coming out of my mouth…
If you had to describe your music to an alien how would you describe it?
Assuming the alien could understand us: sounds that may give you a whole spectrum of human emotions.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
Never thought about it. We’re trying to make things in harmony with us, do “our thing” and publish what we really think is good. Maybe honesty and the joy of creation in our tracks is what sets us apart – in a world where everything is planned and everything is calculated for profit. We are aware that our style is rather popular, but we are trying to stand out with those “little things”, which we believe are “catchy” (ie. Lucas strange’s noises and Bertil’s loops).
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
The overall world trend is extreme political correctness and how much it affects people. Really, there are much bigger problems in the world…
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
We’ve always loved playing anything by Armand Van Helden – timeless stuff.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it?
We have been producing a lot since 2021. We believe that with each we are getting better and better. Right now we have partnered with 331 records and Delta Juliette from Australia who keep us hyped. They give us a great boost of confidence as well as valuable comments and advice. Right now “Till We’re Fallin’” has just been released, it’s a track that we love and truly believe will be loved by audiences as well. We’ve also got projects on the way, such as tracks with Delta Juliette as well as collaboration with the outstanding and beautiful singer – Nix. We are very excited about it right now!
Talk me through the thought process of the single.
Our approach differs each time. Sometimes one of us makes a pattern, little jingle or a beat. Sometimes we get some vocals which we really want to use and will build around that. Sometimes it’s completely different and heavily influenced by an obscure one of us is into at that moment and we will try to blend that with our style. For example, we are working right now on a track which showcases a very chilled-out instrumental vibe.
What was the recording process like?
As we are working remotely – each part is made by prior arrangement and all progress is kept in the cloud. This way we can see what tweaks or changes the other has made at any time. We often consult each other regarding what we think may work, ideas for further parts and even sound design. If one of us gets in a groove they take it and make it. Sometimes we are surprising each other – many times we have gone to the cloud and had a listen to what the other has done whilst we’re driving home from work. We may have a completely different concept for it in our heads but then hear the changes and think “damn mate, you got it banging”.
The next step is far less enjoyable, but at the end we get the final sound of it which is most exciting. We connect it all together, adjust the timings, cleaning, mastering, volume levelling etc. We sit down in our respective studios and try to best simulate the feeling of hearing it “together”.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
We are learning all the time, each new track, each new single gets something new out of it. Something we’ve learnt during the process, something we hadn’t done or tried before. We’ve made hundreds of tracks together dating back to our time in university and we enjoy applying the new technique we learn with every project.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Many times, but we learnt to leave it. There is this saying” better is an enemy of good” which we think is very appropriate here. Very often we’ve had the final version and one of us, or both, thought – we could make it different, we could add something here and there and so on. We’ve decided we finish it when we are both happy with how it feels and that’s it.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
We are very hyped at the moment but try not to plan or dream too far away. Right now we are focused on our collaborations, on upcoming projects and no further. We started without any particular plan. We released our first tracks just to share it and to show it to some people. Maybe there was a small hope that someone will check it. At first, we were looking at the streaming services all the time like “MATE! We have three streams!”. We were going further with the same attitude and now, damn – we have hundreds of thousands of streams, thousands of listeners in hundreds of different countries… We still get shivers every time we check out stats. Things are tacking well this year, Delta Juliette 331 reached out to us, some tracks got into playlists, we got some messages from different people with kind words. All of it keeps us running and gives a positive kick to develop and try different things.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
First of all – make love not war and be kind to each other. Silly but really. We never know what others are going through. A little smile and a good word never hurt.