Reptile Youth is a fun-loving dance-rock Danish duo making its U.S. debut at CMJ 2012. They already have lots of fans in Europe and are excited to pick up some more in the States. Their secret weapon? A wild live show. Read below for some of Mads Damsgaard Kristiansen’s responses to questions about name changes, love from Germany and how to prepare for the band’s showcases.
I heard you used to be called Reptile And Retard. Why did you change it to Reptile Youth?
It was a lot of reasons coming together. But mainly it was the consequence of us changing a lot as a band. And changing into a completely different sound. Building a new universe around the band in general. And we didn’t think that the old name reflected who we were becoming and wanted to be as a band. Reptile Youth contains a lot of feelings that we can both relate to. And it’s a mirroring of how we feel and how we see the generation we are a part of.
You play a lot of shows in Germany. Is that where your biggest fan base is?
Probably yes. It’s hard to say. I think we have a lot of good people coming out all over Europe. But Germany is without a doubt one of the countries where we have the biggest following at the moment. Also because our record label (HFN) is based in Germany. And we have a great German booking agency as well. Almost like family.
Who are your musical heroes?
We have pretty diverse musical backgrounds and many heroes. Some of the newer bands we have both been listening to are Peaking Lights, the Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Primal Scream, the Horrors, the Knife and on and on. We also share some of the old legends. But generally Esben [Valløe] is a little bit more into weird electronic sounds, and I am more into rock and folk.
Not a lot of enemies. Not within music at least. We’d rather focus on what gives people energy than focus on what takes it away. And rather focus on people that give us energy than people who are dragging us down.
You guys put on an insane live show, and you’ll be bringing it to the States for the first time at this year’s CMJ. Anything you’re doing to prepare? Anything we should do to prepare?
No. I think we should all just go into this being open to whatever comes. We are just so excited to play and hope we’ll be able to do something great at CMJ. I have a really good feeling about it.
Reptile Youth plays the Alphabet Lounge on Wednesday, October 17, and A Heart Is A Spade’s showcase at Spike Hill on Saturday, October 20, as part of CMJ 2012.