The Story Behind Lydmor & Bon Homme’s Fire
Merely standing side-by-side, Lydmor & Bon Homme open up space for construal – are they cronies? Lovers? Frienemies? The masterminds behind Lydmor & Bon Homme exhibited a combustive dynamic with their Seven Dreams of Fire album back in November. Together, they emit an outré edginess that distinguishes them from other guy-gal acts. Tomas Høffding or Bon Homme is known for fronting the Danish disco/alternative rock group, WhoMadeWho. He has built an international profile as a remixer and producer by collaborating with other artists including Hot Chip. Jenny Rossander, the gal behind Lydmor, is reputed for being a nomadic artist who has toured around the globe and worked with other musicians like Arsenal. We interviewed the duo regarding Seven Dreams of Fire, musical influences, and future plans.
How did you guys end up collaborating together?
Bon Homme: To be specific, with my other band – WhoMadeWho – we ended up doing a Denmark tour and we were supposed to get some woman backup through some organization, we looked at Jenny and we thought she was hot, (laughs) so we said, ‘Hey come play with us.’ And she worked with us one evening and on the ride home in the van bus we got drunk listening to music and we just had a great chemistry. So that’s actually where it started. And then I was doing a solo album and at that time I really didn’t like my choruses and I asked her to do some for me and they were great and we made these two collaborations on my previous album and after that I felt the reactions of the songs, it was very obvious that we were gonna make an album together.
Can you tell us the story behind the name of your album, Seven Dreams of Fire?
Lydmor: A lot of the things that we wrote about for some reason had a relation to transition, violent transition, and dreaming about new things or explosive things. We would talk about our past, dreaming about music or starting out music, how to become different artists, dreaming about love, you know? All these dreams in relation to something that changes and fire has that in a very interesting way, and of course, the third song, “Dream of Fire”, that Tomas wrote in flash in a hotel in, uh, (turns to Tomas) Bulgaria?
L: Croatia! Which also made it this magical song that appeared like fire in Tomas’ head. He played it to me and it was awesome! So when we had to make a title for the album, we came up with Seven Dreams of Fire cus there are seven songs that are specifically related to this. And it fits so well, Seven Dreams of Fire, for something that covers everything.
BH: And obviously it was just cool to connect it to the movie Seven, I think for everybody “seven” has a spooky contest to it.
I have a question regarding “Dream of Fire.” You say it came to you like a flash when you were in Croatia, so did you write the song in one day?
BH: It was in steps, but the chorus of the song was in one day. I was playing with WhoMadeWho and I was in my way to the restrooms and I was just thinking about this new band with Jenny and I was thinking, ‘So when me and Jenny are singing, what do we do? What’s the expression between fire?’ And I just started singing to my iPhone, ‘This night, we’re gonna dream of fire,’ and took a piss, went back, played the gig, and when I got to the studio on Monday, I was like, ‘that’s pretty cool, how about these choruses?’ and I hooked up my systems and I played it and the drums did these on the keyboard (shows motions). I tried to make it cool, but it kind of lost its magic. So that part of it was 10 seconds in the toilette and the others were maybe 15 minutes in my studio one Monday morning. And then we did the song together, later, and the rap part was kind of just hey-let’s-check-this-out.
So Lydmor, you recently visited Buenos Aires and Mexico City and Tom, you also visited Mexico City with your band WhoMadeWho, how are your fan reactions from Latin America different from your European ones?
L: It was my first experience with Latin America, I was pretty impressed with the openness of the fans. My European fans can be sometimes shy and Latin American fans are like, ‘Hey you’re great! Let’s take pictures! Let’s party!’ They were much more inviting me into their space. They were less shy and would come up to me more after the shows. Even compared to smaller shows in Europe, I had more interaction with the people at the shows [in Latin America].
BH: I think in Europe people also go crazy when we play, but we’ve been also playing in Europe for many years. I think people are very warm and less shy, definitely. I love playing there; people are crazy, the way that when you walked into the audience there were a couple of times when it was almost scary. People all want to hold you and get this close to your face. I think people in Europe are a bit more polite in boring ways. I’m super super thankful that it’s opening up and we can visit there. And now we have to see how this band does because since WhoMadeWho has done well there and Jenny has started there, then someday you may invite our band to play there.
So I saw a YouTube video of you guys explaining the story behind every track of your album and our personal favorite was actually “Missed Out on Disco” and Tom, you actually said that it was about the beauty of discovering music when you are a teen whereas Jenny said it was about love, what were you life-changing music discoveries growing up?
BH: That’s always super hard to tell. Sometimes when you’re dead honest, the stuffs that influenced you weren’t cool ones to talk about in interviews (laughs). But that specific song, we tried to make it both about childhood and music, but also about love. So it’s kind of a love story and a music story. But for the music story for this track, the picture I had in mind was a specific afternoon just listening to music with my stepbrother drinking red wine and I think just that period of time it was definitely Bowie, I was listening to so much Bowie that I just got this mixtape from my Irish cousin and it was cool. My parents, they were very nice, but not cool, they had some nice albums but they never bought any new music. It was all classical. A lot of people pick from their parents’ collection and get cool music or they have big brothers with cool music, but I was an only child with nerd parents. My music came from my stepbrother and cousins from England. Anyways, Bowie would be a big thing for me and looking back, The Beatles – they were the sole pebbles of music influences. The electronic field came later, I was so buried in rock songwriting, so honestly, for many years I saw electronic music as really stupid.
L: It’s so funny! Because I felt exactly the same. I also had nerdy music taste and thought electronic music was stupid.
BH: And here we are.
L: (laughs) Yeah, making it.
What about you Jenny? What were some of your influences?
L: My first one was Björk, I bought her album when my uncool parents and I were in France. (laughs) We were in this music store and I bought Post because I thought the cover was pretty and I put it in my Discman and listened to it on the entire trip and it just opened up my mind. I realized that electronic music can be not silly and could be interesting. So it was not much her voice, but the soundscapes and the electronic beats that sparked interest for me.
I wanted to ask you, why were you guys embarrassed to put out “Missed Out on Disco” in the album? Because if it was in the US or Mexico, I can totally see record labels pushing it as the first single to drop. Is it because it was pop?
BH: (laughs) That’s funny. Yeah, it’s so pop. And in a way it’s so pop that it reminds me of this super uncool band from Denmark that you don’t know called Shu-bi-dua. It’s a track that is so not hipster. (laughs) I have a love/hate relationship with it, I love the lyrics, it’s mainly just the production that is so 80s pop.
Well, it’s a really cool song, just letting you guys know.
BH: Thanks. We’re actually recording a music video of it tomorrow night.
Oh, when can we expect the video to come out?
BH: The music video and remake, I’m also making a remix of it, will probably come out…I’m thinking maybe January.
L: Uhhh, February.
BH: Yeah, February.
Let’s talk about your music video for “Dream of Fire.” Who came up with the concept for the video? It’s completely different from your first music video “Things We Do for Love.”
L: Actually, we had another video lined up with a whole plan of something very big and picturesque, but then the director couldn’t do it and ended up canceling it. And I don’t know, for me, I kind of liked those videos where you can just see the people playing music and Tomas had this great inspiration video and we met up with these people who could do this and it ended up way better than I thought it would be because of the editing and the whole vibe in the video. It was a lot of coincidence leading to just ‘hey, let’s stand here and make it beautiful!’ And we had a previous live session with the guys who were filming it and it just sort of happened on its own. I was so happy when I watched it in the end.
BH: Yeah, it was so funny because it was an emergency video for a fancy one. And when we found out it got canceled, we were like, ‘What are we gonna do?’ And then I found on the Internet that we had done this acoustic version as duets in my solo album, which looked cool. So we just thought, ‘Well, that looked cool. We’ll do the same, release the single, and then we’re gonna do the real video.’ But the video turned out so cool so we ended up making it as music video.
What are your plans for 2016 as a band?
L: Well, the plan is to try to tour the entire world as much as possible. But of course, it remains a puzzle, since we both have other projects. Basically, we just wanna play as many shows as possible.
What is the one country that you guys would love to perform?
Finally, what’s the most shocking thing you guys learned from each other while working together?
BH: I don’t know if it’s shocking or surprising, but Jenny is a very artsy person. She’ll come to the hotel at 10am and by then, she would’ve done a lot of crazy stuffs. She’s very different from me in that…I like to party, but I’m more of a normal guy with the way that I live my life and she’s just fucking over the edge. (laughs)
L: Yeah, I have great stories from last weekend. (laughs)
BH: I don’t know what else. It’s just fun, a lot of fun. I think for both of us it [Lydmor & Bon Homme] is an outlet for certain things and for us it is a playground. I get to play the drums, live, and I’m just super excited. But a big surprise? I think it would be playing with a true rebel
What about you Jenny?
L: Well, I have never met anyone with the creative energy that Tomas has. I think possibly Tomas can create from the moment he wakes up til he falls asleep. And he’s like an army of ideas. Really, it’s very impressive. And he can play any kind of instrument. I’m way more like, I would just sit around, think, drink coffee, and smoke cigarettes and I would play a little bit and then I would think some more. While Tomas is more like, he can create so many beautiful things and it’s not bad things, that’s the thing cus I’ve met people who can create nonstop, but they’re crap. However, Tomas creates really cool things and for me, that’s very inspiring. I’ve tried some more not to sit around and drink coffee all day, being inspired by Tomas. (both laugh)
BH: I saw this beautiful picture somewhere in Berlin and it has, “Coffee, do stupid things faster with more energy.” I just thought that was kind of fun. It’s my kind of motto.
Tomas’ motto is the universal truth.
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