Diversions :: Iceage / Beyond ‘Beyondless’

Diversions, a recurring feature on Aquarium Drunkard, catches up with our favorite artists as they wax on subjects other than recording and performing.

Last month saw the Danish post-punk quartet Iceage embark on "Opening Nights", a series of intimate, multi-night, performances in two countries and four cities: New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Kyoto. The group used the events as a way to both introduce material from their new lp, Beyondless, and highlight fellow travelers in the arts; i.e. they booked the opening acts in each city (musical, visual and performance).

Four albums in, Beyondless is a triumph in both execution and intent. As such, for this installment of Diversions, we asked Iceage's Elias Bender Rønnenfelt and Jakob Tvilling Pless to highlight a bit of the mélange brewing behind the scenes during the album's gestation and production. Iceage, in their own words, below.

Samuel Beckett / Worstward Ho: The word "beyondless" was derived from this book. It was given to me by a girl who came to a show we played in some city that to me remains nameless somewhere in The Netherlands. In a sense, she named the record. When I read the book I was dumbfounded with the power of Beckett's language when he here was breaking free of the confines of language itself; simple in form, but at the same time groundbreaking in its way of mixing up the English  language in completely incorrect ways but still finding ways to make more sense of it than it usually does. Simple truths put into something wrong, and there is nothing more complicated than such a thing as a simple truth.

Leonard Cohen / Death Of A Ladies Man: I have more to say about  this man than I could possibly write in one sitting. No other lyric writer I have encountered has done more to my understanding of how fleshed out and rich a set of lyrics can have the potential to be within the span of a song. In my own songwriting, no matter how tortured it might be at times, I never underestimate a sense of humor. Sometimes it's a temptation I can't deny. A need to  add a perverse  twist to whatever might be at hand. It's mostly subtle, but however, I think this album walks a fantastic tightrope between humor and tragedy.

Henry Miller / Asleep And Awake (a.k.a bathroom monologue): For years Henry Miller has been a main obsession of mine. I've always loved his novels, but when he does most for me is in non-fictional books such as "Henry Miller On Writing" or "Time Of The Assassins". These are books where he is freed from the form of novel  writing. Just continuously rambling, as you would imagine his train of thought going, or what it might be like to sit with the man at a dinner table. This particular little short film is Henry going through his reasons and impressions of the photographs in his toilet. It's followed by a brilliant sequence where he explains his deep-founded hatred for the city of New York.

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