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Surviving arctic childhoods stranded in stark north-western Norway, and recent months clinging to a decent Oslo postcode by inhabiting a caravan, 120 Days have surpassed high school noise rebellions and crafted a perfect, pulsating sonic boom. 120 Days’ inception is not the usual suburban rock story: bored, hormonal drop-out kids discover exhilarating semiobscure punk records and decide to start their own band. No, 120 Days are well schooled: “We were taught music, jazz, classical, very cultured music, very structured arrangements and composition,” Jonas, the group’s bassist explains. “There were no concerts in Kristiansund. But, that left us to make our own style.” Applying their musical knowledge, in 2001, the group started writing “cheesy” pop. “We thought we were really noisy and distorted, but listening to it now, it’s very clean, very tame.” A year later, high school ended and the group relocated to Norway’s capital. “The idea was, that some of us were going to college,” – it never came to pass – “but we had loans and we rented the basement of a strange writer’s house in the suburbs for a few months. We practised for hours in darkness, and then decided we had to get out of there.” Next came the caravan stint – five boys and an orchestra’s worth of musical instruments “driving around town, getting parking tickets, until we fell in with these 70s squat punk kids.” Their new friends had taken over a huge burnt-out house in the centre of

town. “They invited us to park up and use it as a rehearsal room.” Using this as a base, the band played 12-hour sessions, five days a week. None had work, until one of their girlfriend’s (“who was going to a really posh, private school”) suggested the boys play a show there. “It was an hour outside Oslo, we drove there, I don’t think I have ever signed so many autographs in my life!” he laughs. Putting out a couple of albums on local labels, and playing almost constantly, the band matured, distorting their sound-lines into space cadet territory. In 2004, their music found its way into suitably alt-everything-receptive ears at one of the revered SXSW festival’s many A&R and industryattended new band showcases. In autumn 2006, their first selfproduced, worldwide-released album was put out by Vice. “Since then, everything has just gone crazy. We tour all the time, we are in the studio the rest of the time, flying here and there to do interviews, our music is being used in car adverts,” Jonas races through the list. “But I’m not sure...” Before deliberating, he bites his tongue, muttering quietly and happily down the phone. “We all have girlfriends, no?” Text Iphgenia Baal Photography Hans Kristian Riise

Schooled In Suburban Sweden, Discovered In Austin Texas, 120 Days’ Alt-everything SpaceRock Sound Is Endearing Them To Everyone They Encounter

98 AnOtherMan Music t H E b E S t OF Da y S

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