Live from Copenhagen: Danish Psychedelic Band Fribytterdrømme

Danish group Fribytterdrømme, performing at Loppen on Saturday 24th November, is our featured act of the week. Formed in 2011, the six-piece band initially looked to channel 60s-infused acid and beat rock, set against poetically charged lyrics.

Their 2015 debut album, Labyrintens Farver, drew heavily on these early influences. But on their 2017 follow up, Superego, the group deliberately spurned some of this aesthetic to produce an impressive roster of studio-perfected, hook-laden tracks.

In 2018, they released two anthemic singles, “Egodød” and “Hallusignaler” – sourcing musical inspiration from 90s-era, neo-psychedelic artists. The band has recently transitioned onto larger festival stages, playing both Roskilde, Heartland earlier this year:

Fribytterdrømme’s lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, Lau Pedersen, spoke to us about the band’s background, recent performances, and recording prospects for 2019.

Where does your band’s name, Fribytterdrømme, originate?

Fribytterdrømme, translated as “Buccaneer Dreams,” is the title of a debut poetry collection by Danish expressionist writer Tom Kristensen, published in 1920. I’ve always been fascinated by the way Jim Morrison merged literary elements within his songwriting. I guess that was a starting point for choosing the band’s name. That said, expressionism and surrealism mainly inform my artistic approach to songwriting, and I’ve always enjoyed the poetry of Tom Kristensen; maybe he felt like a kindred spirit.

All the band’s members know each other from a small Danish town by the sea called Svendborg. Tom Kristensen died on one of the islands in the area. The name instantly gave us an identity. We were buccaneers from the start, and we had lots of dreams. The band is now based in Copenhagen, but our hearts will always be linked to Svendborg.


You’ve played some major festivals this year. How did these performances compare to others at more intimate venues?

Roskilde Festival was a big break for us and a dream come true. But honestly, I think we take on any stage with the same approach. We want to play a kick-ass rock show every time. Of course, a large crowd flings back a lot of energy at the stage, which we enjoy. But with a small crowd, we provide the energy. We spent some more money on the production for the Roskilde gig. After all, it was a special occasion.


On November 24, you’ll perform at Loppen, Christiania, for the fourth time. What does the place mean to you as a group, having first played there in 2013?

The first time we played at Loppen was as a supporting act for the legendary Danish 60s group Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe. We got our first record deal after that gig. We only have nice memories of our gigs at Loppen. It’s a cool place with quite a special atmosphere. And of course, it’s also a nice place to intoxicate yourself with various substances.


You released a new single, “Egodød,” in June. The sound has a neo-psychedelic vibe reminiscent of 90s British bands like The Stone Roses and Primal Scream. Did you find any influences from that era?

“Egodød” is very much inspired by the “Madchester” era [of British music]. Primal Scream is one of my all-time favorite bands. I admire the way they can change from album to album without losing the core of the band’s sound. That approach is very much part of the soul of Fribytterdrømme. We don’t want to make the same album over and over.

I think we’ve succeeded along the way by having various musical influences in the band. We can get into heated discussions about what is good music. Everybody can bring their heritage to the table. That being said, I do provide the foundation for the songs in tight collaboration with our producer, Peter Emil Skielboe Sloth. At least, that is how we work right now.


Will this recently released material be connected to a new full-length record and future tours?

Oh, yes! “Egodød” is definitely going to be part of a full-length record, and so will our single “Hallusignaler,” which we also released in 2018. After Loppen, we are disappearing from the stage and focusing our energy on finishing the record. We have been working on songs since late 2017 and all through 2018 while touring. Now we are going to have a break, just enjoy ourselves, and write more music in the studio. We are in no rush, though you can expect a new record from us next year at some point.

See Fribytterdrømmer in Copenhagen

Saturday 24th November, 9 pm

Sydområdet 4B, 1 sal
1440 København K
Ticket Price: 195 DKK

Buy tickets here

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Douglas Whitbread

Originally from Britain, Douglas has made Copenhagen his home since coming to the city to study in 2015. His writing predominantly reflects his interest in the lives and activities of local people.