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WhoMadeWho: meet the Danish electronic band that has become a sensation in the world's biggest music festivals

We spoke to the trio formed by Tomas Høffding, Tomas Barford and Jeppe Kjellberg days before the release of the 'UUUU' album

  • Luciana Mantamor
  • 1 June 2022

WhoMadeWho is a Danish electronic band formed by Tomas Høffding, Tomas Barford and Jeppe Kjellberg, known for their standout performances around the globe, from Roskilde to Sonar, Melt! to Burning Man.

The WMW has released multiple albums and a plethora of EPs, singles and remixes on labels like Kompakt, Innervisions, Life & Death. We spoke to them a few days before the newest studio album release ‘UUUU’. Read on!

We ask all artists to share the story of their very beginnings to Brazilian audiences. How did WMW started after all?

We all had our separate careers in music that we were already living from music when we met.

Barford was making house music and touring a bit internationally, Høffding had a indie band in Denmark and Jeppe was renowned jazz guitarist.

Besides that we were all young dudes enjoying Copenhagen and our life.

How the members met and how did you come up with this name for the band?

So, Jeppe was playing with Barfod’s band at various occasions and once at a festival they started talking about combining electronic music with live instruments.

Jeppe said ‘I know exactly who we should add to the band’ and they called Høffding, that Jeppe knew from an epic jam session at a wedding.

We all met at a cold December night in Copenhagen and started jamming together.

That night we made 3 very fun and unstructured songs, but after a few weeks of production we already had our first demo, that we sent to our favorite labels.

3 of them replied willing to sign us, so I guess we were on to something.

It all went so fast that we didn’t even have a name when we got signed, so the label called and said - now you need to find a name, guys.

Barford looked at a AC/DC record in his vinyl collection that was called Who Made Who, and the band agreed...that’s how we ended up with that name.

What you guys believe was WMW’s first significant move that may have led the work of the band towards the next level and to what it is today?

We had a long and funny career with many detours and defining moments.

One of them was signing to KOMPAKT records, back then we were kind of cought in the indie pop scene, and signing with a ‘techno’ label took a step towards the club scene where we started and actually always fitted best.

Definitely the most significant event was our Abu Simbel streaming with Cercle. It was like everything we had worked on and our various talents came together in that moment.

Since Abu Simbel our band had been on whole other trajectory.

The amount of effort it takes to put together productions like the ones at Burning Man and Abu Simbel can be huge, often leading to amazing results. Can you share backstage stories about the insane show that keep attracting millions of views online?

When we wrapped up the filming in Abu Simbel we had lunch with the while crew, and the guys from Cercle said ‘we are going on a yacht tomorrow, it’s 8 hours night drive to get there and we leave in a few wanna come?’ After a little thinking we said yes.

The drive ended up being around 14 hours through the Egyptian desert, sometimes in a courtage with armored cars and guards, it was a rough yet interesting and beautiful drive. The yacht cruise was something special we swam with dolphins, reys and in Shipwrecks...and had a beautiful time with the Cercle crew.

You have now released 7 albuns and lots of EPS on some of the world’s most prestigious labels, like Life and Death, Kompakt and ‘Watergate 26’ (2019). Any plans of launching a label, an inprint founded and curated by WMW?

Yes for sure, we might already do next year, we will call it Tranquility and it will release own productions and collabs.

You guys played recently in Brazil. How was the experience? Any new brazilian tour coming?

We have been in Brazil quite a few times for years and every time it’s amazing. We have many plans, it’s lovely that south America has opened up for big events and that we have so many beautiful fans there.

Speaking now about the new ‘UUUU’ album. The EP launches have really built up buzz ahead of the release. Can you share more about the album?

It’s always a big thing to create an album since it takes a lot of shared energy between us to make it happen.

In this case most of the songs that made it to the album were made between 2020 and 2022, but some songs are even older.

Even though electronic music has always been a part of our DNA, the last years we have been leaning more and more towards that scene.

A very interesting part of this journey has been to work with Rampa from Keinemusik who produced over half of the album.

He pushed us at times we were stuck and developed many of our demos (that were heading to the trash) to great songs.

This album definitely points forward towards new adventures both in the studio and playing live around the world.

The hybrid set showcased at Burning Man looks very entertaining. While one handles the DJ side and others sing and play a variety of instruments, making the show unique. Will ‘UUUU’ tour shows bring those hybrid sets too or it will change?

At the moment we are developing our new liveshow and that is our biggest priority right now.

We are building on the Abu Simbel live show but with much more live instruments and new productions and versions especially made for this show.

We will launch it during 2022 but it will have its full setup including stage, lights and visual design by 2023.

We still do a lot of hybrid DJ sets, but that’s always only two of us and is including tracks from other people also.

The hybrid sets gives us more freedom to play around and experiment, and we are not limited by time or stage setup, which gives us opportunities to meet more fans in various settings around the world.

The live set will be thoroughly produced since we want to make beautiful musical and visual moments for bigger crowds.

Moving people and creating memories together is basically why we get up every day and go to the studio or jump on a plane somewhere.

A band like WMW is now certainly have events and projects lined up for many months and even years ahead. Can you guys share some of the most exciting projects ahead with brazilian fans?

It’s a bit hard since we can’t announce much of what we are confirmed for right now...but there is definitely something fun and special in the making.

Last! Any wisdom you could share to the new artists that have been working on projects involving electronic music bands?

Stay original, persistent and patient!

'UUUU' Album Tracklist (Digital)

1. WhoMadeWho - The Fall

2. WhoMadeWho & Rampa - UUUU

3. WhoMadeWho – Silence & Secrets

4. WhoMadeWho – Moon After Moon

5. WhoMadeWho – Elsewhere ft. Kat Frankie

6. WhoMadeWho – Ojo De Agua

7. WhoMadeWho – LIFE

8. WhoMadeWho & Rampa – Everyday

9. WhoMadeWho – Never Alone

10. WhoMadeWho – Summer (Album Edit)

11. WhoMadeWho – Hera

12. WhoMadeWho – Mermaids

13. WhoMadeWho – 11-11 ft. AVA4K

Album Tracklist (Vinyl)

A1-WhoMadeWho - The Fall

A2-WhoMadeWho & Rampa - UUUU

A3-WhoMadeWho – Silence & Secrets

B1-WhoMadeWho – Moon After Moon

B2-WhoMadeWho – Elsewhere ft. Kat Frankie

B3-WhoMadeWho – Ojo De Agua

C1-WhoMadeWho – LIFE

C2-WhoMadeWho & Rampa – Everyday

C3-WhoMadeWho – Never Alone

D1-WhoMadeWho – Summer (Album Edit)

D2-WhoMadeWho – Hera

D3-WhoMadeWho – Mermaids

D4-WhoMadeWho – 11-11 ft. AVA4K

Você tambem pode acessar essa entrevista em Português e Inglês em formato revista online aqui.

You can also access this interview in Portuguese and English via online magazine here.

Follow WhoMadeWho on: Instagram | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube

Photos: Lasse Bak Mejlvang

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