Mikkel Borbjerg Jakobsen (The Foreign Resort) on The American Dream

Sonically expressive, dark and moody, catchy and up-beat are words to describe this Danish trio that mixes melodic ’80s new-wave with explosive post-punk. Hailing from Copenhagen, The Foreign Resort takes the audience on a journey through passages of textured layers with haunting and dreamy vocals, to echoes and pulsations of overdriven guitars, powerful drumming, driving bass, and intense thematic melody lines.
Since 2010, the band has been rigorous in playing over 280 shows across Europe and the United States incl. several performances at SXSW, Iceland Airwaves, CMJ Music Marathon and one of the world’s largest Goth festivals Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, Germany.
Other international bands have welcomed them on their tours such as The Raveonettes, A Place to Bury Strangers and Swervedriver. The trio has also shared bills with bands like DIIV, The Soft Moon and Slowdive.
In 2014, The Foreign Resort’s latest album New Frontiers was ranked among top albums of the year at radio stations like WZBC, Boston and KDHX, St. Louis as well as at European and American blogs. Over the years magazines like Consequence of Sound and UK’s Louder Than War have praised The Foreign Resort. The Big Takeover wrote “This band is epic!” and in their review of New Frontiers Gothic Beauty Magazine stated that this band is “One of the most dynamic exports to come out of Denmark in the past few years…”.
Following up on the success of New Frontiers the Danish trio now comes with the EP The American Dream – five new songs with a simpler but more intense expression than ever heard before from the band.
Ghettoblaster caught up with TFR’s Mikkel Borbjerg Jakobsen to discuss the EP, which dropped via Moon Sounds Records on October 23.
When did you begin writing the material for The American Dream?  
The songs from The American Dream were written over the past year and a half in between tours. The demos for Suburban Depression and The New Blood are over a year old. Dave Dupuis from Nightmare Air recorded the backing vocals for Suburban Depression in June 2014 when they were touring Europe. Under Bright Neon Stars is the newest song, a little under a year old.  
Which of the songs on the EP is most different from your original concept for the song?
“Onto Us” is definitely the song that changed the most. Initially is was kind of uptempo krautrock, but adjusting to the concept of the EP and our musical mood at the time it changed into a song with a pumping jungle beat and massive guitars. A more desperate expression.
It’s only been a year since the release of the New Frontiers EP How do you feel you’ve changed, musically speaking? Are you going to stick to EPs or might there be a full length in the future?
There has definitely been some changes since New Frontiers. We went from being a quartet to a trio, which has changed the songwriting significantly. We decided to move away from the wall of sound concept and instead aim towards a more simple, in your face sound. This has actually resulted in the guitar being very loud many places on the new EP. We have also moved away from the heavy sound with pumping back track synth bass. Instead the bass guitar has become louder and is in general playing a much larger role in our sound.
The American Dream is meant to be the first of two EPs. We had a bunch of songs that we all liked but that wouldn’t fit on the same release. So we decided to make two EPs that reflect two styles of music: Uptempo post-punk on The American Dream and a more, let’s call it, acoustic sound on the next EP, which is still untitled. On both releases we are working with a new approach to writing and recording.
“Under The Bright Neon Stars” has some really beautiful lyrics. What the song’s about? Is it connected to your EP theme of the American dream?
The song is an ode to the homeless and the underpaid Americans, living right next to the super wealthy who have more money than they can spend. All the glitter is right there, so close and yet so far away, hence the title “Under Bright Neon Stars.” And yes, the song is part of the theme of the EP, which, in short, is two very opposite sides of The American Dream. One is living our dream of coming over to America and tour, meeting so many good and very friendly people, who help us and make it possible for us to tour again and again. The other is corporate America, which is what most Europeans know and resent. Represented by companies like Monsanto who are moving into the European market with corporate lobbyists working on changing laws, securing shareholders more money and creating an underclass of working poor in Europe just like in the U.S. The American Dream is a shout out to Americans to unite against corporate fascism (Go Bernie!).
You’ve just begun your fall tour of the US. Any favorite cities to play?
A difficult question. All American cities are great in each their way. Boston is definitely up there. We always get a good reception in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA as well as Chicago. It is really a combination of meeting good friends and having a great audience.
(Visit The Foreign Resort here:
https://twitter.com/foreignresort )