Behind the Scenes with New Politics and The Harlem USA Tour

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I arrived to Warehouse Live in Houston, TX for the first day of the New Politics tour. Keep in mind, the Harlem USA Tour is the band’s very first headlining tour since their success in moving to the United States from Copenhagen, Denmark about four years ago. Just to give you a little background: these Danish guys (with the exception of the Drummer, Louis, who is a native New Yorker) have been given a whirlwind of opportunity that includes touring with P!NK, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and more, and have just been asked to join Paramore and Fall Out Boy on this summer’s Monumentour.

These accomplishments have nothing to do with luck. If you aren’t familiar with the band, do yourself a favor and watch one of their many live performances on YouTube. This band brings a stellar performance to every single show, whether it’s performing for 200 people or 20,000 people. Having just gotten off tour with P!NK, you would think the band would have to adjust from playing huge arenas to small club stages, but the band was just as nervous about the smaller venues. “We were really excited about the first show selling out. We were really nervous about this whole headline tour, but a lot of the venues are selling out of tickets and we’re just like, ‘what’s going on?!’”

We wanted to keep it intimate. We have no experience with headlining tours and we didn’t really know what to expect. It’s crazy because there’s a few cities that still have tickets but about 70 percent of the tour is already sold out.” –David Boyd

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Sound check in Houston went a little less than ‘smooth’. On the first day of the tour you expect to have issues , right? At least I thought that’s how it goes. The guys in New Politics take their music and live performances very seriously, no matter how big or small the show is. What was supposed to be a 45 minute sound check, turned into a 2 hour issue-fixing ordeal. From the soundboard being too far away, too much static in poor Soren’s ear piece, to the tech (bless his heart) not being able to get the lights just right, the band handled the stressful situation like seasoned musicians, and still put on a bad ass show for the sold out Houston crowd.

Day two of the tour was in Austin, TX, another sold out show. The day was packed with interviews and rehearsals, but ended up going a lot smoother than the previous. I seriously don’t know how these guys do it! Under so much pressure with management and label reps in town, they still stay so charismatic and seem like they still get a full eight hours of sleep (which they don’t).

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Being on the New Politics bus is an experience: an extremely crowded experience. Sharing space with opening band Magic Man, the bus is constantly filled with musicians, managers, techs and friends. Luckily, I had some time to sit with the band privately in the back lounge of the bus while they told me some pretty great stories.

We’ve really got to give a lot of credit to bands like Thirty Seconds to Mars and Fall Out Boy. It’s really fucking awesome and we’re really lucky to have been a good match to those bands and have gained so many new fans from playing shows with them.” –Soren Hansen

This headline really  means a lot to us because it kind of establishes us as a band, and that’s really what we’ve been working towards the last three years, to put us on our own feet and be officially a band that can do solely our thing.” –David

Yesterday (first day of tour) was truly amazing. We’re sitting in the back lounge of the bus and if you look out the window there’s a line of hundreds of people waiting. We’ve seen that before but it was for other bands, headlining bands that we were opening for and we would always imagine how amazing a feeling that must be for those bands. We have a really good, strong and dedicated fan base which is so amazing. This is all we’ve ever wanted. I think this is for us being genuine and not taking this for granted is how we’ve accomplished this.” –Soren

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Before New Politics came about, Soren was working as a graphic designer for a producer out of Denmark that produced records for the band Junior Senior. Who remembers them? Haha. “At one point, David came into the studio and that’s how we met.  I was in another band then. We connected musically, so we started writing together. We thought maybe we could get into publishing and write songs for other people. Out of nowhere, there was this competition on the radio and David kept saying ‘we should do it!!’. We had already written some songs but they were in every single different direction: boy band, dance stuff, pop, and just really weird stuff. We got a rejection from a publishing company for sending mp3’s through email instead of a CD, hahaha. We wrote a crazy song that day, sent it into the competition that day, and that became our first single.” –Soren

Who knows what song that is? (YEAH YEAH YEAH )

Out of 972 bands… Soren and David got a phone call with an offer to play a show in 14 days, with only 2 original songs.

I am a piano player and had never played a guitar standing up. David had never performed a live show. We didn’t IMG_0303-2have a drummer. We didn’t have a bass player. What are we going to do in 14 days? We didn’t even have a name. Of course we accepted the gig! We asked a friend to play drums for us and had a friend come out to the show and record us playing Yeah Yeah Yeah, put it on Youtube, someone over here saw it and we ended up getting a record deal out of it.”

After New Politics moved to the United States, they met Louis Vecchio through a mutual friend, who later became their permanent drummer. What was Louis doing before New Politics? Serving at Chili’s… living the dream?

I had the WORST jobs before being in a band, but that’s what being a musician is all about. If you are a musician, you grow up and that’s what you want. I worked and I did it to pay the rent, or to buy a microphone. I still couldn’t afford to go out and have a beer but I had a microphone to record on. With Louis, it’s the same thing. That’s just how it is and I think 99.99999 percent of every musician has that exact story because this is what we want. We spend our entire lives working for what we want and finding out what we’re good at and everything else in life you compromise. If at any point you think of giving up and getting an education or whatever, it’s because you lost your fire. The fact that it’s a very rough, brutal business, it does something to you, which is a good thing. After working so hard, how can you not appreciate good things that may happen to you?” –Soren

IMG_0322-3Two of my favorite songs off of the debut album, “A Bad Girl in Harlem”, were subsequently written in two consecutive days: “Fall Into These Arms” and “Harlem”. It was an amazing experience to be able to witness these songs transformed into live performances in an intimate setting during the Harlem USA tour. The reactions of all the people who filled the rooms was indescribable, which reflected off the guys’ faces as their smiles never faded during their performance. As the band finishes up the Harlem USA tour and gets ready for the sold out Monumentour with Fall Out Boy and Paramore, New Politics continues to perfect their live show while spending every extra minute of their time trying to meet fans and make the most of this once in a lifetime experience.

 

New Politics is not only a band, they are a group of amazing and charismatic human beings that put out addicting and fun-filled music. Although it’s been four years since they won that radio contest back in Denmark, this is only the beginning for the band’s ongoing success. If you are lucky enough to hold tickets for this summer’s Monumentour, make sure to show up early and watch New Politics’ set. Maybe you’ll even see me at some of the shows! 🙂

 

**Special thanks to Soren, David, Louis, tour manager Brian and Patricia from RCA records for making this all possible!***




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