WhoMadeWho’s Top 5 Travel Experiences
WhoMadeWho’s Tomas Høffding shares his top 5 travel experiences as the band mix and curate Watergate 26, a superb 19 track work of all new and exclusive material.
First EU tour with my teenage rock band
This is a long time ago. One beautiful summer, we decided, even though we were commercially nothing, that it was time to go on an EU tour. We bought an old mailvan, fixed it so there was room for five guys plus equipment, a kind of bunk where two people could sleep at a time, and painted the band name on the side with stencils and spray paint and off we went! We only had three gigs confirmed at the time; one in Switzerland and two in the Baltic States a couple of weeks later.
We ended up playing more than 15 gigs in total, which was a lot for us and a perfect success at that point. A lot of crazy stuff happened, too much to mention. But one of the weirdest experiences was the customs line from Poland to Lithuania. We spent two whole days and nights in the line; hanging out, bathing in nearby lakes, taking in the scenery while moving the car 10 metres every now and then. When we finally got to the first show, we planned in an arena and felt like the biggest rockstars in the world!
We also played at a Latvian government dinner where some dramatic political stuff happened; the press guy ended up getting fired and got really drunk with us and we jammed all night long. We ended up playing at a local band contest and our drummer won’t the best drummer award. It was the warmest summer ever in Europe – a six-week odyssey with my best friends.
I never had a tour or travel that topped the magic of this one.
The first WhoMadeWho tour we had in Australia was just amazing. We were staying in luxury hotels, partying and playing music. It was in the early days of the band and we were still totally amazed at the feeling of getting to go around the globe, just to meet diehard Whomadewho fans. Australia is a great country, and people are so nice. We went to Perth and even had a private jet to Rottnest Island. The feeling of playing touring while making money and living the teenage dream…you couldn’t beat it!
Back in Sydney, this crazy thing happened: Jeppe and I went to a music store called Vintage Sound to buy guitar strings and picks and then went home to chill. Later that night, we received really threatening on Jeppe’s phone. Stuff like: “We know you stole our sunglasses, you rich motherfuckers!” We were super puzzled and kind of scared. This guy sounded really angry and kind of puzzled and we had no idea what he was raving about. We later found out what happened: at the same time we were in the shop, this guy was there and forgot his sunglasses on the counter. He later went back to find them, but they were gone.
He remembered these strange Viking types hanging out in the shop and speaking a strange language and thought – those motherfuckers stold my sunglasses! There happened to be a picture of us with the band name in the shop, so he found us…or rather his girlfriend found us and wrote us aggressive messages on his behalf. Even more crazy, after writing back and convincing him we didn’t steal the sunglasses, he started to send us demos so we could help him with his music! I had Jeppe send me all his messages, I put them together and wrote a song, singing the messages. You can find it on Spotify and it’s called ‘Ray Ban’.
We tour Mexico more and more. it hard to pinpoint one specific travel experience, but lets’ just say we have a collective love affair with the country; the people, the vibe, the heat, the food, the culture, the skeletons.
First, we had the Corona Capital Festival gig, where we played our first big Mexican gig. It was amazing, 20,000 hungry Mexicans totally eating us raw at the concert. I went into the crowd to sing a ballad, and this huge security guy had to drag and carry me out of the crowd like I was a little girl. Later that night we got crazy drunk, partied hard, and without getting into detail I can reveal we were thrown out of the festival by the festival boss himself.
When we came back to Mexico city next time for a solo show, the big venue was totally sold out, and there was even bootleg WhoMadeWho merchandise sold in front of the venue. We love Mexico!
Switzerland is a great country. The people are super nice, trains and everything runs lie, well, a Swiss clock. It’s got the mountains and the lakes, amazing how you can swim in the lakes and drink the water you swim
One time we were on a four-date swiss tour, travelling around by train. At the end of the first show, we did a shout out to the audience saying that we would really like to go skiing. Right after the show, this lovely group of people came to us and invited us for a trip the next day. So after four hours of sleep, they picked us up, and into the mountains we went. We skied to the whole day, had a great time, and the guys dropped us off at the next city just in time for sound check.
We keep coming back to Switzerland, and the guys keep coming to our shows. These experiences and friendships are one of the great parts of touring.
I’m going meta here. Not a travel memory yet, ‘cause its happening right now, but a future memory. We’re in Miami recording with Mr Manfredi Romano, once our beloved Italian booking agent, now famous as DJ Tennis. Together with him, we are making some crazy, highly artistic and beautiful music. In some ways going back to the spirit of our very first album. We are having lots of fun not hunting radio single, rather jamming away on drum machines, guitars, bass and vintage synths and, on occasion, vocal bursts from Jeppe and I. It’s music for the music lovers and the clubs. We are here mainly for finishing the album, but also to play a few shows. Today we are all working hangover style after hanging out yesterday at Manfredi’s show on a yacht, plus our own show after that, which were both great successes. Hanging out in Manfredi’s lovely house in the design district, partying on huge yachts and dining at the wonderful Mandolin Restaurant is great fun. Also coming from Scandinavia, the climate, the buildings and the vegetation are super super exotic! Look out for a release later this year!
WhoMadeWho & Artbat – ‘Montserrat / Closer’ is out 19 April on Watergate Records – grab a copy here!