One of my favorite discoveries of 2019 was Moron Police. Their infectiously catchy, sardonic, and brilliant album A Boat on the Sea was one of my favorite albums of the year, and their mix of humor and musicianship won me over.
I caught up with the mind behind the Moron Police, Sondre Skollevoll, who graciously responded to some of our questions, and also talked a little bit about Moron Police’s development as a band, some of the themes of the album, as well as their trajectory for the future.
Tell us how Moron Police formed.Where did the name come from?
The name came from a silly joke at a gas station after buying some military helmets. It joined a list of names, and it won. Probably not the smartest move we ever did, but it’s grown on us.
Your early music has a heavier, more abrasive vibe. Tell us about the development of your band’s sound.
It was a pretty natural progression. The songs just came out that way, it was never a conscious decision to veer a bit away from the heavier side of things, it just happened naturally. The heavy stuff might well make an appearance again!
“A Boat On the Sea” is an interesting stylistic developemnt, in that the music is very exuberant and cheerful but the themes are still very sardonic and humorous. Tell us about how the style has changed for this newest album.
Well, all those things can still be found on our older albums. Especially the juxtaposition of darker lyrical themes and uplifting melodies, like on “Who’s That Chicken?” on our first album. I think the main difference on this album is the injection of even more upbeat/uplifting themes and, for a lack of a better word, “feeling”–if that makes sense.
There are a lot of lyrical themes on this album, ranging from canine uprisings to geopolitical issues like drone strikes. What were your thematic and lyrical influences for the album?
Mostly books, politics and the world in general. There’s a lot of Kurt Vonnegut in there and even some Dune by Frank Herbert. I was also reading a lot of technological papers/magazines at the time, so that got included. The ever ongoing circus of U.S politics obviously also played a huge part.
I’ve seen you say in interviews that the band has “grown up”. In what ways do you feel like this is the case?
Well, we’re literally older for one, haha! I don’t know, I think it’s just a consequence of getting older. As much as we enjoy a good fart joke, there’s other stuff to be excited about as well. Life has a way of forcing you to deal with it, and it changes you as it goes along, and it changes your artistic output.
Is the songwriting more individual or more collaborative?
Mostly individual. I write the songs (Sondre, that is), demo them, then the others add their spin on it. They might also change a bit when we rehearse them. Some songs have more space for contributions, and Lars contributed some very cool parts on this album. On our previous ones both Thore and our old bassist, Rune, would come up with stuff as well.
What are your plans for live shows in 2020?
We’re doing some festival gigs in Norway in the summer, and we’re probably going to be booking some shows around the country too. There might also be something happening outside the country, but nothing is sure yet.
What does the future hold for Moron Police?
Hopefully good stuff! The next album will be a big one. Probably over an hour long, if the quality meets our standards, so we’re working hard on that. We’re also trying to set up a Kickstarter to fund a vinyl/CD-release of A Boat on the Sea. We’re very excited about that. Being able to release an album digitally, and having it do well, is an awesome thing, but it doesn’t beat the feeling of actually holding your creation physically–so, hopefully there’s enough interest to make it happen!
If your band was an actual Moron Police force, what would be each of your roles?
Oh, that’s hard. I guess if it was a TV-show it would be something like this: Me and Thore, our drummer, would probably be the buddy cop team. We would be pretty useless, but Thore would laugh a lot and eat hot-dogs. Lars, keyboards, would be the IT-guy twirling around in his chair giving us info on suspects and feeding us the best shortcuts in a car chase. Christian, bass, would be the ballbusting Chief of Police who just won’t give us a break. His catchphrase would be “TIME IS MONEY, MOTHERFUCKERS” and would shout a lot.
Do yourselves a favor and check out Moron Police’s latest album, A Boat on the Sea, right away. Thanks to Sondre and the band!