"Something was missing. There was a hole in the world that needed to be filled. Filled with the universe from electronic music and the power and melodies from rock."
Carpark North is nordic electro rock.
The band was the first to introduce the genre to a broad audience in Denmark.
Carpark North was founded on the 28th July 1999 in a rehearsal room in Aarhus, where the band tried out a composition that would later become their first single on the radio, "There's A Place".
The first seed was planted a couple of years earlier, in 1996, when Søren and Lau met at Mellerup Efterskole where they formed the melodic rock band "Weed".
The band began when Lau (gtr, voc) and Anders Melgaard (dr) borrowed Søren's 4-track tape recorder and it broke down. Unable to fix the machine, Søren (bass) instead played the parts the guys had wanted to record. Søren, in fact being a pianist, "just played the right notes on the bass", Lau says, "and it was like finding my soul mate - musically".
Weed ended up recording the demo "DEMOed" in the school's primitive studio, and also went a couple of rounds in the big music contest called "DM I ROCK" in 1997.
When the year ended and school was over, the band members went their separate ways.
In 1998 Morten and Lau were headhunted to a funk band in Hinnerup, Aarhus. Morten, 16 years old, was already a very skilled drummer, and he and Lau quickly found out that they wanted to form their own band.
Through a bunch of emails, Lau and Søren also found out that they wanted to take up creative work again.
"The night before the first rehearsal, Lau and I discussed the details in our first record deal - we were sure it was just a matter of time. This is before we had even played the first note!"
The boys met up in Aarhus on a hot summer day in July 1999.
The band quickly started to work on names, and through a bunch of different names ended up with "Carpark North" containing their ambition for future. "Carpark": The metallic, the rough - the rock. "North": Northern lights, snow, stars - the electro. Carpark North - Electro Rock.
The boys met up as often as they could and in October 1999 they accepted to attend the competition DM I ROCK (The Danish Rock Championship).
"It felt like we were collecting the best talent we could find, and created a kind of super group. It didn't matter that I had to take a long train ride every time, 'cause it just felt like something huge was underway"
After their very first concert in Søren's hometown, Skive, the band entered DM I ROCK. With only three songs written they kept advancing through the contest, until they won second place in 2000.
This resulted in a lot of attention in the press, and more importantly, a lot of gigs. Promoters all over Denmark suddenly started to call, offering the band shows, which was quite unique for such a new demo act.
In the summer of 2000 the band won a couple of other important competitions: "Midtjyllands Talentkonkurrence" and "Randers Mesterskabet i Rock". The prizes were studio time and in late 2000 the EP "Carstereo" was recorded.
The "Randers Mesterskabet i Rock" competition took place at the venue "Cafe Von Hatten" in Randers. After winning the competion the band played several concerts at Von Hatten, and in 2001 the staff at Von Hatten signed up the band for yet another competition, DR P3's (Danish national Radio) "Demodysten".
One night in the spring of 2001, Carpark North was announced as the winner. This led to more studio time, this time in DR's own facilities, and, to the band's surprise, a straight ticket to the radio waves of national Danish radio. The song they recorded, "There's A Place", went #1 on DR P3's airplay chart the week after.
"I remember skipping school just to hear our song on the radio"
Following the success of "There's A Place" on radio, people started to ask for their demo CD, "Carstereo". Being pre-Myspace/Facebook/Soundcloud times, the band had to burn a CD, photocopy the cover and send the package by mail.
After a couple of hundred CDs shipped, the band started to mini-manufacture "Carstereo" and met up every week to burn, cut, package and send the popular demo.
Record stores even started to call and ask for CDs, and Stereo Studio in Aalborg, Herning, Aarhus and GUF in Copenhagen received hundreds of CDs over the following months. All hand-made by the band.
When production ended, Carstereo was the best selling demo CD in Danish history with almost 3000 copies sold.
With more and more happening around Carpark North in 2001, the record labels in Denmark started to wake up. The band was invited to a bunch of meetings in the business, and finally signed with A&R Christian Backman and EMI Denmark in the summer of 2002 at Midtfyns Festival.
The band quickly began to look for producers, and in the summer of 2002 Carpark North recorded the EP "40 Days" with Rune Westberg. The EP was given away for free to the first 4,000 who signed up for the mailing list.
In late 2002 the band started recording their debut album with Danish producer Joshua in the legendary PUK Studios, Randers, and finished mixing in Medley Studio, Copenhagen one day before Christmas 2002.
The album was released on the 10th February 2003, and was also used as soundtrack for the Danish teen-horror hit movie "Midsommer". The first single "Transparent & Glasslike" was an instant hit on the radio, and the album sold 10,000 units the first week. Over the following months the debut was certified platinum, and the following Danish tour was sold out.
After four years of work, Carpark North was in 2003 a well-known name nationwide.
In early 2005 Lau, Søren and Morten started recording their second album "All things to All people". Again, working with Joshua in PUK, but this time the mixing session took place in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA, with Michael Patterson (Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club, P. Diddy, a.o.).
The idea behind the album was to widen the Carpark North sound, making the rock more hard and the electro more sparkling.
"All Things To All People" was released on the 25th of April 2005, and the first single "Human" was accompanied by a beautiful, poetic and powerful video by Danish director Martin De Thurah, showing extraordinary and somewhat weird dancing children.
The "Human" video won several awards: A DMA (Danish Grammy) in 2006 for "Best video of the Year", "Best Music Video" at RESFEST, Los Angeles, a "Grand Prix" at the Festival International des Art du Clip in Provence, and was also exhibited at an art museum in Ontario, Canada. All in all the video received massive attention worldwide, and was the stepping-stone for Carpark North to an international audience.
The single "Human" was later featured in the world wide hit game "FIFA 2008", and the second single "Best Day" was the third most played song on Danish radio in 2005.
Wanting to have more control, the band started building their own studio in late 2006 in Copenhagen, called "Yderlandet", and began to work on their 3rd album. At the same time Carpark North left EMI in favor of Danish independent label, Copenhagen Records.
The idea was to produce the next album themselves, and have total control over their sound.
In mid 2007 American producer Brian Sperber (Moby, Julian Casablancas) contacted the band wanting to produce their next release. So he joined the production mid-way and finished the songs together with mixing the album.
"Grateful" was released on the 8th September 2008 in Denmark and ended up selling platinum. The singles "Shall We Be Grateful" and "Save Me From Myself" were certified platinum, and the album gave the band a huge success that even surpassed the debut album "Carpark North".
"The title, Grateful, suddenly made more and more sense to us, 'cause we WERE really amazed by the success gained from this album. During those months we were in a constant state of gratefulness"
In 2009 Carpark North was contacted by Swedish label "Mr. Radar" who wanted to sign the band through Sony Music worldwide. The band and the ambitious staff at the label ended up with an international plan consisting of heavy touring, re-recording of old songs and the creation of the super album "Lost".
Carpark North had been contacted numerous times by the American band "30 Seconds To Mars", and finally in 2010 the band took up touring with the group. In 2010 Carpark North and 30STM played almost 20 arenas throughout Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and Italy. After each tour 30STM kept on inviting them on the next. The guys in 30STM also revealed that they had been listening to Carpark North since 2003 through Napster!
"Playing with 30STM was a huge leap forward for us. We got to play in front of tens of thousands of people night after night, and we came to respect Jared, Shannon and Tomo very much"
In 2011 30STM officially recommended Carpark North to their fan group through a newsletter and their Twitter account.
In the fall of 2010 "Best Days - Greatest & Live" was released in Denmark. The album closed the chapter of three successful albums, an international release, and the public-demanded live album recorded during "Grøn Koncert" in the summer of 2010.
Carpark North starts work on new material in 2011.