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DATAROCK's self-titled debut album was the beginning of a truly bizarre international career.

15 Year Anniversary

Their story starts with a peculiar 11 track collection recorded in Bergen, Norway, and released on April 4th, 2005, on the band's very own & very recently established Young Aspiring Professionals aka YAP Records.

Its aesthetic takes in indie & shoegaze, new wave, punk, funk & crossover electronica, though it’s consistently hard to tell what’s programmed and what’s live. At times the production & songwriting sound polished & ambitious. Other moments are so lo-fi & tongue-in-cheek they're basically juvenile antics worthy of art school or college humor…

Indie opener Bulldozer takes equal inspiration from The Velvet Undergound's Heroin & the Berserker-scene from Kevin Smith's Clerks in its heartfelt urge to convey a profound sentiment: "BMX is better than sex". Nightflight to Uranus sounds like a straight-faced Samwell-take on Boney M gone too far. Ugly Primadonna gazes upon Spielberg's Extra-Terrestrial in an absurdly disturbing – or disturbingly absurd -  fashion. Maybelline lift slogans from the self-same cosmetics brand. Princess offers "a prince of an ass" and Sex Me Up a femme fatale who doesn't wanna hug, and in Laurie the singer longs to be Lou Reed, but only so he can get close to Laurie Anderson

The Most Beautiful Girl, on the other hand, represents a serious, sentimental love song, while Fa-Fa-Fa pays respectful homage to Talking Heads' Psycho Killer.

All in all, this insanity paved the way for a BMX-mounted band who referred to themselves as postmodern Renaissance men.

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In 2005, DATAROCK had absolutely no international system, budget or game plan in place, besides an empty promise to pay everyone involved if their album ever generated a profit. Yet somehow this homegrown, communal, collaborative, DIY, pre-streaming social media oddity ended up scoring the 36th Best Album of the Year in the era’s preeminent music bible - NME.

- NME

“An album of pure mashed-up guitartronic genius. Rejoice!”

In America, Computer Camp Love’s call-and-response routine – which borrows quotes from 80s cult classics Revenge of the Nerds & Grease's Summer Nights) – earned it the #88 ranking in Rolling Stone Magazine’s Songs of the Year .

- Rolling Stones Magazine

«A note-perfect tale of nerd love from two Norwegian dance rockers.»

Down under, meanwhile, in Olivia Newton-John's homeland, that very track ended up #12 on Triple J's Hottest 100, with more than 600.000 Aussies participating in the vote!

As for their homeland, Norway, on the opposite side of the planet, with the album gaining serious, critical acclaim across the world – from the UK’s BBC to the US’ Pitchfork –DATAROCK DATAROCK was nominated for a Grammy.

"Nobody does indie dance better than DATAROCK. You get me? Nobody. So wipe all those tunes by day-glo-sporting art school pretenders off your hard drive, settle down with this album and a mug of cocoa and get ready to worship at the altar of these robo-rocking Norwegians."

- BBC

“…the bottom line with DATAROCK is the songs shoot for instant pleasure and accidentally end up being much more than that”

- Pitchfork

One of history’s weirdest bands eventually ended up playing more than 1000 shows around the world, dressed in their trademark red tracksuits & wraparound sunglasses. They travelled to 36 countries on 5 continents, performing everywhere from small punk clubs to huge festivals like Coachella (CA), WMC (Miami), SXSW (Austin), CMJ (NYC), Download (San Francisco), Detour (LA), Culture Collide (LA), Virgin Festival (Toronto), Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (Montreal), MX Beat (Mexico City), Planet Terra (Sao Paolo, Brazil), Personal Fest (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Lollapalooza (Santiago, Chile), Summer Sonic (Japan), Falls (Australia), Sónar (Spain), Hurricane (Germany), Hultsfred (Sweden), Roskilde (Denmark), Reading & Leeds (UK).

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Pretty soon, stupendously global, mainstream brands started acquiring DATAROCK's eccentric, leftfield lo-fi for high profile, worldwide synchronisation:

I Used To Dance With My Daddy ended up in CBS' Criminal Minds, and Electronic Arts put the song in games including Need For Speed, FIFA Street & UEFA Euro.

Sex Me Up was employed in Hollywood productions like Michael Cera comedy vehicle Extreme Movie.

Princess became the sound for everything from Samsung & Ryanair to Quilmes & Regal.

Ugly Primadonna could be heard in Argentina's modern classic, UPA!

Bulldozer found its way into skateboard & snowboard films, not to mention fixed-gear documentary To Live & Ride In LA.

New Song, from the album’s US edition, played in commercials for Fox Soccer and EA's Madden NFL.

Their classic signature tune, Fa-Fa-Fa, could be heard on numerous compilations around the world & on soundtracks everywhere, from Comedy Central's Workaholics & The CW's Vampire Diaries to Syfy's Alphas, ABC Family's Kylie XY, Jack Black's Gulliver's Travels, Steve Coogan's Hamlet 2 & Ace Ventura Jr. 

Electronic Arts also used Fa-Fa-Fa in FIFA 08, NHL 08, NBA Live 08 & Sims 2.

Tapulous included it in Tap Tap Revenge, the App Store’s most downloaded free game in 2008.

Stores like TopShop, American Eagle Outfitters & Monoprix filled the air with its angular funk, and even global brands such as Apple, Google & Coca Cola used it for worldwide marketing campaigns.


The unusual Norwegian band soon ended up earning classic Los Angeles rock-fame endorsements from all sorts of businesses, whether Gibson Guitars, Steinberger, Vans, or even high-end outdoor equipment manufacturer, Norrøna, who – for reasons known only to themselves – decided to produce DATAROCK's now iconic red tracksuits. DATAROCK were even invited to perform live on prime time TV shows like ABC's Jimmy Kimmel & were commissioned to work for global giants like Disney & Nickelodeon.

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15 years & tons of releases later, DATAROCK's defining debut will finally be available on vinyl for the first time ever! But how the hell did they reach this point?

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Lets dive in deep...

DATAROCK were formed by four friends on a rainy afternoon beneath a tree on top of Mount Fløyen in Bergen, Norway's second largest city. It was the first summer of a new millennium & the boys were getting into the groove at an outdoor electronic music festival. Inspired by their surroundings, they made a life changing decision in the heat of the moment & rolled down the mountainside afterwards with a tablet of stone upon which a single, heaven-sent word was engraved: DATAROCK.

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After recording a few bedroom demos, the band was signed by Mikal Telle's local indie twins, Tellé Records & Éllet Records, pairing them with a roster of acts such as Röyksopp and Kings Of Convenience. Thus, aided and abetted by the labels’ international clout, the boys set out on an endless run of shows in underground clubs & festivals across Europe. It was the perfect breeding ground for alternative dance music, fostering DATAROCK's unique mix of indie dance, new wave, pop, rock, punk & funk.

As the band modestly put it, "We are the zenith of pop evolution", and, at every opportunity, they preached the gospel of their holy trinity: post-punk & new wave icons Talking Heads & DEVO, and Manchester's genre-bending lords of baggy jeans & maracas, Happy Mondays.

That's one story. Another version has two of the members meeting first at Mensa and subsequently losing contact, only to reunite in the Church of Scientology before giving birth to a digital Casio watch that grew into a calculator, then gradually evolved into a VL-1, and ultimately became a full grown MT65...

"Weirdness exerts its own energy, which is why Talking Heads and The Happy Mondays made such great dance music. In front of a tight combo of drums, bass and rhythm guitar the lead singer couldn’t keep his feet on the ground or his brain in his skull. DATAROCK, two guys from Norway, understand this juxtaposition."

- The Japan Times

However, prior to the band's first live shows & debut EP for Éllet Records in 2001, the founding four - Fredrik "Rocksteady Freddie" Saroea, Ketil "Ket-Ill" aka "Ketel One" Mosnes, Tom "TomPuter" Mæland & Boston native Kevin O'Brien – were forced to reform as a trio when O'Brien returned to the US (after co-writing Bergen Brew Blues).

Watercolor paint, Art, Forehead, Cheek, Nose, Violet, Head, Face

By 2003, following the release of Demo / Greatest Hits (2002) & Computer Camp Love (2003), Tom Mæland had also left, leaving DATAROCK to become the iconic duo illustrated by Fredrik Saroea himself on their 2005 debut’s front cover.

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That pair, Saroea & Mosnes, had first met randomly during their years as slacker students & conscientious objectors evading mandatory conscription. They recruited an unofficial third stage member, Stig Narve Brunstad, simply because he was Saroea’s childhood friend & university roommate. "Stig the Mystical Casio Operator" couldn't really operate a Casio – or any keys whatsoever - but he would soon prove to be the extrovert, high-octane X factor that would propel DATAROCK's live show towards faraway clubs & festivals across the world.

Stig the Mystical Casio Operator

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DATAROCK's greatest ambition for their debut album was to be booked by their favourite festival, Roskilde, in Denmark. To that end, the duo was more than happy to record during whatever odd downtime hours were available in a tiny b-studio at the local Duper facilities. With no budget, Saroea & Mosnes pretty much ended up programming & playing all the instruments themselves, with just a little help from their co-producers, Yngve Sætre & Jørgen Træen, as well as a few friends & family.

And so, on April 4th, 2005, DATAROCK finally unveiled their collaborative, communal, no-budget debut. It featured soon-to-be-close-to-classic tracks such as Fa-Fa-Fa & Computer Camp Love, sending DATAROCK out on a four-year, non-stop global tour and – eventually – into the industry arms of everything from music companies like Nettwerk Music Group, Kobalt, The Agency Group, Ministry Of Sound & Escalator to Apple, Google, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Samsung, Disney & Coca Cola

The journey there, however, was so absurd & random that nobody will probably ever be able to figure out exactly what happened.

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In 2004, still lacking a label eager to invest in their weird project, Saroea & Mosnes formed their own imprint, YAP Records, distributed internationally by VME, once infamous for black metal acts such as Mayhem, the lords of chaos themselves. VME offered DATAROCK a manufacturing deal, enabling Saroea & Mosnes to print physical formats without having to pay cash upfront. And so their bizarre story began - with a limited run of compact discs.

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One thing we know for sure is that the band's Norwegian distributor, Joachim Haugland, had great relations with VME’s partners around the world, and one of those - Australian distribution company Creative Vibes - sent a single copy of DATAROCK's debut to national broadcaster ABC.

ABC's music channel Triple J chose to rotate the album so heavily that DATAROCK unknowingly became a household name "down under". Indeed, they were so ‘household’ that, following the release of their debut, DATAROCK ended up touring Australia a total of 8 times in just a matter of years.

They even opened for James Brown on a national stadium run, and on one occasion, having being stopped at customs, a group of security officers collectively started singing Fa-Fa-Fa – as if in a musical – when they realised who these Norwegian tourists actually were. 


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One thing we know for sure is that the band's Norwegian distributor, Joachim Haugland, had great relations with VME’s partners around the world, and one of those - Australian distribution company Creative Vibes - sent a single copy of DATAROCK's debut to national broadcaster ABC.

ABC's music channel Triple J chose to rotate the album so heavily that DATAROCK unknowingly became a household name "down under". Indeed, they were so ‘household’ that, following the release of their debut, DATAROCK ended up touring Australia a total of 8 times in just a matter of years.

They even opened for James Brown on a national stadium run, and on one occasion, having being stopped at customs, a group of security officers collectively started singing Fa-Fa-Fa – as if in a musical – when they realised who these Norwegian tourists actually were. 


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And so, on Australia Day January 24, 2006, Australia - or at least the 660.000 Aussies voting - rated DATAROCK #12 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2005.

This close-to-mainstream success in Australia generated valuable profits. Having finally paid their studio bills & other partners, long-time slackers Saroea & Mosnes decided to reinvest most of their earnings in PR & marketing within the EU & UK. Once again, they hit paydirt!

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NME offered the boys a helping hand, shoehorning them into the shortlived but influential – albeit now frowned upon – new rave scene (something most people would more neutrally term indie dance). Suddenly our Norwegian weirdos found themselves in the midst of a bunch of globally trending acts: Klaxons, Shit Disco, New Young Pony Club, Metronomy, M.I.A., Justice, Digitalism, CSS, Bonde Do Role, Crystal Castles, The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, Bloc Party & Franz Ferdinand.

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DATAROCK took part, for instance, in NME's sold out, 16 date "New Rave Revolution" tour in 2006, alongside Klaxons, Shit Disco & Simian Mobile Disco, and over the next couple of years they played club shows & festivals across the planet with pretty much every one of these bands.

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“Our shows are a bit ravey, but the funny thing is the term totally re-energized DATAROCK without us having to change anything.”

- Fredrik Saroea in Los Angeles Times

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As media acclaim grew worldwide & invitations to perform everywhere, from Australia & Japan to the EU & America, kept coming, DATAROCK woke up one day to find themselves the featured artist on the front page of earth's number one social media & early streaming platform: hardcore, emo & suicide girl heaven MySpace.

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DATAROCK still had absolutely no professional representation, no label partners, publishers nor public relations, and only discovered later that it was emerging LA personality Steve Aoki who’d persuaded MySpace to shine a little light on the Norwegians in red. In fact, Steve Aoki included his own remix of Fa-Fa-Fa (ft. Hot Hot Heat's Steve Bay) on his debut album, Pillowface & His Airplane Chronicles, and his label, Dim Mak, even tried signing DATAROCK.

- Los Angeles Times

"He comes bearing a DATAROCK tracksuit, and Aoki, whose company will be releasing the band’s singles, EPs, a remix album and some DATAROCK apparel, holds it up in delight, then strips to his green underpants and mismatched socks to try it on. For a moment, he is just about naked, barebacked and bare-legged, shivering and curled like a comma, and he looks for all the world like a little boy, no older than 13.

Then he’s up--and he’s good! He’s Steve Aoki! Dressed and jumping on the couch now! Asking who wants to hear DATAROCK’s first Dim Mak single? He rushes to his computer and out comes a beat so infectious, so joyful that no one in the room can resist it. Suddenly this is so much more than a drafty dump on Cahuenga. Suddenly the whole room feels like dancing. Everything has changed, as if by magic. Aoki laughs out loud and cranks up the volume. . . ."

At the time, DATAROCK had been doing their thing for about 5 years, and some of the songs featured on their 2005 debut were in fact re-released recordings of songs from their 2002 & 2003 EPs. DATAROCK's particular way of referring to early eighties new wave, Manchester rock & classic '80s films - or pointing to generation specific phenomena like the Commodore 64, the BMX bike, Laurie Anderson & post modernism  – was not something shared by any of DATAROCK's peers, (asides, perhaps, from LCD Soundsystem on Losing My Edge). This may help to explain why the world’s biggest independent music company - Canada's Nettwerk Music Group, who started out in those very exact, same early 80s with bands such as Skinny Puppy - reached out & sealed a deal with DATAROCK, pursuing the band's very own business savvy suggestion of three separate contracts: one for masters, one for publishing, and a third for management. 

(As an amusing aside, the legal side of this partnership, which addressed their transition from DIY to corporate indie, led DATAROCK to hire London based lawyers Statham Gill Davies, who’d just taken care of Robbie Williams' historic £80 million deal.)

And so, on June 12, 2007, DATAROCK DATAROCK – this time re-mastered by Rick Essig, and featuring additional tracks – received a global relaunch, with the campaign backed by a huge team around the world .

Cartoon

Fa-Fa-Fa ended up with a music video shot in Melbourne.

Soon afterwards Computer Camp Love received an award-winning video filmed in Paris.

These were huge steps forward, budget-wise, from earlier videos such as I Used to Dance With My Daddy.

DATAROCK's new Canadian-born, half-Norwegian, LA based manager, Kevin Kocher – whom the band had convinced to join Nettwerk's management team) – also represented American eccentrics such as MF Doom, A-Trak & Chromeo, and the first item on his agenda was to license DATAROCK's debut to Ministry Of Sound & Etc Etc Records in Australia. Down under, the album was relaunched with an add-on EP, See What I Care, and the US’ second largest music publication - SPIN Magazine - immediately listed the EP's lead track (also featured on Nettwerk's new version of the debut) as an essential download.


"Don't be fooled by the tracksuits and ironic facial hair - these wacky Norwegian "new rave" dudes actually write ace songs"

- Spin Magazine

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Almost overnight, DATAROCK could be heard in soundtracks, ads, films & TV series across the planet, and Electronic Arts decided to feature DATAROCK's tracks in an unprecedented number of market-leading video games.

DATAROCK’s publishing was eventually signed over to Kobalt, titans in their field, and the band also ended up working directly with Artwerk, a joint venture between Nettwerk One Music & gaming giant EA. This alliance ultimately led to tracks from their 2005 debut featuring in Fifa '08, Fifa Street, UEFA Euro 2008, Sims 2, Need For Speed, Madden NFL 08, NHL 08, NBA Live 08 and, later on, tablet & smartphone games such as Tap Tap Revenge. Some of the games featuring DATAROCK's tracks are now among the highest grossing in the planet’s history, with credible estimates suggesting 500 million gamers have now heard DATAROCK's songs about a 100 times each.

DATAROCK's international booking has also been solidly handled ever since alternative music impresario extraordinaire Tom Windish discovered the Norwegians in red, as early as 2003, playing live at the Empty Bottle bar in post-rock Chicago. From then on, DATAROCK would be on the road an average 250 days per year, visiting close to 30 countries on 5 continents each year.

By mid 2009, however, Ian Fintak at The Agency Group had taken over, though Thomas Paulsen, at Norway’s Standing Ovation agency, has always remained  steadfast, loyal and true as the band’s domestic touring partner ever since they first tumbled down that mountainside. 

Almost overnight, DATAROCK could be heard in soundtracks, ads, films & TV series across the planet, and Electronic Arts decided to feature DATAROCK's tracks in an unprecedented number of market-leading video games.

DATAROCK’s publishing was eventually signed over to Kobalt, titans in their field, and the band also ended up working directly with Artwerk, a joint venture between Nettwerk One Music & gaming giant EA. This alliance ultimately led to tracks from their 2005 debut featuring in Fifa '08, Fifa Street, UEFA Euro 2008, Sims 2, Need For Speed, Madden NFL 08, NHL 08, NBA Live 08 and, later on, tablet & smartphone games such as Tap Tap Revenge. Some of the games featuring DATAROCK's tracks are now among the highest grossing in the planet’s history, with credible estimates suggesting 500 million gamers have now heard DATAROCK's songs about a 100 times each.

In the wake of ongoing critical praise & the somewhat sensational media coverage inspired by DATAROCK's uniformed appearance & energetic, unpredictable shows – at everything from punk clubs to giant festivals like Coachella, as well as various MTV shows around the world, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Dave Navarro’s Spread TV and Sex Pistol Steve Jones' Jonesy's Jukebox - various remix, remake, production & synchronisation offers soon started pouring in from unlikely, global brands such as Coca Cola, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Disney, Nickelodeon, FOX, BBC, ABC, Comedy Central, Syfy, ABC Family & The CW

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DATAROCK has now performed more than a 1000 shows in 36 countries, usually as a quartet featuring Stig Narve Brunstad on keys & Øyvind Solheim on drums. 

The line-up, however, has also featured a number of rotating associated members, most notably multi-instrumentalist Kjetil "Ketel Two" Møster (who replaced Stig Narve Brunstad between 2008 & 2016); Thomas "T-Man" Larssen (who replaced Ketil Mosnes between 2007 & 2016); and both Adrian "Reverend Breverend" Meehan & Tarjei "LA Gear" Strøm on drums. 

Furthermore, DATAROCK's live shows have involved all manner of additional guests on stage: professional BMX riders, multiple choirs, percussionists, additional drummers, horns & strings, and even DEVO’s Gerald Casale & Happy Mondays’ BEZ and Kav Sandhu .

DATAROCK have now toured America alone 20 times, playing hundreds of clubs & festivals such as Coachella (CA), WMC (Miami), SXSW (Austin), CMJ (NYC), Download (San Francisco), Detour (LA), Virgin Festival (Toronto), Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (Montreal), MX Beat (Mexico City), Planet Terra (Sao Paolo), Personal Fest (Buenos Aires) & Lollapalooza (Santiago). 

These American tours include a 42 city run, and another wild 26 city jaunt for the release of second album RED (2009), which launched with DATAROCK's second appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in Los Angeles, the same week as their second coming was The New York Times’ "Critics Choice" .

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Red

"“Red” goes even further than the band’s debut in terms of retro-futuristic pastiche, making a frothy elixir out of 1980s synth-pop, art-rock and new wave."

- The New York Times

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FOR REAL....

It's weird

The band followed up their Jimmy Kimmel appearance with a national ABC News feature whose legendary interview was full of absurd lies: DATAROCK were the true masterminds behind Kimmel's Man Show; Saroea was dating Sarah Silverman, who had recently broken up with Kimmel. These, frankly, were much the same kind of shenanigans they'd been pulling off in interviews with the gaming press etc for a while

Once again, their singles ended up in heavy rotation around the world, and sometimes it wasn’t just their singles: stateside, MTV bizarrely headhunted the new True Stories video for rotation on mtvU in addition to lead single, Give It Up. At the time, True Stories wasn't even commercially released.

DATAROCK were also nominated for another Norwegian Grammy. Absent owing to live dates abroad, they famously sent a handful of intruders dressed in DATAROCK suits to the red carpet event instead. 

DATAROCK's synchronisation team weren’t doing badly either. True Stories ended up in EA's FIFA 09 & Sims 3. Amarillion was featured in NCB's Chuck. Dance was in MTV's Jersey Shore & ads for RadioShack. The Pretender was in Tapolous' Tap Tap Radiation. And Give It Up made its way into FIFA 10.  

Indeed, between 2007 & 2011, DATAROCK’s focus was very much on North America, and, for a while, they almost became an LA band, with their manager, business manager, booking agent, label & publisher all located in West Hollywood. Simultaneously, however, DATAROCK were still touring the rest of the world, playing hundreds of clubs & festivals across the planet, including classics such as




Summer Sonic (Tokyo & Osaka), Good Vibrations, Falls, Field Day, Southbound, Sunset Sounds, Come Together, Future Music & Meridith Music Festival (Australia), Sónar & Benicassim (Spain), ArezzoWave (Italy), Sudoeste (Portugal), Stereoleto, Red Rocks, White Nights City Festival & Bosco Fresh Fest (Russia), Be2gether (Lithuania), Pohoda (Slovakia), Les Ardentes (Belgium), Transmusicales & Microcosm (France), Eurosonic & Metropolis (Netherlands), Berlin Festival, Pop Kom, Norden Festival, Hurricane & South Side (Germany), Koneisto (Finland), Airwaves (Iceland), Arvika & Hultsfred (Sweden), Roskilde & CPH:DOX (Denmark), Reading, Leads, O2 Wireless, Camden Crawl, The Great Escape, Loop, Latitude, Lovebox, Dot To Dot, Orange Evolution, Eurocultured, In The City, Oxygen & All Points East (UK) - and of course numerous festivals in Norway such as Quart, BergenFest, Slottsfjell, Storås, Pstereo, Stavernfestivalen, Malakoff, by:Larm, FindingsÖya.

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In the wake of RED, DATAROCK released a new 4 track EP, Catcher in the Rye, on August 16, 2010, this time breaking all the rules by releasing it as a limited edition, custom made USB stick designed by Paris-based artist & animation designer Antoine Bouillot. Bouillot also created 5 limited edition skateboard decks, produced by Burton for a huge campaign on behalf of  skateboarding & snowboard chain  SWAG. Despite its unusual physical incarnation, the EP’s lead track ended up one of the most played on domestic radio that year, and somehow even fronted Microsoft’s global Live Tile Experiment campaign.

- OC Weekly

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"The crazy Norwegians in DATAROCK have concocted a nice “fuck you” to the system"

Inside this toy was a 4 GB USB stick featuring DATAROCK's entire back catalogue, plus a brand new 5 track EP called California. The stick also contained two exclusive 15 track albums, Music For Synchronization & Lost & Found; an extensive remix album called Mixed Up; an exclusive concert film called NEVER SAY DIE; all the band's previous art work & press shots; and more than 1500 private photos from their tours across the planet. 

For the toy’s release, DATAROCK gave away 10,000 flexi disc vinyl singles as inserts in FILTER Magazine for SXSW. At the same time, music media were sent what looked like a standard promo CD, but when the package was opened the new single spontaneously started playing . DATAROCK had printed musical greeting cards instead of compact discs. 

Yet again, their new music video for California - directed by DATAROCK’s hero Gerald Casale of DEVO & Sanjay and Craig creator Andreas Trolf - ended up with a Magna Cum Laude rotation on mtvU. Virgin Mobile even picked up California for a North American campaign. 

This new material, however, was first & foremost promoted as part of their next big opus, which they finally revealed in 2013, surprising fans once more by performing DATAROCK The Musical live and one time only!


In 2011, the ever-imaginative DATAROCKers broke further ground by teaming up with San Francisco based designer toy company SUPER7 to release a soft-vinyl diamond character created by the legendary Brian Flynn of Hybrid Design.

The group conceived the idea in 2010 and it's now come to fruition, with a little help from composer Morten Christophersen, and will be debuting on Friday 6 September at Stavanger's brand new concert house backed by the city's symphony orchestra.

 - The Quietus

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Circle, Font, Text

Perhaps, however, it’s only the relative budget that makes it different to the time DATAROCK bought a stack of red 7” copies of Shampoo's I Know What Boys Like, only to relabel them as DATAROCK's own release. To ensure the voices sounded male, they added the instruction to "play at 33 rpm" instead of 45 rpm.

This bizarre performance was recorded and later released as a fan-only, limited edition 12” vinyl LP called The Musical (2015). The humble, semi-live release featured the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra & a huge number of additional guests – all together a total of 87 musicians contribute – and some would argue it’s the most extravagant inside joke ever. 

In the years following their musical, DATAROCK were involved in such a chaotic array of projects that it's hard to keep track...

They collaborated with Junkie XL & produced a video for the single Gloria in collaboration with YouTube phenomenon PistolShrimps.

They produced music for various TV productions & video games, including an epic 30-minute inferno called In E for Turbo Tape Games’ Full Cycle. In E was even made into a staggering 30-minute, animated art piece – in collaboration with visual artist Birk Nygaard & design agency Myreze – which featured at a number of film festivals. DATAROCK also took part in the ESC and were the house band for Norway’s late night Stian Blipp Show. In addition, some band members worked on everything from solo projects to collaborations with Röyksopp, Robyn, Annie, Matoma, Pat Metheny & Chick Corea. And the list of activities, which goes on and on, also includes Fredrik Saroea founding Bergen’s now world-famous Lysverket restaurant and oyster, pizza & natural wine joint Hoggorm.

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Nonetheless, by the end of 2017, after years of releasing stand-alone singles, EPs & under-the-radar material, DATAROCK were finally ready to launch a 3rd studio album!

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Though RED had been recorded at London’s Wendyhouse Studios (Robbie Williams, One Direction, Charlie XCX, Sam Smith), this new material found DATAROCK back at Duper in Bergen, the local studio that, back in 2005, had let them record their defining debut without a budget.

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Once again, the material was written, arranged, performed & produced by the same duo, Fredrik Saroea & Ketil Mosnes, this time with a little help from co-producer Yngve Sætre, as well as family & friends like Øyvind Solheim, Stig Narve Brunstad & Kjetil Møster.

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DATAROCK unveiled Face the Brutality on March 9, 2018, releasing the album on YAP Records via Sony's The Orchard. The reception was overwhelming: rave reviews – including 5/5 in Music News; 5/6 in publications like Dagbladet, Aftenposten, BT, HA & GAFFA; 7/10 in Diskant; & 4/5 in the UK’s Classic Pop – reaffirmed DATAROCK's position & stamina. 

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Again, the band was covered worldwide, from Australia's DNA, Mexico's FILTER Magazine, Indie Rocks & WARP to the US edition of DJ Mag

The band premiered material – including new singles & a bonkers music video for Laugh in the Face of Darkness – everywhere, from Brooklyn Vegan to US giant Alternative

Several singles ended up on international playlists such as Spotify’s New Music Friday. Feathers & Wax was profiled by BBC Radio One. Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas' remix of Everything was picked up by Ministry Of Sound's high profile compilation series Sessions Rebirth. And Rebel Unit's music video for the same song picked up rotation everywhere from Australia’s Rage to Mexico’s Canal Once to MTV Latin America.

For the first time in what seemed like years, DATAROCK again performed at international festivals – All Points East in London, Norden Fest in Schleswig, CPH:DOX in Copenhagen - and clubs, including Maison Bréguet in Paris & FluxBau in Berlin. In ending their hiatus, they brought chaos back to the stage dressed in black versions of their trademark tracksuit. It was another huge step for our comfortably red postmodern Renaissance men.

World

On February 22nd, 2019, the rewrapped band followed up Face the Brutality - an album named after a random radio show they’d heard in Canada - with a new EP fittingly titled A Fool At Forty Is A Fool Indeed. This new offering featured another 5 original tracks, plus remixes by Norwegian Grammy winner +Plattform, Stian Balducci, Norwegian super duo Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas, and Italian legends DJ Rocca & Jukka. Again DATAROCK performed everywhere – from Copenhagen to Guadalajara  – and again the feedback from critics was amazing.

Edited by Wyndham Wallace

This story hasn’t quite come to an end , either. DATAROCK remain a global phenomenon, with one indication of their loyal fan base – 15 years since the release of their debut – evident in their 20 million streams & 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, a streaming service that didn't even exist until 3 years after their debut’s release. Another is the number of fans around the world who tuned in for DATAROCK's live-stream on April 6, 2020: more than 60.000 logged on to various platforms to enjoy the online concert from their studio.

This story hasn’t quite come to an end , either. DATAROCK remain a global phenomenon, with one indication of their loyal fan base – 15 years since the release of their debut – evident in their 20 million streams & 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, a streaming service that didn't even exist until 3 years after their debut’s release. Another is the number of fans around the world who tuned in for DATAROCK's live-stream on April 6, 2020: more than 60.000 logged on to various platforms to enjoy the online concert from their studio.

Nevertheless, like so many other uniquely weird bands with plenty of eccentric personality invested in their art, DATAROCK remain very much DIY. They’re exclusively signed to their own YAP imprint & – with the help of long-time friends & collaborators such as Thomas Paulsen at Standing Ovation & Mikal Telle at Made Management – still handle pretty much everything themselves. 

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What's next?

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New single 'Digital Life' drops October 14th on YAP Records via Sony's The Orchard - mixed by the legendary Steve Dub (Chemical Brothers, Underworld, New Order, The Prodigy, Primal Scream, Orbital, Moby) & mastered by the pioneering engineer Mike Marsh (Chemical Brothers, Stereo MC's, Bjork, Massive Attack, Basement Jaxx, Oasis, Prodigy, Depeche Mode).

Next single coming is 'Tick Tock' out Oct 28 - mixed & mastered by the same duo.