SPOT Festival | Interview: PRISMA

Consisting of sisters Sirid and Frida Møl Kristensen, PRISMA presents a unique musical landscape adorned with personal lyrics. Copenhagen-based Sirid and Frida invite us to a party in the mid-2020s with their songs filled with synths and lo-fi drum machines reminiscent of the 1980s. They produced calm, introverted, and melancholic pieces with the debut EP “Her” released in 2020. However, PRISMA really caught our attention with their sequel EP “Inside Out”, which was released in May. This EP is a persona we almost didn’t see in PRISMA’s first EP. More daring, rebellious, and assertive. They even say the same thing. The track “I Never Wanted To Meet You”, which they previously released as a single, is the most energetic song from the EP. We can say that Sirid and Frida Møl Kristensen, who blend alt-pop and punk tones, are killing with the sequel EP.

By the way, we are looking forward to seeing PRISMA perform during SPOT Festival’s 2021 edition in Århus, Denmark.

-Hello Frida and Sirid aka PRISMA. Firstly, congratulations on the “Inside Out” EP. How are you feeling? What are you doing these days? 

PRISMA: Thank you very much. It feels so good to have released these songs and we are just filled with happiness. Our EP has been very well received, and we just played our first concert in a year. These songs are still very current for us, so it is nice to kind of “live with” them out there. This summer and fall we will be playing quite a few shows in Denmark, so we are just preparing for that. 

-You are a band that started releasing music during the pandemic. How would you define this experience? March 20, 2020, is the day of your first release. What did you experience during this process from the first single to the second EP?

Frida: It’s hard to tell how it’s different releasing music during corona, cause that’s the only thing we have ever tried. But of course, we had to find new ways to reach out to our audience. The most obvious way to connect with people as a new artist is by playing a lot of concerts. That was not an opportunity for us. We had to express our music only through digital platforms such as Instagram and Spotify. I think it’s hard to connect with people that way. But somehow we got through to some of them, and that’s just very lovely. 

Sirid: It was quite different to release the second EP. The first EP was also released during the pandemic in the fall, but it kind of made more sense, because the first EP was more inward-facing and melancholic. When we released “Inside Out” this spring, everything and everyone had another energy. The tracks on the EP, people within the team and our country. Everything and everyone were ready to get some new music and new energy, lucky for us, I think. 

-How does it feel to start a band between sisters? How is your relationship dynamic while making music? What does PRISMA stand for?

Frida: For us, it felt very natural to start making music together. We grew up in a very musical environment, and played together in the orchestra at our school and sang together in the school choir. We brought the music back to our home and started making songs together. It’s both the best feeling in the world to make music as sisters, and sometimes it’s also the very worst. We know each other so well, and because of that, there is no filter in our communication. That can cause very heavy discussions and arguments, but it also gives us the freedom to just say what we want and expresses our feelings completely raw. We connect on a deeper level, and I think that is a benefit when you are making music. We had kind of the same childhood and we listened to the same music as kids. We are the same person, but different, and that’s why we have the same directions on where we wanna go and what our dreams are for this project. 

Sirid: It is quite nice, but also very tough sometimes. We know each other very well, and that is both great and can be complicated. When we make music, it is for sure a good thing to be sisters and this close. We kind of have no filter when we discuss our music. So in that way, we really have the possibility to search for the exact sound that we want. When we write the music, we often start with a raw demo, and then we make it into a song in the studio, with our producer Birk. That is the way we have been doing it so far. PRISMA is a universe made out of our two vocals. It is a place where you as a listener can visit your emotions. We try to expose everyday feelings with both lyrics and sound. 

-I actually discovered your music by listening to “I Never Wanted To Meet You” which is indeed a badass song, I would say. However, after listening to all your tracks and debut EP, I think you have always been badass but in terms of lyrics, “Inside Out” is a total badass and very cool album. How did you decide this transition from more introverted to raw and cool attitude? 

Sirid: Thank you! We started out by making our first EP “Her”, which is a very introverted piece. I think we wanted to tell a philosophical story about finding your place in life. We really wanted to be kids again and were searching back in time. 

Frida: The songs from our first EP are songs we wrote back when we started playing together when we were 14 and 16 years old. We were in the very beginning- starting exploring our music and our sound. We want it to sound right before releasing it. It was frightening to release our first music ever, so it took a lot of time to finish that record.  We were very self-conscious. 

Sirid: With the new EP, we kind of got sick of all the thinking and the constant questions and wanted to keep a distance from the questions about life. We also experienced anxiety in the period, where the tracks were written which inspired us to create a whole other sound and feeling. Also, I think it was a very natural way for us to go after releasing a ‘softer’ EP. We wanted to record more raw stuff and be more intuitive. So this new EP is so much more relevant right now for us because the writing process was only ½ year. 

-I really liked the punk and rebellious attitude in your music. What are you listening to these days? Especially from the punk/rock scene? I felt some Lebanon Hanover and as well as the Danish band, The Raveonettes vibes in the EP. What do you think of the Danish punk scene? And where do you locate yourself as a band in the Danish music scene?

Sirid: I think we listen to very different stuff. But we both really love The Raveonettes and have been fans since we were teenagers. Also I really like DIIV, Vivian Girls, Trentemøller, Beach House, The Cure, Agnes Obel and Susanne Sundfør. They have all been able to create their own universes and sounds. That inspires me very much. I don’t know anything about the Danish punk scene, I’m sorry.

-What was your main inspiration during the production of the album? How did it come to life? 

Sirid: We wanted to make something raw and kind of rebellious. I experienced anxiety for a period, and those feelings were a big inspiration for the new music. The song “Devils Eye” is our way of describing an anxiety attack. The way that the song is building up in the middle is very deliberate and is a way of showing how anxiety feels. Also, we just wanted to mix the noisy guitars, the heavy bass and some electronic vibes into an album. The darkness is a good place to find inspiration.

Fotoğraf: Thomas Rungstrøm

-I think “Let Me Go” has a very depressing and deeper story than other tracks in the album. It even feels like the breathing point of the EP, after having a blast with the first two tracks. And you are closing the EP again with a very vibrant track. What was your motivation when you were deciding the order of the tracks? Does “Let Me Go” signify a special place for you?

Sirid: The order of the tracks is very well chosen. We wanted to tell a story about getting these anxious feelings and thoughts, trying to understand them and then choosing a way of living in the end with “I Never Wanted To Meet You”

Frida: Sure “Let Me Go” has a different vibe than the other tracks. It’s slower and more thoughtful. It’s a song about being trapped in a relationship you know isn’t good for you, but still, you cannot find your way out of it, because you glorify the other person. All the other tracks on the EP are describing the cut with bad relations and feelings in life. With “Let Me Go” we wanted to dive into the feeling before the flie. The bad relation, the claustrophobia of being trapped in something not good. In that way we had both sides of the story. The song is placed as the third track to slow things down a bit. You need a break at this point. 

-What is waiting for us next? What are your upcoming plans? 

PRISMA: We will be playing quite a few shows this summer and fall, which is very nice. And then we will focus on our music. That is the most important thing. 

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