Self-described as “an eclectic mix of everything that is good and decent,” Datarock’s Fredrick Saroea enjoys wandering between genres with only his and bandmate Ketil Mosnes’ personal preferences as constraints. Like Royksopp, Kings of Convenience and Annie, Datarock garnered interest from outside of Norway, with love from the influential UK press that flowed on throughout the rest of the world. All starting from the Bergen scene, Fredrick says thanks to the international publicity and “the diversity and non-competitive nature of the artists, everyone got a spot in the limelight, whatever limelight it was – a gig in a club, time in a studio, release on a label, mentioning in a piece or a slot on a tour. It was much like a team effort, really.” Our resident Viking, Anne Bakke, chats to the best ‘Norske’ band since A-ha…

Hvor er det best Ã¥ være Datarock for tiden? Australia eller hjemme i Norge? (Where is it hot to be Datarock right now? Australia or back home in Norway?) You know, finally it’s pretty hot being Datarock at home too, but unfortunately we don’t get to enjoy it as we’re never at home and don’t ever have time to do anything when we are. With the upcoming tour though, I’d say Australia is Datarock’s current hot spot!

Hva er den største forskjellen mellom gammel og nytt? Og hva kan vi forvente fremover? (What’s the biggest difference between the old and new sounds? And what can we expect from your next release?) The first thing I’ll have to say is that our new EP, “See What I Care”, shouldn’t be perceived as a follow up to our debut. This new release is more of a concept EP paying tribute to the Madchester scene, or Manchester as a city of music in general. You know, bands such as The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Charlatans and Inspiral Carpets, classics like A Certain Ratio, Joy Division and New Order, perhaps even a gentle touch of the Smiths, but this is more of a detour than anything else. Songs you can expect to end up on the follow-up album are more in the style of, say, “Sex Me Up”, “Princess” and “Fa Fa Fa”, but different of course, with a new shake and stir. “Molly” is a tribute to Molly Ringwald, and “True Stories” is an homage to David Byrne and Talking Heads.

Hva eller hvem er det som pÃ¥virker dere mest for tiden? (Who’s your main influence for your new sound?) For the first time ever we’re actually influenced by ourselves. I mean, we’ve now done more than 350 shows in 25 countries and I think it’s virtually impossible not to be affected by the response and interaction one has with an audience. That being said, I guess another inevitable truth is the fact that we’re probably a little bit influenced by the scene we’re part of. But then still Talking Heads, DEVO and Happy Mondays are all very much present, paired up with stuff like A Certain Ratio, Liquid Liquid, ESG, The B-52’s, Charlatans, the Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets, The Smiths, a little bit of Prince and the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing.

Hva er det mest typiske spørsmÃ¥let dere blir stilt nÃ¥r dere er i Australia? Mitt er ‘kjenner du Datarock’? (As Norwegians, what’s the question you’re asked most frequently when you’re in Australia? Mine is, ‘Do you know Datarock?’) You won’t believe it, but entering Australia on our previous tour, one of the guys in customs asked us if we happened to be Datarock, and when we said yes he and all of his colleagues started chanting “Fa Fa Fa” barbershop style. Life is indeed a musical. The questions most frequently asked though are “Is BMX really better than sex?” “Did you ever go to a computer camp?” “Is Olivia Newton-John the reason why you’re so into Grease?” and “Is the fact that Nicole Kidman debuted in BMX Bandits the origin of your BMX fixation?” The answer to all the above is yes!

The tour edition of Datarock Datarock, is out through EMI. See them Wednesday 5 September at Brisbane’s The Zoo , Thursday 6 at Sydney’s Metro and Friday 7 at Melbourne’s Hi-fi Bar , tix $45.