Jonas Andresen and Fredrik Bjerkland are Frecvens, an Oslo-based duo that has crafted one of the freshest sounds in the world of modern synthpop.
Their atmospheric style is both highly engaging and quite unique. It combines Fredrik’s shimmering, sometimes quirky synth lines with Jonas’ plaintive vocals to create a rich and tasty aural stew that is a delight to listen to.
I recently had an opportunity to talk to the guys to learn more about their musical roots and influences, and what’s next for this rising star.
Chuck Frey: Your brief biography says that Frecvens was formed in 2009. Please give me a background on each of your lives prior to the formation of the group.
Fredrik: We have jobs like everyone else. I work for a security company. I have two children and am married. Jonas is selling for a store in Oslo. he has two children but is divorced. And in our free time we work with music.
Chuck: Did either of you have a musical background prior to forming Frecvens?
Fredrik: Neither of us has any kind of music background. But this has been a wish since we were kids. Making music is something special we have dreamed of.
Chuck: How and where did the two of you meet?
Fredrik: We are twin brothers.
Chuck: What made you realize that you ought to collaborate and form Frecvens?
Fredrik: We have always enjoyed music. And a big wish to convey our music. When we were young we stood on stage and pretended we were music stars. So the idea began in 2009 when we started the group.
Chuck: How did you come up with the name of the group? Does the word Frecvens have any special meaning?
Fredrik: It was a pure idea we got. The idea was to use the Norwegian word for frequency, frekvens. We replaced K with C to create Frecvens.
Chuck: What are your musical influences?
Jonas: Our biggest inspiration is Depeche Mode, Mesh and a Swedish group, Kent.
Chuck: What is the division of labor? Who is responsible for doing what in terms of creating, recording and producing songs?
Jonas: When we sit in the studio, some days we will not get anything. But when you do not plan and focus on a song. Then everything comes. We make all the music ourselves. It only comes by itself. I am the singer in the group. The background vocal is Fredrik.
Chuck: You’ve done something remarkable: you have succeeded in fashioning your own sound, not something that is derivative of other leading synthpop acts of yesteryear or today. How would you describe the musical style of Frecvens?
Jonas: The music is characterized by Depeche Mode. We use a lot of different sounds like soft and analogue sounds. The music should be perceived as a dream. The chorus is the most important element in our songs. The songs must be remembered.
Chuck: What synths and other electronic production do you like to use create your music?
Jonas: We use Reason Proppellerhead program that controls all instruments on the computer. We use a midi synthesizer and dynamic microphone.
Chuck: Did you have a theme in mind when you wrote your first album, A New Day?
Fredrik: No. We simply had a dream to make a good album. I believe we did this.
Chuck: Also in 2017, you also produced Someone to Talk With. Do you consider that to be an album or an EP?
Fredrik: He he. The idea was to make an EP album with about 4 songs. But we ended up with more. We have produced many songs that may not be published.
Chuck: In what countries or regions are you getting the biggest response from fans?
Jonas: We only focus on streaming, such as Spotify, Tidal, iTunes, etc. We have fans in England, Brazil, Poland, Russia and the United States.
Chuck: Where can fans see you perform?
Fredrik: We have no plans for Europe. It is not easy and get into this market. We have sent information to various festivals but they have not responded. We are in dialogue with a synth festival in Sweden for 2018 but that’s not confirmed.
Chuck: What’s next musically for Frecvens?
Fredrik: We are going to release a new album in 2018. It will be the best album we’ve made. Who knows? Maybe we will appear on the festival scene in the future.
Chuck: Thanks for participating in this interview. Best of luck to you with Frecvens!