The Safri Zone talks with Uffe and Morten at the Christmas Gala 2006
First up we are very interested in finding out what Safri Duo has been up to musically in 2006 and Morten tells us, that they have been experimenting and simply “playing around” and exploring many different angles to the music. Out of this freedom has sprung an inspiration only created by allowing themselves to play and explore. They have experimented not only with pop/dance sounds but also with classical music, thereby getting a clearer vision of in which direction they want Safri Duo to go. Morten tells us, that making a record takes a lot of time, but even longer when you, as Uffe and Morten , write their own music and take part in every bit of the process of creating a cd.
“Have you performed live in 2006?” we ask them:
Yes we have” , Uffe answers, “but only closed shows, for huge companies, private shows etc….”
As we all know Uffe turned 40 in 2006, so we ask him about his birthday and surprisingly he tells us, that he spent his birthday in the hospital!!! “I have a decease in my right ear, which needed to be operated to prevent me from going deaf, and the date for the operation got set right on my birthday, but of course I chose to have it done! So I actually spent my birthday in a hospital bed. But it was so great when Thomas (webmaster) then arrived with the birthday present and greetings from the fans, thank you very very much for that!”
Since Safri Duo hardly performed any shows in 2006, we talked about why they have chosen to play at the Christmas gala, and they tell us, that the main reason for saying yes is the fact, that it’s really close to their homes. That aside Safri Duo takes part in a big production where the scenery and preparations are left to organizers. So the focus is not as intense on Uffe and Morten as it would be at a Safri Duo show where they would have to prepare everything and be in change of every detail concerning the show. Also there is not the strain of wanting to have new material ready for the shows. Further more they have enjoyed spending time with the other artist performing at the Christmas Gala.
“You took part in a commercial for the energy company Dong”, we ask, “now there is a new commercial on tv, with Peter Schmeichel on drums, did you make the drum sound for this commercial? No, Safri replies, “But it was fun to do the one we did. We have actually played with him once, which was quite amusing”.
“-It was fun conducting him!”, Morten remembers
“And he is really tall!!”, Uffe comments
A subject discussed many times by fans worldwide is the possibility of a live cd and /or DVD. We ask Uffe and Morten about it: Safri reflects on it and Morten says, that maybe it could be a possibility in the future. Something to consider, since they are such visual performers, but not before they have finished and released the next CD.
……and speaking of a new Cd…….
“Where have you found your inspiration for the new material, we ask, and Morten answers: “We have found it through allowing ourselves to play and be free in our creativity
“Has the work progress changed from Episode 2 to now?” “No, not much” Morten replies, “but the work process takes time, we have certain standards to ourselves and our music, and it's important not to feel pressured, that kills our creativity. We are not drum geeks…-at least not anymore, because we know our stuff by now and don't need to practice all day long. A very small part of making a cd, is actually US with the drums sticks. There is much more writing and programming”
“So no release date on the discussion board? Uffe and Morten answer almost in one voice: “Oh, no,no no!!”
If the Summer of 2007 will include a Safri Duo tour is also, still, unknown.
Do you feel a pressure from your greatest hit Played a- live? Morten responds: “We believe that Played a-live has earned a spot in music history, due to the fact that this song showed a new way of making sound and creating music. We have felt the stress of that song, but it has long passed. Now we can move forward and work towards making new material.”
With 3.0 and 3.5 Safri Duo were accompanied by Clark Anderson as well as on the road. Naturally the conversation reaches Safri Duo’s collaboration with Clark and a possible continuance with the talented singer on board. -Or maybe other guest appearances?? Safri Duo comments on this by saying that they have had wonderful times with Clark and it has been terrific seeing him again at these shows. On the first tour Tine Bjerregaard, who sang Baya Baya, joined them on stage. They also fondly remember their collaboration with Michael McDonald. But their guests are exactly that: Guests. That’s why its always new artist performing on each cd. Uffe and Morten make the music and then they decide whether or not it would be interesting to bring a guest on board for a while. Safri Duo is just that: A duo. If someone will drop by the studio to be part of the next Safri adventure is yet unknown.
Safri Duo is Uffe Savery and Morten Friis, but for a number of years they have been accompanied on stage by the Safri Duo band consisting of Peter Buch, Mikkel Benn and Mads Storm. How did they come on board? This turns out to
be quite a tangled story, but the short version is, that Peter was the first one found, while he was a student at Lars Danielsen. He was brought in and had to learn the play list listening to a cd, which was kinda stressing for him, as Morten remembers. At
the first shows Peter played both bass and keyboard, but Peter knew Mads, who was then brought in to play the keyboard. The job as drummer was first occupied by Andy Treacey from England, but when he returned home, Mikkel Benn was recruited at an audition.
Have you been to any concerts this year, we ask, and Morten tells us, that just a week ago, they have seen Trantemøller at café Rust. -Both as inspiration and enjoyment. In 2006 they have also seen Massive Attack, Sting and U2.
What kind of music have you bought this year? Uffe tells us, that he mostly buys music online and has recently bought music by Trevor Horn. Morten still cherishes buying CD´s from “real” stores and recently went all nostalgic and bough some music by Chicago, because he enjoys the great set-ups.
What is the latest film you have seen: Uffe has just seen Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), which he highly recommends and Morten saw: The Da Vinci Code, but wasn’t all that impressed.
What´s the most expensive thing you have ever bought? Here both Uffe and Morten answer their homes, if this could be considered as things.
A few years ago Uffe and Morten competed against each other in a quiz called Venner for Livet (Friends for Life). Morten was triumphant and won a trip to France. Knowing how incredibly busy Uffe and Morten were at that point in time we asked Morten if he ever DID go on that trip? “Well, partly, Morten recalls.”-But it was much, much later, and I didn’t go to France but to Portugal instead. There was a deadline for the prize on the show, but within that time period I didn’t have the time to go, but it was all sorted out. On the other hand we never cashed in our winning prize to Iceland on the show “A-ha!”
Do you guys have any phobias, we asked and Uffe tell us, that he used to be afraid of height, to which Morten smilingly comments, that Uffe used to stick to him like clue, when they explored towering sights abroad. Admitting that Uffe has moved passed this phobia, Morten informs us, that he has no phobias what so ever.
They also tell us that they, in the past, have suffered from stage fright but this was back in the classical period. Now they love being on stage.
How do your children deal with having famous dads? “-We keep family and being in music separate”, Uffe starts, “- When we are home, then we are really home. Emil, my son, has never seen me as being a famous person, but simply as a dad, who makes music with his friend and partner. Emil actually listened to Episode 2 again recently and told me, that it’s, in fact, a pretty cool cd!”
”-I would think of it as weird if my daughters had their own dad on posters on their walls, so I'm very pleased that it’s Shakira and the Olsen Twins and not Safri Duo. You know…they are used to it, it’s what their daddy does for a living. ..But of course they enjoy this time, where there is not much touring.”
Are there days when you guys just don't feel like looking at drums at all? Uffe answers: “Oh yeah, of course! Playing drums is our profession and just like any other job you sometimes have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and search hard for the inspiration . We find energy in the basic stuff…to built up the material”
Being close to New Year we ask Uffe and Morten if they would go back and change something in their past if they got the chance and they agree, that they have never done anything SO foolish, that it needed to be undone, because they have always believed in following their hearts in everything they do.
We also ask them what they would do, if they only had one day left to live. Morten starts up by comically suggesting listening to Nik and Jay´s “En dag Tilbage” (One day Left) the entire day. Uffe says that he would of course be spending the day with his family, and Morten concludes, that he can't relate to such a thought, because he is here now and living.
Now that the serious and philosophical discussion is over we can´t have an interview in December without finding out how Uffe and Morten celebrate Christmas!! We ask them about their Christmas traditions:
Uffe starts off and tells us that in his family they have the same traditions as most families in Denmark….”
Morten says, that they start their Christmas preparations very late. All that tinsel and pixies everywhere, months before, is just too much. At his house they start getting ready on the 23rd, and then they celebrate the holiday being together and cherishing the family.
Uffe then cuts in arguing, that it´s folly starting just one day before Christmas because it´s impossible to get a decent Christmas tree this late! –Morten arguing that he is in fact very capable of locating a great tree that late. Uffe still very much in doubt, Morten tells him, that he has great sources in the Christmas tree department, due to the fact that he is an expert in starting off the Christmas preparations this late.
Who can argue that?
Morten also tells us that they spend time remembering those who were still with them last Christmas, but have passed away this year.
Now, that the Christmas tree has been up for discussion we want to know what Uffe and Morten would like to have under it, this year? It sounds like presents don't really matter much to them, when it comes to the true spirit of Christmas, because they can’t really come up with anything. –But Uffe tells us, that for his birthday he actually got a roast thermometer , which he had been wanting for a very long time. They will be 18 people around the Christmas table at home, so he has a huge oven with room for 2 geese, so the thermometer may just come in handy!
This year Morten´s family will serve goose and roast pork, but when it comes to the Christmas menu, they tell us, that it varies from year to year. Still they both agree that it´s definitely Ris a la Mande and not risengroed for Christmas
The Christmas Gala is about to start so for our final question we ask them what their wishes are for 2007?
Unanimous they say, that it´s finding the essence of the music they wish to create next, making a truly great CD and getting out there on the road to re-unite with their fans.