When meeting Andres Kõpper and Meelik Samel, the vocalist and the bassist of the Estonian alternative band Tenfold Rabbit, you get the impression that they are not used to Tallinn’s chilly winds anymore. As they just came back from their tour in Italy, the two young musicians wear light winter coats and scarfs on a sunny day yet they look relaxed and thoughtful when talking about their music, inspirations and upcoming concerts.
What kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
Andres: I am not into deep house or anything but lately, I like to listen to melodic electronic music. A few years ago, I listened to lots of folk music and also took it as an inspiration for my own music. However I got sick of it. So now, everything goes more into an electronic direction.
Who or what is your biggest influence when making music?
Andres: When I was about 17, my favourite singer was José Gonzales. He influenced me a lot, concerning my vocals.
Meelik: Depending on my mood, I listen to completely different kinds of music of which I keep the highlights in mind. Same goes for reading a cool book, watching a movie and so on. All those impressions influence my music.
How does it feel to play at Jazzkaar, although you are not a jazz band?
Meelik: We are very happy and see it as a good opportunity for our fans to get in touch with jazz and maybe find a new style they like. But also jazz fans might come to our concert and think “Oh, that music is different but I like it”.
Your new music video, Eyes wide shut, is about people focussing too much on their smartphones and laptops in public while they do not notice what happens around them. Would you say that this is especially an Estonian problem?
Andres: Estonia is a multi- media country, but everywhere around the world, we find this issue. Myself, I am constantly on the computer. There are advantages and disadvantages about this multi-media life.
What is your favourite part about making music?
Andres: I guess, when a song turns out like I had it imagined. When we play it then and the audience likes it that is just amazing.
Meelik: In Estonia, musicians have a “politically correct answer”: Creative satisfaction. But for me, the best part is, when I play and I see the reaction of the audience. It is euphoria, caused by all your endorphins and dopamine going crazy.
What was the most epic moment you ever had with Tenfold Rabbit?
Andres: Personally, it might had been, when we were in our tour in Italy and it was my birthday. Jaan, our guitarist, taught all the Italians to sing Happy Birthday for me in Estonian and I received a huge bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. (laughs)
How does it feel to be back from your Italy tour?
Andres: It was an amazing experience. We gave 13 concerts almost every day in two weeks, but when you drive around Italy, it rather feels like a sightseeing tour. There are castles on every mountain and also the people were so friendly, especially in the North.
Was the Italian audience different compared to the Estonian?
Andres: Not completely. The audience was really cool and it was surprising to see how the people enjoyed our music.
Meelik: Basically, we only played our new songs. So it was great to see that after such a long break, where we did not play any concerts neither in Estonia nor anywhere else, the audience really liked our music. I think that this was the best part of our Italy tour.
On the 29th May, you are going to perform at Primavera Music Festival in Barcelona. Are you excited to represent the Estonian and Baltic music scene there?
Andres: I am very excited. If there is a music festival in Europe I would like to go to, it is Primavera. It is the best place to go there, see the artists and perform. It is just super awesome.
Describe an average tour day in 3 words.
Andres: Lots. Of. Driving.
In which country would you like to have a tour?
Meelik: I would like to visit oriental countries far in the east like Nepal and China. Another part of the world would be South America. I would like to see Chile, Peru…
Andres: I always wanted to go to New Zealand. I do not know if it is a good place to have a tour in, but like that, I do not have to pay for the tickets. (laughs)
Meelik: Another Estonian band called Bombillaz once had a tour in India. They played in the centre of a very small village and all the villagers came to listen to that band. You never know which people like your music.