Last month, when Norway-based band Days Of August unveiled their debut full-length album Staring Empty At The Moon, we left breathless. Their music is stunning and expansive, equal parts rich and sparse.
So fresh off the album’s release, we caught up with the band to chat about how they came together, the concept behind their album’s title, and what the future holds.
Fresh off the release of their stunning debut album Staring Empty At The Moon, we caught up with Norway outfit Days Of August for a chat.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
DAYS OF AUGUST: Hello! These days we are mostly watching the response of our debut-album Staring Empty at the Moon. We also play some gigs around in Norway. Two weeks ago we were in Oslo and Stord, and this Saturday we are playing in Frank´s hometown. This is exciting times! Other than that, we do different things in our daily life. Espen works as a freelance audio and light designer, Mathias and Frank go to different bible-schools in Stavanger this year.
HAPPY: We’ve been loving Staring Empty At The Moon! How does it feel having the album out in the world?
It feels really good! We’ve been working hard to finish this album, and now it’s finally out there. Of course it’s fun to see how people react and respond to our music, but first and foremost it’s awesome to get it out for our own sake! We are really proud of this album, therefore we just want to share it with the world.
HAPPY: It feels like you guys have always been really certain of your sound. How long had you all been working together before you released After Twelve?
DAYS OF AUGUST: Frank has always been really certain of the sound he wants, so Mathias and Espen have just followed his vision. After working with both the EP and album, we’ve all developed a similar music taste. That you feel we are certain on our sound is very interesting for us to hear, because neither Mathias or Espen had played together with Frank before we recorded the After Twelve EP. Mathias and Frank didn’t know each other before recording the After Twelve EP, but Mathias and Espen went to high-school together, so they’ve played together a lot. So, to answer your question: the three of us had not played together before July 2018 when we recorded the After Twelve EP.
HAPPY: Do you feel like there were any big differences between releasing an EP and an album?
DAYS OF AUGUST: We feel it is kind of the same. We show people something we have created and hope for the best. The main difference is the work we have put into it, and then also
the number of songs we get out there!
HAPPY: Could you talk us through the idea that inspired the album’s title, Staring Empty At The Moon?
DAYS OF AUGUST: Staring empty at the moon is about a thought I had. I found myself looking at things in life without realising how meaningful it really was. People nowadays are too self-centred. We walk past each other without looking at each other, we worry about ourselves and our problems before others, our main thought is “how can I get more money?” This is a phenomenon common everywhere, but I feel this relates strongly to our home country Norway. Being claimed as one of the “best” and richest countries in the world, yet we tend to live in our own little bubble. Many of us live a life thinking “no matter what happens I’ll be fine,” and that we are kings and queens of the world. We forget that this world is in danger. This world can be a dark place, but “that’s the way it is” in our minds. We need to wake up, stop staring empty and without care at the beautiful, bigger picture. When we look at the moon do we see only a white circle, or do we see the beauty and mystery seen by all of the worlds human beings since the dawn of time? Something we all have in common. Do we see a deeper meaning?
HAPPY: Your music is inspired largely by Norwegian nature, right? Could you tell us a bit about the influence your home country has on your music?
DAYS OF AUGUST: The three of us come from different places in Rogaland county, Norway. There are very similar landscapes, but different at the same time. Our guitarist Espen lives at Jørpeland, the same small town where you will find the famous Preikestolen, and one of the towns you will find the mighty fjords, which are beautiful! Our drummer Mathias lives in the middle of the city of Stavanger. He loves the city-life and finds it really inspiring just walking among strangers in the city centre, just observing. Frank, our lead vocalist, lives in Hauge i Dalane (or Haua), which is an even smaller town with about 4000 residents. Being the place where all the lyrics to our songs were made, the songs have a heart of Haua in them.
HAPPY: Who are some artists that you’re currently enjoying?
MATHIAS: I listen to a lot of Bon Iver’s music for the moment. Their last album is awesome and really touching. Last week I watched Coldplay’s A Head Full Of Dreams movie, so I also listen a lot to them and find their journey really inspiring. But anyway, this last week I have definitely listened most to Staring Empty at The Moon.
FRANK: LatI’vei’ve been super into the Better Oblivion Community Center project. Being a huge fan of Phoebe Bridgers and having listening to Bright Eyes in my earlier days, I naturally loved this album. Also a shout-out to Junius Meyvant’s new album. Amazing original music.
ESPEN: These days I listen to Ben Howard and Sufjan Stevens the most. It’s winter, and life is hectic at the moment. These two artist’s music makes me relax a little bit and makes me forget life for a moment. I also have Bon Iver’s NPR life concert on repeat, the guitar sounds are amazing!
HAPPY: What’s next for Days of August? Any exciting plans in the works?
DAYS OF AUGUST: Hopefully touring Australia! We want to play more live and give people a new and more dynamic and emotional experience of who Days of August are. AND WE ARE NOW GETTING THE ALBUM OUT ON VINYL! So let us know if you want some copies and we’ll send a load to Australia. In the future, we have dreams of creating new music with an evolved sound. Now that we have our first songs out on the album, we can start reflecting on what songs speak to us. We want to get a little bit out of our comfort zone, but still be Days of August. It’s still early, but we are excited for the future.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
DAYS OF AUGUST: Yes, thank you for having us! Awesome to talk with you. Cheers!
Staring Empty At The Moon is available now. Listen above.