Great Danes

The HorrorPops have been called psychobilly for years, but these genre-hopping Danish rockers don’t like boxes. We chatted with a few of the bands’ members about their rebellious streak, their homeland, and their new album, Kiss Kiss Kill Kill.

New Times: Your music has always been defined by an anti-status quo attitude that’s born out of the anti-musician attitude in Denmark.

Patricia Day: Well, it’s not just in Denmark. In any culture, it doesn’t even have to be a subculture, there’s a set of rules that you follow. Let me give you an easy one: punk. If you’re punk, you’ve got this set of political opinions, you’ve got your little outfits, you can listen only to punk music. You can’t listen to Barry Manilow and, if you do, you put it at the back of your record collection so your cool friends don’t find it. NT: And the HorrorPops’ music is marked by breaking those rules.

PD: When we started as a band, we started to cross genres and combine lots of genres into one because we didn’t want to limit ourselves as a band. We wanted to be able to play all the different types of music we liked, whether it was Dolly Parton or Motörhead — it didn’t matter.

NT: Is it any easier for guys there now that the HorrorPops have been legitimized by international success?

Kim Nekroman: We go home and it’s, like, “Oh, the HorrorPops have found some success in the U.S.,” but, in Denmark, if you’re not a big mainstream act, they couldn’t care. Being an artist in the U.S. or the U.K., it’s an official career. But in Denmark, they don’t give a damn. Like, ‘Why don’t you grow up and get a real job?”

NT: That indifference is what helped spark the Youth House protests in Copenhagen last year, an event that inspired your new album’s angriest song, “Boot2Boot,” right?

KN: It’s about this youth house in Copenhagen that’s been there for, wow, I don’t even know how many years. I remember when I was younger, it was a place for punks and outcasts. I’d been there several times, I’ve played there with my other band, the Nekromantix. All kinds of bands played there [including Björk and Nick Cave]. Eventually, it was sold to this Christian cult who decided they wanted to save all these punks. Finally, after [three days of] crazy riots [and almost 700 arrests], the house was torn down. It was a piece of Danish culture that should’ve been kept alive. The song is really a tribute to the spirit of that house.

(Pink Spiders, Steve E. Nix and The Cute Lepers, and Belfry Bats will also perform at the show).

Fri., March 21, 6:30 p.m., 2008