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Baby in Vain: “I’m surprised that they let us in”

To outsiders, the music scene in Denmark is like a club that you can see inside of, but can’t enter. You know it’s something special, but actually becoming a part of it is another matter entirely. Danish outfit Baby in Vain felt the same way, for a long time fronting to audiences outside their country. On their second album, See Through, they went back to their roots, returning to the alt scene at home and, partly through the force of COVID, remaining there. They connected with Nis Bysted of Escho, a label at the core of Denmark’s scene, who ended up recording the album with them. We caught up with Lola Hammerich to find out more about the elusive magic cooking up in Baby in Vain’s corner of Europe.

See Through is your second album. That’s about all most people know about you guys – can you give me the history of Baby In Vain?

We started 10 years ago, actually quite accurately, 10 years ago. And we released our first album in 2017, so it took us a while. But before that, we released an EP, toured quite a lot, but when we started I was 14. So the first few years were just like, I don’t know, playing around. And then we signed with Partisan Records on the last album. And did a bit of a failure of a tour in the UK. Then we made this new record, See Through.

Wait, why was the tour a failure? What happened?

We were doing 17 shows, and I think five of them were well attended. It was Leeds and London and Glasgow, and a few others. But we ended splitting with Partisan. It was a lot of bad communication between them and our old management, and it was also they were based in London, and I don’t know, it feels really good to just have Escho here. There was definitely an agent that booked the tour who was somewhere in cyberspace, where they just give you a tour and then you’re like, “I don’t think this is a good idea, but now we have it.”

“We were just seeking to get out of Denmark for a long time, and just spent all our money, and so we couldn’t do that anymore.”

So how did you end up recording with Nis Bysted from Escho? He seems like quite the guy in Denmark.

He’s always just been kind of around the corner from us in a way, but we’ve run into him before we knew him. But I didn’t think that we fit somehow that well with Escho and their profile for a while. But then when we were going to make this new album, we just sent him a few demos and he was just like, “This is great. I’m in.” And I was quite surprised by that, but thinking back, it makes a lot of sense because they’re really a nice label. He is, as you say, the guy.

Where do you guys find yourselves in that scene?

I mean, we always felt really super alone, in terms of being a part of the scene. I don’t really know. We were just seeking to get out of Denmark for a long time, and just spent all our money, and so we couldn’t do that anymore. And now we’re here, and I don’t know… As I said, now it feels like way more as a part of something that’s happening here now that we are working with those people. It feels good, but yeah, as I said, I’m surprised that they let us in.

With this album coming out, in an ideal world what you would want to happen?

I mean, I haven’t really felt the Corona, the pandemic, affect me that much in terms of my general life. It’s been pretty normal. Also here, our lockdowns weren’t that hectic at all, or not yet at least…I feel like I have so many things to do still. But yeah, in terms of the record coming out, it’s really a bummer that we can’t tour. But there are a lot of sit-down shows here now, where we sit down, and a venue where there’s usually a thousand people, you could be 200 or something that’s sitting down. That’s better than not playing any shows maybe, but still not ideal. But fuck, I miss going to shows lately, or ending up at a show.

See Through is out now.