Interview

First Hate

Copenhagen synth-pop duo First Hate – aka Joakim Norgaard and Anton Falck Gansted – combine lo-fi, synthetically programmed melodies and drum beats fused with keyboard recordings. With Gansted’s deep, charismatic voice and oh-so-relatable lyrics at the forefront, you’ll immediately fall in love with their sound. Always reinventing, First Hate’s music makes you wanna dance and sometimes cry – but who says you can’t do both at the same time? We met with the boys to talk growing up, the theft of a baby monkey (!) and how their lives are blossoming .

Interview by Laura-Andréa Callewaert
Photos by Kristoffer Juul, shot in Copenhagen

Joakim was in prison for six months after stealing a baby monkey

What was it like growing up in Denmark?
Joakim: Copenhagen is, in general, a quiet and safe place to grow up. Both of our parents gave us a lot of responsibility, they didn’t keep an eye on us most of the time. So it was easy to spend time out in the streets exploring the neighbourhood. A lot of time was spent making something happen out of boredom. We were both the bad kids and the nice guys.
Anton: Joakim was in prison for six months after stealing a baby monkey. That was a boring summer for me, I didn’t do much except wait for him to get out.

How did you see yourself growing up when you were little?
J: I thought adulthood meant becoming someone else and never being in doubt of things. But I also thought I was going to be an insanely rich inventor and private detective. Turns out none of it was true.
A: I actually imagined that I would be killed at quite a young age. I was a bit neurotic.

For me, ‘Rosebud’ is the name on the sledge in Citizen Kane

When I was told ‘Rosebud’ was the theme for this issue, I immediately thought of the rosebud cheat for The Sims. Did you guys play a lot of computer games when you were young?
J: Although I loved The Sims, Hitman 2, Pokemon and Kirby, I’ve never really finished a game. For some reason I couldn’t focus on them for too long. I would draw, read books and daydream all the time instead. Those are still some of my favourite things to do.
A: For me, ‘Rosebud’ is the name on the sledge in Citizen Kane, and that sledge plays a key role in one of my favourite Colombo episodes. But unfortunately I’ve decided to boycott American culture for a while so I can’t rewatch that right now.

How does a typical day in your life look these days?
J: There isn’t really a typical day. Sometimes we sleep all day because we’ve been out doing stuff or up watching YouTube crap all night. But most of the time we live quite busy lives.
A: A day could look like this: Wake up, eat breakfast with my neighbour, take the bus to the gym, work out with a friend, go to the supermarket and steal a bag full of snacks and drinks, eat in the sun, walk or run through the streets depending on my mood, go to the First Hate office to work on practical stuff like merch and planning, drink buckwheat tea and laugh about things, go out to eat at a friend’s house, come home to the mansion and drink wine with the neighbours, sit down in the studio to work on music, write in my diary, take a footbath, go to sleep next to my cat.
J: Same goes for me – except for the gym, the cat and the neighbour part. I use that time instead to lie and stare into the eyes of my beautiful knife. I mean wife.

If your life was a film, which would it be?
J: Ghost in the Shell.
A: The Truman Show :(.

First Hate plays at Swim With The Current Festival, June 8 at deSingel, Antwerp. This day is free for members. Become a member here.