Unintentional: It might be the best word to describe how New Politics became a band.
Lead singer David Boyd and guitarist Soren Hansen met in their hometown of Copenhagen, Denmark 7 1/2 years ago.
They immediately began jamming, writing songs and recording demos for separate solo albums. It wasn’t long before they realized they had created a band.
“When it came to writing music we had, like, this natural thing,” Boyd said. “We didn’t really have an idea of where it would go.”
The dance-rock band will open for Fall Out Boy on Friday (Sept. 12) at the Washington State Fair.
It will be the last show before New Politics begins its second headlining tour that will continue through November. The band also includes American drummer Louis Vecchio.
With electronic and pop influences, Boyd said the group aims to put on a high-energy show with music that a variety of people can connect with and recognize.
The band’s big break came in 2009 when the group was selected to compete in a national band competition and perform at a major music festival in Denmark. Out of the 42 bands that performed, New Politics ended up being one of the four final bands.
“It gave us like a pat on the shoulder; it inspired us,” Boyd said.
Exposure from the competition and a few online videos of live performances created a buzz in Denmark that attracted the attention of the American record label RCA, Boyd said.
Shortly after the competition, the band signed with RCA and relocated to America to promote its self-titled album, “New Politics.”
Boyd said he credits the band’s success to a combination of luck and hard work. He said getting the opportunity to perform large shows for influential people allowed the band to make the shift to the U.S. audience.
After its first headliner tour, the band settled down to write its second album in New York City.
Boyd said moving stateside fulfilled his childhood dream of living in America, and turned music and songwriting from a hobby into a livelihood.
But the experience was not without its hardships.
The band ran out of money six months before completing the second album.
“We really experienced New York in its darkest ways,” he said. “That place was such an emotional roller coaster.”
He said the band received some financial support when it was booked for a music festival in Paris.
The group would go from struggling to pay rent in its “tiny” Brooklyn apartment to playing a crowd of 30,000 music-festival goers.
The result of their six-month struggle would be its second and most popular album, “A Bad Girl in Harlem,” which was released May 2013.
Boyd said their second album represented a different period in their life, and the dramatic culture change from Denmark to America.
“We weren’t, like, angry kids anymore in a basement,” Boyd said.
The harsh New York living was in sharp contrast to their upbringing in Denmark, where Boyd and Hansen were accustomed to a high standard of living due to the high Danish income tax, Boyd said.
He said that he has appreciated America’s entrepreneurial culture that rewards hard work and risk-taking.
“Where I’m from, if you follow your dream and think out the box, society looks at you kind of weird,” he said.
He said they have adopted America as their new home and hope to continue to contribute to the culture.
“We pay our taxes here, now, we feel at home,” Boyd said.
Since the release of their second album the band has toured nonstop and has gone on to open for well-known acts like Paramore and Pink.
Boyd said the second album was a huge success for the band and expanded its fan base beyond its expectations. He said it has been a tremendous experience meeting new fans and rubbing elbows with high-profile bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kings of Leon.
“It’s just so surreal,” Boyd said.
He said the struggle of living in New York with almost no money has made the success of the album even more gratifying.
Boyd said the band is now in the process of writing songs for its third album, but has not set a timeline for a release date. The band will release the new album under its new label, DCD2 Records, an independent record label owned by Fall Out Boy lead singer Pete Wentz.
Boyd said Wentz and Fall Out Boy have been supportive of the group’s music over the past four years, and the two bands have developed a close relationship while on tour.