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Four friends formed DATAROCK on a rainy afternoon drinking beer under a tree on top of a mountain in Bergen, Norway. It was the first summer of a brand new millennium, and the boys were getting into the groove at an outdoor festival of electronic music. Inspired by the heat of the moment, the boys made a life changing decision and came rolling down the mountainside with a tablet of stone engraved with a single word – DATAROCK.
The brand new band was signed straight away by the local indie label, Èllet / Tellé Records, pairing our drunk friends with a roster of acts such as Røyksopp, Kings Of Convenience and Annie. And so the boys went out on an endless run of shows in underground clubs and festivals across Europe – the perfect breeding ground for alternative dance music, fostering DATAROCK’s mix of indie dance, new wave, pop, rock, punk & funk. As the band so modestly put it – “we are the zenith of pop evolution”.
Four years later DATAROCK formed their own imprint, YAP Records, internationally distributed by VME – infamous for black metal such as Burzum. And so, in 2005 DATAROCK unveiled their debut album “DATAROCK DATAROCK” featuring tracks such as “Computer Camp Love” & “FA FA FA” – sending DATAROCK on a four year global tour.
So far DATAROCK’s done more than 700 shows in 33 countries (on 4 continents). They’ve toured America alone 17 times, playing more than 100 clubs and festivals – Coachella (CA), CMJ (NYC), WMC (Miami), SXSW ‘07 & SXSW ’09 (Austin), Download (San Francisco), Detour (LA), Virgin (Toronto), Montral Jazz Festival (Montreal), MX Beat (Mexico City), Planet Terra (Sao Paolo, Brasil) and Personal Fest (Buenos Aires, Argentina). The North American tours include a 42 cities run the summer of 2008, and a 26 cities craze for the release of DATAROCK’s second album, “RED”, September ’09.
Thanks to the acclaim of their albums DATAROCK’s been fortunate enough to establish a worldwide profile, including impenetrable markets like the US, where DATAROCK has appeared on a number of national mass mediated phenomena like NCB’s Chuck, MTV’s Jersey Shore, AOL’s Spinner, Nickelodeon’s Yo Gabba Gabba, ABC News and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live (where DATAROCK’s second appearance was at the outdoor stage at the very release date of their second album).
DATAROCK’s international booking is handled by The Agency Group in LA, and the band is signed exclusively to US publishing company Artwerk – a joint venture between Nettwerk One Music and gaming giant EA (Electronic Arts). This alliance has led to getting tracks featured in an unprecedented number of major video games such as Fifa ’08, Fifa ’09, Fifa ’10, Fifa Street, Sims 2, Sims 3, Need For Speed, Madden NFL and the iPad hit Tap Tap Radiation. In total 22 of the highest grossing games on the planet features tracks by DATAROCK – reaching out to a credible estimate of 250 million gamers minimum.
DATAROCK’s tracks have further on been featured in campaigns for brands like Apple, Coca Cola, Samsung, FOX and RadioShack. In addition, their tracks are featured in a vast number of ads, TV series and films across the world – including commissioned work for Disney.
Since 2007 DATAROCK’s career has been very much focused on North America. Simultaneously DATAROCK’s been touring the rest of the world both prior and parallel, playing hundreds of clubs and festivals all across the planet: Summer Sonic in Tokyo & Osaka in Japan, Good Vibrations, Falls, Field Day, Southbound, Sunset Sounds, Come Together, Future Music and Meridith Music Festival in Australia, Sonar and Benicassim in Spain, ArezzoWave in Italy, Sudoeste in Portugal, Stereoleto in Russia, Be2gether in Lithuania, Pohoda in Slovakia, Les Ardentes in Belgium, Transmusicales and Microcosm in France, Eurosonic and Metropolis in Netherlands, Berlin Festival, Pop Kom, Hurricane and South Side in Germany, Koneisto in Finland, Airwaves at Island, Arvika and Hultsfred in Sweden, Roskilde ’05 and ’07 in Danmark, Reading, Leads, O2 Wireless, Camden Crawl, The Great Escape, Loop, Latitude, Lovebox, Dot To Dot, Orange Evolution, Eurocultured, In The City and Oxygen in the UK, and numerous festivals in Norway such as Øya, Quart, BergenFest, NattJazz, Lost Weekend, +47, EKKO, NuMusic, Midnattsrocken, Bygdalarm, Utkant, Pereferi, Storås, Pstereo, UKA, Stavernfestivalen, Månefestivalen, Malakoff, Oslo Live, Ekstremsportveko, BaleJazz, MaiJazz, RaumaRock and by:Larm.
DATAROCK’s albums are both critically acclaim across the world, and even their debut album was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy. Later on the album came in at 36 on NME’s list of “best albums of 2006”, and the same year (out of 660.000 registered votes) “Computer Camp Love” came in at number 12 on Australia’s national radio’s list of listeners favorite tracks – Triple J’s Hottest 100. For the US re-release in 2007, Spin Magazine listed the track “See What I Care” as an “essential download of the summer”, and “Computer Camp Love” came in at 88 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the best tracks of the year.
DATAROCK’s second album “RED” was also nominate for a Norwegian Grammy, it was “critics choice of the week” in New York Times, the singles ended up on heavy rotation on Norwegian national radio for seven months solid (NRK P3), and stateside MTV even headhunted and put the video for “True Stories” on rotation at MTV U – bizarrely as this single never was commercially released outside of Norway.
DATAROCK is now pretty much a global name. A few indications of their worldwide fan base are the number of listenings on DATAROCK’s MySpace profile (3.200.000), the number of views on DATAROCK’s YouTube clips, the number of fans on on DATAROCK’s Facebook profile (30.000), the number of followers on DATAROCK’s Twitter account, the number of plays (4.300.000) & listeners (310.000) on Last.fm, the way DATAROCK is able to tour globally, and the nature of their world wide distribution. Despite this fact the band is still very much DIY – exclusively signed to their own imprint and pretty much handling everything themselves.
DATAROCK’s first albums were licensed to Nettwerk Records and Ministry Of Sound, but DATAROCK is now breaking new ground by teaming up with San Francisco based designer toy company, SUPER7. Their new release is an soft-vinyl diamond character created, and inside this toy there’s a 4 GB USB stick featuring DATAROCK’s entire back catalogue plus two brand new EPs (“Catcher In The Rye” & “California”), two brand new LPs (“Music For Synchronization” & “Lost & Found”), a brand new DATAROCK concert film (“NEVER SAY DIE”), 1500 private photos, and more.
But what’s next? DATAROCK The Musical:
With no resemblance to actual events, “DATAROCK – the musical” tell the story of four friends who start a band to get away from their boring, small-town lives. Inspired by DEVO, Talking Heads and Happy Mondays they form ‘the peak of pop evolution’ and set off on a journey to California in search of fame, glory, sex, drugs & rock n’ roll. By the time they reach their destination, DATAROCK are already stars. What happens on the road, and what is the outcome of their newfound glory?
The story is of course told through DATAROCK tracks like ‘Fa Fa Fa’, ‘Computer Camp Love’, ‘I Used To Dance With Daddy’, ‘Give It Up’, ‘The Pretender’, ‘Amarillion’, ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and ‘California’ but what keeps it all together is new material written in the style of Golden Age musicals: we’re talking orchestral arrangements, show-tunes and ultra emotional Broadway style singing!
To fathom the concept, imagine the silver screen with Jack Black or Robert Downey Jr. as the obnoxious singer, Rocksteady Freddie. Michael Cera or Jon Heder could play the nerdy sax man, Ketel Two. Jason Schwartzman could be the wanna-be-tough-guy bass player (T-Man) and Luke Wilson can play the childlike, fanboy drummer (LA Gear). Picture Owen Wilson as their far out backline tech. Zach Galifianakis as their dedicated but utterly incompetent sound engineer & tour manager. Ben Stiller could be the evil industry guy, Steve Carell the less evil, and Jason Bateman would be perfect as the good guy!
Co-written by Charlie Kaufman & Adam Herz? Cameo appearance by DEVO, David Byrne & Shaun Ryder? Directed by Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry or Danny Leiner? Why not, ideed?
Imagine a disturbing cross between The Monkees, Cheech & Chong, ‘Animal House’, ‘This Is Spinal Tap’, ‘Revenge of the Nerds’, ‘Borat…’, ‘Flight of the Conchords’, ‘The Hangover’ & ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’. Terrible? Terribly awesome!
The best & the worst musical ever!