The Bucket Playlist’s interview with Diplomatic Immunity

‘We have the philosophy that the dynamics have to be on point – you shouldn’t be bored as a listener’

by Sara Seddon at The Bucket Playlist

Danish grunge rockers Diplomatic Immunity released their incredibly anthemic single ‘Now’s The TIme’ this week, a song that begs to be put on repeat, over and over again.

The band comprises frontman Jeppe Ulrichsen (vocals and guitar), Magnus Bersang (drums) and Emil Kristensen (bass), who all grew up in Hadsund, a small town in the northern part of the country. Ulrichsen actually formed the band in primary school, although it has undergone several line-up changes since then. ‘Magnus moved in next door to me, we were standing outside smoking, got talking and started playing together. Emil’s a childhood friend, he keeps us organised!’ Their name was taken from a line in the film Lethal Weapon 2.

‘Now’s The Time’ is about the last two people in a world of chaos and decay, living life together as if every day is their last, a real Carpe Diem song. It kicks off with an exceptionally catchy guitar line and frenetic drums that build to a crescendo before Ulrichsen joins the fray. Kristensen describes their style as ‘hard-kicking, monstrous, slap-on-your-ass rock’ and this track encapsulates that perfectly: ‘It’s hard to describe it but I had a friend in a crisis and I was trying to find some words. There’s the line ‘when heaven seems all torn’ and it just snowballed from there,’ Ulrichsen said. ‘It’s like the chaos we’re living in is nice, it’s the common ground in the band. The guys give their input, it’s more riff-orientated, somebody comes up with their part. We have the philosophy that the dynamics have to be on point – you shouldn’t be bored as a listener. ‘Now’s The Time’ is one of our longest songs (4.5 mins), we tried it without the hook after the first verse but we like the hook (laughs). When we hit the bridge, Magnus is so good at building on the drums.’ I ask what guitar pedal they use on it and it turns out to be a 1981 DRV pedal: ‘It sounds like two guitar tracks and an acoustic like a sitar,’ he said. ‘Sonically, with this song, I like the way it takes you away, you’re riding the waves in it.’

The track would be brilliant to either open or close a set with but it turns out that it normally sits around the middle. ‘We open with ‘Take Me Away’ and close with ‘Safeword’, Ulrichsen said. ‘Take me Away’ is the quickest song they’ve ever written and could be a Foo Fighters track: ‘Emil made this riff and me and Magnus didn’t think it was quite cool enough,’ he laughed. ‘Emil had some pedals, the breaks and the melody. We had it from the start and recorded it immediately. We wrote it in two-and-a-half minutes. It’s about being bored. We all have full-time jobs, the other guys have kids, you work your arse off.

Magnus said it was too cliché, he said to put a weird note in it!’

Another track, ‘Backdoor’, from last year’s EP ‘Something Has to Explode’ kicks off with a scream yet has bluesy undertones and is essentially about lusting after someone. ‘I listened to a lot of Jet at the time, it was more bluesy , Magnus said it was too cliché, he said to put a weird note in it!’

As the chorus goes: ‘Right now, you’re all that I want. Right now, you’re all that I need, so let’s go grab our coats, it’s time for dirty deeds.’

They’re now working on two singles, one of which, ‘Picture Perfect Paradise’, is likely to come out later this year. ‘It’s more heavy, it’s slower but it has a huge riff and a HUGE chorus,’ he said. ‘There’s a twist in the middle, a heavy bridge. It’s about people dreaming their lives away on their phones and not being present, it’s a “fuck you” to that, really, there’s more to life than that.’ The other upcoming single is ‘The Hunt’, which Ulrichsen describes as being about the hunt ‘for the things you want in life, the one you love or things you love doing’.

‘I’m more old school, I love The Stones’

The current line-up have been together since 2016. All three band members were brought up on bands such as Nirvana, The Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath, and it’s this musical heritage that defines their style: ‘Magnus’ background is Nirvana, Emil is more modern/heavy like Slipknot and Bring Me The Horizon. We all like Royal Blood. I’m more old school, I love The Stones.’

I ask him if he has a favourite piece of musical kit and he disappears and comes back with an absolutely beautiful silver, shimmery guitar: ‘I love my Guild Bluesbird, I think only 35 of them were ever made.’ He describes Denmark’s music scene as ‘not that big’: ‘It’s good for heavy metal. Rock music isn’t as popular, there are good rock bands but not a good scene. I really like Kellermensch (a rock band from Esbjerg in Denmark), they use old organs and violins onstage, they’ve been around for 10-12 years. ‘Bad Sign’ is a good song, it’s heavy but slow.’

If he could hear ‘Now’s The Time’ on any TV show, he picks ‘Californication’ starring David Duchovny: ‘Maybe in a scene when he’s on his motorbike?,’ he said. If he could tour with anyone, he is quick to say The Rolling Stones. ‘Before they go away,’ he said wistfully. ‘I was so sad about Charlie, I’ve seen them five times. They live in a parallel world.’ I ask him whether he’d cope with their legendary parties and he laughs: ‘Oh, we’d be good,’ he said, holding up his glass of wine. ‘Cheers!’

(Photo from left to right: Magnus, Jeppe and Emil.)

his story first appeared on: https://inthebucketplaylist.com/ on September 23rd

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