"King of Song": Talking with Marching Church and Iceage Frontman Elias Rønnenfelt


  • Photo by Elizabeth Peyton
  • Marching Church

With Marching Church, singer/songwriter Elias Bender Rønnenfelt's ongoing project, he’s an anarchist pinup for brooding young adults lost in the overwhelming age of unrest.

Dane Rønnenfelt first captured the underground’s attention almost a decade ago in Iceage, where he and his bandmates became saviors of the frigid and deep post-punk sound with three albums that, with each release, grew from each other into a different snarling animal.

For Marching Church, Rønnenfelt tamed his razor-sharp aggression into a brutal, savage and stunning chaos, starting on 2015’s This World Is Not Enough and fleshing it out on their latest release, Telling It like It Is. In support of Marching Church’s January 25 show at 1906 S Flores, the Current talked with Rønnenfelt while he was in his native Copenhagen.

Singing out battle cries like “fist-fucked by destiny” (“Lion’s Den”) in his trademark sometimes-slurred-always-intense voice, Rønnenfelt is like a roguish poet who dabbles in nihilist philosophy (of course, however, he rejects any labels). “The words are there for the sake of the song and I do try to package it with a lot of meaning, but it’s not literature or poetry,” he told us. “The music is the ultimate."

Like most art, songwriting is a meditative process that, according to Rønnenfelt, is a “mixture between hours of sitting at instruments or waiting for years to get there.” He told us that “Once an idea kind of forms itself, I think and sit on it for a long time and let it boil." He'll pick it back up again if it still interests him after a month or so. If the idea's still on his mind after a couple months, "I’ll start knowing that maybe it’s worth pursuing.”

Young and with two ongoing projects, an extensive tour, and a lot on his mind, Elias Rønnenfelt summed up his course of action in one simple credo. “I try not to waste my time.”

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