Dúné are backed by one of Scandinavia’s oldest indie labels, Iceberg Records. So expect to hear more from them.
Have a Cigar!
At first glance, Manfred Zähringer is slightly reminiscent of the cynical record-company boss in the old Pink Floyd classic, all big smiles and even bigger cigars. But the director of Iceberg Records is no industry baron comfortably parked on his backside in an executive lounger while the troops do all the hard work. Quite the contrary. Zähringer spends 130 days a year abroad, fighting for Iceberg’s artists. In recent years, he has put a great deal of effort into two red-hot rock names: Dúné and the slightly more experienced The Blue Van, who have been busy criss-crossing the USA. Iceberg Records was set up all the way back in 1982. Zähringer says that Iceberg is “probably the oldest Scandinavian indie label that’s been run by the same management throughout its entire existence, and has never been financed by outside investors.”
Zähringer, who runs Iceberg along with his wife Mette, has experienced his share of ups and downs over the years, but the label has established a strong position for itself in the industry – largely thanks to the pop artist Scatman John, who sold more than eight million records worldwide in the mid-’90s. This enabled Iceberg to make its name as a versatile indie label with a wide spectrum of products.
The very young musicians in Dúné are now drawing on Zähringer’s wisdom and experience, the result of his many years in the industry. Most recently, Zähringer paved the way for Dúné’s debut on the Japanese market. “I said to Dúné that they should be ready for the fact that in Japan the music is 50% and the other 50% is image/looks/charisma,” he says. “After we had been there a while, Ole [Bjørn Sørensen, keyboard player] said to me ‘You’re right – except that the music is 20% and all the rest is 80%’.”
Text: Anders Houmøller Thomsen
Photography: Raw Format