Chorus Grant Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Chorus Grant Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Dear Christian and Country
Music News International.
First of all thank you for shining a light on my
music and me.

Introducing myself
fundamentally as an artist I’d say that I’m a guitar player and
singer/songwriter from the Nordic countries- born and raised on the island of
Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. I’m deeply into plucking my classical guitar and
mumbling lyrics crouched on the couch. I’ve used the term
‘chamber-folk-rock’ a couple of times to hint at the overall “vibe” of my new
record and that feels to me like a fitting description. Nirvana once described
their sound as ‘
The Knack and The Bay City Rollers being molested
by Black
Flag and Black Sabbath’-to use a similar analogy I’d describe mine as
a ‘distant hunchback cousin to James Taylor tending the gardens around
Dracula’s castle’.

My approach to writing, playing and singing is
careful and meticulous -focused one might say- as to induce a trance allowing
for the music to transport me to where I need to be. Music to me is like a very
real imaginary friend who’s always able to mirror my life back to me in a
cinematic and thought-provoking way. My songs play out somewhere along the
border between light and darkness, happiness and melancholy. They’re slow but rhythmically
active, simultaneously sparse and dense -packed with detail and oddly barren.

All this aside one could probably just boil it down
to “I play alternative-folk-rock’ or ‘experimental singer/songwriter music’.

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you?
What were your highlights?

Obviously from a musical standpoint a highlight
this past year has been writing, recording and completing my new album. About a
year and a half ago my girlfriend and I had a son and getting to know him and
seeing him grow and become his own special person has cast new light on the
world. Before he was born I was very anxious about this big change in my life-
an uncertainty that bled into almost every song. Working my way through this
liminal space and falling in love with my son has been a life-changing
experience.

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for
the new album „Vernacular Music“?  Is there a story behind?

The title stems from a journey I took to Chapel
Hill in North Carolina. There I met with a very inspiring person with whom I
spent the evenings listening to music and sharing my new songs and lyrics. One
of the most important things I took from our time spent together was his
perception of my work as being very un-American or at least having a core of something
exotic that encompassed the harmonic qualities of an old Scandinavian or Nordic
sound. He used the term vernacular music as a way to describe ‘the ordinary,
everyday music’- that surrounds a person in the given area where one lives. That
includes both the music coming out of a soup-kitchen radio, the sound seeping
through the wall from next-door and the background music in a local news
broadcast. An assortment of all the music one is surrounded by in one’s
everyday life. I use the term artistically as a way to label ‘all the music
inside me’ and the sheer look of the word that to me is very ‘un-ordinary’ and
looks like something you would find in a pharmacy held up against it’s
paradoxical meaning being ‘ordinary’ – fascinated me and made for a good
working title that then ended up being more than just that.    

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs all by
yourself?

I do yes- but I grow and benefit from sparring with
people I admire and respect. I write all the songs and lyrics but am very open
and attentive to ideas for alterations from the band both under rehearsal and
in recording.

Lamitschka:  What is the main difference
between „Vernacular Music“ and „Space“?

The lyrical subject matter for one is very
different and also one of the main focuses of “Space” was to try and create as
minimal a sound as possible working with the classic line-up of drums, keys,
bass and guitar. Vernacular Music on paper should be quieter due to more use of
percussion, less full-on drums and the red thread being classical guitar but it
comes off much more intense and dense and in my view more unique and special.

 Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among
all the songs you have recorded and why?

All the songs I’ve written are close to my heart
and honestly I find it difficult to choose one over another. In an effort to
answer your question I might say that “The Sudden Rupture” from “Space” is very
important to me and also “Hibernation Drill”, “Changing Forever”, “Ballad Of
The Wandering Eye” and “Chamber Two” off the new album stand out right now
for some reason.

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically?

Things that resonate with me emotionally in
general- and in any genre of music really, inspires me.

I feel like I might have been somewhat inspired
lately by the Danish jazz guitar player Jakob Bro’s album “Streams” – Nils Frahm’s
“Solo” record, Nick Cave’s “Skeleton Tree”, Jennifer Castle’s “Angels
of Death” and good ol’ Jan Johansson’s “Jazz på Svenska” to name a
few. 

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today’s
music industry? If you had the chance to change something about the music
industry, what would it be?

It’s exciting times- that’s for sure and the
scenery is changing. But with the overwhelming abundance of releases one thing
I can’t help but notice in regards to music press and thereby the raising of
awareness about a given publication is the heightened focus on ’the story about
why’ to an extent where the actual music and in a sense ‘the art’ becomes
secondary to the ability to talk about it. That’s not something I could or
necessarily would change- but it’s an observation and it’s not limited to music
but something I see in all the arts when presenting new material.

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you have many tasks
such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your
favorite activity amongst?

I love writing and recording no doubt about that- I
love returning to the cave to evolve and change. I also enjoy the live
performances very much but there’s something special about seeing/hearing new
ideas come to life in the process of creating.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become a
songwriter?

My folks were friends with a very religious couple
back when I was a kid on the island. Attending dinner parties at their house I
snuck into a guestroom down the Hall that had a guitar hanging on the Wall. The
intimacy I found in the dim lit room with this instrument was magic to me. I
made arrangements with the lady that I would walk their dog a couple of times a
week and in return she would teach me how to play some songs. I think that’s
when the infatuation started- I was around thirteen. The magic I found in that
room is what I am trying to share now with others through my songs and playing
in general.

Lamitschka:  When you get time off, how do you
like to relax?

I like running- to sort of balance out the score
from a lot of smoking drinking and sitting still writing and playing. I love the
ocean and run down and swim as often as I can. I find that being physically
active is key to being mentally ok too.

Lamitschka:  Can you describe what a perfect
day looks like for you?

 If I can fit-
listening back to a sketch from the day before and feeling like I captured a
moment that’s worth embellishing on, some sort of physical activity, followed
by black coffee and smoking cigarettes, a great band rehearsal with my friends
preparing for a show AND spending quality time with my family into one day then
that’s a fantastic day- if topped off by an evening of falling down the chair
laughing hearing about my little brothers escapades from a night out then my
head hits the pillow with a smile on my face.

Photo (c)  Jacob Aars

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