Kristian from Ungdomskulen just put out his first solo record in a long, long time. It’s called Colors. We got down right personal about it. And since he’s a mixtape king, we asked him to throw in a Bad Sounds Mixtape. Voilâ! Hit play and read on.
This feels like the most personal album you’ve written to date. With Ungdomskulen there’s a lot of room for play and imaginative situations, from Batman to a drummer’s odyssey. But in your first solo album in some years, I really feel like this is like, when the BBC goes, “An Intimate Portrait with…”
Yeah you’re right. It is pretty intimate and personal. But I think it has more of a personal feel to it rather than that the lyrics are all personal. It’s not like I’mm singing from my diary but I communicate more directly to the listener. I try not to keep the listener in the dark.
What inspired this album? Did becoming a daddy have much to do with it? Track, “Small Price to Pay” seems like it’s looking back on growing-up, a very mature and responsible Stockhaus.
With that song I tried to touch upon two things. The loneliness of New Year’s Eve, the moment around midnight where everything seems so important and real and you wanna try to say and do something with pathos, you know kick off the new year with some dignity, soul and pathos, but mostly you end up having a weird experience and it often turns out to be the lamest party of the year.
It’s something about wanting it to be so special that ruins the whole experience, it’s so far from spontaneous fun and celebration it can get.
Alot of things inspired this album but most of all the feeling of being daring, you know exposing yourself through music. The second thing I am singing about is the whole phone akwardness we had growing up in the 80/90s, you know calling your dates house and then having to talk to someones parent.
A lot of moments on this album actually remind me of Todd, like one of the best tracks on the album, “Stand Back”. Are you a fan? The very out there quirky instrumentation, combined with a heartfelt, human element.
Thanks, I am not a Toddhead, I know the hits, but I guess he is one of those artist I am gonna get myself into when I have the time, I just discovered early Chicago, a real nice experience.
You actually have quite a comprehensive solo output, most people actually knew you before Ungdomskulen for your minor “hits”. You also had some split 7″‘s with Datarock back in the day. Between Colors and say, Darling Excerpts— what’s changed?
Alot changed, technology changed for example. The possibility of being able to record “professionally” made all the difference to me.
Believe it or not I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my music, but it doesn’t have to be radio-perfect, or boring-perfect or whatever but how I think its meant to be. My earlier recordings were way-wild and all over the place, and if I’d record these songs now I’d probably do them differently. So the big change is the technology, and unwordly wisdom, but that’s a given.
It’s so hard to put a finger on your unique style, you have so many elements from prog-rock, then weird techno pop to even latin-music rhythms. How you would describe Colors to people? Any particular music references?
Well, when you are so deep into the production the songs it just seems normal and natural. In my head they are all pop-songs.
There is always a point where you wanna try something unconventional with a song and at the time before you get used to hearing these new strange parts they stick out like thorns on a cactus. But give it 25 hours of mixing, editing and composing and they become as natural as your right hand.
So I just have to go with pop, daring pop maybe?
A few songs on this album are pretty un-typical Stockhaus, I think. I mean tracks like, “Dance in the Dark” is an almost sad, slow-dance, romantic ballad…
“Dance in the dark” is a romantic song yeah, I’ve written a lot of them in the past, I think even “Osaka” (from Ungdomskulen’s Bisexual) is a romantic piece. But on this one I just went romantic with both the lyrics, sounds and especially the tempo.
110 % romantic.
Any relation between “Ordinary Son” and “Fortunate Son”?
I’ve always had one track on my albums that shares its title with a world-famous hit. First there was “Love Me Tender” and then on Darling Excerpts there was “Leader of the Pack”. So on this on it’s “Fortunate Sun”, although it’s not exactly the same title as the CCR song. It sadly doesn’t have anything to do with “Ordinary Son”.
Tell me about the production of this album. Is it really completely solo, or did you have contributions from other artists, or any of the guys in Ungdomskulen?
I did it all myself. I had excellent help in some additional mixing of the album as well as the mastering by Jørgen Træen. But apart from that it’s all this clown.
Future plans? Plan on playing/touring solo, or continue writing with Ungdomskulen?
I’m working on a new Stockhaus LP, new Ungdomskulen record is due in the fall of 2012, I’m going to do one concert with Stockhaus this year, hehe. I’m gonna write more tracks before I take this show on the road 4-real.
I’m also busy doing my club-nights in Bergen, ProgRock Me Amadeus and New Wave Crave.
NEW WAVE CRAVE:
Although New Wave-music is one for the history books, the crave for the spastic fun and unlikely pop is still present in the heart and stomachs in alot of us.
DJ Stockhaus and DJ Tenold gives you sweet treats, pastel-colored ready-to-goes and
dark mooded eyelined hits, all to calm your crave.
N.W.C takes place at Landmark(Bergen,NO)