Having been writing songs since he was a child, Danish songwriter and musician Lasse Matthiessen will release his new EP When We Collided on 10th November 2017.
A collection of elevated and bittersweet symphonies, the EP profoundly explores different themes through Matthiessen’s touching and sincere songwriting style. Filled with rich lyrical storytelling, each track oozes a deep sense of honest emotion and raw passion.
Inspired by the nocturnal pulse of Paris in the summer, title track and lead single When We Collided offers delicate folk-infused melodies alongside Matthiessen’s rich, deep vocals and the spellbinding harmonies of Sara Hartman. Oozing a cinematic, emotion-strewn splendour, it’s the perfect introduction to this reflective collection.
In this interview spotlight, we chat with Lasse about influences, the new project, challenges and much more.
Full Q&A along with links and a stream of When We Collided below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into You, the artist and your music. What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
To be honest, at some point just being another poor wannabe musician living from nothing and beer in Berlin, I didn’t have the money to tour with a band. And if I knew one thing it was that I wanted to tour. So, making ends meet was me being on the road with one guitar and no band and that found me playing places with folk musicians and songwriters, and I loved it. I am not sure I thought of myself as a singer-songwriter or a folk musician. In many ways I have played the same folk songs with a band and people tend to suddenly call it rock or pop music…
What led you into this journey with music? And further, what drives you to push it out to the public?
Growing up in a family of musicians, the music was always there. Before I turned six I slept on my dad’s feet while he was playing a be-bop concert on an upright piano. My uncle played the Hammond B3 jazz organ with those so-called “Leslie” speakers. He would look awesome playing them – he would move his jaw almost as if it was broken. Music was always a part of my life and all the things around it too. As a kid I wanted to be a part of that and I got the gift of being introduced to it very early as my dad supported me in playing drums and guitar, but also through actually taking an education as a classical singer as a kid when I attended the classical Copenhagen Boys’ Choir.
Who or what influences your creativity? Have your tastes in music changed over time?
I am influenced by many things. With lyrics, I will steal a line whenever I hear or read one – be it on the street where someone has a conversation, in a newspaper or in a book. I write those lines down all the time. Sometimes one word leads to an idea and I can write two or three full pages afterwards. Sometimes in English, but also often in my native Danish or even in German.
My tastes have changed a lot. I wouldn’t know where to begin. It is rare though that I stop liking music I once loved. It is more that I learn how to appreciate new music. Take Neil Young for an example – having been singing Bach and Mozart and aiming for “the pure” note as a boy’s choir singer – it took me a bunch of stubborn Norwegian friends, a lot of hangovers and years of regular exposure to get to a point where I could “hear” past the false notes and incorrect techniques of Neil Young and discover the beauty of his songs.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
I always aim at writing something that is honest. I guess “honest” is the best word I can find for it. Something I can feel and I can transport into emotions by singing. I do have very clear ideas of what I want to write – what style etc. I am just really bad at keeping it the way I originally wanted it to be.
What was the last song you listened to?
Just today I listened to Gregory Alan Isakov’s ‘Master & a Hound’ from 2009. Often I’ll have a song on repeat maybe for an hour. Lately I have been listening quite a bit to Glen Hansard. Really looking forward to hearing his songs live when I am supporting him in November.
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
Not a too big fan of MP3s. I love to be able to physically hold onto my music.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
I use Spotify myself. For no particular reason, I guess.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what is the biggest challenge you face when trying to connect with or find new fans?
It takes some kind of energy and time investment for some to get into my music. A bit of time and space in your head – I need to reach people when they are ready for that. Playing live concerts for people has proven to be the best way for me.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more music?
Facebook.com/lassematthiessen and on Spotify. On YouTube there is a lot of live videos especially from the German television channel ZDF.
Anything else you’d like to add before signing off?
I hope I get the chance to play to all the readers out there soon. Please take your time and take a listen to ‘When We Collided’.