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Gundelach im Interview: »I try not to be too inspired and just go with the flow«

Dass Genre-Grenzen mittlerweile der Vergangenheit angehören, sollte für die meisten wohl keine Neuigkeit mehr sein. Trotzdem finde ich es immer wieder beeindruckend, wie manche Künstler:innen immer wieder neue Wege finden, Musikstile zu mixen. Ein Künstler, der diese Kunst besonders gut beherrscht, ist Gundelach. Der Norweger mischt in seiner Musik Elemente aus Pop, Electronic, R&B und Folk, inspiriert vom Sound der 80er-Jahre. Dem ganzen liegt eine Art melancholischer Schleier über. Kai Gundelach – ja, sein Nachname ist auch sein Künstlername – schafft durch diese Mischung einen einzigartigen Sound, der schwer zu vergleichen ist. Ich habe Gundelach gefragt, wie seine Musik entsteht, was in inspiriert und was wir vom neuen Album, das für das nächste Jahr geplant ist, erwarten können.

Gundelach im Interview

Anna: Hej Kai, thank you for taking some time for the interview. Let’s start by introducing your and your music. If you were to introduce yourself and your music to someone who doesn’t know you or your music, how would you do that?

Kai: I usually say that I make alternative pop music. I would describe both myself and my music as quite melancholic and nostalgic as well.

Anna: What were your main musical influences throughout the years? Did it change from the time you were a DJ until now?

Kai: It really changes from day to day. I buy vinyl that I still DJ with and I try to keep informed and on track with all the music around me. I am really inspired by electronic music but also a lot of other genres – hip hop, pop, black metal. There’s an old Norwegian singer “Radka Toneff” who is a big inspiration to me. But in general I try not to be too inspired by things, I want to keep a distance between my music consumption and the music I make myself.

Seeing Bon Iver live was really emotional for me”

Anna: What is your favourite song from your debut album and why? Did that change in the past years?

Kai: Duck Hunting is my favourite from that album. It went through a lot of different versions – I tried working with other producers and experimented with a lot of different stuff, but eventually ended up going back and using my own version, and now it is my most streamed song!

Anna: What was the most memorable live experience you had so far?

Kai: I saw Bon Iver at Øyafestivalen in 2010. I had been listening to his music for 3 years really obsessively but hadn’t seen it live yet and so it was a really emotional moment for me. And they were so so good. Karpe diem were closing on another stage at the same time as Bon Iver played so most people were at the other stage which is so random. At one point he asked someone to light a cigarette and at the same time it was lit, all these fireworks went off from the other stage, which was a total coincidence and everyone thought it was planned, it was so cool.

Gundelach hat einen Song zu einem Selbstporträt Edvard Munch’s geschrieben

Anna: I saw that you wrote your song “Bolder” for the opening of the (new) Munch Museum part in June 2020. Why did you choose Munch’s painting “self-portrait in hell” for that?

Kai: I chose that picture because it was the one that resonated the most with me. I thought it would be easier to make a self-portrait rather than interpreting the other more known images.

Anna: How was the process of writing “Bolder” for you? Was it different from your songs before?

Kai: It was different because it was a commissioned piece, but it was actually really nice because I had a deadline to stick to. I made it pretty fast, I had the whole rough idea within a week. I had this drum machine called the electon analog rytm and I made the whole basis of the track with just that. It was my first time having a visual stimulus, but since then I have done some work with film and commercial stuff. But it was nice with “Bolder” because I got to use it as my own song afterwards as well.

Acoustic-Session von “Riverside“, der neuen Single von Gundelach
New album – new Gundelach – new sound?

Anna: Why did you choose to publish “Vi er nærme nå” in Norwegian (and not like your other songs before in English)?

Kai: I don’t know really, I just felt like it. I normally have one song title in Norwegian on an album, even if the song itself is in English. But this time the chorus was in Norwegian when it came out of my head and I just decided to keep it. For me it’s not so important what language it’s in, it’s just about what I felt.

Anna: Disclaimer: I listened to the demos of your new tracks and I feel like there are more folk elements in the new tracks compared to your previous songs. What would you say that we can expect from potential new tracks? Are there more changes in the sound?

Kai: Yes, definitely more folk, country and guitar elements in there. With this album, I have tried to be really fluid and just have fun with friends and playing live instruments. My band mates have been a big part of the recording process this time, so you can expect a much more live approach.

“I don’t want to push inspiration, I like to make things flow”

Anna: That sounds very promising! What is your main inspiration for writing new songs at the moment?  

Kai: That’s a hard question but I think I’m really inspired by life, walking, and things around me. I try to walk a lot and to absorb the scenery around me. But I also meditate a lot and practice yoga and I think that is inspirational for me. I am not so good at reading anymore, but I like to go into old books I’ve read and just take a few sentences away – I find that pretty inspiring. For me it is just about having the attitude of trying to make things flow instead of pushing it and sitting in the studio for 10 hours when you don’t want to be there. I just try to make stuff whenever I feel inspired, even if it is just for 15 minutes in one day.

Gundelach’s Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Künstler:innen

Anna: How important is collaborating with other artists for you?

Kai: When I am collaborating with someone then it is very important to me, but when I’m not it is not something I feel like I have to do. It is really inspiring when someone says they are a fan of my work and want to collaborate, then it is usually a really quick process. When I work by myself it takes longer because I don’t get that instant validation. But it is really special when a good collaboration comes along.

Letztes Jahr veröffentlichte Gundelach den Song “Cynical Mind” mit der norwegischen Sängerin AURORA

Anna: How was the collaboration with AURORA?

Kai: That was really cool. We actually wrote the song as part of this song camp in Bergen, which is not something I would normally go to, but this time I went and as a big fan of hers it was really special to work together. We wrote the song in 5 hours. She is a really special human being, so kind. I have never seen someone lay down vocal harmonies as fast and cleanly as she does.

Anna: That really sounds like an inspiring collaboration. Thanks again for talking so openly about your music. I’m really looking forward to the new Gundelach album!

Hier könnt ihr Gundelach‘s neueste Single “Vi er nærme nå” hören!

Fotocredit: Andres Dahl

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