Wednesday, 01 February 2012 10:17

Wired in #28: Leap Over Light

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Can music have a national identity? If so, then maybe the 'Danish' style would be best captured by the slightly sinister, yet beautiful melodies of the Copenhagen-based duo Leap Over Light. Whether it's because they're Scandinavian or just very talented musicians - Leap Over Light are a great European band, and they've created a special sound which you must check out! Find out more about them in E&M's interview with singer Julie Aagaard.

Cumulus by leapoverlight


E&M: How did the band come together?

J.A.: Lennart and I have known each other forever. We started back in the day in a really, really bad high school band. After that, we worked together for quite some years as a songwriter team - but always on different projects. We surfed around in a lot of different musical styles. But two years ago we decided that it was about time that we too do our own thing. So we did!

E&M: Do you ever get in fights because you don't agree on which direction to take with a song?

J.A.: Indeed we do! But not so much fights. More disagreements … with fists! No, I'm kidding. We actually have disagreements about just about every single song we write. We are both very stubborn people. At the same time, we both shy away from confrontation, which makes it interesting sometimes. It will be sort of an air or an atmosphere - a silent tension between us, until one of us surrenders. Fortunately we know each other extremely well. And that helps. And tension is good. It means you care!

E&M: You were once interviewed for the Polish blog "Good because it's Danish." What do you think, is there something inherently Danish or Nordic about your music?

J.A.: There is no doubt that we must have a Danish or Nordic sound. It's probably a subconscious thing, and it is hard to pinpoint exactly what components make us sound Scandinavian. It's probably easier for others to decide.

E&M: Why do you sing in English?

J.A.: When I first started writing, it was in English. I lived in the States then, so it was the natural thing to do. And I continued writing in English, because it felt right. I like the English language. It is a great tool to get your points across, because it has so many words and colours. I believe it has almost twice as many words as Danish. And English has a natural melody to it that Danish doesn't have. It comfortably sits in the front of your mouth, whereas Danish has a tendency to crawl to the back of your throat!

E&M: Where in Europe (apart from anywhere in Denmark) do you most feel like home?

J.A.: Slovenia is definitely a place that Lennart feels connected to. He has lived there for a while and worked with different Slovenian artists. And he has met a lot of really amazing people there!

E&M: Julie, you mentioned in an interview that despite your experience you are a bit shy when you're on stage.  Do you think musicians always have a love-hate relationship with playing live and touring?

J.A.: I believe some do. And it's true that I am shy on stage and that it is a hurdle every time to get up there. But I try to channel that energy into my performance. Nevertheless, I will probably (and hopefully) never be completely comfortable on stage. I believe that you do have to have a pinch of narcissism in you to get up there. But a bit of anxiety helps too. And a few years of feeling invisible or unheard will make a great performer!

E&M: Is there a musician or band whose live show you guys found particularly inspiring?

J.A.: There are many! Pink Floyd is of course crazy, Savage Rose, a Danish band that has existed for over forty years with the most soulful lead vocals you will ever hear. Beyoncé  - I've never seen her live, but Lennart has a thing about her audacious, over-the-top shows! Il Tempo Gigante is a very inspiring Danish musician who can loop like a mad man, and then there's With No Arms and Legs, a Danish band that knows how to get a party started. Johan Ask Nielsen from that band is featuring on one of the songs from our next album, and we are very excited about that!

E&M: Is there a chance that we can see you guys play live somewhere in Europe soon?

J.A.: Yes! We are currently planning to play in April in Berlin with the band, With No Arms and Legs. The venues are not set yet, but the dates will be the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th of April. We will be playing new songs from the album we are working on right now. And we are so very excited about that constellation of their upbeat and energised performance with our more sinister and reflective aesthetic.

E&M: And finally, what does Europe mean to you?

J.A.: Europe is a cluster - of places that we've been and places that we haven't been to yet. It's also a union that has been held together by politics and economy but not necessarily by sincere feelings of unity. I mean, historically we've been used to fighting wars with one another. But that might all change now. In the wake of this crisis that we are in the midst of, and through the hardships that we all are, or will be, going through these years, it almost looks like we could be creating a common history that might make us stronger as a community and give us a better sense of unison.

But Europe is a great place to have your roots. And it's a great place to be an artist. It's one of the places in the world where so much art and literature has survived through hundreds of years. So there is a sense of tradition and continuity, which an artist can really draw from. We are definitely grateful for being where we are!

E&M: Thanks for the interview, Julie!

For more on Leap over Light, check out their website at http://www.myspace.com/leapoverlight. And if you want to see them play at this year's Roskilde Festival, vote for them here!

Last modified on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 08:17

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