Danish folk prodigy SCHULTZ AND FOREVER sat down with NBHAP at Roskilde Festival 2013 to talk about playlists, girls and heartbreak. Jonathan Schultz’ sound is a lilting combination of wide-eyed and cynical: a guy and his guitar whose delicate songs pack more pathos and yearning that befits age. This year he released his new EP Céline. Fresh from the previous evening where SCHULTZ AND FOREVER played an acoustic set at the welcome party for the International Press, Jonathan picked these ten songs as influential, and we had a chat about it. Here are the highlights – and even better: you can stream a YouTube-playlist of all his songs right here.
I was surprised NICK DRAKE wasn’t on this list. Is it too hard to pick?
I was debating putting NEIL YOUNG on it. But really, it’s songs that together, combined, formed me as a musician, not each individual song but the list as whole. But the reason I didn’t put NICK DRAKE on it is just… I forgot. [laughs]
WILLIAM BASINSKI – dlp 1.1
My friend at a boarding school used to put it on when he slept, it used to just play on loops.
It’s so sad.
It’s crazy how it’s inspired by 9/11, just sitting on his rooftop during 9/11 watching the buildings smoking. I heard him at the CLICK Festival in Denmark.
You just listen to it and feel depressed.
It’s really melancholy, you have to be in the right state of mind.
Do you fall asleep to it every night?
NEIL YOUNG – Harvest Moon
When I was young I heard a lot of NICK DRAKE and NEIL YOUNG. Harvest Moon is just a simple melody, but the lyrics are really good. Neil Young is just a legend. It didn’t do something drastic to my writing but it’s still a good song I listen to a lot.
HANS OTTE – Das Buch der Klange: part 12
He’s a German composer. He made this album called Book of Sounds. His songs have been meaning a lot to me these past few months, especially when I left school. The little piano writings fit so well. When you leave school there’s these … happy drastic things in your life, and I thought these songs fit quite well.
JACKSON 5 -Who’s Lovin You
That’s just a really good song and I love Michael Jackson. When I was younger I used to do the things Michael Jackson did, you know, dance on the tables. I just love him and he didn’t form me as a musician but he’s the greatest. Nobody hates him I think.
It’s funny though, this is a song by Smokey Robinson, and the version I saw is Michael Jackson singing it and he’s nine years old and singing about being jealous of a girl.
That would never happen these days, people would be like “Why is that kid singing about that sort of stuff?”
TIM BUCKLEY – Morning Glory
The reason I chose Morning Glory is that there are a lot of amazing vocals on it. But I’ve always heard JEFF BUCKLEY, I knew him before I knew his father, but I’ve been really inspired by him. That song inspired me to make an album.
It’s a tragic story, the dad and the son, the way they died. Watch out, don’t go swimming.
BLIND WILLY JOHNSON – John The Revelator
That is supposedly his first wife, who is doing the call and response on this song. What do you like about it?
Again it’s that country thing. But this guy is really destructive, especially his lyrics. It’s so masculine, really.
SON HOUSE – Grinnin’ In Your Face
I listen to this and I hear such traditional American music.
It’s just so classic and intense.
LINK WRAY – Golden Strings
It’s just a real cool old dusty country.
Did you know Link Wray died in Copenhagen? Also, he introduced the power chord.
Wow, that’s pretty cool I did not know that.
LEON RUSSELL – A Song For You
I hear so much heavy Americana, in this song and the rest of the playlist. What’s the attraction there? What do you love about it?
There’s a reason that I play folk music today. Those songs are definitely some of the artist that inspired me to do that and not something else. It’s so dusty and smashed up. I think I’m going to do a Leon Russell album one day. Have you heard DIRTY BEACHES? He sounds a little bit like Elvis but the production is lo-fi, and LEON RUSSEL’s albums are low production, naturally.
SCOTT WALKER – What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life
So this surprised me. This isn’t a song that he wrote. The thing I read about him is that he is someone who had early success and after that has been really criticized. Now he does really avant gaarde stuff.
I really love his early stuff as well. He’s so cool because he’s never gotten that fame like BOB DYLAN did and he’s also done lots of experimental stuff.
One thing I noticed is that some of these are love songs.
All of them. It’s just a cliché, I mean, it’s something everybody can relate to. I love good love songs
Have you had a lot of experiences with that?
I haven’t had that much experience with love but it’s exciting to hear different people’ interpretation of love and their own personal experience with it. Especially when it’s music you like to listen to, while you can’t really relate to the lyrics, you seem to experience love through them.