After introducing AVES as an act at our Midsommar Festival 2013 on Friday, we would like to pay particular attention to our Danish artist Bastian Kallesøe aka THE NEW SPRING who will sweeten the Midsommar Day with his experimental and straight-forward melodic songs. The composer, singer and guitarist presented his latest music video for his song Who do you love? from his sophomore album Secret Armor on NBHAP a few weeks ago- so we grabbed the chance to do an interview with the promising folk singer-songwriter.


Your solo project THE NEW SPRING is pretty unknown for most of our readers by now: please introduce yourself and your musical project.
My name is Bastian and I sing and play as THE NEW SPRING. I have played music in different constellations since I was 16 or 17, THE NEW SPRING is the name I am using right now. It’s been described as minimalist folk music, and I guess that’s not way off.


Your album “Secret Armor” arose by your wish to break down the boundaries of folk music. Which sources of inspiration did you use for reaching your ambitious scheme?
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Me and my producer (Aske Zidore) wanted to take the songs and place them in a not-so-folksy universe. He is an expert on pedals and creating unique sounds, so I let him shape the sound as we went along. We were inspired by artists like ARTHUR RUSSELL and other kinds of dance music when we were in the studio and I think that we moved the songs away from a more traditional folk sound in order to be more playful. I am so thankful that we did. Even though I still love the traditional folk sound and maybe I’ll go with that the next time.
I find it very difficult to ever really change the way I write songs. But I think that changing the production and your surroundings can give you a new perspective on things. I think looking at a beautiful painting can give you a new perspective.


“Secret Armor” was written during touring as a support band with the band FIGURINES which is why your current album mainly revolves around the theme of homelessness. Could you describe how the process of creating your song looks like and due to that what is more important to you- lyrics or the instrumental arrangement?
The process of writing songs changes a lot. Sometimes it starts with the guitar, sometimes with a line of words. At first they are like planets and just sort of move around each other in carefully rehearsed circles. Then I don’t play for a while and just think about how I want them to be. In the end there is no telling where one starts and the other begins and once the song is done it can never be split into the different parts. It’s like a collapse of some sort.


4. You’ll join our second Midsommar Festival 2013 this year. Which pictures cross your mind while thinking about Midsommar and how do you celebrate the longest day of summertime in your home country Denmark?
One picture in particular crosses my mind:


It’s by the Danish painter JENS SØNDERGAARD and called ‘Sankt Hans Evening’ (which Midsommar is called in Denmark). I love that picture and I love how the people are drawn to the fire, but also to the mighty sea. It’s painted on the westcoast of Denmark, only a short drive from my hometown.

On Sankt Hans Evening in Denmark we build huge fires and when the dusk settles we light them up and a prominent person from the local community gives a ‘fire speech’. Then we sing some traditional songs and just stare into the flames. Usually there’s also a ‘witch’ on the fire (a doll made of sticks and clothes, with a broom). When we were children we would scream when the witch was burned and thereby sort of embody her pain. That’s one of the things I like the most about Sankt Hans Evening: It’s obviously a heathen ritual and it is just as much about darkness as it is about joy and togetherness.


Last one: what do “hope” and “passion” mean to you?
Hope is a nice feeling, but I think passion is more important. Being in a state of hopefulness is to consider the world to be good (at the end of the day) and to think that “things will eventually go my way.” I like that feeling and some days I feel it, but some days I don’t. Passion is why you do what you do and why you keep doing it and real passion for someone or something exists regardless of what the world thinks. Hope comes from desire. Passion is what causes you to act on your desire.