Photo by Thorsten Iversen

Some weeks ago we stumbled upon the great debut-EP, A Persian Tale, of an act called ROSEMARY. Only a short time after we fell in love with their music we saw their show at SPOT FESTIVAL – and this blew us away. Of course we took the chance and talked to Sahar and Lasse. We had a great conversation about their music, politics, fears and of course about hope and passion. One thing is for sure: ROSEMARY are driven by nothing but hope and passion!

Your first EP was released in December, so you are a pretty new act. How would you describe yourself and your music to people who don’t know you by now? And why do you act under the name ROSEMARY – it isn’t the name of one of you, so how come you chose this name?
Sahar- Actually we thought it’s a bit difficult to find on the internet because then a lot of plants and japanese bands and stuff would come up, but we like the sound of it and how it looks. So we thought it was really beautiful.
Lasse- I think what we do is something like dark-neo-disco. But I mean it all began in 2009 actually when there was this big revolution in Iran. It was called the Green Movement and we were a part of it in Denmark. We kind of died out at a point and we just lived alone with those unfulfilled feelings and we didn’t really know what to do. I just started making music and then I wanted Sahar to participate in doing this but I didn’t know how and then I thought that she could sing. And…she wouldn’t. And then I kind of forced her into doing it and we made the song, Sleep Alone. And I think that very much has those kind of unreleased feeling and anxiety – that was kind of tempting to us and we just made the second track. Then we just continued, just like a natural… It all started with this kind of feeling that we really didn’t know what it was…
Sahar- Yeah…it was desperation, fear, loneliness. That song was like some sounds coming from the basement.

Is this what happens in your videos? So the videos reflect your story.
Lasse- Yes.
Sahar- Yeah. Kind of.

From the history…do you have a political edge in the music or in your lyrics?
Lasse- Yeah I think we have hints of it. We are not a political band in that way, but from where we come from it would be unnatural not to touch these topics.
Sahar- If we say anything about Iran – we sing about feelings connected to Iran. And you can’t do that without being political. You touch Iran without being political, because there is no freedom. But we are focusing on the feelings.

Photo by Mathias Warnich

Sahar, you originally come from Iran. How come that you have met Lasse?
Sahar- I was five years old when I fled from Iran. We met when we where 23 and we fell in love – so we are together, we’ve been together for some years and now we make music.

That’s why you knew why she can sing.
Lasse- Yeah. Actually I never really enjoyed her singing but we just found a way to make it happen. I think it’s also to me what makes it as good as it is, because it just compliments the whole feeling. Also of the whole back story of Iran and that stuff.
Sahar- And it’s not like actually singing-singing, not like beautiful singing. It’s a kind of channeling of feelings, a way of expressing yourself. That’s also why we don’t write so much on the internet and on our homepage, we just make the music instead and that’s where you can find who we are.

Photo by Mathias Warnich

Your lyrics are very dark. What inspires you when you write lyrics? Is it Iran, feelings about Iran or…
Sahar- I guess it’s everything in our lives. Iran.
Lasse- Yeah. Of course it’s Iran, but it’s also the whole aspect of me coming from Denmark and Sahar coming from Iran. The whole meeting between the two of us as individuals, but also our different cultures.
Sahar- Lasse is from the cold, very cold north. Everything is organized, everything is very calm, laid-back, stable. Everything is planned and programmed. You know what is coming next. And I’m from Iran which is very chaotic and there is the heat and the sweat and the deserts and the mountain. ANd then there is the people who are oppressed and the temper and the anger. Everything is very extreme. So it is very interesting when we meet. The songs are in the moment that we meet and where we meet. It’s the mix of all that and that’s what inspires everything in the music.

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One line from your lyrics from the song Facts says “You cannot dance, you cannot sing, you cannot smile, your cannot live” – where is this from?
Lasse- It’s from a director from Iran. It’s like facts of Iran, of what you cannot do in Iran.
Sahar- The facts of your life. You cannot live…
Lasse- As a woman at least…

So the song gets a new face by knowing this…
Sahar- It’s also good that we are – or I am doing it, because I can’t do it, but I told that I have to do this. But I don’t know which consequences it will have for me if we will be known more in the Iranian area. So it can have a consequence for me – like not going back to Iran, because I am breaking a lot of rules.

Do you get any response from Iran?
Lasse- No.
Sahar- In Iran they right now trying to make a censorship of the internet, so they can control what internet the people can see. So for them it is difficult to see films and listen to music. Our families and friends can’t see what we are doing…
Lasse- Actually they want to do an intranet, so that there is no internet.

Last question: what is “hope” and “passion” for you – as musicians and as persons?
Sahar- I liked it when Lasse told me your name. I thought it was very positive and personal. It wasn’t something cool, it is just like hope and passion. For me these are basic things in life, because if you don’t have hope and if your don’t have passion you could die, because then it’s not worth anything. The passion has to be there. People ask us “why is you music so dark?” – we think there is also much hope in it. Two good ingredients for survival in this fucked up little world.

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ROSEMARY
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electronic music
from Copenhagen, Denmark & Tehran, Iran

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