September 2009 - THE SETTING SON
THE SETTING SON is a relatively new band from Denmark, devoting themselves to a 1960's garage/pop sound enriched with psychedelic undertones. For this reason it was a logical conclusion that Bad Afro Records became interested in their sound. When they released the first album, THE SETTING SON was no complete band. Sebastian T.W. Kristiansen, founder and mastermind of the group, hired a backing band to record the first album which has been produced by Lorenzo Woodrose, who also took the opportunity to play the drums. While I was listening to the debut, it became obvious that S.T.W. Kristiansen is a talented musician and songwriter. Catchy melodies and a richness and depth of feeling are only one of the trademarks of his style as well as his unique vocals. By the release of the second album, 'Spring of Hate', in 2009 there had been a significant change in the band's history. Finally, S.T.W. Kristiansen had found a stable line-up. According to the songs, THE SETTING SON managed to keep the quality at a high level, and my enthusiasm for their music is still undiminished. It was once again time to cast a glance behind the scenes, and Sebastian was so kind to answer some questions about himself and his music. Here we go!
Hello Sebastian, how were the critics for your last album 'Spring of Hate'? Are you satisfied or have you read a lot of rubbish?
They were good, all the Danish news papers seemed to have the same opinion about the record, of course there's always some bull shit comment but overall I'm pleased with the receipt.
Apart from the music, I really like the album title and the artwork. Does 'Spring of Hate' include socially critical and political issues or is it more meant as a personal statement?
Yes, it's inspired by some riots we had in Copenhagen in 2007, when the government and police cleared out "the youth house" and sold it to a religious freak, who then later tear down the whole building. I was out walking, buying pizza and stuff when the police came heavy armed and arrested alot of punks etc. So the song 'Spring of Hate' is based on the episode. The artwork is made by my girlfriend Emma Acs.
That sounds really dramatic. In contrast to the first record, you're playing now with a "real" band instead of a bunch of guest musicians. How did you get in contact with the guys?
After we made the first album it was time for some touring, so I needed a band then, and Adam Olsson who plays lead guitar, once played in another band with Greg Boye (bass) and Rasmus Riise (drums) and I knew them so we just asked them to play the gigs with us and then it slowly became a band. I had a bunch of new songs we rehearsed and then played live, songs we recorded for 'Spring of Hate' so it seemed naturally to continue with those guys instead of the guest thing in the studio. Lorenzo Woodrose played organ on the first shows but we then later replaced him with Heinzz, a friend I met some years ago in a old WW2 bunker, he was really fond of the music so he said yes, but he did actually quit before even playing the first show because he was too nervous so we then had to mind fuck him a little to get him back aboard. Now we have a new drummer, his name is Adam Winberg and he's great! He fits more into my idea of the music.
Once more, Lorenzo Woodrose had produced the new record. Would you agree that he's some kind of a mentor for you? Is he an important influence for you?
Yes, he's the mentor, but I wont use him as a producer again, now I want something else, but he's good to hang out with, comes up with good ideas, it's nice to have a person you don't really have to talktoo about the songs because you're on the same level.
What was it that got you interested in playing and writing music? Is THE SETTING SON your first band?
I've played in two bands once with the same guy, we did it all together, I would play the guitar and then he sang. It was always more important for us to have a catchy tune rather than saying something with the lyric, but later we would disagree alot, we both wanted something different, I was tired of his Gibberish-no-lyrics and he didn't like that I wanted simplicity, so, it wasn't a break up we just started doing music by ourselves, first I did a lot of tracks with no voice, but then I started to sing and thought it sounded way better than with my former "partner".
When did you discover your talent to write such irresistibly catchy songs?
I always knew when something sounded good but it all started in August 2000 when I first played with my friend from question 5. In 2002-3 I started doing my own songs from the bottom.
Have you always been a Copenhagen native?
No, I moved to Copenhagen in late 2003, before that I lived in the suburbs.
It's no secret that especially the 1960's have a big impact on your sound. What fascinates you about the music of that decade and could you name some of your favourite bands and musicians?
It's the sound and the catchiness, but I do like a lot of other bands from different time periods, 60s bands I like Beatles, Mamas And Papas, Gainsbourg/France Gall, Love, Byrds, Kinks and I like a lot of other bands but only for their hits.
If I am not mistaken, you never played outside of Denmark... Am I mistaken in that and do you have any plans to visit Germany in 2009 or maybe next year?
We've played three times in Germany, an acoustic show at Bang Bang Club and then we played at Bassy Club in April this year and in June in Düsseldorf, but that's the only outside Denmark. We're working on some shows in London at the moment.
Oh shit, I haven't done my homework right. What was the best/most fun show you recall playing?
I can't recall any of them, but I've seen some videos on youtube and...oh well.
What are your plans for the future?
I'm working with my girlfriend on her debut album, set for a release in February next year and then I'm working on a new SETTING SON record
Great news! Ok, thanks very much for your time, Sebastian. Any last words?
You're welcome, hope you find it useful.