Feature: Simen Mitlid

Simen Mitlid im Interview über sein neues Album

Simen Mitlid im Interview über sein neues Album „Fredsvenn“

Seit der norwegische Singer und Songwriter Simen Mitlid 2016 zum ersten Mal auf der Bildfläche erschienen ist, hat er das Publikum mit seiner gefühlvollen Musik und herzlichen Art in seinen Bann gezogen. So auch uns. Und so kommt es, dass wir ihn wieder auf dem Blog präsentieren dürfen. Dieses Mal mit einem neuen Album und wieder einmal seinen ganz eigenen Texten, die mit Witz verfeinert sind. Aber eben auch von Grund auf ehrlich und menschlich. Der Sound ist zwar einfach gehalten, Simen behandelt aber äußerst komplexe Themen. So auch in seinen 10 neuen Songs. Für ihn stellt es eine Rückkehr in eben genau diese einfache Welt dar. Sehr reduziert in der Produktion und den Arrangements. Hier ist nichts überbordend oder triefend.

Auf „Fredsvenn“ erkunden die Songs eine Reihe von Erfahrungen, unterlegt mit der so sanften Stimme und einer umfangreicheren Instrumentierung. Indie-Folk-Songs, die direkt ins Herz treffen. Und weil auch das wieder passiert, mussten wir dem Norweger wieder einige Fragen zu seinem neuen Album stellen. Es geht um die Einfachheit, die hohe kreative Frequenz, die er an den Tag legt und was Bendik Riis mit seinem Album zu tun hat.

On your new album “Fredsvenn” you try to pack very complex topics into simple, haunting melodies. Why do you think we need this access to these topics?

Simen Mitlid: „I wrote down the title „Fredsvenn“ (Friend of Peace) after reading a biography of Bendik Riis and saved it in my “cool song titles“ list. Later, I felt that it would be a fitting album title for this very calm stripped-down (and maybe peaceful) album. But even though the album is named „Fredsvenn“ it doesn’t necessarily revolve around that theme throughout.“

Explaining the complex through simplicity and playfulness. Does that correspond to your nature when you’re not in the studio recording new songs?

Simen Mitlid: „As a singer/songwriter, it’s easy to create songs that are „too serious“ and solemn. But I like to inject some humor and play with clichés while I’m also searching for something original. Cause a thing I try to avoid is appearing too serious as a musician because that’s a pitfall that’s easy to stumble into when you’re dedicating so much time to it.

After your EPs last year, you are now releasing a new album with 10 songs. Is this high frequency already normal for musicians today?

Simen Mitlid: „Initially, I set out to create a single album, but as I progressed, I found that the songs and productions took different paths. „Social,“ released last year, turned out to be a more lighthearted and upbeat EP, while the stripped-down and calm songs found their place on
this album.“

Doesn’t that drain you beyond belief and put you under pressure? And if so, how do you deal with it?

Simen Mitlid: „I don’t dwell on it too much. I’m not a perfectionist, so I write songs all the time, record them sporadically, and release them through my own label. There’s never a well-planned strategy behind it. Whether it takes one or five years between each album doesn’t concern me greatly. However, I have a sense that it’s more likely to be closer to five years than one until the next one.

Your new songs came about more by chance. How did it feel when you realized that the songs were all in a similar universe, as if by chance?

Simen Mitlid: „It’s natural for the songs created during close in time to share common elements. This can be influenced both by the people and music that inspire me at the time or the events happening around me. But they don’t share a specific plot or narrative, but maybe a similar mood, if that makes sense.“

To what extent does the simplicity in your new songs reflect Bendik Rii’s fate or in what context would you like to view his story and yours?

Simen Mitlid: „I’m not certain if Bendik Riis’s art and my music necessarily have many parallels. But he had a whimsical and naive artistic expression while still taking his art very seriously. That’s a combination I can identify with, although I aim to avoid the latter. I believe that by doing that, it’s also easier to avoid a fate similar to Riis.“



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