Interview with Christoffer Lundquist: “When you have the chance to work with such great people it’s very hard to say no”

Chris1We met Christoffer Lundquist in Göteborg before Marie’s concert in this city. The last time we met Christoffer was June 2011 in Prague and a lot has happened since then, so we thought it was about time again to sit down and chat about all the Rox-related projects he has been involved in as well as his solo and Brainpool projects.

Enjoy!

Judith: Thank you for your time! It’s been a long time, we met in 2011 last… You’ve been very busy since then!

Christoffer: Sure, a pleasure as always. And yes, lots of things going on.

Let’s start with Marie’s album. How did you get involved with it?

Micke and Marie started working on some of the songs a long time ago, some of them even 10 years ago. They asked during Roxette’s tour if I wanted to be part of recording the vocals because we did that with Roxette and we had lots of fun and it worked out very well. So that’s how it started, and then I got more and more involved. We recorded about half of the album in my studio, for the other half we used mainly what Marie and Micke had recorded themselves and built on those.

So how did you arrange the recordings? Did all the musicians come to your studio in Skåne?
Micke and Marie spent about 10 days in my studio the first time. Then they came to the studio a second time for five days. We also had Jens for a few days recording drums for some tracks. And then the rest we worked out together the three of us.

In an interview Micke told us that there are demos for most of the songs, but that we wouldn’t want to hear those, haha! Did they change a lot from demos to final?
Haha! Oscar is singing in some of them, actually. And I can’t really remember how much we changed. We built on some of the demos so the original kind of ended up on the album, but other songs were done from scratch in the studio, I don’t remember the demos to those. In that case we just heard the demo maybe once or twice and then we did the rest more or less on the fly. In some cases there were ideas on the demos that we wanted to keep, on other cases we started from scratch.

Marie and Micke worked with other song writers, were they involved in the recordings too?
Not really. They were not involved in the recording but more in the background and working with Marie on the lyrics. That was the most difficult part because lyrics are a huge part of Marie’s career and now that she doesn’t write many songs herself, she really needs lyrics that she can feel as if she had written them. That’s really tricky; it’s very personal, especially for Marie because she’s such an emotional singer. She cannot just sing something; she always sings texts that really mean something. So there were lots of attempts that didn’t work, we had new lyrics coming in all the time and every now and then we were like “Yes! This works!” It’s a tricky process because all of the song writers are very great writers; it’s hard to turn them down, someone writes a great text and you have to say “no sorry”, not because it’s not good enough, but because it doesn’t feel right for Marie, and you don’t want to hurt people… But Micke and Marie handled all that, it was their friends and colleagues, I was just standing by.

Did you use many new or interesting instruments this time, besides the sitar?
That was Micke’s or Marie’s idea, I cannot remember. They had that line on the demo “dididididi” (imitating the sound of the sitar at the beginning of the song) done with a cimbalo or something like that, but they wanted to find something more unique. It’s funny because that kind of guitar is used in a Swedish hit called “Jag vill ha en egen måne” by Ted Gärdestad. It was a huge 70ies hit and the artist is great, so it is also a bit of a hint to that song too. We used many of the other instruments as always, we just tried them out and used what we felt worked out. Micke played the church organ as well on “Jag undrar vad du tänker på”.

This album is very different to the other Marie albums, you can hear a lot of country and other styles that Marie hadn’t touched before. Did Marie and Micke already come with this in mind? How much of it is your influence?
Yes, that was not my influence, actually. The second track, “Det bästa som nånsin kan hända”, was almost finished when I heard it, for example. I hardly added anything to that one, one or two guitars maybe. That has the most country flavor I think. I just realised this when I listened to Marie’s previous albums to prepare for this tour that there are such different styles in the other albums, almost every album has its own style. And that is very much Marie, whatever the feeling at the moment is. So how do you like the album and the current style?

I think it’s great. Marie loves guitars… and you can hear that on the album. This album is one of her best. I had always wished she would do something like this.
Oh, great to hear. And yes, she loves electric guitars! We also had Staffan Astner on the album, he has this flashy style and Marie loves that. Whenever he goes crazy with the guitar she is like “Yes! Perfect!”

You could see that on Äntligen tour and on the current tour when she looks at you or Jokke and completely enjoys the solos!
Haha! It’s great to play that too.

So let’s move to another of the projects, mixing of Roxette live album/DVD/Blu-ray.
Yes, and it finally came out! Believe it or not, haha!

Read moreInterview with Christoffer Lundquist: “When you have the chance to work with such great people it’s very hard to say no”