We met Christoffer Lundquist in Prague some hours before the concert to talk about his solo album “Through The Window”, the award he received in May and the Roxette tour 2011. Take some time to read it and enjoy!
Judith: We wanted to ask you some questions about the album. First off, congratulations for this masterpiece!
Christoffer: Oh, thank you! This is very nice to hear.
J: The first thing we want to know is: did you really work 12 (!) years on this album?
C: It’s actually a total lie; it was not like that at all. I actually did this album very quickly. They wrote this on the press release because it took me such a long time for me to make a solo album at all, but I wrote all the songs for this album in summer 2008 in Gotland, where my family and I spend the summer. I have a moped so I drove with my guitar on my back to some very remote places with nice nature scenery and took also very long walks. I wrote all the songs in the nature three years ago.
What is true is that it took a long time to get the album released.
J: We thought that 12 years was a very long time…
C: Absolutely, I think music should be done fast, otherwise it gets boring.
J: Do you always write your songs on guitar?
C: Yes, I normally do. I think I only wrote one song for this album on piano,“The Raging hands Of Time”.
J: Looking at the credits in the booklet, we saw that you wrote the music to all songs, but the lyrics were written by Michael Saxell.
C: Yes, indeed. I am a horrible lyric writer; I try every now and then, thinking that I should be able to write some lyrics, but… no, it doesn’t work. I am so bad!
J: Did you also try to write the lyrics for this album, too?
C: Yes, I actually did try to write lyrics with my wife. We sat down together, thinking that we’ve been together all our lives and have lots of things to tell, about the world, experiences, etc. so we should be able to write something good. We did it for a couple of days but then we read what we had written and looked at each other and realized we could not use this at all. No talent.
J: How did you get to work with Michael Saxell?
C: Initially, I was going to work with a French artist; I produced her album for some time ago. I sent her some songs and she promised to send some lyrics back. But the time went by and she never sent anything, after almost six months she said she was sorry but couldn’t do it.
I was devastated because since I can’t write lyrics myself, I really need somebody to do that, and I really believed in the songs I had composed. So I sent some songs to Michael, whom I had just met briefly before when I helped him mix an album in my studio. I sent four of the songs to him, just acoustic guitar demos with some “lalala” melodies which should be the sung part and four lyrics came back the next day.
J: That was fast!
C: Yes! I was very surprised, so I sent him the rest of the songs. He was travelling around in Canada at that time and he left everything he had planned to do aside and sent me one song every day. For me that was a gift. The melodies were all finished, and he managed to write the lyrics to fit the music just perfectly and also to catch the meaning and the mood of the songs I had in mind.
So in a way I feel a bit like I wrote them, because they are very natural to me and what I actually wanted.
J: So you mean that there was no song where you felt like “nah… I actually had something else in mind”?
C: Amazingly no, there wasn’t! I haven’t changed a word in any of the songs. What is even more amazing to me is that both music and lyrics were done separately. I gave him the finished music and melody of the sung parts and he just fit these nice lyrics to the melodies. Perfect.
And I must confess we have already written the next album. I wrote 15 more songs and I am going to record them during the Roxette tour breaks. It worked the same way as with this album: I wrote the songs, sent them to Michael and he added lyrics to them.
J: A new album? Can you tell us more about it?
C: OK, now I really have to tell you about the next album because I believe it’s such a great concept. The lyrics are more in the center; it’s like a song cycle, like Schubert did or a couple of people in the 60ies. There is a thread through the whole album, there are historical situations which happened at a significant place, but the lyrics are about just one person in these situations, from a very human point of view. The stories are quite sad, tragic. A guy does something because that is his job, and it has consequences for some many people. The lyrics are however not condemning, they are beautifully written.