2010.04.22 – KAIPA – Hans Lundin (interview)

How did it happen that you are so much into folk music?

I’ve always liked the special feeling in Swedish folk music tunes. They often contains both a melancholy and merry feeling at the same time that goes directly into my heart. There were some folk influences already on the first Kaipa album 1975 but today I feel it’s a more integral and natural part of the compositions and the Kaipa landscape.

How do KAIPA tracks are composed? It seems that they are all structured round central keyboard lines…but still how do other layers get involved in the process? Do you have any standard rehearsals like other rock bands?

I always start trying to find the important main melody, that’s the heart of the song. In many cases it is just a short small melody line that is asking for my attention. It often happens in the morning when I drink a cup of coffee or when I go on a bicycle ride. The important thing is to take care off these small signs when they appear. When they’re once captured I can spend weeks developing the basic one minute idea into an eighteen minutes song like “Electric power water notes” on the new album. In this situation one thing leads to another in a most natural way. Writing music is in a way like being on a fascinating journey where you don’t know what’s waiting around the corner.

All the songs are written by me but the other members are very important to form the final result. When I write a new song I often make decisions based upon my knowledge of the other members personality and ability to shape the music. This feeling has become more obvious for every new album we’ve made together. I always record demo versions of the songs where I play and sing everything. The other musicians listen to the demo before we start recording so they can get to know the songs and understand my intentions, Some parts are strictly arranged but mostly I give them free hands to bring their own ideas and energy into the final result.

What are the lyrics of your new tracks about? As far as I know „In the wake of evolution“ is not a concept album.

The songs “In the wake of evolution” and “The seven oceans of our mind” are dealing with how we take care of, or rather not take care of our planet and what waves we leave behind to our children’s children’s children. This ought to be an always present topic for all people on our planet. The other songs are independent stories.

KAIPA cover artworks are quite modern considering that your music is mostly based on folk…especially 4 last albums.
How do you create artworks for your albums? Is there any sort of a procedure? Do you suggest anything or maybe it’s a graphic designer who interpret your music?

The artwork for the album “Notes from the past” was made by Per Nordin, who also did the artwork for Transatlantic. On the following three albums, the artwork was made by Jan Ternald, who also is a musician. (in the seventies he played keyboards in a Swedish band called Älgarnas Trädgård). I really liked his style I thought it corresponded with our music, but he is not working with this anymore. So this time, I tried to do something myself. From the beginning, when I started to work with the album, my idea was to call it “To our children’s children’s children”. So I wanted to create an artwork that was reflecting these words. The title was later changed to “In the wake of evolution”.


I’ve heard that as Kaipa project was on a hold you have recorded solo albums. How would you describe them? Do you think that this music could be attractive to prog rock fans? Are the albums available to buy?

During the 80’s I recorded three solo albums “Tales” 1984, “Visions of circles of sounds” 1985 and “Houses” 1989 (listen at: www.myspce.com/hanslundin). The music on these albums was a melodic progressive music, mostly instrumental and would certainly attract prog rock fans. When these albums were recorded many musicians recorded solo albums playing almost everything themselves. So did I, but I had a few guest musicians (Roine Stolt – guitar, Ulf Wallander – saxophone among others) playing on a few tracks. When I listen to theses albums today I wish I had used more real musicians for the recordings but now this is history. The two first albums were released on LP and the last on CD. Maybe you can find copies somewhere on the second hand market.

Aren’t you sometimes tempted to record a keyboard or instrumental album? Or maybe with strong folk influences – like Folkia’s First Decision???

That could of course be interesting but in my opinion I’m playing with some of the best musicians in this universe. So I would probably ask them to join me anyway and then I must ask myself if it’s a solo album or Kaipa.

As far as I know KAIPA is a studio project and you’re not planning any live show…but don’t you feel like going live? For example just one splendid performance (in a theater or philharmonic) – and then to release it as a concert DVD?

I wish it was possible to do that but It would be very difficult to play the Kaipa music live without including several extra musicians. If you listen carefully to our albums you can notice that sometimes there are up to four or more different guitar or keyboard lines playing simultaneously.

To be honest I have mostly no idea today what chords or figures I played on the albums and it’s probably the same for the other musicians. It would take a long time for all of us just to figure out the structure of the songs.

Don’t you think that guest appearances of famous musicians have become trendy lately? Studio project and rock operas are gaining popularity… Can we expect any guest appearances on Kaipa albums in the future (maybe Fish or Phil Collins;))
What do you think about this? Do you treat it as a market demand to grab attention of a wider audience or is it just an easy marketing trick?

It seems many groups think they can raise their sales figures just by adding some famous guests to the list of players. In fact Kaipa is a rather unlikely combination of musicians and we choose our guest musicians for their quality not for their fame.

Do you have any plans considering new KAIPA album?

I really hope there will be a new Kaipa album sometime in the future, but in the end it’s only a question of inspiration. Without great songs and ideas it’s no use to record an album.

Thank you for your time and best regards from Polish fans.

Questions: Piotr Spyra

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