For the 4 EPs I’m releasing this year I’m using 4 different producers. And not any producers but the 4 guys in my backing band also known as The Tallboys. The producer for my first EP “L” is Christian Hörgren. Christian has been with me for more than 5 years and can be heard playing cello on all my previous albums. Here’s a little interview with the man in charge.
Hi Christian Hörgen, producer of the first EP in the L.O.V.E saga! How does it feel to be the first of 4 producers involved in this project?
– I’m pleased, honored and very excited. I think this is a great idea to let the members of the band take care of one recording each. It forces you to really make a statement about the song, not only your single part.
Is this your debut as a producer or are you in fact a veteran?
– I have produced several albums with my own bands and projects, but never for another recording artist.
How come you decided to do this and are you excited about the EP?
– How can I say no to such a flattering offer, Ha! To be honest, It was a tough decision to make since I’m on a parental leave with two kids. It’s always hard to make everything you dream of doing actually happen. But this time, together with some help, support and understanding from my wife and kids, we actually pulled it off.
What’s your main inspiration as a producer?
– I like to work with acoustic instruments, and I like weird instruments. I also like clear and simple ideas, and how you can question those ideas by making small changes in the arrangement of the song. I’m no big fan of an artificial studio sound in the Phil Spector tradition. I’m more into traditional, or even vernacular music superimposed with art music, like the things Jimmy O’Rourke is doing. Or Wilco.
What do you think will be different with this EP from Sofia’s previous albums?
– It’s really hard to tell. It’ has the airy and clean sound from the first records, paired up with the sweet americana vibe on the recent ones. I have tried to do it my way, not Sofia’s way, Ha!
You have played with Sofia for many years, how does it feel to be the producer as opposed to a musician working with a producer, and will you be as hard on yourself as you are on the other musicians?
– It’s a big privilege to help Sofia develop her great songs in my way. It has been so fun, yet difficult and very challenging.
Which instruments will you be playing on the EP?
– I play the kalimba (african thumbs piano), autoharp (American folk zither), electric and acoustic cello, piano, Fender Rhodes, hammond organ and I also made some field recordings.
Do you think that you and the other producers will create very different EP:s or will they sound alike?
– My friends in the band are so talented. I’m sure they will do it in their completely different way. But I have no idea what it will sound like, Ha!
If you had an unlimited budget, what would you do?
– I would hire Brad Mehldau, Bill Frisell, Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson to do the instrumental parts, playing Sofia’s songs together with the Brodsky String Quartet. I would ask Danny Elfman to do the arrangements, or perhaps Stephen Sondheim. To be honest, that sounded more like Brewster’s Millions. There is no clear connection between budget and quality. I would rather have unlimited time than budget.
We thank Christian for the chat and look forward to hearing the result of his hard work!