MARIE FISKER

"I needed to take a leap in a poetic sense. I tried to go deeper into reflecting on situations and subjects."

The acclaimed Danish musician Marie Fisker recently released a brand new album Autumn 2012 to critical acclaim. In the middle of her busy schedule, we talked to her about her music, happiness, why MP3s suck and even DALI loudspeakers.

So, Hoes & Heroes
To lead off this conversation, we asked Marie to describe her music in her own words:

"It's kind of a blend of rock 'n' roll, folk and progressive pop with a penchant for country music's slide guitar, and a cinematic Universe. An imaginary expression – now and then including a more rough and noisy, psychedelic approach," explains Marie.

And your new album entitled So, Hoes & Heroes, how would you characterise it compared to previous work, such as your debut album Ghost of Love from 2009?

"I find that there are more layers in the music on the new album. Production is different in each song, though the tempo might be quite down-tempo in all of them. I always try to get a feeling right rather than editing everything to pieces.

My way of writing lyrics has developed, and I think I needed to take a leap in a poetic sense. I tried to go deeper into reflecting on situations and subjects. For instance, I was interested in how a memory changes depending on your state of mind. Most of my lyrics have several angles and suggestions to be interpreted."

Happiness is inspiring
So what inspires you when creating music?

"I'm most inspired when I'm happy. Poetry can set off an idea or a feeling, as well as a book can, a song, or a picture. I find radio montages amazing, as they open up your imagination. And I like to listen to voices. It's really intimate. Like peaking through windows, walking on the street. You can't help it when it's dark outside. Everyday life... the lawn, the lover, the streets, dishes and mind travelling. And general mystery."

Yet, although happiness inspires you, a melancholic atmosphere appears to be a prevalent element throughout your work. How come? Is melancholy a creative source to you as it is to many creative people?

"Hmmm, I'm not sure. Melancholy is a negative word and I don't feel destructive. Sometimes I can express anger or wonder, but I like to think it's an intense atmosphere. Intense can also be very loving and tender. I think I have a lot of longing as well. Longing to unite and intertwine – as I think we all have in general. We all collide, get overexcited, or stumble sometimes, but this is where the sparks and fire are. That is where we develop and experiment with will, boundaries and our choices.

I am interested in the relativeness of 'good' and 'bad' in me and in people in general. And I actually often find that comforting and positive," ponders Marie.

On the beach
The song On the Beach on your new album seems to capture your musical essence well. Tell us about the process, from writing the song to the final recording.

"Well, I went to Sweden for a week in a cottage to write alone. I was trying to write a song that had that twist in melody and chords. Fumbling with Garage Band on my computer after finishing the song, I tried to freestyle with keyboards and sounds.

When I got home, I went to the studio with Jakob (Høyer, producer of the album, ed.), and we pretty much copied all the ideas from the demo. Then Jakob came up with a great hook line for the keyboards as well, and we recorded all the percussion stuff together. Later on, our bass player Anders Christensen added a great bass line, and guitarist Rune Kjeldsen some lap steel, which added to the ocean feel of it. It has that rhythmical sound of waves, which fits the lyrics very well."

Creating a dynamic vibe
You mention Jakob Høyer – he produced and recorded your new album and even built your studio. He seems to be an important person in the making of your new album. How does your cooperation work?

"Jakob and I have been working together for a long time. In some ways, we are very different in our approach and that creates a dynamic vibe. He is very confident and playful. We are quite stubborn artistically and will not settle before we're both satisfied. Sometimes it takes a long time to find the right sound for a song.

And that's when I really appreciate having someone I trust bringing new ideas to the table and inspiring me to find new directions, as well as reflecting on my ideas and takes. It's wonderful to share the adventures, ups and downs in the process."

DALI speakers in the studio
I had the pleasure of listening to your new album on my DALI IKON 6 MK2s, which allow the dynamics and clarity of your recording to shine through. What are your thoughts on 'good' sound in general and loudspeakers specifically?

"As regards good sound, I would describe it as a warm and organic sound. Even when you mix electronic elements with acoustic instruments, it is important to me that it sounds real and has a depth to the overall sound," says Marie.

"We use a fair amount of real ambience in our production. So it has to translate well in the end. I really like the DALI CONCEPT 6 speakers, we have them in our living room and we always listen to our mixes at home. I believe that our mastering engineer uses them, too. They sound natural and warm without losing any details of the music. I know Jakob Høyer likes them a lot and mixes on Proacs Studio 100 and DALI CONCEPT 6."

MP3 sucks! And nothing compares to vinyl
Still speaking sound and production: You're releasing your new album on LP and CD, and it will undoubtedly be available on streaming services such as Spotify as well. As a musician, what are your thoughts on the digital evolution?

"I think MP3 sucks, but I believe the digital resolution will become better as it is the main source when listening to music in the future. Well, it already is. But I hope the format will change into something better. I guess nothing compares to vinyl and it must be an ambition to make it at least as good as that.

Having said that, I am not fanatic about it and I love the mobility of listening to music while riding my bike, walking or riding the train. From this perspective, I am thankful for new digital inventions – and depend on them!"

Can't wait to get started
What's next? Will you be touring the new album? There's an international sound to your album?

"Yes, I am looking forward to performing with my band in October and November in Denmark, and we are working on shows abroad, too. I love performing with the band and feel very fortunate to have such great musicians working with me on stage. It is most inspiring and lovely when the music transforms by the individuals playing, adding something new as we go along. I can't wait to get started!"

Discover more about Marie at www.mariefisker.com

- Rune H. Jensen, rhj@dali.dk

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