Interview: LINN Talks About "Happiness is Real," Experimenting with Sound, and More | Hype | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Interview: LINN Talks About “Happiness is Real,” Experimenting with Sound, and More

Interviewed by:
Dario Hunt
Interview date:
July 2022

How did you get into music?

I grew up in a house with a lot of music and instruments. I guess it awoke a natural curiosity in learning how to play and create my own music.  

Which artists were a major influence on you?

I think a lot of the artists I’ve ever listened to somehow influence me, so I don’t think my music resembles one specific artist or genre. Though I grew up listening to a lot of my dad’s rock records from the ’70s and ’80s, like John Lennon, Patti Smith, David Bowie and Grace Jones.

How would you describe your music? What do you want listeners to take from it?

It’s unpretentious and playful. It’s a great mix of genres and emotions.  

What’s your process when it comes to crafting a song?

I usually start with a small idea like tracking some chords on my guitar or sample a drumbeat recorded on my phone. Then I add other instruments like bass, violin, or midi keys. Then I probably cut and edit it and move it all around. The vocals are sometimes done in one take, sometimes it’s never done. I realize that when I struggle too much with the vocals and lyrics, it never turns out well, it has to come naturally. I really ditch a lot of songs and ideas.

Your sound has a very raw feel and quality to it. I assume that was an intentional choice. Who handles most of your production? And where do you pull all of these different sounds from?

I am writing, recording, and mixing most of it by myself. I’ve been experimenting pretty heavily with lo-fi recordings, effects and styles and sampled random sounds and memo recordings. Like, the sound of a squeaking chair on a vocal track that turned out to work perfectly as percussion. I make a lot of random stuff that no one else will probably ever get to hear. I just like to try out different things and I hope to continuously develop and expand the sound and style in my songs.

You’ve had experience working in bands and other collaborations, how would you say that differs from working on your own solo stuff? Have those past experiences helped you in what you’re doing now?

I have had some amazing experiences being in a band and I love playing and writing music with others. But I also think it’s so much fun to explore what you can do by yourself with just a laptop and a few instruments. I somehow felt like I’ve started over when I started working on my solo stuff, because I didn’t know exactly what I was doing or where the music was heading. It’s strangely liberating, but then again, you are also limited by your own skills and ideas when working alone, so I think it’s necessary to work with and learn from others from time to time to avoid getting stuck in the same old routines.  

Also, congrats on being a part of the Roskilde Festival! Will this be your first festival as a solo act? If not, what are some of the main differences between playing a festival as opposed to a more intimate show. Which do you prefer?

Shit, I love both. Roskilde Festival is a favorite, it has such an incredible vibe, I always know a lot of people attending and I’ve seen some of my best concerts there too. This past year I’ve also been lucky to play some smaller really great festivals in Denmark and abroad, like SPOT festival (DK), Left of the Dial Festival (NL), Det Gyldne Liv festival (DK) and next up is Frigjort Festival in one of my favorite parts of Copenhagen, Christiania.

I’ve also played a few more intimate shows at smaller clubs and venues in some European cities that I haven’t been before, and those trips really knocked me off my feet. I hope to be able to do that a lot more in the future. It’s a dream to explore new places and meet people and other creative communities through music.  

You’ve just released a new single, “Happiness is Real.” What’s the meaning behind the title and the song?

The song is about an inner conflict and societal brainwashing. I guess the title is pretty ironic.

The single has these crazy contrasts between your softer vocals/instrumentation and these big hardcore breakdowns full of distortion. Is that something that you like to experiment with in your music?

Yes, I like contrasts when moods and sounds clash somehow. My music probably reflects my mixed feelings about… everything, it’s my own inner conflicts expressed through sound, haha. I also think those hardcore contrasts make it sound more interesting and real, I like it when it’s a little strange and unpredictable.

We like to say to be a creative and put yourself out there to the public eye that you have to be fearless. Do you agree with that?

Well, I’m most definitely not fearless, I often doubt myself and my music, but the public eye is probably not very focused on my music anyway, so I guess it’s not a huge problem for me, ha. Still, I guess everyone will have to put themselves out there in one way or the other, to be able to relate and connect with others. Creating and sharing music is just one way of doing it.    

What can people expect from you in the future?

I have a new EP coming out later this year and it’s quite different from my first EP Happy Metal. You can expect both a contrasting and playful mix of feelings, sounds and moods.

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