Haap’s Heidi Lambach talks about their new single, her flute playing, and an upcoming video from the Norwegian duo.
Congratulations on your new single release. How does it feel?
“It feels wonderful,” Heidi laughs with a slight hoarseness. “I’m a little exhausted right now. I just had a concert earlier today.”
Tell us about the genesis of “Lord”.
“Lord happened simply because my Haap band-mate, Jørn, dreamt some of the lyrics. So, immediately upon waking, he sent me a message with the lyrics he had dreamt, and that of course triggered many more ideas in me. So we spent the morning writing back and forth and we came up with far too many verses. Next, we worked on selecting the lyrical ideas that we could further refine to form the story we wanted to tell. It was a very fun process.”
How long did it take you to write and produce this song?
“The melody just happened. When I saw Jørn’s lyrics, the melody was just there, so that didn’t take any time at all. But we have spent a lot of time forming the “sound” of the song. We both knew where we wanted to go with the song, and it took us perhaps two months to get there.
But I want to add that we are always working on several songs at the same time, so it is a little hard for me to estimate how much time we spend on one particular song. This is a method we both enjoy, because the songs inspire new ideas in each other, and I am also continuously working on the “main story” for the album. So when we work on a song, I also write short stories and poems about the characters we meet in the songs. So I always work on developing what we call “the Haap universe”, which is sort of an alternate reality where all our songs take place.”
Let’s talk about Haap’s genre. Again, we are introduced to a new genre with Haap. Or are we?
“Perhaps I am a little schizophrenic when it comes to genre. But I’m just true to myself. As humans, we experience so many different things in our lives. For me it would feel fake and be very difficult to try to place all these experiences and feelings in just one genre. Certain situations and feelings just lend themselves better to a certain genre.
That being said, good songs will of course work regardless of what genre you try them out in. So we could probably be more strict with ourselves and be more limiting with choosing genre, but we have done this consciously to reflect how different we are as humans. How, for example, two people’s experiences of the same event can be so different. With this in mind, it’s natural that we are a little “schizophrenic”. But this is what Haap is all about, and I hope our listener will appreciate this and enjoy the variation in the music.”
So how did you end up with this bluegrass/celtic/prog hybrid with “Lord”?
“It came with the melody. When Jørn dreamt the initial idea, he heard it with banjos in the back, and that made sense. It’s a simple, folky song with a story to be told. So we started with the banjo and then continued to choose our instruments and work out the arrangement with this in mind. There are lots of fun instruments in this song, like lap steel guitar, mandolin, baritone guitar and flute.”
Tell us more about the flutes. They sound slightly unusual the way they are played in this song. Is it you playing the flute?
“Yes, it is. The flutes were actually the last thing we added to the arrangement. And you are right in that it is played slightly unusually. We wanted one more adhesive element to our arrangement. New instruments are continuously added to the song as it progresses, so we wanted something percussive that could be with us for the entire song. We could have added normal pop-drums or something, but that would be wrong for the song. Something acoustic, slightly odd and playful is what we wanted. So that’s how we ended up with me playing the flute almost like a drum.
I listened to Jethro Tull growing up, and his playfulness with the flute has stuck with me. I like to be creative and explore new sounds. I really like how the flute can be a percussive instrument and I love how I can express the rhythms inside me through the flute.”
Can you tell us a little about the lyrical content of the song?
“There is a longing in these lyrics that’s very strong for me. The girl that sings the song has a strong longing for something, and she struggles to figure out what that that is. Of course I want the listeners to make up their own minds about what the song is about, but for me each verse has its own… color or flavor of longing.
And when she sings about wanting a “box”, that could be a number of things. For me it is about wanting a box where you can hide away things that terrify you. The person in the song struggles a lot and she is confused about how to prioritize her life, but in the end she is finally figuring things out.”
How and where will the song be released?
The most important thing for us is that as many people as possible get access to the song. But if you truly wish to support Haap, get the songs through one of the paid services.”
What’s next for Haap?
“We just did something very fun! We took some songs from the upcoming album and held a mini-concert in a very stripped down format. Just me at the piano, with the addition of a cellist on some of the songs. I wanted to have a chance to really focus on the stories and emotional content of our songs and perform with that as the primary focus.
It was a very good process for me as an artist to re-familiarize myself with our songs. It almost felt like I was meeting them for the first time in this new format.
If this turns out as planned, we will release this concert as an EP. The concert was filmed, so look for it on YouTube soon!
Other than that, we work full steam ahead on the “big album”. I know I’ve been saying for a long time that it’s almost done, but we are true to the process and promises we made to ourselves when we started this musical journey. I feel confident it’s working out and we’ll be amply rewarded for it when the album reaches completion.”
Lord on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/no/album/lord-single/id736093583
Lord on Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/track/741eePRQc5VYF0PSe76Y0e