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Music PopWrapped | Music

Meet Schaefer, Norwegian Hippies For A Modern Age In Music

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


02/27/2014 1:25 pm
PopWrapped | Music
Meet Schaefer, Norwegian Hippies For A Modern Age In Music
Media Courtesy of Facebook

Margie Patton

Staff Writer

@MargiePatton As you read this, the seeds of revolution are being planted, and the sowers are the rebel spirits of Schæfer. Schæfer is a band with a big sound and big ideas, shouldering a goal of creating music that promotes peace, freedom, creativity, and truth. With their debut album “Herregud” (Norwegian for “Dear God”- as in the exclamation of exasperation, not the call to a deity), Schæfer have birthed a reeling, explosive, consciousness-expanding challenge to the world to expect more and give more. Frontman and driving force Kim Kølbæk states, “Borders, money, and religion are a waste of space. That may be naïve thinking, but I believe that naivety is sometimes the only true way to get great ideas. It’s an everlasting search for freedom and higher ground that can be heard in the chords and intervals in our music, as it all strives to reach that moment of enlightenment or take itself to places out of our own reach.” Utilizing a meaty blend of retro-Psychedelia and modern Electronica, the men of Schæfer are hippies for a modern age in music and in belief. Even with the somewhat trippy and atmospheric elements to the band’s music, there’s definitely method to the madness. Kølbæk explains, “Our arrangements are quite often layered and stylized, so everything is well planned and worked over before it hits the street. As a band, we plan it, try it, modify it, rearrange it, and then some, and in some miraculous way in the end, we are still the best of friends.” For all his idealistic ambitions, Kølbæk is also a realist with a bit of a dark side, but in the end, the darkness leads to creativity and makes its own light through the music. “I quite often find myself writing at the worst times in life, so I guess there's quite a lot of despair in there,” says Kim. “But the ability to write stuff down and play with it gives me a lot more freedom than daily life.” Yes, a myriad of dichotomies are in play in the world of Schæfer, but this is exactly what makes the band so exciting. The cars on this train are of all different shapes and sizes, connected only by threads, and hurtling along at super-sonic speeds, but they never disconnect or go off the rails. Even though earlier efforts had been in English, the band decided on their native Norwegian for the lyrics of “Herregud”, simply because it felt right. Even though it may have not been the smartest move in the eyes of a music industry suit, the band decided that it had to be that way to save the integrity and balance of the record. “We had molded this ball of clay over and over, and I actually think we were just about to overthink it all, when some strange notion made me consider Norwegian lyrics,” says Kølbæk. “That was when truth took over some of the push and energy, because I am a terrible liar. At least I suck at lying to other people.  Suddenly, I had to feel embarrassed and young again, because I really felt I was giving myself away in the lyrics.” Kølbæk believes that music should be free, but also acknowledges the limitations a not-for-profit, utopian approach can put on the development and reach of making music in a capitalistic world. “The concept of ownership is not something I necessarily understand too well. I own stuff, the bank owns my ass. And on and on.” There’s a stress of individualism but also a call to unified action at work in Schæfer, reflected in the way the band operates as well as their opinions about society. Even as principle songwriter and spokesperson for the band, Kolbaek is quick to declare that the magic formula of Schæfer requires a sprinkle of ingredients from all members. “I can make and record almost anything myself, but it would not be the same. If you see us live, you'll understand what I mean. It's like a relationship. If you have one high flyer, you'll need to compensate with someone earthed to avoid disaster. Perhaps that is what shines through some of our songs too. All the songs on ‘Herregud’ are just culminations of our surroundings, and I am lucky to have been there to capture them with such fine people and musicians. If Truls wasn't an excellent carpenter, we'd never built a studio. If Ted wasn't such an opposite of me, we'd probably not create such balance. If Vegard owned only his own guitar rig and axes, I'd still not own a microphone. If Ben hadn't spent countless hours playing stuff I can't even listen to on the stereo, he'd kill me for asking him to reach so far on every chord or interval. And if I wasn't such an unfinished person, I would probably not be making music.” Art and science also hold equal power In the Schæfer cosmos, as Kolbaek is fascinated by both the craft and mystery of music and how the two can complement, contrast and conflate. And as far as the human heart, art and science can also play a part in unifying, healing, and strengthening. Kolbaek’s musings can often be poetic, even shamanic, but he is also a fervent supporter of the scientific community and their efforts to improve the human condition. “Science can relate to any fact given to it and can provide deep connectedness. A scientist can explain to people that we are all made from the same stuff. That's an important step along the way to being the real deal.” So for these complex creative creatures, there may be magic in their hearts, but there is also reason in their brains, clarity in their vision, and a whole lot of dirt under their nails. They want change, but they aren’t going to sit around and meditate and wait for it to happen. There’s music to be made, worlds to be discovered and evils to be fought, both by looking in and reaching out. For Schæfer, the art of war is art itself.   Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web!


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