An Interview with Niels Hanne

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Recently, I sat down with Niels Hanne to discuss, among other things, what he’s been up to during the lockdown, his newest music, his thoughts on the music scene going forward, and what he’s looking forward to the most once COVID-19 breaks.

If you would like to learn more about Niels Hanne, head over to his Soundcloud page here and dig in. Once you’ve done that, check out this interview with Niels. Cheers

Andrew:
Niels, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. It’s been a weird year. What have you been doing to pass the time?

Niels:
YES! Covid really made this a different year. I just did two things: go to work and write music! First, I was gonna take some time because I released an album last year but hey, why not continue ?!

Andrew:
Tell us about your backstory. How did you get into music?

Niels:
I believe I got into music by accident. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a fan of music, and I listened to a lot of music! Friends of mine had a band and didn’t have a singer, and I wrote poetry, so I kinda stumbled into that. I never considered myself a good vocalist or anything, but I did have a lot of fun being one! After a while, I was like, if I can play a bit of guitar I can shape the idea have better, and soon followed a bass guitar… and well, here I am now.

Andrew:
As an artist, who were some of your earliest and more important influences?

Niels:
I love a lot of music, so I AM gonna forget names, so I’ll keep it as short as I can! The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been a huge influence on me, but also Metallica and System of a Down. As for female vocals, I always had a thing for Paramore! I like them more now than at the beginning (sorry, not sorry).

Andrew:
Let’s dive in and talk about your upcoming new album. If you can, tell us more about it. How does it compare to some of your previous efforts? What’s changed?

Niels:
This is the first time it’s not a DIY album. I partnered up with the Rick Rubin from Belgium (Pieter Jan Theunis) in Hook Studio, and he really helped me channel my ideas and kept me in the right direction. What i’m hearing now, and Dan Shike (who also mastered bands like Larkin Poe) still has to do his magic, is awesome! I feel like this album feels more like one concept than previous albums; I also feel like I was able to get more details done than before, so I’m really, really proud of this one.

Andrew:
You’re working with Katie Johnson, Joey Howard, and Arnaud Krakowka on this album. How did you all come together?

Niels:
I already did some work last album with Arnaud; he helps me a lot. I make very rough demos, and for me, it feels like he gives me the real drummer insight. Katie and I have been working together since 2019 already, I found her online, and I love her voice; I mean, how can you not ?! I might not be completely objective but come on?! For bass, we have this little gem doing his magic! I’m so happy he agreed to work with me on this album! Joey never needed a lot of explanation; he just got where I wanted to go with the song and even exceeded my expectations!

Andrew:
How about songwriting? What is your process like? Does your work come from a deep, ethereal place? Or is it sort of just spur of the moment, so to speak?

Niels:
I write a lot… like ALOT…. but I also write a lot of crap! [Laughs]. Sometimes it’s in the moment; other times, I have a riff I ignore for a few years before doing something with it.

Andrew:
How about the production and mixing side of things? How has it been working with Pieterjan Theunis and Dan Shike?

Niels:
PJ is such a creative talent; I can’t even imagine not working with him in the future! Hee just gets me and always puts the song first! Dan is a chill dude, he has worked with and for a lot of bands, cool ones like Larkin Poe, so he knows what to do. he also loves f1 so do I and PJ so, how cool is that?

Andrew:
Aside from music, what else are you most passionate about and why? How do your other passions inform and inspire your music?

Niels:
I love hiking and driving around.

Andrew:
Are you into vinyl? Tapes? CDs? Or are you all digital now? Where do you like to shop for music?

Niels:
I have a lot of CDs, and I do look around for CDs in smaller local shops. And of course digital too.

Andrew:
Touring is a big part of any artist’s proverbial machine, but as we know, COVID has disallowed it. What do you miss most about being on the road?

Niels:
In 2019 I switched from being in bands to working alone. I miss the gigs, and I WILL do them again when the time is right, and the project is right!

Andrew:
Speaking of COVID, where has it left the music scene? So many indie venues are closing, and people are struggling. Do we recover from this? If so, how?

Niels:
We are humans; we always recover, but it will take some time, and we will lose some venues, but others will come to life. I can’t make more of that…time will tell.

Andrew:
Last question. What advice would you have for young artists looking to take the plunge?

Niels:
It is always good to listen and take advice, but do what feels right! Life will tell you if you are a salmon or something else.

Interested in learning more about Niels Hanne? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Andrew has always felt himself to be a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of person. With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found Vinyl Writer in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Stories from the Stacks. Over time, the column grew into a website which now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process.
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