INTERVIEW: Lasse Passage

Hi Lasse, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Right now, I’m doing very good. Just got out of the city to visit my father for a few weeks. He lives in a tiny village by the sea.. So something resembling a summer-holiday can finally start.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Miles Away”? 

It’s the first single of my upcoming album Sunwards, and the first piece of music that I’ve released in quite some time. I was strange, when the single went live in June, and I looked at my Spotify page and saw that is was 5 years ago since I released something. That’s too long! So it feels good to be back.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Actually it’s a bit of a melange between various events, but which triggered the same emotional response in me. Writing a song, I often meditate on a certain feeling or play back a story or a memory. And usually it is one event, but with Miles Away, I had a few to choose from 🙂

Any plans to release a video for the track?

No, that video would be too gloomy – haha. But we’re making a music video for another track on the album “God Is In The Nature” – together with Norwegian director Jenny Berger Myhre. We shot a bunch of Super 8 in the woods a couple weeks ago. Looking forward to share that, when it’s ready for the webs.   

The single comes off your new album Sunwards – what’s the story behind the title?

Traveling has always been a recurrent theme and inspiration for me when writing songs. I also write a bunch of other music, like contemporary classical, but with my songwriter output – nothing beats traveling with no other plan than bringing my guitar and maybe a return date. So Sunwards – moving forwards in the direction of the sun, you could say – means to me the concept of deciding to make that journey and taking a leap of faith and dive into something unknown, with the urge to learn and explore. 

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote the songs in Mexico, land of the dreams, a few years back. Then upon return in Oslo, I gathered my musician friends to record and overdub at various studios. The process was not as smooth as those two sentences picture – because it took nearly a year to finish just recording, but it was at least faster than my previous record!

What was it like to work with Noah Georgeson and how did that relationship develop?

When I was searching around for the right person to mix the record, I was just looking through my local network in Norway. I had a few that test-mixes done for me, but I still was not sure if those were the right way to proceed. Then at some point it was thinking, man – I have spend a lot of time and resources making the album up till now – why not just aim as high as possible and see what kind of response I get; it cannot hurt to try. I didn’t really expect a reply, so I was flattered and thrilled that he wanted to work on it.

How much did he get to influence the album?

The album is produced by me and the bass player Jo Berger Myhre, and Noah came in to do the mix after all the tracks were laid down. Some of the challenge when you have recorded stuff in different studios and rooms is to make it sound like one thing, one band. And I think Noah did some analog magic to the sound which really tied the album together. He really gave it a sound.

 What role does Norway play in your music?

Talking strictly musically, I think Norway has a great scene of musicians that are open minded in terms of genre. I mean, Norway is so small that you have to cooperate with the people that are in the scene. So to have musicians that are mostly busy with playing experimental music laying down tracks on my traditional songwriting – that’s a great thing!

How did your trip to Mexico get to influence the writing on this album?

As mentioned, traveling always sparks joy in me. It can have less to do with where I go, rather than with the state of mind I’m in when traveling. If I’m in a philosophical state of mind thinking anything could happen and the future lies open – that creates a certain kind of energy and attitude in me – and I think my songwriting  is really tied to that energy.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I also find it inspirational not to have any inspiration. Just the act of sitting down and do the work. Cuz at the end of the day, it’s really work, if you wanna finish a hole album of songs. Sometimes inspiration can flow freely, but you cannot wait for that moment, you just have to sit down and do the work even when you don’t feel like it.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yeah, I’m gonna hit the interwebs for sure and maybe do another streaming-concert with a full-band. And a release-concert in Oslo 4th of September! As everyone else I kinda have to keep it local for now. I’m curious to see how the autumn will play out.

What else is happening next in Lasse Passage’s world?

Fishing, swimming and boating in the coming month. I also recently bought my first step-sequencer, so maybe I’ll make some summer-holiday techno bangers between all the maritime activities.

Stream here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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