The IndiePulse Interview
We got a unique opportunity to speak with members of Straw, a band from Scandinavia that is now making its way onto the American music scene, bringing the perfect blend of inspired music and fun to a growing fan base. Check out what the members of Straw have to say about their music, inspirations and more.
IPM: This may seem obvious to you, but perhaps not so obvious to anyone discovering you for the first time: Why did you choose the name “Straw” for your group’s name?
Henriette: We had a lot of trouble finding the right name for our band. First of all it had to be free on the market/ internet so that we could have a home page in our name, next it had to be easily remembered and have a great sound. On top of that it would be nice if you could connect the name with us and our songs. Straw has it all and it stands for strong nature and flexibility. We think it´s very important to be flexible in relationships like when a Straw bends in the wind.
IPM: Straw is a true “family band,” in that two of your daughters sing, as well as husband-wife. How did this lovely situation come to be, and how do you make it work on a day-to-day basis?
Henriette: We started to be just Carsten and me. Several years back we wrote songs together and later Carsten, after I participated in the Danish Eurovision Song Contest, we made several Solo albums in my name and produced by Carsten. Then we had children and only I continued to sing, but for years in my own name. We had at lot to do and things were difficult – we almost got divorced. But we made it, and both of us had a lot on our heart and we began to write songs together again – and we still do. We ended up with a lot of songs and then we decided to make Straw. The children came naturally, as they almost grew up with the songs and therefore knew them better than anyone. They grew up with a singing mother and a father producing music and playing the guitar. For them it was the most natural thing in the world to sing and play music. They began singing along and gradually they also joined us on gigs. Suddenly we were a family band.
Many people think it´s fantastic, and we think so to, but it´s not without problems. We are a very open minded family and there must be place for discussions to make it work. Furthermore it´s a must, that we help each other in day-to-day basis for making it possible to do all that needs to be done when you run a band, with promotion, videos, recordings etc.
Carsten: And remember – we have raised the girls as artists and individuals – they do have their own opinion – They know that they are bosses in their own lives, So you know – sometimes its difficult to find solutions – without discussions. Straw is always a part of our day – and we believe that it will go on for the rest of our lives.
IPM: What do you generally write your songs about, subject-wise?
Henriette: Generally our songs are about relationships and life itself for better or worse. For example how I grew up and how it made me see the world today, or little – big things that you need to be aware of too make you happy. The nearness in between people or those you love.
Carsten: I think, that I write about moods – the inner feelings – and of course about life in the family. And it´s very important, that it´s melodic and reel songs – I believe in the Singer / Songwriter tradition.
IPM: Besides the family members, what other musicians are members of Straw?
Henriette: A very famous Norwegian bass player Helge Solberg who came to Denmark when he was very young and stayed here when he met his wife and got a lot of gigs. He has played with almost every famous band in Denmark and is still going strong in his 60s. He´s now dedicated to Straw Family.
Frederik Nordvang – Our young and promising lead guitarist and son in law as well (Carstens Wingman. Since he was very young he has been playing a lot with his own band. Frederik lives with Denise.
Carsten Milner – our drummer. He´s also a very experienced musician and has played with most great bands in Denmark. We are honored to have him with us.
IPM: Have you been able to make a living playing music in Denmark?
Henriette: It is very difficult if you want to play your own music only for a living unless you are very famous. Therefore some of us also plays with other or teach in music e.g. I have been living by singing but when we decided to jump all in on Straw, we had to begin over again. Straw is in Denmark an upcoming band and although it´s almost impossible to be added and played on Danish national radio – but we have succeeded to have several songs added to the radios. The local radio stations is always nice to us as well.
IPM: Do you have any desires to perhaps one day tour the U.S. or any other countries?
Carsten: Denmark is indeed a very small country and we have great plans and therefore we are now agreed to do something about it. We all think, it would be fantastic and great to visit other countries with our music, and especially the U.S – That’s why we´re now working international to get our music across the borders. And it is very exciting and promising.
We hope that there will be a serious booking agent, that would arrange and plan a tour in the US, but it´s expensive to travel the whole band – 8 people, BUT if he/shes out there – we´re here.
IPM: Let’s now discuss some of the band’s influences and “musical heroes,” who would they be?
Henriette and Carsten: The Eagles were amazing, Bryan Adams, Chania Twain and e.g John Denver. Henriette: I also love e.g Ricki lee Jones and Barbra Streisand. There`s many others.
Sally and Denise: Taylor Swift, Birdy, Gabrielle Aplin e.g.
IPM: Any plans to write any songs about the U.S. President Trump? He’s been how you say, “controversial” to say the least.
Carsten: I´m sure that we could make a sad song about Trump, but we´ll rather write songs about people, nearness, friendship, feelings, reasonably, so it will be hard to write a song about Trump as these terms are rarely included in his world, as far as I can see.
IPM: Are you presently working on any new Straw audio recordings or videos
Henriette: We`ve just finishing our new song “Bang Bang” and currently we are preparing video for the song. We are having great fun, making the history of the song, where we ourselves are the actors. It is planned that we published the song in April / May, and after that, we have 4 additional releases for the next year. We´re really excited about it.
IPM: Finally, where can music lovers and Straw fans keep up with all the latest Straw happenings (website, social media sites,etc.)?