This spring, wear your art on your sleeve
Lust for Youth is Hannes Norrvide, Loke Rahbek and Malthe Fischer. But they are also Norin, Croatian Amor, (half of) Damien Dubrovnik and Scandinavian Star. It’s hard to keep track of who is doing what exactly in the Copenhagen scene, they all do so much. As the perfect embodiment of the self-deprecating but hopelessly romantic millennial, we could mistake their appearance to be somewhat lacklustre, but we could never not call them prolific.
Lust For Youth’s previous record, International, aspired towards Italian aesthetics and expensive sweaters, something we learned the enigmatic Hannes was obsessed with during a night of party-crashing that left us wondering if doing coke with Miley Cyrus was maybe a bad idea. But Compassion, also released on the unbeatable Sacred Bones Records, marks a new chapter for the band. With eight of their best tracks to date, the band shows progression in songwriting, and allows more room for Hannes to drag out his sad but, beautiful voice. He sings exactly about what you would expect from a singer born on Valentine’s day – love.
Hey Hannes! How are you?
I’m good. It’s freezing though, I’m cold.
What is your new record called?
That’s sweet. Why are you laughing?
Because we thought… it sounds kind of like an asshole thing to call it, Compassion.
Well… maybe it doesn’t sound very compassionate.
No. But that was actually the goal, for it to sound compassionate. It was just a quick reflection on our lives and the world. It needs more compassion at the moment. I think this record has more and bigger emotions, more varied feelings at the same time, compared to the last one. And it has a bigger sound, like an arena sound.
We should book you an arena. Do you think you could fill one?
I think after this record comes out, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Okay, we’ll try to find you an arena. Where’s the rest of your band now? They didn’t want to be interviewed?
Maybe. I think they would like to be part of it. It’s just that all of us are really busy, it’s hard to get together.
Yet, there are only three people in your band…
I think we’re very lucky to be only three people actually – the perfect amount. You can go away for a longer period of time, it’s easier to get around on tour. Having more people on tour must be hard.
Still, maybe you should get a drummer. What do you think?
Soundcheck would be so long. And they hit on everything, like when you’re waiting for the plane.
I don’t really want to be famous
With this record coming out in March, is this year pretty much filled with touring?
I think we’re going to try to do less touring actually. Touring is hard. It’s very nice and it’s very luxurious to be able to do it, but it’s a lot of travelling, which also takes a lot of energy. Just waiting around for flights and shows.
How long is your set now?
Oh, about an hour. It sounds long when I say it out loud, but it doesn’t feel long. It’s strange because we started out doing 20-minute shows. I thought a 30-minute show would be impossible, and an hour would be outrageous. And now it’s like… people would be pissed off if we only played 30 minutes.
The older you get and the more songs you write, so you have to play the hits.
Yes, and include songs from different albums as well.
On the previous record, International, there were quite a few collaborations. Can we expect any more on this record?
Yes, we worked with Soho Rezanejad again, who also sang on ‘Armida’. We’re doing a duet.
Wow, that’s pretty old-school. What is this duet about?
It’s very old-school. It sounds very cliché but it’s about love and its struggles. It’s called ‘Display’ and it’s about keeping up a kind of front when you’re in a relationship.
Is this whole record about love?
It’s all about love, but in a teen movie kind of way. I can’t answer for the others but a lot of the songs should be good to make out to.
Any other collaborations?
Yeah, there’s a song called ‘In Return’, which is actually a collaboration with a friend from France who speaks Berber. It’s an old African language, like before Arabic. People speak it in Algeria and Morocco.
Is it a kind of a spoken-word song?
Yes. It’s actually a way of answering all the emails we get from fans. It’s our reply to them.
What kind of emails do you get? Is it fan mail?
Yes, some are nice and some are a bit crazy. They’re all nice in a way. People just tell us about the food they ate, dinners they had.
Do you ever reply?
We don’t reply. You can’t reply, because you can’t pick. You would then have to reply to everyone.
So you wrote a reply in the form of a song… in Berber?
We wrote it and then our friend translated it. Berber has a nice sound to it.
How about your Italian obsession? Are you still trying to become an Italian?
What do you want to be now?
Rich and famous.
What are you doing to become famous?
We started a Twitter account.
Oh my god, I love your Twitter account.
It’s very hard work to take care of the Twitter account.
But seriously, are those your ambitions, for Lust For Youth to fill up arenas? Be big-time famous?
[Laughs] No… no, it’s not. It would be nice to be able to do this for a living and make a good amount of money from it. Then you can do whatever you want, make music just for fun. I don’t really want to be famous. It’s nice to do what you want to do, without having to think about economics. I don’t want to be rich either. Just comfortable.
Last time I saw you in September, the first thing you said to me was, ‘Floor, I’m so old now.’
I did? I am getting older. It sounds very dramatic to say now.
Are you scared of getting older?
No, not yet. Maybe that starts when you’re, like, 40 or 50.
Until what age do you think you can be in a band called Lust For Youth?
We named it that in 2009, when we started. I think it changes meaning. It’s longing for something you don’t have any more, I guess. It can evolve. It’s also meant to sound a bit creepy. Romantic and a bit creepy.
Thanks for talking to me, Hannes. I’m super curious about the new record.
I think you’ll love it.
Lust For Youth’s Compassion is out on 18 March 2016 via Sacred Bones Records.