In conversation with: SELECT CAPTAIN – Off to Save the World


Autumn gives us nice colours, yummy food and lots of new Danish music! Select Captain‘s new album “Off to Save the World” is one of this October’s pearls.

When you hit play, you get indulged with a calm but intense, lyrical but dreamy and a strong but soft mix of songs, that turns nicely into a perfect companion for everyone who loves indie and singer/songwriter music. With his new album Kristian Gaarskjær, the man behind Select Captain, manages once more to touch us with his “eclectic songs from the depths of his realm”, as he explains it.

We wanted to know a bit more about the current single, the new album and also about all the plans Kristian has for Select Captain and his own record label Soundchest Records.

Enjoy our little interview and listen to the new Select Captain album “Off to Save the World”.

Good because Danish: We’re very excited about your new single “Coming home” – tell us a bit more about the song! What inspired you, is there a special story behind it?

Select Captain: “Coming Home” is one of the very first songs I wrote for the album. It came about at a songwriting camp arranged by DPA and is written by myself, Asger Møller, who has produced most of the new album, and Dutch songwriter Jerusa Van Lith. It’s basically a song about wanderlust. A song about wanting to leave all your troubles behind and just get away. Kind of a universal feeling I think.

But “Coming Home” is not all you will delight us also with a new album. It will be launched soon, in October. “Off to Save the World” is quite an intense title – how did you come up with it?

Ha yes, it’s a bit grandiose. I’m fortunately not that delusional that I believe I can save the entire world on my own. I think it’s more about saving your own world. About the willingness to do whatever it takes to make sure that you and people around you are happy. About not taking things for granted and to be attentive to your surroundings.

Looking at the tracks – which one is the most emotional or most special one for you when singing live?

Probably the title track. Most of the songs are quite personal, but that one stands out a bit.

Compiling a new album takes a lot of effort. What are your biggest inspirations when writing and composing? Do you follow a process, or do the songs “come to you”?

I get inspired by a lot of things. Mostly music in different shapes and forms, but also movies, TV, literature. All sorts of things. I don’t have a specific process as it changes all the time, but usually, I have some sort of melody and write around that. Other times the lyrics come first. With this particular album I’ve written all songs with other songwriters and that has been new to me.

You will release the album with your own, fairly new record label Soundchest Records. Tell us a little bit more about your plans with the label. Which direction do you want to take?

I created my label last year as I wanted a platform where I could be in close control of everything. Firstly it was just meant for my own projects, but I’ve added a few artists to my roster now as I like working with that part of the business as well. I released an album by a guy named Jeppe Lindegaard earlier this year and will release and album with an American songwriter, Michael Thomas Howard, later this year. Got a few plans with some young bands as well.
Hopefully, Soundchest can grow into a nice indie label with a roster of some great artists. I want it to be a label that represents well written and honest music. I don’t make much from it right now, so it’s mostly because I really like working with the music I like.

We also saw you just published a Spotify list with songs you are currently listening to. Looking at the Danish music scene, who excites you most at the moment?

Yes, I listen to new music all of the time, so I thought I’d might as well create a few playlists on my Spotify. I listen to a lot of different music from different genres and I think Denmark is almost overflowing with great music right now. Way too much to even mention here. I love a lot of the more aggressive genres. Kellermensch is one of my favorite bands, and I’m really into the new album by Møl – that is incredibly violent and beautiful at the same time. I love that.
I think the small label Celebration Records release a lot of really great stuff like Deerborn, In Memoirs and much more. A lot of what they release is also very much in the vein of what I do myself. Melancholic, folksy stuff you know…
Son of Caesar released a really nice album this year. Kira Skov and Peter Sommer have released some beautiful albums as well, each in their very own way. I really like what Kajsa Vala is doing. And, of course, my longtime friend, producer and bandmember Søren Vestergaard. He’s doing stuff with Pernille Rosendahl and his own Rumhund project which is just awesome… I could go on and on and on…. There’s so much great music in this tiny country.

And last but not least – you just played at Tivoli a few weeks ago. What a nice venue. Are you still nervous when going on stage?

Usually, I don’t get that nervous, but at that particular concert, I was actually a bit. I think it’s a good thing though. Just to be a little bit on the edge. It was a wonderful night. One of the very best for me and my lovely band.

 

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