Jonson Kuhn | New SCENE
Have you heard the name Sondre Lerche before? If you guessed the main villain from the movie Die Hard then you would be incorrect and quite frankly it’s kind of offensive you would even make a guess like that. The truth is he’s Norway’s singer/songwriter sensation whose well on his way to quickly becoming a household name right here in the good ole United States of America and the good ole world, as well. He’s playing the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins on May 11 as part of a tour in support of his newly released double album Avatars of Love. With a number of critically acclaimed albums under his belt, there isn’t much this extremely talented Norwegian hasn’t done: from pop to jazz to rock, whatever genre he decides to dabble in, he soon masters it as if he’s been at it his entire life.
Sondre nowadays resides within the US and he was cool enough to take a little time out for yet another one of our classic North Forty/New Scene interviews. Seeing how he’s originally from Norway, I thought it would be nice to hold the interview in his mother country, but unfortunately, I kind of blew most of our budget taking the band Frail Talk to Iraq a few weeks ago, so instead of going to Norway the country, we had to settle for Norway, Michigan inside a quaint Dairy Queen Grill & Chill off the US HWY 2 turnpike. Here now is that interview!
NEW SCENE: You’re playing the Aggie Theater on May 11, so will this be your first time performing in Colorado?
SONDRE LERCHE: No, I’ve played in both Denver and Boulder a few times through the years, but it’s been a long, long while now! It’s time.
NEW SCENE: Avatars of Love is a double album, that’s quite ambitious, with many of the songs running well over five minutes, was it always the plan to make it a double album or did you find that you just had more to express than expected throughout the process?
SONDRE LERCHE: It just happened. It was the most surprising, explosive process. It just had to be, the songs kept coming and expanding and I didn’t like the feel of dividing it into two tidy regular albums. It FELT like a double album!
NEW SCENE: I saw you released Avatars of Love on April 1; that’s a brave move releasing an album on April Fool’s Day, were there no concerns people would think you were just joking?
SONDRE LERCHE: I would like to think so. It would’ve been the most elaborate April Fool’s joke if there was no album. Ironically, it’s a very sincere and serious album. It dares you to not cover up your true emotions with a joke.
NEW SCENE: I think my favorite song on the entire album was “Turns Out I’m Sentimental After All.” I really appreciated how it sort of transforms throughout, going from quiet to loud and so forth; it honestly felt like tripping on drugs at times, but I guess love can kind of produce similar feelings. And I could definitely relate to a lot of the lyrics, especially being sentimental to a fault. Can you talk a little bit about the idea with that song?
SONDRE LERCHE: Thanks, it’s definitely a hazy trip. I wanted to feel like I was floating. The song was the last song I wrote before leaving LA two years ago at the start of the pandemic. So, the song’s been with me on all the solo shows I played in Norway during the first summer of COVID. It’s a song about honoring and accepting your true nature.
NEW SCENE: I also really liked the song “Cut,” the music video is super cool! The song itself seems kind of experimental and creative and the video goes right along with that vibe, it’s incredibly unique. What was the inspiration behind the video and who directed it?
SONDRE LERCHE: The video was directed by my friend Jon Danovic, we’ve been making videos together for the last few years. We usually talk about themes and styles and elements and then improvise. He’s a master of both capturing and editing. So talented. This one was very inspired by Brian De Palma’s Body Double.
NEW SCENE: Oh, that’s awesome; I love Brian De Palma movies! The Untouchables! Now that you mention Body Double, I can totally see the influence since you’re like spying on the woman through the window and whatnot. Speaking of working with talented people, you’ve worked with so many amazing artists over the years in various ways, but one in particular that caught my eye was Elvis Costello, his song “Alison” is still one of my all-time favorites. I know it was a while ago, but I’m just curious, what was it like touring with him?
SONDRE LERCHE: A great joy for me, as he had been one of my favorite songwriters for so long. He and the gang were so gracious. It was so inspiring to get to see them play every night!
NEW SCENE: Speaking of “night” I noticed you’ve released songs like “Dead of The Night” and “Alone in The Night” so I’m just wondering if there are any plans to release more “Night” related songs, such as “Asleep in The Night” or “Getting Up to Use the Bathroom in the Night” stuff like that?
SONDRE LERCHE: Absolutely! The Night songs will probably keep coming. I have an older one called “Despite the Night” also. It’s cool!
My many thanks to Sondre Lerche and to the Dairy Queen Grill & Chill of Norway, Michigan. Be sure to grab your tickets while you still can for Sondre’s show at the Aggie on May 11 and follow him on social media!