Chris Holm is a pretty well known figure around the Bergen music scene. He’s a staple of the Young Dreams line up as well as having contributed to the work of various of the city’s starlets, including Sondre Lerche and Nathalie Nordres. But what we’re most interested in right now is his solo work. Due to release his debut album through Tellé later this year, we catch up with Chris Holm to find out what makes him tick and what made him turn to music in the first place.
So, Chris Holm, can you tell us a little bit about what you do and where you’re from?
Yeah. I come from Bergen, Norway, where I play, make and enjoy music. I’m involved with several bands and artists.
What’s your musical background? What was the first music to inspire you to create your own?
I’ve been playing and making music since I was 5-6 years old. It was natural ’cause I ended up in the same class as my musical best friend Alexander Von Mehren. We still make and play music together and he was actually the first to inspire me to make my own stuff. Since then I have only played and listened to a lot of music. I don’t have a degree or lessons under my belt. Only street experience.
When did you first start making your own music? Can you remember the first song you ever wrote?
(laughs) The first song I wrote was co-written with Alexander Von Mehren. It is called ‘Grandmothers Ghost’. We made it when we were six years old, and got good feedback on it from our class. We got the lyrics printed out to the whole class and played it in a music lesson. Everyone sang. My grandmother is still alive today.
As a fan, what do you look for in a ‘good song’?
Hmm. There is ‘good songs’, ‘good music’ and ‘good beats’, and good intentions. If I feel it I feel it. I’m not looking for that typical singer/songwriter structure in a song. I like strong melodies and beautiful arrangements. If you can combine the first three ‘goods’ you are safe. Intentions won’t get you anywhere.
You’re going to be releasing your debut record Kilos through Tellé, can you tell us about writing and putting the album together?
Yes! Good times. The album contains old songs and new songs. I’ve never released anything before, but I’ve been writing songs for a long time. So this is kind of my bedroom diary. I’ve recorded everything as basic as possible on my laptop and played everything myself. Mixed it myself even. I don’t know if it appeals to people, but I just wanted to capture the rawness and truthfulness in the songs. The album is all about musical intuition and joy. I hope people will feel that. I don’t really care though, but if someone feels 10% of what I do from this, it makes me glad cause it is a beautiful feeling.
What are the three things that most inspire you to make music?
Darkness, sun, good songs.
What would you say is your favourite part of the music making process?
When a song comes together. When I have captured the right mood. When I can put it on and listen to that song on repeat for hours. I only make music I can crank loud and freak out to. That I really love.
Who are your musical influences? Which reference points do you draw on when writing your music?
I love hip hop, I love french 60-70s pop and I love Nirvana. You know, there is so much music that has influenced me, but when I listen to my own songs I can’t hear any of my favourite bands in it. Maybe I get that out in my other bands. I don’t know. I just make what I want to. That is the best part about making a record the way I did. Fo sho.
Can you tell us a bit about the other music projects that you’re involved with?
Young Dreams (singer, guitarist), Bloody Beach (singer, bass player), The Alexandria Quartet (bass player). Session bass player for Sondre Lerche, Nathalie Nordnes, Souldrop and many more. It is all music. It is all about having fun and doing what you do. We all have loads of information online, check us all out! Both Young Dreams and Bloody Beach will also release debut records this year.
We’re big fans of Young Dreams here at The Line of Best Fit, who have had a very busy year so far. How has that been? How did you come to be involved with them?
Thanks, I’m also a big fan. It has been a great year and I can’t wait ’til the record is out, so the critics no longer can draw comparisons to other bands. Because we sound like nothing else. We all came together through a bar in Bergen called Vamoose (R.I.P) and our mutual friend, the musical mastermind Matias Tellez. Hopefully next year will be even busier!
What do you feel like you can achieve with your solo project that you perhaps can’t in the other projects you’re involved with?
I don’t really think about what I can achieve. I am just so happy that I can make music and show it to the world. Everything I do is different, and my solo project is one side of me, as Young Dreams and the other bands also are. But Chris Holm is all me without anyone else passing judgment, and I hope people will enjoy something that is so simple but 100% heartfelt.
What do you aim to achieve with your solo music?
I want to put out many, many records during the next years. If I’m allowed to do that without going bankrupt, I’ll be very pleased.
What are the best things about the Bergen music scene?
The great people and the mutual love and interest for and in music. It is such a small town, and there are great musical events happening almost every night.
Who are you listening to and enjoying at the moment?
I am still stuck at Unknown Mortal Orchestra. I love that record. And the track ‘Changes’ by Sandro Perri. Wow. Can’t stop listening to it.
What does the future hold for Chris Holm?
Hopefully lots of shows and more good music to be released! With all of my projects.
If you had to pick a motto for yourself and your music, what would it be?
Just… Breathe. (laughs) I don’t know.
Chris Holm’s debut album Kilos is due out via Tellé later this year.