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Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Interview with 'Leæther Strip', 27 Arp 2010

You first released music under the name of Leæther Strip, as early as 1989 . Prior to this were you involved in any other musical projects ?

CL: Yes I was. I started really early in 82 writing my first songs. Some of those demo’s are released on the “Yes I’m limited V” album from last year. My band / project was called Forbidden Art. I then Joined another band with one more keyboard player and a singer called “The Future”. This band later became “Decode” we got signed to a Danish label and released a single called “Planet of youth”. I left the band right after we recorded that single and half of an album. I went back to being a solo artist and wrote many songs as Forbidden Art again. That slowly moved in a darker direction and was the start of Leæther Strip.

G.A.W.M.U.S. (Getting Away With Murder U. S). Was this officially the first ever 'Leæther Strip', release, and what can you remember of its initial construction ?

No. G.A.W.M was a fan club and I let them release that CD, it also contained some of my early work before Leæther Strip. That release was a compilation of some rare unreleased tracks. My First release was the 12” Japanese bodies in 89 and then my first album “The pleasure of Penetration”

What do you remember of the first days, do you have any interesting storys you could share ?

There is so many memories from those days. The problem I had was finding people with the same passion and goals for the music as I had. I knew then that this was What I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So I might have been hard to work with for the people I played with. And in the end, I really felt more comfortable being my own master. I still get problems with labels and people I work with at times because I take what I do really serious, it’s not a game it’s my life, and some people tend to find that annoying. But I also think that’s is one of the reasons I’m still here 21 years after Leæther Strip was formed. None of the people I played with in the 80’s are in the music business now so I must have done something right I guess. But it was another time, it was impossible for a Danish band to get a contract outside Denmark in those days, and if the Danish labels smelled “underground” on you they would’nt have anything to do with you. And it’s still that way really. I’m almost ignored by the Danish media. Still after all these years.

With each release, do you consider a particular set theme or direct concept.Do you find religion and politics, a strong point, within your initial concepts, and the current world climate etc ?

I don’t really think that way. I just write the songs that come to me from the inspirations I get from all sorts of places. Music , books , paintings, Human behavior and the news. I really never decided to make an album with a certain theme going through the whole album. There will be a soundtrack out written by me, for a movie called “Dark Passages”. That’s the closest thing to a concept album I’ve done. I do mostly write songs about the darker side of our mind, and the evil we do.

How is a Leæther Strip, album actually constructed, in form. What instruments do you use ?

I usually find a working title for the album I am starting on first, and then I just start to write songs. I only work on one song at a time, I’m filled with ideas all the time and I would just end up with a bunch of half finished songs in the end. I still use my old Moog Source, and Korg ms-20 a lot. I also use a lot of software synths. My favorites are Vaz Modular and Reaktor.

With time comes new technology, are you happy to embrace this, or do you prefer the old school primal methods ?

I am not suffering from software phobia at all. It’s not the tools that write the music it’s still the artist so all that snobbery simply doesn’t interest me. For me it would be stupid not to use what the brilliant minds create for us.

I noticed that ambient plays a large part, and neo-classical elements. Do you yourself listen to classical music for inspiration, and ideas ?

I listen to a lot of classical music. My partner Kurt and I often go to church Organ concerts. That I find really inspiring.The Organ composers back in the dark ages Were like punks, and some of the harmonies and melodies are really amazing. I am a music addict and its all styles and forms. I also collect movie soundtracks. I started doing that after watching John Carpenter’ “Halloween” and “The thing”. His soundtrack work had also inspired me very much.

Can you remember your first ever live show, and were there any interesting moments ?

My first real concert was in Kassel (Germany) at a venue called “the Factory” I remember every second of the drive down there and minutes before the show and also every second of the concert. There was about 300 people there and I was scared out of my pants, but it all went away as I heard to roar of the people when I came on stage. I expected deadly silence.

So far in you career, have you a favorite Album, and which album do you find the fans love the most ?

The album that did most for my career was by far “Solitary Confinement” . I do not favor any of them more that the other really. All the albums are like A diary for me. If you ask the listeners it varies a lot, most like “Solitary confinement” then “underneath the laughter” and “Self – Inflicted”.If you put a gun to my head, I would have to say that of the released albums “Aengelmaker” is my favorite.

When you first started, did you ever conceive that you would become, one of the most influential 'Industrial', acts of all time, who do you consider to be your influences ?

No never. My dream was to get a shot at recording 1 album, and if that would have been all there was for me, then I would have been satisfied. I know it sounds a little stupid now, but I am still that kid getting my first release in the mail from the label, every time I receive one of my own new releases, totally euphoric and on the verge of tears. I can’t believe I still get to do this. So I always put All my energy and passion into every song, cause I never know if I get to write another one.

In '07, you re-recorded your cult debut, re-working old material, bringing the sounds to a modern outlook. To me there a thousands times stronger than the originals, (I could be shot for saying that !). Do you agree, or is there, well actually I prefer the minimal sounds of the originals ?

Yes Retention no1 was the first one. I knew that it was going to divide the “waters” now that I released it the way I did.The easy way would just be to remaster the old album and leave it there. But I wanted to make this a special release for me too. And it’s a lot of work, I use the same amount of time as I would writing a new song. Doing it this way made me go back in time and it was great to revisit those days, and the memories really came back to me doing the re-makes. It’s great fun. I want to stress that the re-makes aren’t meant to better versions of the old songs, they written in another time and that can’t be re-made. I don’t think it’s any wonder that they sound different, I would like to think that I’ve learned a little in the last 21 years.

'Japanese Bodies', I really have to mention this as it seem to be a incredibly prominent feature, is there a story behind it. Is it a reference to a war atrocity, Ie: the US army hiding corpses, during WWII ?

Yeah. I actually remember the day I wrote that song. I had just seen a documentary on how the generations born after the Nuclear bombs ended the 2’nd WW. It stroke me how they weren’t filled with hate and anger after so many of their family members and loves ones were turned into ashes. We in the western culture have this urge to carry hate with us through the generations no matter how many years pass by. We could learn a lot from their culture and about seeing the positive in the life there is right in front of us, and taking power of our own lives and not pushing that power on other people.

The Retention Box, series what comes as BOX 4, and how many will there be in total. Do you intend, to re-record all your 90's releases, and re-vamp the related material. ?

The next one for ”Retention no4” will be “Underneath the laughter”. I have decided to do one at a time, but the plan is to do it with all the albums I released in the 90’s. I still don’t know what I would do when I get to “Serenade for the dead”
but we’ll see when that time comes.

You last release “Aenglemaker”, another stunning dark piece of art. What can you tell me of its origins and underlying themes. Is there an agenda Or Hidden Message within ?

I wanted to write a song about the only Danish ”serial” killer we ever had in Denmark, a woman named Dagmar Overbye. During her trail she got the nick name “Angelmaker”, I decided then, that this would be the title of the album too.
Mainly because her story is amazing , sad and shocking, and really shows what child abuse can lead to. And this went on 100 years ago.

How did its creation go, and are you happy with the current feedback ?

I was hard album to write because I really went deep down into myself and I found a lot of hidden ghosts down there .That album had been really successful and it had a big part in me going back on stage to play concerts again after 16 years. I hope my new album “Mental Slavery” will be received just as well as “Aengelamaker”.

Lastly what can we expect from you in 2010, any other dark works in the loop ?

On June the 11th , my new 2CD album “Mental Slavery” will be out (3CD + more in the limited edition) And later this year my soundtrack album for “Dark Passages” will be out...


For more information and contact, on this stunning dark band :


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