An Interview With Kaipa's Hans Lundin

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Hans Lundin is the keyboard player and mastermind of Sweden's Kaipa.

Kaipa, who released their debut self-titled album in 1975, are back with the phenomenal Sattyg, an album that can seamlessly switch between everything from Journey-sized choruses to traditional Swedish folk music while touching on myriad genres in between.

Lundin spoke to Empty Lighthouse via e-mail about retiring from the stage, Kaipa's future, and the upcoming reissue of the band's first five albums. Read the full exchange below.

Q: When I search YouTube for Kaipa, the only live performance I can find is from 1978. Does Kaipa still play live? If so, are there any plans for a tour?

A: In the early years 1973-1982 we were touring a lot and we performed over 500 concerts in Scandinavia. When I decided to reform the band 2000 I knew from the beginning that it should be strictly a studio project.

All the other musicians have their own bands and careers and I'm comfortable today just writing, and recording music and I have no desire to return to the live stage.

?Q: Can you tell our English-language readers what Sattyg means?

A: I wanted to use an old Swedish word like on the previous album "Vittjar" for the new album. Very early in the writing process I decide to use "Sattyg" as the title of the album but I didn't want to have a song with Swedish lyrics this time. So I decided to use a short instrumental song as the title track. One day suddenly some lines of Swedish words came falling like from the sky using the melody from this track. I liked them very much but I realised I had a problem. So I tried to translate them into English but it sounded very strange. The dictionary told me that "Sattyg" should be translated into "Mischief" in English.

I sent my translated version to my old friend Erik Benettsson who lives in Venezuela nowadays. He use to help me to avoid those small mistakes you sometimes do when English is not your native language. He replied and told me that the best word to use in this case is "Screwed-upness".

I used that word and recorded a demo of the vocals and after a while I got used to it. I decided to rename the song and use this new version on the album.

The song developed and became 13 minutes in it's final version. After this I had to write a new short instrumental song I could use as the title track.??

Q: Mid-way through Kaipa's career, the band started singing in English instead of Swedish. What inspired the shift?

A: In the early years it was just natural to use our own language. We were only playing in Scandinavia and to reach people outside this area was something only happening in our dreams. After the band disbanded in 1982, people around the globe started to discover our albums and they were re-released on CD for the first time in the early 90's by the French record company Musea.

So when I decided to record the comeback album Notes from the Past, it felt natural to use the English language. Today more than 90% of our fans are living outside of Scandinavia so I suppose it was a wise decision.

On our album "Vittjar" from 2012 we use the Swedish language on the title track, but that was an exception.

Q: How did guitarist Per Nillson join the band?

A: Per joined the band 2006 when we recorded the album Angling Feelings. I met him in the late 90's when we worked together in the band Hagen and recorded the album Corridors of Time.

Q: You've been involved in the Progressive Rock scene for 40 years now, are there any younger bands that impress you?

A: There are many young great musicians but honestly speaking I'm not so familiar with the current progressive stage.

I like all types of music and after all "A good song is always a good song" no matter what genre it is.

??Q: How did your relationship with InsideOut Music come to be?

A: Roine Stolt (Kaipa's guitar player from 1974-1982 and again from 2002-2005) had a contract with InsideOut for his own band Flower Kings and also for Transatlantic. So when we had recorded the album Notes from the Past, it was natural to offer it to InsideOut.

They liked the album and signed Kaipa. We have a good relationship and have released six more albums on their label.??

Q: What does the future have in store for Kaipa?

A: If I find inspiration to write new music and think I can come up with something new, fresh and interesting, hopefully there will be a new album sometime in the future.

??Q: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions! Feel free to add anything!

A: This year we will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Kaipa's first album that was released 1975. In 2015, all of our five albums from 1975-1982 will be re-released both on LP and CD.

Sattyg is out now from InsideOut Music.

Check out Kaipa on Facebook.