Norway’s HAJK has finally released their self-titled debut album, and their smart mix of indie and commercial pop has struck a chord with listeners and fans.

The five piece ensemble is fronted by Preben Sælid Andersen and Sigrid Aase, who share the vocals, while Johan Nord (drums), Knut Olav Buverud Sandvik (bass) and Einar Næss Haugeth (keys) are the band’s backbone. Situated in a modern pop/rock landscape, with an emphasis on very strong melodies, the band is influenced by the likes of the Dirty Projectors, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Amason.

We caught up to them to chat about jumping into the deep end at Øyafestivalen in Osloat, and the beauty of partially useless studio equipment.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

Dynamic and transparent pop/rock music. People have also told us we have both a Scandinavian and Canadian sound. For the most part we listen to American music, so that’s a mystery to us.

What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II
Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
Amason – Sky City
Frank Ocean – Blonde
Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?

Thundercat! His latest album is crazy. In a really good way.
Vulfpeck! We don’t know them, but they seem like even bigger nerds than we are. Also in a really good way.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?

We are blessed with extremely cheap and partially useless studio equipment. Somehow we were able to record our first album all by ourselves on it, and it ended up sounding pretty nice.

Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?

Concerts, new music, traveling and jamming together on a Monday morning.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

Our very first gig was at Øyafestivalen in Oslo, which is pretty damn big. It was cool, because we had to make all the songs in two months, and put the band together even before we had an idea of what the band should sound like. That pushed us into becoming HAJK before we put too much thought into it. Luckily, the gig went alright too.

And the worst?

Hard to tell, but we had the most terrible sound at another Norwegian festival. Quick changeovers can be a nightmare.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

A Lego designer. No doubt. My second biggest childhood dream, after becoming a pop-star.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, living or dead, who would it be?

Supporting Otis Redding, or some other legendary badass soul singer. We could dance all night.

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?

Something within reach – Roskilde Festival in Denmark or SXSW in Austin. Fingers crossed!

HAJK’s debut self-titled album is available worldwide and can be purchased here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *