“People will try to steer you into their ambitions; it’s detrimental that you keep track of your own at all times, so you can judge whether you can accept what’s going on. And, cocaine has never, never ever, brought out the best in people.”
New York-based Norwegian singer, lyricist, and songwriter Jarle Bernhoft (better know as his moniker Bernhoft) released his third record Islander earlier this year. In our recent interview, we had the opportunity of speaking with Jarle to discuss growing as an artist, the influence of Norway, and his morbid interest in spectacular car crashes. Here’s what he had to say, enjoy!
AMBY: Hey Bernhoft, thanks for speaking with us! Where does our interview find you today?
Bernhoft: In Aalborg, Denmark. I’ve had a bit too much fun in the two previous days, so the throat is suffering today. Gonna get by with a croak.
AMBY: You released your third album Islander earlier this year. How do you feel the new album compares to your debut? Where do you feel you’ve matured or allowed yourself to experiment more?
Bernhoft: My three albums is kind of a thesis – antithesis – synthesis presentation. Very nifty indeed, I’ve learned something in school after all. My first album was made under an extremely organic dogma, few instruments made after 1970 were used; ‘Solidarity breaks’ was more into the future, and ‘Islander’ bakes both past and future into the present. I hope anyway, haha! We went for immediate intuition with the takes; we’d keep whole takes, warts and all, if they had a good consistent feel, rather than trying to fix snippets.
AMBY: The record’s cover has your face laying in what looks to be water and rocks. What’s the significance behind the album artwork?
Bernhoft: I had this feeling that Norway is an island in the world, it’s such a rich country compared to every nation around it. And this island is floating away from the mainland and the other islands at accelerating speeds; we have never really felt the recession at all. So we just tried to ‘paint’ that.
AMBY: How does living in New York City — compared to Norway — spark your creativity?
Bernhoft: It definitely enhances the image of Norway as well off! Other than that, I’ve been outrageously busy touring, and when home I’ve been trying to spend all my time with my son, so it’s safe to say that the time in New York has been my least creative year ever. It’s not the city’s fault tho, NYC-songs will come.
AMBY: If you could create a law that everyone would have to follow, what would it be?
Bernhoft: I would take drafts for the military and turn it into a law whereby everyone should have to live on the street for three months.
AMBY: You’ve been in the industry for over a decade now. What advice would you give fans of yours who want to pursue a career in music?
Bernhoft: As often as you can, stop and reflect on why you’re doing what you do. People will try to steer you into their ambitions; it’s detrimental that you keep track of your own at all times, so you can judge whether you can accept what’s going on. And, cocaine has never, never ever, brought out the best in people.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Bernhoft that nobody knows yet?
Bernhoft: Few people know that I am morbidly interested in spectacular car crashes. Parts flying around, large field of debris, that sort of thing. I can spend all night when in the zone.
Thank you Bernhoft, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout |