Interview: Hergeir Á. Staksberg behind the Faroese band Steso

Make people feel happy and warm inside”

Steso is one of the most ethereal and atmospheric bands to emerge from the Faroe Islands. Two years have passed since the release of their debut album “Proper Fucked”. But now Steso is back with exciting new material. Nordic Style Magazine’s writer Stephan Lücke spoke to frontman and principle songwriter Hergeir Á. Staksberg about all their new plans.

Steso’s new single “Kav” has been released most lately. How is the response so far?
Because Steso is an unsigned band, we have to take care of PR ourselves which is very time consuming and expensive. But nevertheless we have already had two great reviews. One was on the website allscandinavian.dk and one at beehy.pe where “Kav” was chosen to be one of the best tracks out in Scandinavia at the moment. And in general, the response has been very positive. My best guess for the overall positive feedback is that this song is probably our most catchy and pop’ish song, and that it makes people feel happy and warm inside.

Is there a story behind the song?
The track started as – like all Steso tracks – with me coming up with a guitar riff. Then I brought in two very close friends, Líggjas Olsen and Rólant av Reyni, for making beats and various keys, as I’m not good at either. And then I also brought in Alap Momin – who is known from the Hip Hop underground in the States – to make the beat for the verse part as well as taking care of some sonic treatments as well.

So you guys are Steso?
The Steso setup changes all the time. That’s my way to keep developing new sounds. I think the main ingredient is that we all have very different backgrounds: I’m mostly into melancholic, dark and slow music – as well as hardcore metal. The other ones are mostly into pop, experimental hip hop and minimalistic electro. I guess this is why the track has a very unique sound and feeling.

The cover of Steso's album "Proper Fucked".

The cover of Steso’s album “Proper Fucked”.

 

Who does the female vocals?
For the vocals we used our new vocalist Unn Kragesteen. This was her first ever recording actually. She also has a different background. She’s been into classical piano and singing in choirs in the past. Well, the thing is that I always make the music first and then the lyrics come in the end. And many times we just go for ‘uuuuh’ and ‘aaaaah’ instead of words even.

How did you get in touch with Unn?
I’ve known Unn since childhood. She grew up in the same Tórshavn neighbourhood. She used to be this annoying little girl who did her best to annoy the older guys, but in an innocent way. They used to be a group of 4-5 girls at the same age – some 3-4 years younger than me and my friends. And when you’re a kid I guess that’s what you do: Play pranks on each other and in general not like each other that much. But today we’re all very good friends and look back at the old days with a big smile and embrace the nostalgia which comes with it.

Who wrote the lyrics to “Kav”?

Unn wrote the lyrics which are basically describing the feelings in your body and thoughts going through your head before jumping into the freezing cold ocean in the Faroes. In Tórshavn we have a certain place for doing this – it´s in the old part of Tórshavn called Gamla Hoyvík. The message of the song is basically to step out of your comfort zone. Nobody feels like jumping into the freezing cold ocean but once you do it, it gives you a feeling of achievement and euphoria.

Are you working on an album?
I’ve kind of let go of the idea of releasing an album and instead release singles. I’m always writing music and if I wasn’t busy studying and could make a living out of music, then I could easily make a record every six months. But at the moment I’m pretty busy at university, and I don’t have a record label for paying the expenses of making an album, so I have to take it one track at the time, as it would be both too time consuming and costly to go for an entire album. At the moment, I’m thinking about going for an extremely dark and atmospheric track. I have asked Petur Polsón, who is an award winning poet from Faroes, to write the lyrics as he is the uncrowned king of dark lyrics. So the next track will be totally different and probably have more of a Massive Attack feel to it, but still you’ll hear the Steso sound. I also think that when you work on one track at a time, you get to focus 100% on that and you don’t have to think about 10 other tracks at the same time which can be very stressful.

Steso

Find out more about Steso on their Facebook page here. 

Listen to Steso´s current track “Kav” here.