“I always challenge myself, so that I’m not afraid of anything. If I observe myself being afraid, I challenge it. Sally does the same. Sally and I, for example got a scuba diving certificate this summer, even though both of us are afraid of the sea.”  Denise from @straw_dk

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by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

My personal definition of success is…
Denise: For me, success is when you can communicate something clearly enough that people get it right the first time. That is one of my personal struggles in the music. Music is a way to communicate. It’s a balance between being in the moment and catching it, and making moments to drop at the right time in the right way. It’s not so easy. This might be a little abstract, but sometimes music is. We all have an opinion of how a song should be, but when it comes to my own songs, I know what I want. But then I have to explain it, and that’s the challenge, because others might not understand or agree with me. Two weeks ago I had to explain how I wanted to arrange one of my songs, to the Straw band. In the beginning, they didn’t really get me, but after a while they started to understand what I was trying to explain.  I was so thrilled that they finally understood me, because the song actually ended up like I wanted it to, and the band liked it as well.

Jakob: The first step in trying to communicate with your band is making sure to convey a new idea, and letting them know how important this idea is to you. The second thing is that you have to be honest with yourself and the band, and keep trying different things out until it works and everything comes together, even though it takes time. The third is to make sure your musicians have all they need,  and help you get what you want if they don’t, as well as making sure that they feel safe in your hands.

And one more thing- always add a little humor!

My over all goal for my life and career is…
Henriette: All my life I have loved singing. It is what makes me who I am, and when I was young, nothing else mattered. Then I got my 3 wonderful daughters and they took the number one priority in my life.  My husband Carsten and I used to have our own band, where we did a lot of covers. Then we decided that we wanted to start making our own music, so we started Straw. We were so exited about the welcome we got on Danish National Radio. Later our daughters started singing with the band, and they all ended up joining us on tour. Straw’s hope is to get around the world, and hear our music on the radio and say “That’s our song in the radio!”

The three ways that I challenge myself are…
1) Denise: I always challenge myself, so that I’m not afraid of anything. If I observe myself being afraid, I challenge it. Sally does the same. Sally and I, for example got a scuba diving certificate this summer, even though both of us are afraid of the sea.

2) Henriette: I always jump into challenges with a steady self-confidence, and I am always certain I win, which helps me succeed.

3) Carsten: I’m a little afraid of being on the stage, so every time we perform I am challenging myself!

If you could have five minutes alone with someone, it would be…image5
Denise: a Danish pop/hip hop/rap duo called “Nik & Jay”. They have been making music since 2002, and still are going strong. A lot of people hate on them and say that they don’t like their music and style, but the same people know all the lyrics, and can’t help but to sing along with their songs! I would like to spend time with them find out how they stay true to their style, especially with all the haters. They really inspire me, because they are who they are, and one has ever made music like them. They write some very honest lyrics, and sing about themselves a lot, as well as society. They really inspire me.

On being trendy or sticking to your values…
Henriette: We have talked a lot about that.  We are always asking things like “Are we cool enough…are we young enough…do we have the right style for the time?” One can go in cirlces trying to figure this out, but for us the bottom line is that we are who we are, and hopefully there is a place for us with our kind of music, and we can continue writing from our hearts. The most important thing is that we continue to love our music and get room for everybody in the band to make their marks too. We are a family, and we are young and old-just like our music!

I am most afraid of…
Denise: “I’m not afraid of anything!”

Starting in music…
Sally: I grew up with music all around me, with a singing mom and a guitar playing dad. I started singing before I could even speak.
My dad loved buying musical instruments. Guitars, basses, and mandolins hung all over the walls at my house growing up, and still do! But I ultimately I fell for the keyboard/piano in our living room, and started playing it, and singing along to the things I played. It all came to me quite naturally. I’m sure I won’t stop. Music is a part of me, and I really can’t be without it.

Spider Making a New Web…
Sally: The song “Spider Making New Web” is a song I wrote myself about three years ago. I was in a bad relationship, and I knew I had to get out, but I was scared of the consequences it might bring. I was fooled many times by this man, but still didn’t want to hurt him, because I knew I was the first one he came to for comfort from all the trouble he got himself into. The name and the headline in the song occurred during this long hard period where I was having nightmares about spiders almost every single night. I decided I needed to do something about the nightmares, so I wrote this song.

Your music influences are…
Carsten: We love country music, but I think we have a special touch of the Scandinavian singer/songwriter and blues tradition in our songwriting and performance. In Denmark, there is not a lot of country music on the radio, so we get to define our own ideas of what country music should sound like.

Jakob: Our songs are generally about the small, but important things in life – Maybe a little naïve, but still deep and honest and very much about ordinary people and family matters. We want our songs to be a feel good experience, and ones that you impact you. If we can hit you with just one significant line that sticks in your head, our mission is complete.

image4For fun, Straw goes to...
Carsten: We all live in a very small town by the sea in Denmark called Soroe. We have a fantastic little club scene in the city (Culturecafe Ludvig, named after one of our old kings ), and all of Denmark’s most popular artists visit the club. But still, Denmark is a very small country and the  live music scene is not very big. The prices in Denmark are too expensive to attract live music, and the Danes love to stay in and watch the telly.

The music business is challenging because…

Carsten: We all love what we’re doing, but there is big challenges in promoting our music. We’re just a very small band in a big world and we are trying to do our very best in every way, through practice, writing songs, and always being ready for our next gig. Hopefully we will be a hit and find a place in the heart of a lot of people, so that we can tell our stories and share our music with the world. We´re sure, that we will always be true to our values and family. We will always be representatives of the good things in life.



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