Ste van Holm (Stefan Holm) is a musician from Copenhagen who releases stylistically different albums, and since 2001 Stefan released six records. His most recent album titled Tesla is a progressive rock-styled story about the life of physician Nikola Tesla. In the interview for Moshville, Holm talks about this new album.
Alright, first things first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?
Life is good, thank you.
Speaking of new music, you have a new album. What can people expect from Tesla?
I think it’s better not to expect anything. Then you might be positively surprized.
Tesla is a little short of an hour long, and it goes through a lot of changes. Some bits are quiet, some are loud and the life of Nikola Tesla, the Serbo-Croatian inventor, is what binds it all together. It is more or less just one text in nine parts. Son you can actually call it an old fashioned concept-album.
What was it like working on the album?
It was very different from my other albums. Normally I try to work in new ways every time I do an album. Even though the formula worked last time, I usually scrap my routines and do something different. This time, the greatest difference was, that I knew the structure of the album before I started writing the music. In a way, the story of Tesla sculptured the album. During the recording I almost gave up on it, but then I saw Steven Wilson on his Hand.Cannot.Erase tour, at that concert gave me renewed interest in the concept.
Are there any touring plans in support to Tesla?
That’s too early to say. We’re putting it all together at the moment.
While we’re on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?
I have my eyes on Croatia at the moment. Tesla was born in Croatia, and it would be a great honor to be allowed to play this music there.
Who and what inspires you the most?
That really depends on what music I’m doing. But for the music, I’m inspired by listening to music. But it could be anything, really. Sometimes I see a scenery somewhere, and I think ‘what would a record with this cover sound like’? I usually come up with the front cover very early in the process, and that forms the basis for what I’m doing. When I did the Constructions album, it started with a photo of an abandoned silo in the Copenhagen harbor, and from there I listened to a lot of industrial acts like Einstürzende Neubauten and Nine Inch Nails. For the Tesla album, the inspiration came from reading a lot about about Nicola Tesla while listening to the various projects of Steven Wilson.
What other genres of music do you listen to?
Progressive rock is closest to my heart, and I’m most fond of the melodic progressive rock like Pink Floyd, Genesis and Mike Oldfield, although I also like the harder acts such as King Crimson and Tool. Apart from that, I’m into classic rock like Led Zeppelin. I also have a soft spot for electronica like Jean-Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk or the later triphop with names like Lamb and Massive Attack. Pop with edge like Kate Bush or Peter Gabriel also appeals a lot to me. I try not to be narrow, but if I must pick, I don’t listen to hiphop or jazz.
Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?
Absolutely! I try to suck up as much as I can and use it in my tool box. I have a hard time limiting myself to a specific style. In a way, I get bored easily if it sounds like something I’ve done before. Then I feel a strong urge to change genre.
I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?
I’d like to say, that I hope you like the Tesla album. And if not, try listening to some of my other albums. I try to do a different genre every time.