Interview with Hans Lundin of Kaipa – John Wenlock-Smith

John Wenlock-Smith asks the questions of Hans Lundin ahead of the release of Kaipa’s new album ‘Sommargryningsljus’.

JWS: The album appears to be a cycle of songs that encompass the day shifting to dawn and beyond. Can you explain more about this?

HL: I had written all the songs for the album and the total playing time was seventy minutes, but then something unexpected happened. One day when I was recording with Aleena Gibson, we took a break and went out into my garden to have a cup of coffee. Suddenly Aleena started singing some notes and I said it was beautiful. Okay, let’s write a song, she said. So we returned to the studio and fifteen minutes later a new song had been born. We were both delighted with the result and said that this song must be on the album and the lyrics must be in Swedish. I developed the song and created an interlude built on the same chords. The melody was hovering around in the studio and it landed gracefully in my fingers when I started to play. One early morning a few weeks later, the words suddenly came floating down and landed in my consciousness.

I decided to split the song into two parts ”Sommarskymningsljus” which is about dusk, when the sun goes down and use it as the opening track of the album. The second part ”Sommargryningsljus” (Summer dawn light) is used as the closing track. I thought it was a good idea that felt logical because several of the songs are about dusk and dawn. One song “Chased by Wolves and Burned by the Sun” takes place at night when you can’t fall asleep. So you could say it’s a journey from dusk to dawn even though that wasn’t my intention when I originally wrote the songs.  

JWS: The album title ‘Sommergryningsjus’ is obviously in your own language but what does it mean?

HL: Summer dawn light.

JWS: You really like long songs, as do I, why is that do you think?

HL: I never decide in advance how a song should be. Songwriting is an exciting and unpredictable journey. Sometimes it’s just a little excursion that results in a short little song. But often the imagination takes me on a longer exciting journey and then it becomes a long song.

JWS: A couple of tracks were apparently old ideas that you have restored and developed, were you happy with them?

HL: The basic structures of two of the songs on the album (Seven Birds & Spiderweb Train) were originally written in the late 90’s. The same period as the songs for Kaipas comeback album Notes from the past (2002) were written.

I found two old long instrumental songs that I really liked. I only had the songs mixed on a cassette tape. At the time when they were recorded, I used an Atari computer and the Logic program Notator where I could record midi-files addressed to all my different keyboards. The songs were saved on a floppy disc. I managed to transfer these midi-files into my modern recording system and slowly I could build up these old songs again. I had to dust off a couple of old synthesizers, that had not been used for many years, to find some of the original sounds I used at that time. I edited the songs, removed some parts and wrote some new bridges.

I also decided to use some of the instrumental melodies as vocal tracks and wrote lyrics. One of the songs was called Seven Birds and it inspired me to write lyrics where I could keep the title intact. Some of the synthesizer solos on these tracks are actually recorded in the 90’s. Working with these songs was really fun and inspiring and I felt I was building a bridge between the past and the future, the old and the new. This is the 10th KAIPA album on Inside Out and I think it’s logical to celebrate this with two songs that are like a melting pot, born some 25 years ago and dressed up for success today.

JWS: The artwork for the album is very impressive, does it play a role in telling the stories of the album?

HL: I always try to make a cover that harmonizes with the music on the album. Something you can look at and dream away with while listening to the music.

JWS: Kaipa seem to have burst of activity and then a break, why is that?

HL: When I started Kaipa in 1973, we started from scratch. At that time, no one had heard of the band and we began a long journey towards success. Three years later we had recorded two albums and became Scandinavia’s leading progressive rock band. We did over five hundred concerts, recorded three more albums and continued until 1982. At that time the conditions had changed as people showed more interest in punk and synth groups. So we decided to take a break. However, a reunion never happened and it wasn’t until 2001 when I decided to record a new album that chapter two of Kaipa’s history began.

During the 80’s I continued to write music and released three solo albums: Tales (1984), Visions of Circles of Sounds (1985) and Houses (1989). In 2019 the 6-cd box “Hans Lundin: The Solo Years 1982-1989” was released where the three albums are included remastered + three albums of previously unreleased material also including some Kaipa demos.

JWS: Aleena has such a unique voice, where did you find her?

HL: When we recorded the album “Notes from the Past” in 2001, there was a song I had written, “A Road in my Mind”, that was supposed to be performed by a woman. I asked Patrik Lundström if he knew anyone who could sing it. He returned a few days later with Aleena and when she started singing all the pieces fell into place. That’s how it started and she became a permanent member of the group. We have now collaborated for 23 years.  

JWS: Your music is beautifully layered and very harmonic. It’s classic symphonic progressive rock, it must take a while to plot each track, do you follow a process or is it just intuition?

HL: I usually say that the melodies come knocking on my door and ask me to take care of them. It’s a special feeling when a melody comes out of nowhere and lands in my consciousness. Often it is a long process from the small melody to the finished piece of music. Usually, I continue to make small fine adjustments in the arrangements until it’s time to record.

JWS: What’s next for Kaipa? any live activities planned?

HL: The last Kaipa concert was in December 1982. Kaipa is now a studio project and we never play live. This summer I celebrate my sixtieth anniversary as a musician. I am now an old man and I can look back on many highlights of my life. I am happy when I get inspiration and can create new music and that I have the privilege to collaborate with some of the world’s top musicians. What more could I wish for.

‘Sommergryningsjus’ will be released on 28th June, 2024.

Pre-order the album here:

Sommargryningsljus (

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