The Sleeping Man Project is a project by Danish singer-songwriter Jakob Dahn. It’s a message of love dressed in the style, lyrics and sound of Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen. On December 10th his EP ‘The Birds and the Bees’ will be released. A pre-save is available here.
What can you tell me about the Sleeping Man Project?
“This is my solo project with help from musicians/friends. I met the producer Sebastian Munk Autzen because someone recommended him. That was my luck, because though we come from different backgrounds musically. He is very professional. We had a great collaboration and agreed very much on the sound.”
“Sara Saxild is the bass player and she plays in my band. We play as a duo as well. Rune Kofoed is the drummer and he plays in the band. Clara and Kirstin are the singers (choir), I contacted through friends.”
“I write the songs and make demos in my own studio. Then we record them in Sebastian’s studio and Moremax Studios. Sebastian and I play the most of the instruments and then Sara and Rune. Sebastian made some great themes on ‘The Birds and the Bees’ so we share the music on that song.”
Do the lyrics have a special meaning to you?
“I have the need to express my views on the values I feel are important to us in these changing times. As an artist, this is my tool. My views on us and the world is hinted in the lyrics. It is like economic growth is the mantra, but we can’t survive exploiting the resources of the earth, and that’s a fact. We can buy everything, but what about the birds and the bees?”
“This is why it’s called The Sleeping Man Project – for the sake of our children we need to wake up.”
“These were especially my thoughts in the making of my previous EP ‘Sleeping Man’ under my own name – Jakob Dahn. On this EP my thought are the same, but the lyrics are about my own life, love life and telling stories about the lives of other people and which goals and values we chose. It’s not at all entirely about climate, environment or pointing fingers at others, there’s some irony or humor in it as well. It’s a message of love as well. Some spirituality and hope.”
“Love is all” could be the mantra behind all my lyrics.”
“I’m spending a lot of time on the lyrics, but the melody always comes first.”
What’s your favorite memory of recording?
“Some years ago I was singer, guitarist and songwriter in a rock band called Skywriter. We made our first album ‘Where both worlds never meet’ in a huge studio in Southern Sweden with the Swedish producer Mattias Glava (who produced Broder Daniel, Dungen and Hakan Hellstrom) just a few weeks before the Hives arrived in a helicopter to record their album. We just came in an old worn out van and we pretty much did live recordings on analogue tapes and slept in the studio.”
“One day I went to Stockholm with the producer and recorded Anna Järvinen’s vocals on two of the songs in her bedroom. It just sounded amazing.”
“The whole thing costed us a fortune, but it was worth it and we got a deal with a record company.”
Is there a story behind the artwork?
“The cover was made by the artist Suse Hartung and the art is a collaboration between her and the photographer Mads Guldager. The bee is drawn on the photo edition, so it’s photo and drawing, and you have to look carefully to see it’s drawn.”
“To me it makes good sense in regards to the lyrics and the vanishing of the bees. We couldn’t find a bee, so we had to draw it.”