Interview with TV-2’s Steffen Brandt: 25 years of love in Greenland

They may not play rock stars on the ice glacier anymore, but the Danish band TV-2’s 25-year love affair with Greenland continues. This year, the popular pop-rock icons returned for the grand opening of Hotel Hans Egede’s spanking new five-star conference and event centre. The concert itself was a special event as Greenlandic musicians Nina Kreutzmann, Frederik K. Elsner, Christian K. Elsner og Malik Hegelund Olsen joined TV-2 on stage to cover their songs. 

I caught up with lead singer Steffen Brandt just before the concert last night.

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So why do you keep coming back to Greenland? 

We came to Greenland in 1988 for the first time and fell in love with the place. It was such a magical experience that we decided that we had to come back every year. Everyone was warm and generous. They just invited us to their homes. You can’t get the same feeling in Denmark; it’s a special country.

Greenland has changed a lot. We don’t have a favourite place, because everywhere is so different. We love going to Ilulissat because of the nature and icebergs. Nuuk also has beautiful nature but we also have a lot of friends here from over the years. It’s nice to see how the city grows. It’s going to be a main city, and I hope that it keeps its good vibes. We’ve also played in lots of different bygdas (settlements with a small population). The people in the bygdas were very friendly – we got invited to so many kaffemiks!

Is there a difference between Greenlandic and Danish fans? 

Yes. The Greenlandic fans are more spontaneous in a way. If they love your music, you will really feel the connection and they will take your music to their heart. If they don’t like your performance, then they will be honest and just leave.

What are your thoughts on the Greenlandic music scene?

There is a lot of talent here and I think that they can make it big in the rest of the world. The Greenlandic music scene is changing too, they are taking the good bits of their traditions with music and mixing it up with new sounds and approaches.

Have you had any funny experiences while being in Greenland?

Well one of the first times we were here we made a video on the glacier in Kapisillit. They just dropped us off there and we started filming. We were just running around playing rock stars – we didn’t know that you actually had to be careful on the ice, that there were all these holes we could fall into. I think it was a bit pathetic, because, you know, we’re just rock stars, nothing really happens to rock stars. When you’re in Greenland, you have to take care. We were told afterwards that we were very stupid (and lucky not to fall into the water). You have to respect the nature up here.

When is your new album coming out?  
We’ve just finished touring and we will be working on new songs. It should come out in a year or so.

I’m going to say a few words that are related to Greenland, can you give me the first thing that comes to mind? 

Sure.

Greenland: Love.
Inuit: Love.
Northern lights: Love… close to scary.
Fishing quotas: More.
Hunting: Be on the right side of the gun.
Seal: Very nice to wear but not so nice to eat.
Eric the Red: Sounds like a beer…
Greenlandic nature: Overwhelming.
Polar bear: Shouldn’t eat it.
Nuuk: I love Nuuk because it’s going to be a main city. I hope it grows in a good way, keeping all the good vibes. People are working on it.
Mattak (whale blubber): I like it, especially after 3 o clock. [I am not sure but I think he meant in the morning].
Nepotism: I don’t think it’s happening more here than anywhere else but maybe you notice it more here.
Iceberg: As long as it keeps the balance and you’re not on it when it cracks.
Selvstyre: Of course.
Hans Egede: He’s standing there over the sea, but I wouldn’t want him to tell me what to do. It’s hard to put things into context and he did what he thought was right at the time. He’s ok standing over there, watching.
SUME: I like them.. I hope they play at least ten farewell concerts before they really say good bye.
Greenlanders: We have to go back with the first word, that is love.
Nanook: Really happy that they are going to sing one of our songs tonight with us. Frederick and Christian are so nice and singing so damn good. Hope they continue to do it.

Even though it was a sold-out event, the vibe of the show was intimate – but maybe that’s because everybody (except me) knows everybody in this town =) TV-2 plays again at Hotel Hans Egede tonight, 10pm. 

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