How old were you when you first picked up a guitar for the first time and who are you influenced by?
Steen Grøntved: When I was around 12 years old I was playing the accordion. I had an almost blind teacher in a music course that accidentally mixed the word “accordion” with “guitar”. I grab the chance to learn a new instrument and got hooked almost immediately (I haven’t played the accordion ever since). Actually I really didn’t know any famous guitarists at that time but some friends in high school (efterskole) introduced me to Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendrix, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and I listened and learned a lot. Later my choices fell on Scott Henderson, Frank Gambale, Steve Lukather, Steve Vai.
Do you have any formal or classical musical training in your background?
Steen Grøntved: No I am mostly self-taught. I had a teacher once when I was about 14-15 years old called Lars Romild. He was not exactly a guitar virtuoso but he introduced me to Joe Pass (not in person) and taught me a lot of other stuff that has inspired me a lot and contributed to the style of playing I have today.
Even though I’m more into harder music I really like your album. Especially tracks like; “Timber”, “Run” and “Find The Pick”. Are there any tracks that are special to you?
Steen Grøntved: There isn’t a track on the CD I would consider removing from the album. The tracks are very different and to me they make a perfect universe together. I think the most unique tracks on the CD are: The Worm, Secret lab, Round and around and what mango but without the other tracks to soften it up a bit I think the CD would be to complex (for my taste).
How do you typically get the ideas for your compositions?
Steen Grøntved: Actually I don’t really know where they come from. For me it is just a question about following the ideas that comes to me and not trying to force “corrections” on them. I have listened to Yellow jackets, Salif Keita, Scott Henderson, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Greg Howe and they have all inspired me to write some of the tunes for this album.
Do you prefer instrumental music or would you record with a vocalist if given the chance?
Steen Grøntved: I have recorded a lot with vocalists on other releases, but if I were to make a follow-up to NVG I’m pretty sure it would be instrumental. I think it gives me a lot more freedom to experiment on the compositions and that is what I like about this project.
Are there any other guitarists or musicians you'd love to record or collaborate with in the future?
Steen Grøntved: It is always exiting and inspiring meeting and working with new people.
Who has done the cover artwork to “Night Vision Goggles”?
The artwork is made by a good friend of mine (together with me) called Andreas Larsen. For a start I just let him come up with some ideas without trying to affect him to much. After that, we discussed the ideas together and made some changes here and there. He came up with the idea of the red led in the night picture and the mirror on the front cover (that is actually a real analogue reflection made by a huge glass plate). The idea with the night/evening-shots and the suit was as far as I recall my idea.
What do you like to spend your time with besides music?
Steen Grøntved: Besides making music I like to run, mess with computers (program in C, Java, VHDL etc…). I like to write, direct and cut movies too but it is unfortunately very hard for me to find the time for it all.
What tasks presently lie ahead for Steen Grøntved?
Steen Grøntved: I am participating in an instrumental very easy chilled out/lounge project called Mindtrap. It is our plan to make another release in the near future. I would like to make a follow up record for NVG some day but I’m not sure it’s going to be right now. I don’t want to rush it and I’m not sure I’ve got the time or inspiration for a whole new album right now.
Looking ahead, where do you want to be five years from now?
Steen Grøntved: I just want to keep on doing the things I’m doing. It is nice for me to be able to do so many different things. It keeps me going and I don’t get bored that way.
I thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you. Any final words you would like to round off with - a tip, a recommendation or a thought for the future?
Steen Grøntved: **There are things like Bailey’s or Malibu-rum that most people like the first time they taste but you come to a point where you have had enough. There are other things that take some time to get used to like beer and coffee. When you first get in to them you will never get enough…