Photos: Melanie Ho
Video: Vina Chia
Scandinavian pop band Michael Learns to Rock (MLTR) are officially back in Singapore to perform their 25 Live concert later today, and as one of the longest-running bands in the world – a whopping 27 years and still going strong – they admitted that their main songwriter Jascha Richter has run out of love songs to write.
As MLTR could be out of inspiration soon, they shared in their interview with Toggle that they hope the music maestro Ed Sheeran could help them with his “mad” songwriting skills, and would love to collaborate with the “international star”.
“He’s not an entertainer, he just plays his music and composes that are very easy to sing along with just like us… He’s got a lot of talent and I’m sure he’ll be able to stick around for 25 more years (laughs)” added guitarist Mikkel Lentz.
Jascha shared, “We’ve used the topics ‘I love you’… ‘You love me’… ‘You don’t love me’ and ‘I don’t love you’... We can’t write any more love songs, so we have to try to write about something else.”
Mikkel jumped in to say that he’s “inspired by the new photos of Pluto” and dropped two potential song titles ‘I Love Pluto’ and ‘Love To Pluto’.
Jascha even joked that his next topic would be “the traffic in Singapore” and he’d write about “nice cars” and “too much sound (sic)”.
His band mate Mikkel even joked that he should “get a new wife” so that he could have fresh inspiration to write new love songs. “New wife, new songs!” exclaimed the guitarist.
Guitarist Mikkel Lentz of Michael Learns to Rock at the press conference for 25 Live yesterday.
Speaking about the second generation of MLTR (they have 11 children in total), drummer Kåre Wanscher said, “Most of them play music actually… a few of mine play and love to sing and dance. I know that Jascha’s big daughters also play and Mikkel’s sons [too], so there’s a lot of music [talent] in those kids…. We’re still waiting for them to form a band.”
Jascha also shared about how much the audience loved it when they brought their children on stage at the end of their concert in Indonesia last December and said, “We’d love to bring them here next time.”
Being friends for over 27 years, we’re sure the band members must have bickered over something before. Well, Mikkel and Kåre shared about a time when they got into a physical fight with each other back when the band just began. “He was kicking my bike (…) And he was destroying my Prince album, so I got pissed.”
Drummer Kåre Wanscher shared that they learnt “to talk about things instead of fighting and… try to agree on what to do and what not to do".
The men of MLTR continued to show their close relationship as they joked with each other constantly throughout the interview.
When asked about who has the biggest heart, Mikkel said to Kåre (it was his turn to answer) bluntly, “Thank you… Thanks...” but Kåre continued to explain, “I’m sorry Mikkel, there’s only one guy in this band who’s written all of these beautiful love songs… It must be Jascha who has the biggest heart.”
Jascha denied the compliment, saying that Mikkel is the one with the biggest heart instead and Mikkel joked, “I paid him ten dollars to say that. (laughs)”
The bantering continued and Mikkel voted Jascha as the best dad of the group, giving the reason that he wrote a song ‘Sleeping Child’ for his girl. “And I can’t say I did that… but I think I love my children as much as he does and the same goes for Kåre,” he added.
Lead vocalist and main songwriter Jascha Richter was voted best dad, the one with the biggest heart and the craziest one of the band.
After “Michael Learns to Rock” (as they’re so-called despite having no member with the name ‘Michael’), the bandmates also plan to learn extreme sports and a new instrument.
Kåre began, “We still gotta learn to rock, but personally, I just picked up kite surfing… and I really wanna learn to be really good at that. That’s my number one priority at the moment (laughs)”
Jascha said the same about wave surfing with the family and Mikkel on the other hand got a little stuck on picking up the cello two years ago, as he felt that he’s not been up to par so far. “It’s so difficult… I’ve given up… I really have a lot of respect for classical musicians.”
So what’s next for MLTR? The band revealed that they are definitely continuing to write and make more music, adding that “[the fans] don’t have to wait years” for the next record which they are still in the process of developing.
Michael Learns to Rock will be performing their multi-platinum hits at 8pm tonight during their sold-out 25 Live concert at The Star Performing Arts Centre, brought to you by Warner Music Singapore, Channel 5, Class 95FM, GOLD 90.5FM and 8 DAYS.