Interview: With history on their side, will their battle hymn conquer Europe?

Lighthouse X hope their entry will inspire the continent to want to make the world a better place

Denmark’s representatives at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest are Lighthouse X.

Band members Søren Bregendal, Martin Skriver and Johannes Nymark explain that their song ‘Soldiers of Love’ is a battle hymn in their fight to make the world a better place through the power of music.

They won 42 percent of the public vote to win and are now bidding to become the third Danish act in a row to win Eurovision on Swedish soil, following the triumphs of the Ølsen Brothers in 2000 in Stockholm and Emmeliede Forest in 2013 in Malmö.

We caught up with them to ask about their chances of winning, and what it will be like competing in Sweden.

You’ve described your song as a battle hymn – it obviously means a lot to you?
It is the quintessential Lighthouse X song. No other song captures our message of love and hope and our vision of a better world as strongly as this one. So it’s a very important song to us, and when we perform it live, it feels truly empowering. We want to inspire everyone to be soldiers of love, and this is our battle hymn.

So being an inspiration is important to you – as much as winning?
We talked about that on the night of the Danish competition. We were like let’s just do what we just did at the rehearsal – it might not be perfect but who cares? We just need to do what we do best and what we love doing, and it’s exactly that point that reflects our ‘Soldiers of Love’ philosophy.

It’s not about perfection, it’s more about doing your best and that’s not always perfect. It never is. Being human is not about being perfect, so we need to portray that as well when we talk to journalists or stand on a stage so people can maybe find inspiration in that.

Sweden is a successful hunting ground for Denmark. What are you going to do to ensure that this tradition continues?
That is a heavy question! What we have been talking about every day since we started this whole Eurovision and Dansk Melodi Grand Prix quest is not thinking too much about just that – because we entered this competition with a different mindset. We were asked to be in the competition and we wanted to use it as a platform to talk about stuff that really means something to us and make it mean something to other people around us, so I think we agreed on doing our best no matter what. Every day just do our best and not try to be perfect.

Sweden is extremely successful and they now have six victories. What is it about your neighbour that makes them so successful in this competition?
They are just hitmakers. You see that all the time. They are just great at making pop music. The tradition that started with ABBA back then has inspired and brought up so many talented songwriters in Sweden and they respect pop music.

How is it different from Denmark?
In Denmark we only sometimes talk about pop being credible, whilst in Sweden the most credible thing you can be is to be a pop artist and that builds some kind of foundation from where talented songwriters and producers can grow. If people in Sweden strive to be great pop songwriters, of course that will make a lot of people try and do that and do their very best. I’m not saying that in Denmark it is the other way round, but we don’t have the same attitude like in Sweden where they have so many shows to select their song.

What can we learn from Sweden?
I have been working with quite a few Swedish songwriters in my career and there is a very distinct difference between them and the Danes. They tend to open the doors for each other. They cowork in a different way to the way we do here in Denmark and that is a really important point in terms of Lighthouse X as well. Coming together really strengthens your product.