Crystals in lab, rock on stage

Danish rock musician Johan Olsen is just as excited about protein crystals as he is about his band's new album

Chris Tachibana
Jun 2, 2010
When linkurl:Johan Olsen;http://research.ku.dk/outreach/research_stories/rock/ walks through the Copenhagen University cafeteria, undergraduates' eyes light up in recognition. Olsen does beautiful protein crystallography, but that's probably not why he's such a hit with the student body. He's famous in his native Denmark for being the lead singer for linkurl:Magtens Korridorer,;http://www.magtenskorridorer.dk/ one of the country's most popular rock bands. In 2006, they won the Danish equivalent of a Grammy for new band of the year, and performed at linkurl:Roskilde Festival,;http://www.roskilde-festival.dk/ an event that draws 75,000 people annually, with headliners like Prince and Patti Smith. During his own undergraduate days, Olsen wasn't looking to add "Grammy-winning rock star" to his resume. "I have a musical background in the sense that as a kid I played the violin, and my father is a musician with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra," he says. "I sang constantly at home, which my mother and brother hated, but I have...