(Progressive Newsletter Nr.19 03/98)
excerpts from an interview with Gunnar Berg (Keyboards, Vocals)
The band started up as a five-piece, seven years ago. Since then there has been numerous changes. The basis however, Aage Skar on guitar, Paal Iversen on drums and me on keyboards has remained concistent. The first album "Hum" from 1993, featuring Rolf Bakken on vocals, was a result of differing opinions, and led to the band getting rid of Rolf, and to go on as a three-piece. At this point, I exclusively did the vocal job. In autumn '94, Per Flaa demanded to join in to give the band its final line-up. After the second album "Bob W..." Per picked ub the bass, leaving the keayboard playing a little freer, as you can hear on "The humble poet".
Comparing "The humble poet" with its predecessors, you've become stylisticially more diversified. Do you agree and was this also the reason for using different keyboard sounds, compared to just using a hammond organ like on "Bob W..."?
I totally agree, though I think "Bob W..." is quite a pleasant album, too. The reasons for using more different keyboards, and even two guitars, is partly because Per has taken over the basslines, leaving my left hand free to do more advanced keyboard lines, and partly because using other sounds is more inspirating, and thereby eases the songwriting process. For our next album, there are even a lot of saxophones and flutes coming up.
Your music really sounds like being the perfect live music. Which kind of people do come to your concerts?
There is a lot of doom, death and black metal fans coming to our concerts, along with the obvious prog fans. I think these directions have a lot in common when it comes down to the die-hard attitude.
Your hometown Trondheim is situated in the north of Norway, far away from the rest of Europe. How difficult is it for you to get in contact with the people or your fans?
Living in the outskirts of Europe, most certainly makes it hard. The band, though is planning a change of base to Copenhagen, Denmark, hoping this will help us on our way up.
Which song of the rock history you would like to have written?
The song in rock history I'd most like to have written is "Won't get fooled again", by Pete Townshend, simply because it's the coolest rock'n'roll tune ever written.
Kristian Selm © Progressive Newsletter 1998