Interview mit Einar Solberg

Nachdem die Norweger LEPROUS mit ihrem aktuellen Werk ´The Congregation´ erneut ein prächtiges Werk abgeliefert haben (Review hier), durfte uns Mastermind Einar Solberg einige Fragen beantworten.

Hier unser Interview im Originalwortlaut:

Einar, how are you doing?

Couldn’t be better!

You are playing some summer festivals across the continent at the moment. Did the concerts went well so far?

Yeah, the summer festivals went very well. Although I wish there were more of them this year, haha. I love being at festivals!

How does it feel compared to gigs in small clubs or venues?

Both has their advantages.

Festivals: Normally a bigger crowd, lots of other cool bands, sun, big stages.

Clubs: Better sound, we can normally play our full show without any compromise, more dedicated fans often. Ah, and the lights look much better in clubs!

Are the festivals your warm-up for the club-tour in autumn?

They’re quite separated from each other. On the festivals we’re have to do a very short and compressed version of what we do on the tours. And during the tours, we bring our full crew, visuals, our own mixer etc etc. So I would personally recommend everyone who has only seen LEPROUS on a festival, to catch us on one of the shows on the tour.

Let’s come to your new album. You and Øystein Landsverk are the only members who also played on ´Tall Poppy Syndrome´. Is this the reason, why your sound changed that much since these days?

Tor Oddmund Suhrke has also been a part of the band since the beginning, even longer than Øystein. So we’re actually three members from that time still in the band (the majority actually). And I wouldn’t say that changing of members is the main reason for the change in sound. We’re all evolving as persons, our preferences are gradually changing, and we’re also more critical now than we were. I don’t think there’s any point in making the same piece of music twice, and it’s always important to look forward.

You and your bandmembers were involved in IHSAHNs backing band in the last years. Did you have contact to him or even played with him in the recent months?

Yeah, of course! He’s my brother in law, so I’m regularly in contact with him. We also played on the same festival (but on separate stages) a few weeks ago at the BeProg-Festival in Barcelona. I haven’t played with him since last year when I did the EMPEROR shows, but I will play with him on a festival in Norway called Midgardsblot as a step in.

Was ´Coal´ composed at the same time as IHSAHNs ´Das Seelenbrechen´? I can hear the same mood in it.

I’m not sure to be honest, but we were writing completely separately. So any similarity you might hear, must be a coincidence, hehe.

How would you describe the progression from ´Coal´ to `The Congregation`? Is it a liberation and a progression to more autonomy?

Even though LEPROUS is naturally evolving as a band without deliberately changing our sound for the sake of it, I feel every album has it's own touch. Where ´Coal´ was slow, dark, atmospheric but also impulsive, ´The Congregation´ is calculated, technical, focused, melancholic but also emotional and catchy. When we made ´Coal´, the whole process was less structured and shorter, so we left a lot of the creativity to the studio. In the beginning of the recording process, we had no idea how the album would turn out and we were rather nervous. So when the album turned out to be very good, we were very relieved and almost surprised.

With ´The Congregation´ however, the process was very different. It was a completely new way of thinking. I started out setting deadlines for myself to write two sketches for songs per week until we had 30, and then we voted for those in which we saw the biggest potential. And then countless of hours of listening, evaluating and planning where to go with the sketches. So this album is very much a "brainy" album, written on the computer, if you compare it to the previous ones. On this album we've seen the importance of hard work, because this album is really a result of countless of hours of structured work, whereas especially our previous album was much more impulsive. So when we entered the studio to record "The Congregation", we were all much more confident than we'd ever been.

Your songs have become much shorter compared to tunes like ´White´ with lengths over eleven minutes. I know that many people love these longtracks and they hope for new ones. So, is it only a snapshot of your current writing style or your future direction to write such short songs?

I doesn’t matter how long the songs are, but how good they are. And in my opinion “White” is not of the better songs we’ve written, so those who wait for more in that style is in for an endless wait, haha. We don’t really think about the length of the songs. They become as long as we think they should be. We had short songs before, we have short songs now, we had long songs before, we have long songs now. Again, the length of a song doesn’t matter at all to me. Some songs are 20 minutes and sounds awesome, other are 2 minutes and sounds awesome. We have however become more critical to what we allow into a songs, and we try not to spoil the flavor with too many spices.

Most of the new songs are based on great vocal arrangements and outstanding drum-performances. Is your new drummer responsible for this Voice´n´Drum-Sound?

Thanks a lot! When I wrote the sketches, I actually started with only drums, guitars and bass. So everything is more or less based on that. But of course Baard added his own flavor to everything.

Did you show your emotions with the many "Ah hah ah ah ahh"s in the songs or didn't you have enough lyrics to sing?

Hehe, I had more than enough of lyrics and actually had to cut away several verses, but sometimes I think it sounds better without! You know, the voice is also an instrument, not only a tool to convey lyrics, hehe.

What can we expect from the club-shows?

We’re preparing a very strong package, with emphasize on ´The Congregation´. There will also be visuals backing up the mood of the songs, and it’s all in progress. But I don’t want to reveal too much, hehe.

Thank you very much for the interview, Einar!

Von: Michael Haifl
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