Motorpsycho: Norwegian ROCK from the North (Interview)

by Scott Heller

From Aural Innovations #19 (April 2002)

MOTORPSYCHO are one of Norway's top bands. The band have been playing since 1990 and have been doing one or two European tours every year since 1993 and have built up a unique following of fans. From their start as a heavy metal-grunge style band up until the present, where the band are experimenting with mixing pop songs with flashes of jazz, horns, psychedelia, but mainly being a rock band! Motorpsycho are deeply committed to exploring all aspects of rock music and in their own way. I was fortunate to meet the band for one hour at the start of their first European tour of 2002. I had seen the band live 4 times previously but never had the opportunity to speak with the band. I have never really enjoyed their CDs that much, as the music is very personal and more commercial oriented than what I normally like but their live performances are incredible, with a mixture of the commercial tunes with the heavy tunes with the long improvised jams, which the band create during the live stage performances.

So you know who I was talking to:

Bent - bass, acoustic guitar and vocals, Hans - Guitars vocals, Geb - Drums, vocals and sometimes Banjo!, SH - Scott Heller, Bård - keyboards and vocals.

SH: Are you going to play Terrastock for sure? Are there any gigs in the US arranged around that?

Bent: Yes... we are playing. We are trying to fix things but I don't know what is going to happen. They are working on it, the people from Stickman. They know some people, but if it is going to work out, I don't know. If you have any ideas or tips, get on the net and send them your info.

SH: There should be an audience for Motorpsycho in the US. You have only played at the SXSW Festival in Austin in 1998 and before that...

Geb: Played nothing... we have only played 40 minutes in the US... that's it. That's 3 years ago.

SH: Any more festival plans for the summer? Will you play the Øyafestivalen?

Bent: Yes. We will play there. We will also play at the oldest still running jazz festival in the world, in Molde. And, we will most likely do the Bizarre Festival in Germany and the Pukkelpop in Belgium in August, and on all those festivals we will bring the horn and reed players who played on the last record, the Jaga Jazzists, 4 of them, trumpet, 2 sax guys and tuba.

SH: I saw them play here during the Copenhagen Jazz Festival last summer at Cafe Rust.

Bent: Very nice people.

Geb: Good band!!

Bent: So, we don't know if we are going to do something special like do some Sun Ra songs, we haven't really talked about that yet but probably a little more than the normal MP thing. We will try to do some special songs.

SH: So you have just finished recording a new album? Did they play on it?

Bent: Not yet, but the day after we finish this tour we are going back into the studio to start mixing and they will have to overdub some stuff on a few songs.

SH: Ok... so they are not really integrated into the music of this project...

Bent: No. Not as much as the last one. It was something that we needed to do and take it all the way with all the strings and the horns and stuff and it has sort of had a slight backlash on us, because it is really hard to perform those songs and it gets to be a little more work than fun, so we have written it a little different this time, so it is a little more, organic, I don't know what you call it. So it's maybe somewhat of an overreaction. So there are five of the songs that will be on the next one we recorded during the Phanerothyme sessions anyway, so they have some of the same feel to them. So we have 13-14 songs that could go on that album, so we haven't really finished them, so we don't know which ones will go on that one.

SH: Do you think it will be a double album? (Laughs in the room...)

Bent: Well, we will see... it is all about trying to find out the running order for the best possible album and the ones that don't fit have to go. Trying to keep it around 45 minutes. The modern concentration span can't handle more than that anyway, so uhm...

SH: Will you try any of those songs on this tour?

Bent: We will probably try some of them tonight. A world debut for a couple of them I guess.

Geb: Yeah. We have probably changed a lot of songs since the last time you saw us, because we are going play a lot of older songs that we didn't use to play so much.

SH: Yeah. I was going to ask you about some of them. There are a couple of your songs that I really like a lot and I have never seen you play them on any of the 4 times I have seen you. But maybe you don't play them anymore. Mountain is one I really like. And the Wheel. I could really visualize Bård doing some really cool things if you were to play the Wheel again.

Geb: We will see.

SH: So you don't rule out playing any of your songs from the past?

Bent: No, no. There are obviously some songs that have been played to death that aren't any fun to play anymore, warhorses, that were on every gig for like 5 years. They need to be rested for a while. It is all songs that we wrote ourselves and we can play them if we felt like it. We don't have any moral objections to play that old metal stuff or anything. We have to go with the flow and see what we need to do, but I doubt that the Wheel will be played much, at least on this tour.

Geb: Didn't we play it on the last tour.

Hans: It used to pop up here and there in parts of songs...

Geb: ...and we would just join in, if we were in the right mood for it.

SH: A friend wanted to know if you would ever do another live gig with Deathprod (Helge Sten)?

Bent: Maybe, if we asked him to but it would have to be something special.

Geb: We did do one gig with him last year in Bergen.

SH: Is this the Coleman thing?

Bent: That was fun... felt just like the period around the Demon Box, mid 1993... the same kind of weirdo vibe got to me. It was good. Really fun.

SH: I have listened to the recordings. I think it was really interesting but I really lacked the visual part to get the full impact of what was being played.

Bent: Yeah...

SH: A friend of mine said he saw someone making a digital video of the performances.

Bent: Yeah. I saw someone too. Some cameras.

SH: That was not your people.

Geb: No.

Bent: Coleman said that if we sent some of the tapes, that we would think about putting it out on DVD and collecting up the music from all the artists that did this and maybe that would happen. We haven't really talk to him since then. That is a shame, we should send him an email or something. That would be the best way to do it, make him do what he needs to do with it.

SH: I think that must be the best way because as a visual project it could be very cool.

Hans: Definitely, it was a great challenge for us as well and we had a good time doing it as well.

SH: I noticed there was quite a difference between the two nights. The second night seemed to be more intense in some way and the middle part of some of the jams you played in En Chein d'epsace, it was reminiscent of that.

Bent: The Chein' thingy... was basically a license or excuse to go beyond. We did not know what was going to happen... sometimes nobody did anything and we had to start the song again and sometimes it became this long... nothing was planned.

SH: The version that was played at Stengade 30 in 1998 was incredible and people who trade the recordings also agreed this was a fantastic one!

Bent: Cool.

SH: It was magic that night.

Bent: It sort of got stale again also and if that is happening you better just leave it, you don't want to push those things, its too much. If it doesn't happen by itself, then why...

SH: I totally agree.

Hans: When improvisations get too repetitive its not an improvisation anymore. It's just some sort of rehearsed structure.

SH: Two years ago, on the first leg of the Cake tour, you played In Memory of Elizabeth Reed by the Allman Brothers.

Geb: Yeah.

SH: I am a big Allmans fan and have seen them live many times. I really enjoyed that a lot. I thought it was a challenging thing for any band to play and that you guys chose to do it I thought was impressive.

Bent: We didn't offend you then!

SH: No. Not at all.

Hans: It offended our bus driver on that tour, he thought it sucked.

Bent: He did not like us playing that.

SH: How did you come along to play that number?

Bent: I don't know. We just started fooling around with the number during rehearsals for that tour and we decided let's just play it, this is good. This is fun and we just did.

SH: Did you guys ever play Whipping Post? I know that Whip that Ghost is kind of a take off of that song..

Bent: No... yeah... no we never played it. But we have our own sort of version of it, so we don't have to!

SH: It is a cool song.

Bent: Yeah it is. A homage. They have this sunshiny vibe to them, these long songs that they did and they are fun to jam on those kinds of chords and tempo. We just rearranged an old b-side called The Skies are Full of Wine that we will probably play tonight and it also has this sort of Allman Brothers vibe to it as well. So you will know it when you hear it.

Hans: The Allman Brothers have some sort of trademark modality in their jams.

SH: Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Geb: Yeah. It is really fun when it works. But when it doesn't it can be pretty awful trying to make it work.

SH: That does seem to happen much with your guys. You guys play together a lot. You really know how the music moves between the 3 of you guys. I read on the internet that you guys rehearse, 5-6 days a week.

Bent: In periods, we do that. When there is stuff that we need to do, like go on tour or record. We have periods where we rehearse 6 days a weeks for hours..

SH: Do you guys ever get together and just jam, just play, not have any songs in mind?

Geb: That is basically what we do when we meet. If we have a vacation, then we just meet in the rehearsal room and we don't have any plans we just start to play. Then you have been playing for two hours without noticing. Yeah. We do also jamming as rehearsing, but of course before a tour like this we have to do some rehearsing of songs so we remember the lyrics and the chords and the direction of the songs. That is the boring part. The fun part is just playing... you know... you need a little adrenaline to get something out of it. Being on stage and have some people being a little bit nervous... so...

SH: I am glad to hear this. Last tour, the Motortraders had determined that you had played 52 different songs on the last tour. That is quite a lot. I had thought on the Cake tour you did like 46 and this was a lot.

Bent: We have thrown out some old warhorses now and we have added 15 new songs to the set, that we have never played live before or at least for some years. So I think the lists without the cover songs was 56 songs for this tour and we can always chuck in Summetime Blues if we like it.

SH: Are there any cover songs that you have thought about playing but have not got around to playing?

Bent: I want to do A Long Flowing Robe by Todd Rundgren, but we haven't got around to rehearsing it at the moment. But if it will ever happen, I don't know, but it is just one of those songs that I love so much and it would be fun to play it. Geb: Um........... Not sure...

Hans: Not me either. We spend so much time working on our own material.

SH: So, if something comes up, then perhaps you take off on it.

Bent: It usually works that someone while on the tour will buy an album by someone that has just a fantastic song on it and then we will have to try and we will play it at a soundcheck and just do it. That is Black to Comm, that is how that came about..

SH: Why do you never have the lyrics in the booklets of your CDs?

Bent: There is a philosophy behind it. I really hate booklets with lyrics in them. What I do, I can't help it is sit down and read the lyrics along while I listen to the record and then I don't really hear the music. So I am focusing visually in the lyrics and the music and it doesn't blend and become one for me. So, I want people to hear what we are saying as part of what we are playing for the first time and then maybe for the first 15 times, then they can always go on the internet and find the lyrics if they really need to figure out what the fuck we are on about. I think the music and the lyrics should be an integrated thing. Because I don't like that. It's not like we are trying to hide the lyrics or anything...

SH: No. No. they are available on the internet.

Geb: Also, for the listeners, when you don't have the lyrics you make your own version of the song from what you hear. It also depends on what kind of feelings you get, what kind of mood you are in. If you hear it a different day, what you hear in the lyrics might be different.

Bent: It will be your own song in a different way. If you don't have the right version in front of you, then you hear what you need to hear and it becomes your song in a different way. You get to add a little bit of yourself to the whole thing.

Geb: Also, we don't have any really strong messages that you have to understand.

Bent: If we had done the fuck the police type lyrics, then we probably would have put them in there, but we aren't any kind of messengers. We don't really have any political agenda.

SH: Do you record in your own studio in Trondheim?

Geb: We have a little demo studio. A little 8 track machine. We record everything when we are on tour. Then we have it at home for making demos before we go to the studio.

Bent: The first Roadwork was recorded on that machine and also some of the b-sides that have been released over the years were recorded on that. It is not like top notch but it works.

SH: So you have invested in having your own recording studio where you rehearse so you don't have to go to a real studio to record.

Bent: No. We like going different places to record. The last two times we have been in Oslo and before that we were in Holm for a few years. In a way you use them up. You get to know them too well and it does not really challenge your head anymore. You have pushed every possible button and then... ok... this is not fun anymore. Let's go somewhere else and see what the surroundings will bring out of the music.

Geb: It is always fun putting up your stuff in a new room. You have different acoustics, it gives a whole different mood to the whole session. And we feel too familiar... it...

Bent: It gets stale.

SH: Have you heard of this group on the internet called Motortraders? It is a very exclusive group that you have to be invited to join of people trade nearly exclusively MP recordings.

Geb: Ok... cool.

SH: There are 45 members and it is run by some Norwegian guys, two of which will record every night of this except tonight. It is easier to take the ferry to Hamburg then to come here first. But... they are very dedicated..

Bent: That's good!

Geb: We might know them if it is Anders and...

SH: Yes.

Bent: Great people. I think it is fun. We have been playing along with this whole Grateful dead thingy all the time anyway. It is free music. Go and get it... as long as you don't steal it. To see that people pick up on it and see that it is worth it to tag along on a whole tour and record the whole thing, is a tip of the hat to us. It means that we are doing something that is valuable. That is a good feeling for us, that people care that much, is mind blowing.

SH: I totally agree. I think it is a tribute and an honor for any band. I think it's quite rare that a band can pull together an interesting and diverse selection of music that differs enough that people will follow them. I would guess there are 20 or 30 bands in the world that do that.

Geb: Yeah. Thats right. Are you one of these Motortraders?

SH: Yes, I am... For example, for the last tour, I have one of the nights from Trondheim, Rome, Copenhagen, Halden, Kristiansand, Biel. And they are very interesting to hear all the differences.

Geb: Kristiansand, that is with horns, right...

SH: One thing I really appreciated from the last tour was the way Going to California changed. Like here and in Halden, that was probably the best version I heard. But in Rome you did like a 26 minute version of My Best Friend... very mellow... floating... very cool... I liked it a lot but that night you only played a 4½ minute version of Going to California.

Bent: Going to California was one of those songs that was so much fun to play when it first came up and it was written probably the week after Let Them Eat Cake was finished. So it came up two weeks too late to be included on that album, so we played it at every show after that. By the middle of the last tour we were sort of fed up with it. We couldn't do anything more with it so we decided to do the edit version, just to play the song, because the song is great. It is not necessarily the improvisations that are important, so we did that, cause that was just as fun, to play it as a regular 3-4 minute song. That happens sometimes. Things get stale and then you just have to change it.

Geb: I was visiting a friend of mine in Germany in January and he had about 150 live recordings of Motorpsycho. I was just looking and there was one from Halden, Rome 96 and Olso. I was just looking, its crazy... and he was like that's a good one, and on that one you have a really cool version of that song. He had total control, he knew all of them. It is kind of scary.

SH: I think there are 5 or 10 people on this list that are like that and they know what they think was the best version of a song from all the tours. This group put together a compilation from the Cake tour.

Geb: Yeah. We got it.

Bent: We got copies, that was great. We don't necessarily agree on the selections of the songs but then again...

SH: It was one version of every song that was played on that tour and more or less they thought they were the best versions. Did you have a favorite concert from the last tour?

Bent: Now that you had mentioned it, the My Best Friend from Rome, that was one of my personal highlights. I felt like we were going somewhere totally different, we had never gone there before with that song. Um... and also the last show we did with Oslo with the horns, that had some really good stuff on it.

SH: That was broadcast on the radio, right?

Geb: Yeah.

Bent: We are thinking about buying the tapes from the radio and mixing them ourselves. Because if you just chop out some of the less well played things, then you would have an amazing live album.

SH: So that could be a Roadwork 3?

Bent: Yeah... it could be, but they are pretty expensive, these guys, so we really haven't talked about it, but it would be an option if we wanted to.

SH: Has there been a Roadwork 3 that is set in stone yet?

Bent: No, no... we have all these tapes from the tours that he (Bård) has been on and no one has gone through them yet. It is a summer vacation job to go through all those 8 tracks and find a decent version of something, so...

SH: I think you could get in contact with the Motortraders list people and they could tell you (Or remind you), where there was some magic and this could give you a lead. Someone had asked me if you had thought of releasing a complete recording with Bård, because there is nothing out there.

Bent: It is on my list of things that we should do something like that. There has just been so much going on and you have to go there and do the quality check and find the best versions that you can. It is a lot of work, we haven't had the time yet.

Hans: It means going through tours of tapes.

SH: Do you think the Roadworks series will mainly concentrate on the future or go back to the old shows?

Bent: We don't know.

Geb: There is some old stuff that would be really cool to get out there.

Bent: And maybe something we should do is go through the Norwegian radio files. They have been recordings at least one show a year for the last 10 years almost, so they have a huge amount. Maybe make a special deal with them, do a box set type thing. I don't know.

SH: Do you have a lot of songs that you had demo'd on 8 track that have never seen the light of day?

Geb: Yeah.

Bent: But they usually, if they don't really make the cut, they are usually rewritten to become better songs or rearranged to become different songs or something like that, so they can be used as parts of something else. But there are some songs that are outtakes from both demo sessions and recording sessions that we never did anything with. There is a slight archive of things.

Geb: With all these EPs, this is a way of getting rid of some demos.

SH: I think some of my favorite MP songs are on those EPs!

Geb: Yeah... for us as well but some of them are so odd that they would not fit in on a normal album, even if it is extremely cool songs and good arrangements. It has also been a way of getting rid of some of the really strangest stuff, but it would not be a commercial idea to put it out.

Bent: When you make an album, you have to think about the chronology, how it flows, what the trip does to you, what the running order does to you, the bigger picture and then if you put in too many oddballs, it won't come together and be an album in the same sense. So it is basically about what we feel like, this session should be or should represent. This... from this sessions... and then the other ones get weeded out, either forgotten, rewritten or used as b-sides. It is not that they are bad songs or of lesser value, they just didn't fit the rest of the material.

SH: How would you describe the new material you have recently demo'd? Is it somewhere in between Let Them Eat Cake and Phanerothyme?

Geb: I think the working situation was a bit like what we did after we did Blizzard. Because on that one, everything was very well composed and everything was very well arranged and we knew how everything would appear on the album before we went into the studio.

Bent: The same thing with Phanerothyme. Very written and very arranged, almost overwritten and overarranged so you get some sort of reaction to that, so a lot of the new stuff we have done is looser in a way and it is not as tightly arranged.

Geb: It is just playing playing and playing.

SH: Bård, from what I understand you don't live in Trondheim?

Bård: No, I live in Oslo.

SH: Have you been spending more time up in Trondheim to be more kind of in the project as it evolves?

Bård: No, not really. I have just been rehearsing for the tour.

Geb: There hasn't really been time in a way.

Bent: I mean after the last tour, what happened... we started working on this theatre project and you went on tour with HGH. We finished that theatre thing and then went into the studio and then we started rehearsing for this tour. So we haven't really had time. Some of those things that we did for that play would be exquisite for b-sides or EP material.

SH: What was the name of the play?

Bent: The Cat Virgin or Cat Maiden (They said it in Norwegian but I could not figure out how to spell it!) Its a children's play written by a woman, approximately our age. A very nice fairytailish. It worked out really nice musically for what we did. We will probably make some sort of selection of the best moments from that and make some sort of suite and edit together when we get done with this tour and see what's there.

SH: I had never heard about that project at all.

Geb: How long is that... 1 hour and 15 minutes?

Hans: It is one hour of original music. We could easily glue together something.

Bent: It could be an album in its own right.

SH: Do you like the current arrangement with releasing everything through Stickman in Europe and Sony in Norway?

Bent: As far as most of the territories it seems to work quite nicely, but there are some major holes.

SH: Like the US.

Bent: Yeah... for instance...

SH: You don't have any releases there do you?

Bent: I don't know what is happening there. Everytime we talk to them there is something new and then nothing comes out of it.

SH: So someone tries in the US but nothing happens.

Geb: I think it is mainly mail order catalog..

Bent: We are probably too electric and weird for a major American label anyway. People don't really know what to expect when they come see us and when they hear the next record, it is not what they thought it was going to be anyway. And... I don't know if that makes it harder for people to put money into it. Perhaps it is a bit confusing for people the way we do things..

Geb: And all the problems the record industry has been having, they need to have things that they know how to sell and how to handle and we are something that they don't know what is going on in Trondheim. Once a year we go down to Oslo and record an album for Sony and Stickman, so I think also for Sony in Norway, they like to have us, it gives them some credibility. They leave us all alone.

Bent: It is kind of ridiculous. Normally, when we finish, we make these CDs that we take home and listen to and after a couple of weeks a very meek person from Sony will ring up and says hello and asks if it is ok if they get a copy too, so they can hear what they have been paying for! (Laughs...). It is not us being evil or anything, its just us forgetting them!

SH: They are not showing their presence so why should you know they are there.

Geb: Yeah... exactly.

Bent: But that is the way we want it also. We need to run this ship the way that we do to make it work for us, so it is a brilliant situation.

SH: I think this is perfect. You guys clearly don't have to have a real job now and can make music for a living. You are successful enough now, but you're not superstars, but perhaps you don't want to be superstars.

Bent: No, not really.

SH: There are a lot of extra headaches with becoming a megastar.

Geb: You hope for the moment you will sell like 8 million records so you can just disappear after that, go somewhere else and make music for fun. We have seen friends who have started to sell records and all these bands, we have been growing up with in a way, as soon as they are selling records, they break up or argumentation starts to happen.

Bent: A lot of extra pressure comes from being really successful and I don't think that I would really enjoy that, too much. It does not fit our mode of working.

SH: Just sitting here with you guys, you don't seem to have the attitude to be...

Bent: No. That sort of ambition is not really valid. The only place we have an ambition is to make better music or more real music or different music that we have done. That's all we care about. If it sells, then great, were happy. But that is sort of a second thing.

SH: You have sort of built up a grassroots following network over Europe by touring once or twice every single year since like 1993 on... and now you have this base of fans..

Bent: It is pretty ideal now.

Geb: A good thing, having ten years of experience now, it also gives you some... if we had sold a lot 8 years ago, all these dreams and ideas you had, it would... I don't know if it would be that easy to continue to work with music in a way, because you are not in an attacking position anymore, you only have to defend what you are known for and now I know I will always be working with music, if I am playing for 15 people or 1000, in a way it is the same, excitement on stage, if you are not really sure and you are trying to make something happen on stage. So I don't think it would be the same, if we had sold a lot of records 8 years ago.

Bent: Now we have the experience and we are grown enough to know what this is all about. If we had been this big band, like 8 years ago... I don't know how we would have handled it or if we would have handled it at all.

SH: You guys, 8 years ago, you were quite a heavy rock band.

Geb: Long hair, loud, noisy.... ha ha...

SH: Now it has really evolved... but you still get loud now.

Geb: It is bad habits!

Bent: Not really all the time. We have some more dynamics going on now, thank god.

SH: I think it is interesting that since Bård does not live up their with you guys and he does not rehearse with you guys all the time, that he comes up for rehearsals for tours or record demos. How do you think it would change the dynamics of what you guys do if he were there all the time. Do you think it would change your writing process?

Bent: Definitely. That is one of the reasons why we don't really invite him up too early. All three of us write songs and if he were to come up and also bring songs, it would be too much and we would all get like 2½ songs on each album and we would have this huge backlog of stuff lying around. It is one way of keeping the production level to a reasonable level. There is also something between the 3 of us that is what Motorpsycho is all about and what he does is add to it, but we have to have the frameworks ready before he comes it. I think it is a necessity.

Geb: It is also easier to work when you are three people.

SH: Have you ever considered playing the same set list two nights in a row?

Bent: Oh yeah. We have done that. This one tour in... 1993... I think we played the same set the whole tour. That was boring.

Hans: I can't remember.

Bent: That was not really too happening. That was Home of the Brave into... and then we ended with the Demon box and the Golden Core and that was it!

SH: You haven't played The Golden Core in some time.

Geb: We played it on the last tour.

Bent: Did we????

Geb: We played both Golden Core and Vortex Surfer at Rockefeller.

Bent: It must have been 1½ years ago or so.

Geb: Someone made a comment that they were surprised to hear those two songs in the same night.

Bent: Not last tour. That was a couple of years back. Those are some of those oldy songs... in a way they always work... and they have a quality to them that are really out of this world that I have not touched upon too often as a writer. When you get to the point that you are just going through the motions, then you have to lay them aside for a bit. Because if you start fucking with the ones that you perceive as holy or magical in some way then you are up shit creek. They have been retired for quite some time. They might come back. We don't know.

SH: I think these ones where you got into some kind of heavy space... that Bård could really make a new different interplay, if you were to try them again. I am not saying that they are all going to work, but you might find something new and exciting in them.

Geb: Uhm... yeah...

SH: Since they have been sort of laid to rest... but I don't have to say this to you, because you guys are going to do this anyway... because it is your nature... you guys are always exploring and changing.

Geb: Things become boring if you know them too well or do the same thing over and over again. It is the same with whatever you do.

SH: No... it is not that way with a lot of bands. Maybe it is boring and they just don't give a shit. I would say a lot of bands I don't care for them live. Ok... they come, they play well, you rock out but it is more or less 80% the same as the last time they came and played here and that has never happened with any of the Motorpsycho concerts I have been to.

Bent: That is a different attitude to the whole thing. If you do that, then you are a circus act and that it what you want to be. And that is a rock show. That is not what we are doing. We are doing something else! We are explorers man, going where we have never been before, hopefully as often as possible! And, the show bit, gets... that is not as important as getting the music to happen. I don't see too many bands thinking like this anymore and so we have to, in a way. I could not be happy doing the rock show, circus act thingy.

Geb: No... it would not fit us. We need some evil twins too. It is hard even having a photo taken. You saw us over there. Not too good at it.

SH: Maybe this is a touchy subject... the whole thing with the lawsuit with Voices of Wonder. Were you surprised that you lost the appeal?

Geb: Yeah.

Bent: In a way. But not by the last day in court. I saw it coming. Because it was obvious that court did not get into the principals that needed to be discussed. But it is being appealed to the Supreme court, so if it get through there, and they find it important enough legally, the principal thing, then it will be taken to the highest court.

SH: Well, then they will have to discuss the principal of the matter.

Bent: That is what we had been hoping for all along but they have sort of chickened out. They took the easy way out.

Geb: Still... I think that it is important that we do something. If we wouldn't have done anything. It would not be fair letting the record industry work the way it works. You know, it has not changed that much since it became an industry and then they made all these rules to take care of themselves as a business corporation. Musicians... it used to be different. There was a songwriter who wrote the songs and the record company got hold of someone to sing it for them and of course now the rules should be different, when the bands are doing it themselves. They are making the cover art, they are putting together the albums, they do the producing and the whole thing. They do so much more of the work and the record companies are basically salesman or maybe providing the stylist for the photo sessions... but the rules should be different. The bands do more of the work but the rules are the same. I think we have probably 10 or 15 bands we know that have troubles with Voices of Wonder. It is kind of annoying to have these people around who are allowed legally to do what they do. Because it is not fair and it is not the right way to do business. Everyone can see that.

Bent: That is one side of the case.

Geb: But I was pretty sure that we would win and I still am.

SH: How do you regard the Phanerothyme tour versus the Cake tour?

Bent: I don't really know. I am not able to separate these things from there and then and I cannot really tell quality apart from the day that it happened. I can't tell you what my favorite album is. Because they are all true to being what they are then. It is the same way with gigs. If they are the best that they could be on that day, then they are good gigs. I don't have the big overview which tour was better than that tour or anything like that. It is just not something that I think about at all. If it works then and there, then that's fine and thats magic and that is the reason we are doing it. Then the next day we have to try to rediscover that thing again and again, so we don't really look back to often.

SH: Do you remember the concert from Lund from the last tour?

All: Yeah.

SH: I had read that you were hanging out at a jazz club before and this concert was really jazzy.

Bent: Yeah. It was.

SH: That was the only concert from the last tour that was not recorded by the fans.

Bent: We have that one.

Geb: It was a great concert!

Bent: We came there pretty early in the day and they had this Saturday afternoon jazz gig. Real jazz people playing real jazz... and then me and Bård were hanging out and really getting into it. I don't remember if our gig was really that jazzy or what, it might have been.

Geb: It was pretty far out. I remember the venue there and it was not that many people there. But I got surprised by the whole concert and I thought it was a really good concert for the few people that were there. I think that we took things pretty far out for being in that big room for...

Hans: 15 people!

Bent: I can't remember all the gigs, but I do remember one moment from every gig.

SH: Have you ever thought about bringing along the Fender Rhoads that you had along on the 1998 tour?

Hans: Yeah. Sometimes I would like to have a keyboard and play against Bård and see what happens.

SH: I think that could bring in a special new dynamic...

Bent: Yeah. He is much more of a space cat than Bård is. He is more of a jazz player and Hans is more of a space cadet.

Hans: I can't play it that good but some playing can turn out really good.

SH: Do you decide the set lists each night on the bus to the next gig or what?

Bent: No... an hour before.

Well, that was it. A great band and a very open conversation. I hope that you have enjoyed it.

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