Blog

A peek behind the scenes of interviews, photoshoots and tours.

Two new interviews are up: Laura Jane Grace, and Dropkick Murphys

Al Barr and Tim Brennan from Dropkick Murphys, London, January 2017. Photo: Alyssa Nilsen

Al Barr and Tim Brennan from Dropkick Murphys, London, January 2017. Photo: Alyssa Nilsen

Finally getting time to updated the website and blog again! This winter has been insanely busy, but sun has come out and days have grown longer, so I've got more energy to do this kind of stuff! This time, I've added one old and one recent interview:

Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! in Oslo, Norway. April 2015.

The old one is an interview + photo shoot I did with Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace back in 2015, when they visited Oslo on their last tour. It was a really good interview, I was baffled by how open she was about her life and experiences, and have so much respect for her it almost made me a bit starstruck. You can find the interview HERE.

The recent one is an interview I did with Dropkick Murphys' Al Barr and Tim Brennan in London a few months ago. Their brilliant new album is out now, and we had a nice little chat about the issues inspiring the album, their 20 years together as a band, and - of course - about Norway. The interview can be found HERE!

Enjoy!

Ameeeericaaaaaaa

On tour with Flogging Molly and Frank Turner

Flogging Molly live at Red Rocks, 2016.

Flogging Molly live at Red Rocks, 2016.

This post was supposed to be posted half a year ago, but for reasons unknown even to me, it was abandoned in a half-finished state. So instead, as the biggest throwback ever, I'm gonna attempt to finish and post it now. Enjoy!

In August, I was lucky enough to join the guys on the road in America once more, this time touring with the fab Flogging Molly as well. I joined the guys in Oakland, San Fransisco, and had two days to just walk around and do sightseeing, which was pretty great. We were very lucky with the weather, thought it was disappointingly chilly. I thought you were supposed to be in California!! Shows how much a Scandi knows about the different weather conditions in one state. 

Oh, and it was somewhat windy...

But my favourite thing about San Fransisco (except having the theme song to Full House stuck in my head for two days straight), was Lombard Street with its twists and turns. So cool!! At the end of our two Oakland/San Fransisco days, the boys performed at a venue in Oakland which was beyond amazing looking. It was pretttty spectacular! 

From Oakland we drove through California, and visited some spectacular places. I tried all the greasy american food that we literally can't get in Norway because it's too unhealthy, and didn't die! But then again, 10 days....

Breakfast is served!

Breakfast is served!

Even had the time to go by Santa Barbara beach and wave to the lifeguards and have a swim in the sea. WHICH WAS FREEZING BTW, WTF CALIFORNIA!? And also saw the Stand By Me boys. They've grown up, but are still walking along the railroads. 

In San Diego, we visited the university where the band was playing that evening, (and it made me question every single educational choice I've ever made in my entire life because IMAGINE STUDYING IN A PLACE WITH THAT KIND OF CLIMATE)! 

Red Rocks was, of course, the highlight of the trip/year/decade/life, I can't even begin to describe it so pictures!

The rest of the trip kind of went by in a blur, though we went through some super charming places. I fell oddly in love with Cedar City where we stopped over for a day, before heading into Nebraska. There I got to see fireflies for the first time in my life!!

After that, it was sadly time to go home. And the nightmare trip I had that was well and truly documented in my previous post, so I'm not gonna get into that again haha. It was all totally worth it! Flu and all!

Minneapolis -> Oslo - A travel nightmare

Just got back from an AMAZING trip around parts of America, about which I will post pictures and stories later. But first, my nightmarish trip back home. See, getting home from Minneapolis was supposed to be easy. A 5 hour flight to Iceland, and then another 3 hours' flight to Oslo. HAHAHAHA no.

Sat on the plane on the runway and all hell breaks loose above. Got a warning of spring flood on my phone, lightning every two seconds and torrential rain. Airport shut down before the plane had time to get back, couldn't take off, so they had to turn the engines off and wait it out. For a couple of hours. Finally managed to take off, and landed at Keflavik at 8 in the morning, half an hour after my connecting flight had left. And as for a new flight? 6 pm! 10 hours later! With SAS, because all the other flights to Norway (which left several hours earlier) were full. Aaaargh! And apparently they had no available hotel rooms, so had to get my bags out, and check them back in. 

photo: www.sleepinginairports.net/

photo: www.sleepinginairports.net/

Except check in didn't open until 4 pm. Which meant 8 hours in the check-in hall, sat on my luggage, trying desperately not to fall asleep since, infamously, this is strictly forbidden at Keflavik. Warning signs like these are found everywhere, and legends tell of guards kicking people awake to reinforce this.

Trying to find comfortable places (and company) to sit (not around large groups of tourists, drunk men or sliding doors letting the freezing Icelandic air in) proved a challenge and I've now seen way more of that hall than I ever wished to. I got food vouchers worth a lot of money, but they were only valid in the departure area. Which was out of my reach for all of those 8 hours

Of course.

My view for large portions of the day.

My view for large portions of the day.

At last check in opened (and I was helped by a guy so kind and friendly I teared up of exhaustion and relief) and for two glorious hours I was in departure hall heaven, with restaurants (that closed halfway through my stay), proper toilets, heating and seats! Proper seats!! No sleep though, I was too busy trying to make people accept my vouchers and get enough food to last me the rest of the trip.

Got on the plane, and half an hour after we were supposed to lift off, we were told they had trouble closing the cargo door. Like you do. To make things better, the trip was only just over 2 hours, which almost made me cry of happiness again. Got to Oslo, and couldn't find my luggage! Inexplicably, it had been taken off the baggage carousel and stashed nearby with no message. Locating this, meant missing my bus home. So had to do trains, then run to my local bus with two bags, backpack and purse dangling from arms and shoulders. Hello astma! Finally walked through the door at home 26 hours after I got in an Uber in Minnesota, and 14 hours after I was originally meant to be home. I lost a whole day in the process. Left Wednesday, got home Friday. This was supposed to be easy! But, to be fair, the trip to Red Rocks alone made it aaaaaall worth it. The rest of the tour was a pretty decent bonus as well.

Now, sleep. And sleep. And more sleep. Goodnight! 

I met Biffy Clyro!

The first time I heard Biffy Clyro was when they released Mountains back in 2008, and instantly loved the music. Two years later, I met a family who are now some of my best friends through the band, when we were all waiting in a staircase up to a TV studio where Biffy were doing an acoustic concert. Fast forward 6 years, and I've seen the band live numerous times (most of them in Norway, they just keep coming back!), both their own headline gigs, supporting other bands, and at festivals. So when Warner contacted me and asked me if I'd like to interview the guys in London, I replied YES within 2 minutes of getting the mail.

A rainy day in May I went to the Warner HQ in London, and waited around for a bit in the canteen while they finished up other interviews and lunch. I was then lead into the room, and the next half hour consisted of cheerful giggles and jokes. The guys are obviously still the best of friends, teasing each other, roaring with laughter, and seemingly just as interested in hearing about my life as I was in hearing about theirs. Those kinds of interviews are by far the best ones, where conversation flows naturally back and forth, rather than becoming stilted question/answer interviews. 

Time flew by way way too fast, I managed to ask about 4 out of 15 questions, and then it was time for a mini photoshoot before I left them to their next interview. The photoshoot was just as cheerful - as you can see from the photos - and they were very amused when I pointed out the common theme in their clothing: their sneakers. Very well coordinated guys!

I was wondering if I'd get at all starstruck upon meeting them, but they made it very easy not to be. Just three, extraordinarily nice Scottish guys, so open and welcoming, as well as professional and easy to work with. It's always scary to work with people you admire. If they're dicks, they ruin your respect for their art as well. But then there are the opposite ones, who are everything you wish them to be, and more. Biffy Clyro are definitely the latter. 

You can read the entire interview here.

Oh, and their new album? It's bloody fantastic!! You can all look forward to July 10th!

2016, the year of Crazy.

It's been a while since I updated this blog. Partly because I've been too busy. Partly because I haven't really known what to write and what to leave out. 

This spring got a bit crazy. Not only have I traveled more than my health technically allows, but when I've been home, there has been non-stop action with work and other activities. In March, I managed to make headlines in Norwegian national newspapers, having outed some rock bands/artists on sexual harassment. I wrote a post on facebook, as a comment on this Spin-article. I wrote as a support to the author, and mentioned my own experiences as a female music journalist, and the next day, one of the biggest Norwegian newspapers rang me up as I was on my way to the airport. They wanted to run a story on it. I accepted - having conferred with many female friends who backed me up - on the condition that I got to check quotes and facts before it was published. That day was spent on the phone and mail with them, with record companies who called me saying the newspaper had called them, and it all got a bit nuts. That was before the article was even posted. 

Screenshot of the article.

Then, the next day when the article DID go online, things really got crazy. I refused to visit any comment fields or read anything other than actual articles - for the sake of my own self esteem and sanity - knowing all too well that the trolls living in the depths of internet's dark ponds have absolutely nothing to do with me, my story, my experiences or anything even slightly related to it. And thus, have nothing to contribute with. I still know that I'm easily hurt, and chose to stay away. Which, according to friends, was a wise move. They, however, did stick up for me. The number of supporting mails, texts, comments on my facebook profile, on the article when people shared it and people commenting on their shared articles, were overwhelming and comforting. A few days later, the newspaper followed up with another article on the subject, having interviewed several more women in different parts of the industry, who confirmed my experiences, shared theirs, and cheered me on. It's such a common thing, and this is the first people have heard, read, and talked about it in a long long time. Maybe ever. And the stories just kept coming. Another story followed a week later, and eventually it all died down. Nothing's changed, probably. It will still happen, definitely. But now, people might be a little bit more prepared and aware. And if that's the case, then it was all worth it.