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!

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!

Frank Turner UK Tour 2015 - part II

I rejoined last year's Frank Turner UK tour in Bristol, and figured I'd share some more pictures. It was a very nice few days and my parents even came out for the Alexandra Palace show, which was very nice. 

 

First up was Bristol which I fell a little bit in love with, and where I spent hours walking around in the cold looking at street art. Some of the band and crew had fun go-carting on their day off, and effectively looked like bank robbers.

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In Manchester it rained and rained and rained, but that didn't stop me from walking for hours there as well. When I'd finished my walks there, I had water pouring out of my shoes and had to borrow a pair twice my size which made my feet look MASSIVE. Really liked Manchester as well, but need to go back some time when it's a bit warmer, and see some more places! But when I came back to the venue, we'd gotten these lovely cakes courtesy of Mark McCabe! I was so excited for the prospect of sugar my hands were shaking when I took the picture! 

 

Some bloke borrowed my camera backstage, and took this picture of me - and then this selfie:

Vaughn Harvey and Dylan Barnes are two of my favourite people, and the guys responsible for keeping the band fed on the road during UK tours.

 

Last up on the tour was the homecoming gig at London's Alexandra Palace, which was by far the biggest venue of the tour. The insanely impressive building towering over London is not only a concert venue but also has skating rinks and exhibitions etc, and was a massive and beautiful palace! The view from the stage - to be honest - was pretty daunting!

 

The show was a massive success, and the boys could wrap up another tour with a smile on their faces! To see more pictures from all three cities, check out the gallery below!

Next up, Manchester!

Frank Turner UK Tour 2015 - part I

After nearly two months in America, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls had as much as 36 hours at home (at least the lucky ones) to recover before heading out on the month long UK tour. I joined them for the first 3 dates in Wales and Southampton, and got to catch a glimpse of the new stage set at the first soundcheck. The awesome light boxes featuring the plus and minus from the album-cover, are designed by Laura Kampf, and light up in different colours throughout the gig.

Llandudno, our first stop, was this lovely coastal place with a pier and long beaches. Unfortunately the weather scared us inside, but managed to snap a few shots before having to escape back to the venue to save my camera from the rain (as per usual, most pictures are clickable for bigger versions):

 

After a sleepy overnight drive to Southampton, we found ourselves in even worse weather, so the next couple of days were mostly spent indoors. Managed to do some Christmas shopping and was very pleased with myself, it IS only November after all. Oddly enough, in our double bed hotel room there was a spare single bed and this note... I'm only half convinced it was a coincidence... 

 

A pleasant surprise met us at the Civic Center venue, our friend Tim Omundson had gone on a very crowded train to join the tour for a few days, being a massive Frank Turner fan. So lovely meeting him again, especially in warmer and dryer surroundings than last time. Oh the glamour of backstage dining:

Tim Omundson and Nigel Powell

Tim Omundson, Nigel Powell and Frank Turner

Ben Morse, Matt Nasir and Tim Omundson being onstage paparazzi.

Found a ghost boy!

Tim Omundson waiting to go onstage in Southampton

 

The Southampton shows were great fun, good crowds and good company, with lots of friends and family driving in from all over. Tim got on stage and played harmonica on "I Still Believe" again, which was VERY popular among the audience! Managed to catch his bit (and the rest of the song) on video, check it out here:

 

More backstage "glamour": This is what one looks like after nights on a bus and days in different venues, at least before makeup and fancy clothes happens when it's gig time. Some day I'm pretty sure I'll end up with one single dreadlock. Thank god for hoodies, eh?

After the Southampton gigs I had to go home, but will be rejoining in Bristol. Until then, work, work, and more work.

Laura Jane Grace and Against Me!

Laura Jane Grace

I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, interviewing heroes is SCARY! Not only because you worry they'll turn out to be horrible people when you meet them in person, but there's also the highly plausible possibility of making a complete and utter fool of oneself when facing them. Stumbling, stuttering, forgetting one's name, asking stupid questions, being unintentionally rude, fangirling.. there's no end to the humiliating possibilities. I'm not normally too socially awkward, but when facing people I admire, I turn into bloody Mr. Bean.

Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! is one of the people I admire to the level of becoming sosial awkward. She has taken a subject often viewed as scary and shameful, and have helped make it something those affected can be proud, open and honest about. AND she makes awesome music. What's not to admire? Cue, Mr. Bean!

Interviewing Laura got off to the worst possible start when all the buses in the city decided to be half an hour late. When I realised there was no possible way I could make it downtown on public transportation, I phoned for a taxi - which then decided to also be 20 minutes late AND drive to the wrong pick-up point. Finally made it in to the venue ten minutes late. It was no problem in the end, but as far as good first impressions go, this was definitely not one of them.

Laura turned out to be a totally lovely human being, and the interview flew by in seconds, and in the end we were joined by bassist Inge Johansson, a Swede who lives in Norway, which was really nice. Had a tiny chat with Laura post photoshoot about the venue, an old swimming pool which has been converted to a concert hall, and then it was time to leave them alone. I really do need to stop stressing about these things and people. 

The full interview (in English) can be found here, at Musikknyheter!