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

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.

by:Larm 2016 - a selection of pictures

ARY playing Rockefeller during by:Larm 2016.

Last weekend, the massive music and media festival by:Larm (think a Nordic SXSW) happened in Oslo, Norway, and I worked there as a photographer and concert reviewer. Many amazing gigs were seen, some less good were endured, and I thought I'd share some of the shots here with you. The picture at the top of the page is Norwegian artist ARY, one of the most impressive gigs I saw at the entire festival. Watch out for this girl! 

Check out the gallery below, and as always, click on the thumbnails beneath for full size.



Frank Turner European tour: Germany

I joined Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls on some of their German dates in January, for their gigs in Hannover, Leipzig, Hamburg and Cologne. After a horrendous trip that included freezing at the bus stop, train station and airport in Norway, and then freezing some more at the airport, train station, another train station and then yet another train station in Germany, I finally made it to the venue - which had the most epic backstage bathroom ever! There's basically two things that Germans really do awesomely when it comes to gigs, it's the look of the venues themselves, and the backstages! All the venues the guys played in (that I came along to) were so industrial and awesome, I couldn't stop taking pictures.

The next day we got on a train to Leipzig and slept the entire way. Since it was the boys' day off, we "slugged it" the entire day, only went out for sushi and to do some shopping. As always I failed miserably at the shopping bit, but at least I got to be a unicorn for a few seconds!

 

Leipzig was another amazing venue, and the gig there was on my birthdaaaay!! I got this lovely bouquet of flowers backstage, and a friend came up from Berlin to join in the celebration which was very nice! 

The gig was great (as per usual), and I got two birthday wishes from the stage which was quite overwhelming since I didn't even expect one! Was considering crawling under the sound-desk and hiding and then remembered that no-one knew who they were talking about anyway so all was good! 

After Leipzig I took a little break from the tour, before re-joining in Hamburg a couple of weeks later. I fell in love with Hamburg the last time we were there, and the city didn't disappoint this time either. The boys had two gigs there, both sold out, and again, the venue was amazing! 

The second day there we met an amazing kid, who contacted Powell a while ago, asking if he could use a picture of him on his wheelchair. Of course he was allowed, and a few months later, we received pictures of the chair, which looked awesome. The boy, Sixten, is a massive fan of Frank and the Sleeping Souls, and his mom drove him and his brother down from Lübeck to meet his big idols. As a special treat, they were invited along to the soundcheck, and they got to meet face to face. The whole thing was the most joyful moments I've witnessed in a very very long time, and I may not ever have seen happier faces than theirs, when they could have a little chat before the day continued.

Awesome boys and awesome wheelchair.

Since we had a few days in Hamburg we had time to walk around for a bit, and all fell in love with the miniature museum where you could see the world in tiiiiiny scale. Even Scandinavia was represented, but my favourite was probably this massive (and yet mini) festival! We spent a few hours there, tried to do some shopping again - and failed miserably again, and then went back for the next show. The first Hamburg show pretty much killed us girls, the venue had the heaters on the entire time, and we were standing right by them, getting cooked both nights. We had to get out every now and then just to breathe, so it's safe to say they were totally hot gigs. Like, literally. 

Cologne was yet another awesome venue (the best one yet) and the biggest one of the tour. The last time we were there the boys played across the street at E-werk, and this time it was the Palladium. It. was. AWESOOOME!! 

Laura Kampf, who made the light boxes the band uses on stage, came over to say hello again, which was lovely!  We didn't spend a lot of time in Cologne, coming in the same day as the gig and leaving less than 15 minutes after the gig ended, but I got some great shots of the gig, so check them - as well as more pictures from the other gigs - out in the gallery (for bigger versions, click on the thumbnails underneath the gallery):





I met 90s heroes Suede!

A couple of months ago, I found out that 90s heroes Suede were releasing a new album and an accompanying film, and were going to have a pre-screening + Q&A in Oslo a few months before the actual release. I hurried online to ask if I could possibly be at the pre-screening, and a few minutes later I'd secured a spot! Not only that, but the label representative also wondered if I would like to interview the guys the following day! After a few moments of panic I decided that I couldn't NOT do it, so I said yes. Of course!

The Q&A took place the day after I got home from a tourbus in the UK, and I was pretty ill with a so-called "tour lurgy". Still, I showed up at the cinema and had a lovely time watching the film. The Brett Anderson and bassist Mat Osman came in after the film was done, and I was worried they hadn't fed us Norwegians enough alcohol to dare ask questions in plenum, but it all went smoothly. I asked a question - despite not having the healthiest sounding voice in the world, and was complimented on the question from both band and fans. Also had a quick banter with Osman afterwards, and told them I'd see them the next day. 

Waking up the next day however, I had a fever, was coughing my lungs out and had practically no voice. I called friends and my boyfriend all morning croaking like a crow trying to soften my voice up before the interview, but to no avail. When I showed up at posh hotel The Thief and got to their suite, I was a bit worried they'd throw me out for being contagious, but it turned out they were feeling pretty rough themselves.

The interview itself was fun doing, they're lovely guys and we spent just as much time talking about troublesome hotel technology vs troublesome tourbus technology and music in general as we did about their projects. We spent a lot of time talking about the film they've made for the new album, a film shot by photographer Roger Sargent, and entirely his experience and interpretation of the music. I mentioned that I found it weird how - when I got the album sample from their record label a few days earlier - the gapless songs still had gaps between them, which made Mat shoot up from the sofa and run over to the label representatives to interrogate them - this was not how it was meant to be at all! 3 Points to the observant journalist, haha. 

After the interview I shot some portraits of Brett, said my goodbyes, and then hurried home and back to bed to get better. Now, a few months later, I'm off to see the actual gig, with the film the way it's ACTUALLY meant to be screened - in front of the band on stage. Should be very interesting indeed! The interview I did with the guys is available to read HEREat Musikknyheter.no. It's in English with a link to the Norwegian version for those who'd want that. Enjoy!