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!

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!

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!

To Kill A King

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In the middle of the Easter week, on April Fools day, British band To Kill A King visited Oslo. It was the last gig of their European tour, and even though they were pretty exhausted (a couple of the crew were sleeping 10 meters away from the very loud soundcheck when I arrived at the venue), they were super nice and friendly. 

Grabbed a coffee and had a seat outside the venue with vocalist Ralph Pelleymounter and had a nice little chat about music, touring, records and mutual friends. And vans. Like you do. (Don't worry T, the van's in good shape!).

He told me their European tour had been pretty awesome, Germany and Switzerland in particular, whereas they'd been a lot more nervous about the gigs in Sweden and Norway. And, turns out, he had good reason. The Stockholm gig had been "surprisingly not bad" despite not a lot of people showing up, and the Oslo gig... well... Some unfortunate stuff happened, some unfortunate reactions happened, but I like to think that the end of the gig redeemed everyone and that both band and audience left the venue in a good mood and with good memories. Talked to a couple of the guys after the gig and they both assured me they hadn't been scared off of coming back to Oslo, so all is good!

The interview in full (and in English) can be found HERE at Musikknyheter!

Meeting Mew!

A couple of weeks ago, I broke one of my rules. I've always had this thing of not wanting to meet - and certainly not interview - my own idols and heroes. There are several reasons for this, but the most important ones are 1: The risk of making an absolute fool of myself in front of people I have all the respect for, and 2: They might be dicks. I really don't want my idols to turn out to be dicks. And ignorance, in this case, is bliss. So when I was asked - in less than 24 hours' notice - if I wanted to interview Mew, only my number one above any other absolute favourite band (i.e the only band whose logo I could ever imagine tattooing onto my body), my reply was, and I quote: "Djdjdjfjejzkdkwkdk uuuuuuuh... Help!!! Yes, but help, but yes?"

We actually signed a contract in red pen when we first started playing, because we wanted it to look like blood!
— Jonas Bjerre

Less than 24 hours later, I found myself nervously pacing Angst Bar in Oslo, waiting for vocalist Jonas Bjerre and guitarist Bo Madsen to finish the interview they were doing prior to mine. Analysing my own questions ("Are they good enough? Are they too geeky? Is it too obvious that I'm a fan? Is that lame??") when suddenly Mr. Madsen came around the corner, all smiles and greeting me. From thereon out, it was smooth sailing. The fact that they were 10 minutes late for my interview even became a good thing, as they asked if I - if I wasn't busy later - wanted to meet up after their remaining interviews and finish up MY interview before they left for Finland. 

All my fears of meeting these guys were unfounded. I've rarely ever met sweeter, nicer, funnier, more polite and cheekier bands. We discussed new and old music ("An Envoy To The Open Fields was the most difficult song we ever played live. We'd just be standing there counting looking ridiculous"), the return of Johan Wohlert ("He rang us one day and we just: «Don't think so buddy, you backed out! ...Ok, we'll think about it but don't get your hopes up!»"), and the insanely long time between their albums ("I'll give you the release date for the next album right here and now! Exclusively! It will be...") 

When I met them the second time, Bo told me "I'm sorry, I've used up all my funny now", which turned out to not be true at all. We talked about friends' mutual friends ("Black Dick? We always called him Dickward"), and I got to do a mini photo-shoot as well as get a video of them plugging the interview and the website it's featured on. Score!

To read the whole thing, and to get the answer to when the next album will be out, check out Musikknyheter.no! Worry not, it is in English!