Interview: Leprous

vom 2. August 2013 beim Wacken Open Air, Wacken
Die Jungs von der norwegischen Progressive Metal-Band Leprous haben sich im Jahre 2001 gegründet und konnten Anno 2013 unter dem Titel "Coal" ihr bisher drittes Album veröffentlichen. Um ein wenig über die von den Fans hervorragend aufgenommene Scheibe zu plaudern, trafen wir uns mit Gitarrist Tor Oddmund Suhrke, dem Keyboarder und Sänger Einar Solberg und auch dem zweiten Gitarrsten Øystein Landsverk auf dem Wacken Open Air 2013.
Dort berichteten sie uns von den Schwierigkeiten und dem Druck, denen man sich stellen muss, wenn ein Album gut bei Presse und Fans ankommt und man dann einen Nachfolger für die Scheibe produzieren will. Aber natürlich geben sie uns auch einen Einblick in die womöglich Weiterentwicklung ihres eigenen Sounds.
Außerdem berichtet uns die Truppe, was für die nahe und ferne Zukunft so ansteht und wohin die Musik sie noch geografisch tragen wird. Mehr dazu im Interview.
Viel Spaß beim Lesen!

The Interview:

Adrian: Hello, this is Metal Trails and today we are at the Wacken and talking to Leprous, a norwegian band. I sit next to Einar, Tor and Oystein. Let's start! How are you doing, do you like it here?
All together: We are doing well!
Einar: It's very hot here, I like that, because I prefer it to rain. I always like it.
Adrian: Especially because in Norway it's rather cool I guess!
Einar: Actually it's not that cold, it's really warm there in summer, July was a really hot month.
Adrian: Would you say that the Wacken is the biggest festival you ever played at?
Tor: Well, we played many festivals before and some of them were really big, but yeah, I think the Wacken is the biggest yet!
Adrian: So when are you scheduled?
Tor: We are scheduled two times today, the first time at the True Metal Stage and the second time at the Headbangers Stage.
Adrian: Wow, that's a very big stage, have fun! Let's talk a bit about the band's history. You started back in 2001, released three records, the last one in may. Are you satisfied with this record, what was the fans' reaction?
Einar: Well, there are always fans that like the older records bette than the newer ones. Our fans come to our shows, but they always have to critisize something. But if they come, they have to like it I guess (laughs). I'm really satisfied with our new record and I think most of our fans are too. I didn't hear of many complains!
Oystein: But it's always the same matter with new records: They are different to the previous ones! Styles change, so the records always fit to other people. You can't satisfy every listener. There are too different expectations, so the only thing you can do is simply not to think about them, to forget them. I mean, we are still the same guys and we are fine with that. We will keep on trying to release the bet stuff as possible!
Einar: It's really interesting considering the different reactions. Our last album was received really well, that made it difficult to do a follow up. It's easier doing different albums, you reach different fans and you continue on your way as a musician, you simply get better.
Adrian: I imagine it that way: If you release a really good record, the fans want a new one that sounds exactly the same
Tor: Yeah, absolutely! Well, I think actually they don't want the same record again, they just think they do. For us that would be really some kind of fake record. We are at a different stage than some time ago, we have evolved, we are matured. It's the same kind with our music. And the fans wouldn't feel the same with another record in that direction, it depends of your social state and things like that.
Einar: What I also heard: Some fans told me that at the first listen they didn't like the record at all, but after another five listens they suddenly thought it was their favorite record. A little bit strange, why do you listen to it again if you don't like it the first time (laughs). But this says that it is a record that grows with every listening, you always realize something new. I'm fine with that!
Oystein: For me it's that way: On the older records we tried things out and with time we always got better! On our previous record we tried to play the best as we can and write the best music. We don't need to play as difficult as possible every time.
Adrian: Do you have any certain methods of composing?
Einar: For composing I need to sit down. Then I create it within five minutes or I don't create it. This is the basic idea I need. This basic idea gets worked out, for example with piano or something like that. Sometimes I just sing it. I would also create a riff in my head and try to get it out.
Tor: This is a good explanation for how we are working. We are working with moods and things like that, it's not about creating a big guitar riff or something like that. This is the first stage. Then we progress around that.
Einar: Sometimes I'm also uncomfortable with stage one, you sit there and try to get something out. That doesn't work, you will get only crap out of that. Nonetheless I save my ideas and try to get them better later and once bring them to rehearsal.
Oystein: A really important thing is also recognizing a good idea, not just creating it. This is a thing I feel we are getting much better with nowadays. And of course it's obligatory that you are able to accept that one idea of yours is maybe not that good. For example you think that you wrote something really good and then you ask the others and they are against it. And then you ask something from outside the band and that guy also says "Nah", you have to say "Okay" and go on.
Adrian: What is if one of you doesn't like it?
Einar: This happens from time to time! Our drummer won't like anything that isn't dirty enough. For that we have a band democracy. If the most of us share the opinion that we should try out we are going to do that. But if someone is completely against it, it is difficult to do it. Sometimes we think we wrote a perfect song and then our producers come and say no. (laughs)
It's rather a difficult thing coming up with new music.
Oystein: We threw away like three or four songs!
Adrian: In my opinion it's much better focusing on quality than on quantity, so i guess we have the same attitude here...
Einar: Oh yeah, that's true! We don't want to have the fans thinking "I like the first three songs, but the others are not that good."
Tor: We take a long time on trying out different things with the playlist, we want to find the best possibility, what fits the best and so on. On our new record it's really interesting, because the only really hard song is the last one.
Einar: For me it's the perfect ending (laughs).
Adrian: Do you plan to change your sound?
Oystein: We don't plan that much, if you have an idea you know what direction it will take. But every song is different. Right now I have an idea of what our new record could sound like, but in the end we don't know what will happen.
Einar: Sometimes I have a great idea and rush home to record it, but then it is nothing. Sometimes you sit there and do nothing, but then you have a good idea out of the sudden.
Oystein: This time people from the outside came and advised us not to include some of our new songs on the record, they said "Your fans won't like that" and thinks like that, "They won't understand it". But then we ended up doing it, and we are fine with it. You can realize that in the coverart, where it is shown a bit different.
The tourmanager comes in to finish the interview.
Adrian: Well, I have to find a last question... What are your future plans?
Tor: Right now we will be touring Europe, we will also come to Frankfurt. We will play some other gigs here and then we will go over to Japan and play there. By the end of the year we will return to Germany to play some more shows, in Hamburg and Essen I think. After that we will tour Scandinavia and the Baltic States, Russia and Eastern Europe with the Czech Republic and Romania, also nearly all of Europe. Next year some other places we haven't been to yet.
Adrian: Sounds nice! Do you want to say something to your fans?
All together: Yeah, come and see us in Europe, we will be at many places. There's no excuse! (laughs)
Check out three to four shows and come, we don't expect five. (laughs) Bring ten friends, next year we will return with more music!
Adrian: Thank you very much for giving us your time!
Moderation: Adrian Erben

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