Hi, first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album.
To new fans could your please fill us in on the history behind it
Jacob - Thanks.
We started out in 1993 and released our first album in 1995
("Ignis Fatuus"). Back then we were playing a mixture of
folk music and symphonic rock. Lots of flutes, violins, acoustic
guitars and mellotrons. The second album came out in 1998
("Ex Tenebris") and was a bit darker and sparser. "Sacrament"
came in 2000 and was pretty much a full-blown symphonic rock
album. In between we've toured a bit, done a few festivals
(Los Angeles), NEARfest (Pennsylvania), headlining the Crescendo
festival (France) etc.) Lots of line-up changes - we're more a
project than a band.
How has your new album been received by the media?
Jacob - All
over "Storm Season" has been received as our best album
yet, and contender for album of the year in several magazines, so
we're very happy about that. But your review... "boring and
meaningless"... did you even listen? Wanna step outside and
I know artists are not happy to categorize their music, but how
would you describe your music to an outsider?
Jacob - We
started out as folky progressive - these days I guess we're a
mixture of prog, post-rock
and hard rock... or something like that. But always with
songwriting and melody as our main focus.
Where does your inspiration come from, both musically and
Jacob - I
can be inspired by anything from a certain quality of light in the
evening, to a song I hear on the radio, to some sort of emotional
turmoil I'm going through. If anything moves me in a particular
way, it eventually turns into a song.
What topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?
Jacob - On
"Storm Season" the theme is emotional turbulence,
extreme states of mind. The weather - storms, climate changes -
functions as a metaphor for inner states.
Who has produced and mixed the album, and are you pleased with the
Jacob - I'm
the producer, and the mixing was done by me and our engineer,
Oystein Vesaas. We were going for a much thicker, denser sound
than on our previous records, and also with more of a live feel. I
feel like we've accomplished that.
Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to
have a great cover?
Jacob - The
artwork is by a German artist, Bjoern at Killustrations. The
visuals have always been important to us, and this time we needed
something that would underline the dense and intense atmosphere of
Do you have any touring plans?
Jacob - We'll
probably be playing in the US and the Continent in the course of
the winter and spring - and possibly Japan. I can't give any dates
How do you feel about the co-operation with your label, and are
Jacob - We've
always been very happy about The Laser's Edge. Ken Golden, who
runs it, is genuinely interested in music, and has very high
standards in terms of production values and packaging and such.
And he gives us a decent budget to work with.
The internet is a very important source for many music fans - how
do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other
Jacob - Well,
we have our website - www.whitewillow.net, where we interact with
fans, which is really nice. And ouf course there is a
proliferation of webzines now that review niche music (like your
website), so there's plenty of action out there. I think the
Internet is especially important for non-mainstream music, in
terms of spreading the word.
How do you see the progressive rock/progressive metal scene at the
Jacob - In
Norway it's certainly very vital right now. We have Circles End,
Anti-Depressive Delivery, and now I'm in the studio, helping out
with Wobbler, a very talented young progressive band, who will be releasing their debut soon. It's a good time for prog in Norway. I
don't know about the rest of the world...
To finish things off - could you pls. make a all-time Top 5 or
sort of the 5 most important albums in your opinion?
Jacob - Sure
Blue Oyster Cult - Secret Treaties
King Crimson - Red
Genesis - Wind and Wuthering
Led Zeppelin - 1st
Nick Drake - Pink Moon
huge thanx for Norway's No. 1 prog.metal band for this interview
and do check out their album out now on The Laser's Edge