Interview with Jacob Holm-Lupo, White Willow (October 21, 2004)

1. 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 all?

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 Progfest (Los Angeles), NEARfest (Pennsylvania), headlining the Crescendo festival (France) etc.) Lots of line-up changes - we're more a project than a band.

2. 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 settle this?  

3. 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.

4. Where does your inspiration come from, both musically and lyrically?

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.

5. 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.

6. Who has produced and mixed the album, and are you pleased with the end result?

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.

7. 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 the music.

8. 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 yet, though.

9. How do you feel about the co-operation with your label, and are you satisfied?

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.

10. 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 bands?

Jacob - Well, we have our website -, 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.

11. How do you see the progressive rock/progressive metal scene at the moment?

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...

12. 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 thing.

1. Blue Oyster Cult - Secret Treaties
2. King Crimson - Red
3. Genesis - Wind and Wuthering
4. Led Zeppelin - 1st
5. Nick Drake - Pink Moon

A 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

White Willow - Storm Season

Album on The Laser's Edge.

Click on the album cover to see more info on White Willow.