Posted by Nick Skog on Monday, October 22, 2012 Under: Interviews
netra Interview w. Forbidden Magazine [Issue 3]
October 20, 2012
Steven LeMoan of netra recently answered some questions for the third issue of Forbidden Magazine.
The issue was released on October 20th in PDF format, and will soon be released in physical format as well.
You can read the interview, as well as an album review of Sørbyen here
Thanks for your time!
Thank you !
Tell us about your second full length album, 'Sorbyen'. I undertand it is an area of Norway you recently lived?
Indeed, it is a place that gave me a lot of inspiration. This new album can be seen as a kind of tribute to the time I spent there, but not only. There are a lot of things in "Sørbyen", plenty of emotions, memories, good times, bad times, it's a real slice of life.
What were some of the things you wanted to accomplish with this release? You have such a large variety of instruments and sounds in your work, were there things left unsaid from your first album 'melancholie urbaine'?
I believe that, when releasing a first album, one cannot expect achieving anything "final", there must be things left unsaid, as you put it. I did not impose myself anything special for this release, I just had a few things to take out of my system, including a large variety of emotions, hence a large variety of sounds.
Tell me a little about the cover art...is that you? Where, when, why was that image selected for the cover?
That is me indeed. This picture was taken on the roof of a building in the town of Gjøvik, Norway, during winter 2012. I wanted something... different. Something raw, depicting boredom and most importantly, anchored in everyday's life. It's a way of saying that this is the real me.
With the album taking its name from a place, I must ask, where are you from or currently staying? How much of your previous living areas influenced your work in relation to Norway?
Moving to Norway was a change for me, that is the least I can say. Hard to say which influence it had on my work, especially compared to other places. I'll leave the answer to those who listened to both albums carefully, as I lack of perspective. As for now, I am preparing to move to Germany for a couple of years, and looking forward to this new experience.
I enjoyed your debut full-length, liking it to a movie soundtrack. This album seems to have a great deal more lyrics involved. Why the change?
I really don't know about that. I do like singing, I believe I wanted to make the album somehow more organic, more focused on life.
To build on the last question, if you were to work on a movie score (and maybe you have, forgive my ignorance) and you had a say in the subject matter, what visual images do you feel would best fit your music?
Probably a Michael Mann movie.
There are so many things going on in the music. The opener builds well from a simple beginning into a full black metal attack where as 'a kill for a hug' is a moody piece that brings to mind the Sisters of Mercy. How do you describe your music to a new listener?
I like to think of this album as a mixture of old Burzum and Hooverphonic. That's always the easiest way to describe something, as a mixture of other things, right? In terms of ambiance now, let us consider this: being in a nightclub, having a couple of beers with some friends, drunk, surrounded with people pointlessly dancing like there's no tomorrow, everything suddenly stops around you. The music fades away, your mind collapses and you wonder what the hell you're doing here, like you don't belong with these people, nor with any people for that matter. Now, imagine the soundtrack of this, you'll have a glimpse of what Sørbyen holds.
What are some of the things that influence your music? I noticed a theme with streetlights, urban life, etc. but what about philosophy, art and other music?
Other music? of course, any kind. Philosophy? not really, at least not explicitely. But art, and particularly cinema, definitely! Again, no particular boundaries. Some highlights though: Kounen, Noé, Becker, Mann, Cronenberg,..
How do you feel with netra being a one-man project? Do you have plans of performing live in the future? Why or why not?
I feel great about that. This is freedom. I do whatever I want, whenever I want, it is very comfortable. Therefore, I do not have any plans of performing live for now, but never say never !
This is your second release with Hypnotic Dirge Records, how did this relationship come about and how does your music fit in with the label's roster?
The relationship started simply by me contacting Nick Skog about netra in 2010 or so. He liked it and released it. I think that the label's roster is quite original, it definitely stands out of the usual "depressive black metal" label.
What other projects or releases that you are responsible for should we know about?
I also play the guitar and sing in a rock band called Stangala. It's a totally different business though, it has a lot more to do with Kyuss, Electric Wizard and that kind of heavy, drug-fueled, vintage shit. You can check out our first album on Solitude Productions, and we also have a new video coming out soon, featuring some vintage zombies and stuff.
Are there unreleased tracks recorded that may one day be released by netra? Why or why not?
There is some unreleased material indeed. I don't know yet how this is going to end up. It might turn into new songs or just slip into oblivion, I can't tell right now.
Tell us a little about your recording setup. Do you do it all yourself? What are some of your favorites instruments or pieces of gear?
I do everything by myself indeed. I do not owe so much equipment to be honest, just a customized LesPaul, a Yamaha fretless bass guitar and a 5watts Epiphone combo, very vintage, very cool. A couple of pedals and that's it. I'm really not into buying tons of gear.
What does the immediate future hold for netra? What does the next 5 years hold?
Hard to say, maybe a new album, maybe not.
The last words are yours!
Thank you very much for your questions. Keep supporting Hypnotic Dirge records!
In : Interviews
Tags: netra sørbyen sorbyen melancolie urbaine forbidden magazine records trip-hop alternative burzum hooverphonic experimental black dark metal