Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Inquisition: 052.SVK

1. How did you came up with the name of the band?

Claus: I think it was Håkon that had the idea originally, it's the title of a childrens book by the author Roald Dahl. In English it's called "The BFG" - The Big Friendly Giant", SVK - Store Vennlige Kjempe in Norwegian. We all thought the mood of the book was a nice fit with our brand of instrumental music. 
Håkon: I think it was Kristian. 
Kristian: Yeah, I think I actually called Håkon a big friendly giant for some reason, and it just went on from there. 

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it? 

Claus: Sometimes one of us will have an idea; a riff, melodic figure or something, and we build on it from there by jamming. But mostly we just start jamming and playing, and see what comes up. Sometimes we'll do some improvisational exercises, just to take us in a different direction. It's very easy to fall into doing the same thing over and over when you're so dependent on improvisation in creative process, and limiting your options within that context can often give a spur of creativity and take you places musically that you otherwise wouldn't have gone. 

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home? 

Claus: I think all of us have a musical taste that is first and foremost characterized by it's variety, not by any predominant genre. That said, I've always had a fondness of music with guitars (surprise-surprise, a guitarist that likes guitars…), but not the flashy Steve Vai-kinda guitarplaying. I'm more into stuff like Built To Spill, Neil Young, Motorpsycho and Wilco. Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarseth has been a pretty heavy influence as well. But I listen to everything from jazz to classical to metal to weird electronic. 
Kristian: As Claus points out we all basically share the fondness of music not really caring about genres. It really changes from week to week, where I can go from metal, rock, ambient and electronica to hiphop, funk and jazz. So pretty much everything as long as it’s good. My main big influences might be stuff like Tool, Mogwai, Motorpsycho, Nils Petter Molvær, Sigur Rós, The Roots, and recently Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds. 
Håkon: Yeah, it’s difficult to categorize personal taste like that. But in terms of what influences might shine through in SVK, I think of ambient/jammy/rocky(?) stuff like Mogwai, Motorpsycho, and maybe Do Make Say Think and Eluvium? Our tastes are pretty diverse, but I think the music we make together is a pretty good indicator as to where our interests converge. 

4. Which is the one album you can't live without? 

Claus: That's an impossible question to answer. I think I'd get sick of any album if I was doomed to listen to just the one. But there are a few albums that keep coming up, again and again. Jeff Buckley - Grace, Mogwai - Young Team and Motorpsycho - Timothys Monster, to name a few. 
Kristian: That’s hard. It would have to be either Tool - Lateralus, Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway or The Avalanches - Since I Left You. 
Håkon: Didn’t It Rain by Song:Ohia, maybe? Jason Molina is probably the one musical influence I wouldn’t live without. 

5. What's the first record you've ever bought? 

Claus: Haha, Iron Maiden - Powerslave. On tape! Bought it a couple of years after it was released, think I got it in -88. 
Kristian: Supergrass - In It for the Money, which I still kinda like. 

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with? 

Claus: Last year we did split gigs with Spurv, Caves of Steel and 1099. All three are great bands and great guys, so I wouldn't mind touring with any of them. Another band I've been into lately is Finnish slugde-doom-drone-guys Mr. Peter Hayden. That would be an awesome band to tour with. 
Kristian: My friend Lars has a band called Blåtime. Other than that maybe Cult of Luna. That would be crazy fun. 

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to? 

Claus: Certainly. But I don't feel we've really gotten any big attention out there. We've gotten a few reviews, and some mentions here and there. A few podcasts have had us on some fairly heavy rotation, so yeah, it all helps. There are just so many bands out there, it's kinda hard to get heard. But you just gotta stay at it. 

8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?

Claus: I don't see the problem in supporting both, at least streaming as a model for distribution. However, I don't think all the services out there now contribute to a fair cash-flow for the artist, or to what's better for music in the long run. 
Håkon: I agree. As an end user I love the likes of Spotify, but as an artist I believe their payment model could be more fair, and do more to promote diversity and creative new voices. 
Kristian: Yeah. Just as a footnote I think streaming is too cheap as it is. 99NOK(13-ish american dollars) a month is not very much for unlimited music, when one single CD often costs more than that. 

9. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years? 

Claus: Somewhat bigger fan base, a couple of more releases under the belt, probably done a couple of European tours. Hopefully, we'll have evolved quite a bit musically as well. 

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era? 

Claus: Yes. 
Kristian: What he said. 

11. What is you favorite album cover? 

Claus: Oooo, that's a tough one. Off the top of my head; Tao of the Dead by …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. They have GREAT artwork.

Kristian: Converge - Axe To Fall has some great artwork. Their vocalist Jacob Bannon makes some amazing stuff.

Håkon: Spirit Animal by Zombi has a pretty great cover.

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format? 

Claus: I think it's human nature, to want to collect and own the things you like and are into in a tangible fashion. As long as music continues to be a very large part of many peoples identity, I think we'll see some sort of artifact-collection connected to it. An iTunes library or a Spotify playlist just doesn't have the same effect as walking into someones home and seeing their record collection. It's much the same with books, I think. Even if we have Kindle and iPads and whatnot, people are still buying books and putting them in shelves (probably even reading them as well). As for what format I prefer; for ease of listening it's streaming, hands down. No contest. For enjoying the full experience (music, artwork, liner notes, lyrics) vinyl is unparallelled. 
Kristian: It might also have something to do with people realizing that with lossless streaming you kind of get the same as you would when buying CDs, at least musically. Vinyl is quite different, so the crowd that likes to buy something tangible and love artwork might turn to vinyl instead. I mostly use lossless streaming, but when I really feel like owning an album I buy the vinyl. I used to buy a lot of CDs but that kind of stopped a couple of years ago. 

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band? 

Claus: For me, the best moments as a band is during improvisation/jamming, when everything just fits, and all of a sudden you become aware of the magic that's happening. That's such an elevating feeling, and deeply terrifying as well. It's kinda like being on the edge of a really tall cliff, it's exhilarating, but your really scared of fucking it up too… One specific great moment was after a show last year. This guy came up to me as we where getting of stage, with tears in his eyes, shook my hand, hugged me, and thanked me for a deeply emotional and profound experience. To be able to stir that kind of emotion in people is a really powerful and humbling thing. 
Håkon: Cramming all our gear in the car, putting Kristian to sleep in the backseat and then driving for about 13 hours straight through the harsh Norwegian winter to go record our album in Copenhagen is a memory that’ll stay with us, I’m sure.

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