There seem to be a very anti-human side to So Much For Nothing. What is it about life that is so bad?
-I’m presuming that you are referring to the lyrics. Most people have both good and bad, lighter and darker sides. My lyrics are created following a train of thought through those bad, darker sides, – based on various experiences made through life, everything from single events, to a general discomfort and pessimistic view of life. I see no reason to why one should have less right to express negative feelings, vs. those happy-go-lucky feelings.
Is the album title “Livsgnist” meant to be ironic? Why a title in Norwegian?
-Yeah, I guess it’s sort of an ironic title, but at the same time it’s not… “Livsgnist” means something like “spark of life”, so I guess it depends on how big this spark is… There’s no specific reason why the title is in Norwegian, it’s just that I think that the word “Livsgnist” sums up the whole album pretty well.
When I listen to the album I get a 3rd and The Mortal/Atrox feeling to your blackened metal. Where do you draw inspiration from musically?
-Black metal and pop music, as well as some movie soundtracks. At least this is what I usually listen to myself. Unlike most others, I don’t listen to bands like Kiss, AC/DC, Metallica or Iron Maiden. It’s either some sort of extreme metal, or it’s not metal at all. However, my all time favourite band will always be Guns n’ Roses!
What is suicidal metal to you? Is there a need to compartmentalize your music for it to be sellable?
-For me it’s not, and I don’t label SMFN as “suicidal black metal” or whatever. But I understand if others do. Yeah, the lyrics might seem a bit depressing, but hey! You can find depressed lyrics in “normal” music as well, without it be labelled as “suicidal” something something… So if I have to put a label to this music myself, I prefer to call it metal-pop/rock. But this is how I will label it. I totally understand if the label compartmentalizes the music with something. If not, I guess that no one would ever check it out, as it (at least so far) appeals mostly to the metal scene, and I guess also this so called “suicidal metal”. Finally, to answer your question about suicidal metal; I usually don’t label music like that, but I understand what you’re looking for. So for me this would be some sort of slow, dark and heavy music, with pessimistic lyrics, thoughts regarding life and death etc. And on top of that, some desperate vocals in one way or the other…
How important are the lyrics to the overall impression? Do they have to have a message for them to work?
-Personally the lyrics are very important to me, but they don’t have a certain message to each and everyone. Like I don’t think U2 will save the world by preach to the audience at a concert, I don’t think I’m in the right position to tell people what to do and stuff like that… But of course, if someone finds them interesting, they might have an impact on certain people, I guess. But they are mostly written for personal reasons, as well as a song need lyrics, right?
Does being Norwegian bring with any sort of positive feedback? Are people more interested because you are Norwegians?
-I think those days are pretty much over, but someone might still check it out just because of where we‘re from, I don’t know.. But SMFN is not a typical metal band, so if people want to check us out because we’re from Norway, they’re in for a big surprise! And I don’t think that we get more positive feedback, in that case it must be because we prove that Norwegians can make stunning music besides black metal!
Do you feel that there is any sort of competition between Norwegian and Swedish metal bands? I can as a Swede sometime feel that the grass is greener on the other side and that I wish that some Norwegian bands where Swedish.
-No, I don’t, and I really don’t care either… But it seems like Sweden have more popular die hard black metal bands than Norway these days. Like Craft, Watain, Marduk etc.
In Norway the grass is green usually for four months, June – September, but I don’t know if it’s greener than in Sweden… I think it’s more or less the same.
What kind of label support would you have had if you’d signed with a Norwegian label compared to being signed to an Italian one? Do you think there?d be any difference in the way you?d be promoted?
-It depends on which label I had signed to. If it had been one of the “bigger ones”, of course it would have been promoted different/better, as they most likely would have had more money to spend on it. But if it had been a small one, I think that the promotion would have been better in Norway, but not outside the border. I’m really satisfied with My Kingdom so far, and I have also made a deal with Patricia Thomas Management which really helps the promotion as well!
How does a Norwegian band end up on an Italian record label? What is it that you expect to get out of this contract?
-Uruz suggested me to contact them as he had been involved with a band before who are signed to the same label and only had good things to say about them. So I sent them an e-mail saying that we had recorded an album and were looking for a label to release it. When the manager heard the songs he offered us a contract right away, as this was one of the best albums he had heard for the last years. At least that’s what he told me… We discussed a couple of things and I found out that we shared the same goals for a new band like this, so I took the chance and signed the papers, and so far I don’t regret it at all! My expectations are not too high, as I’m a realist. I’ve released a couple of albums before with my other band Sarkom, and I know that nothing really changes after releasing an album. But I hope that My Kingdom will do their very best to promote SMFN, so that we at least get some attention around this release!
How will you take So Much For Nothing further ahead now that the album is out?
-Hopefully we will hit the stage soon, as we know a couple of guys who want to join SMFN live, but it depends on what offers we get (if we get any). If we could join a tour as support band for someone more known, that would have been great, but unfortunately this often cost too much. Time will show… Besides that we’re planning to start the recording of our second album this summer. “Livsgnist” was finished more than one and a half year ago, so I’ve had plenty of time writing new material, and at the moment I think I have 8-9 songs finished! It’s to early to talk about any release date, but maybe sometime around winter 2013? Feel free to follow us on www.facebook.com/somuchfornothing and you will get all relevant information over there! Thanks for your time and interest in SMFN! Hope to see you at a concert some day!