Interview: Kenneth Stallvik of Pånnivågn
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Influenced by friends who started playing music a bit earlier than me. They were planning to start a band, and were missing a bass player. And so it started.
Outside of music I already am working as a Sales Manager in a big company, something I think I would be doing without the music as well.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Spending time with family and friends, and hunting is a huge part of my life. I also like to have some carpenter-projects ongoing at home from time to time. So I think various and busy days influence me in a way to be “open minded” and creative.
How long has your band been around?
The band was founded in 2003 in the little village Follafoss, and it all started with a local talent show. Back then the band members were childhood friends with a common interest in rock music.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Today the band is based in the middle of Norway in the cities of Trondheim and Steinkjer. We’ve got a great music scene here, with famous and big bands such as Motorpsycho and Bokassa and the Godfather of Norwegian Rock, Åge Aleksandersen. One of my neighbors is the one and only Glam, the lead singer in the famous band Wig Wam.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
In 2013 we did a gig at the legendary venue Blæst in Trondheim. For me that is the most memorable show. The concert was (almost) sold out and the crowd went crazy!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We’ve been playing at many different venues, so it's hard to pick a favorite. But I must admit that playing at the rock festival Steinkjerfestivalen in our own hometown was huge and special.
We have a big dream of playing at the Pstereo Festival in Trondheim someday, and maybe play a gig outside of Norway. That would have been awesome!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Oh.. That was a difficult one! Always liked Metallica since I was a little kid, and have also been open to listening to several genres through the years.
So the ticket must have said something like;
Warm up: Pånnivågn
(After-party at a local bar: Chris Stapleton)
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Be prepared that getting into a band who wants to achieve something, and reach out to a bigger audience than just local friends and family, this takes a lot of time and energy.
So make sure you have enough time and energy in your everyday life before you go all in. It’s not that easy to combine music with family and work every day. But it’s real fun when you start climbing the ladders becoming bigger and you're starting to be a band with a known name. Advice to my younger self; Don’t be afraid of testing out several instruments to learn how they are played, so you are able to play out your ideas and compositions in different ways.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Make room for rehearsals every week, and make sure to practice the songs over and over again until all the details are in place.
Don’t stress about making as many songs as possible, focus on quality and be proud of your work.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Must say “Jærv” and “Tung Sekk”. Two totally different songs but the same message in both; Mental health.
Mental health, especially among men, has been something you don’t speak about a lot. Unfortunately this is something many of us have bad experiences with, and it’s time to speak up to be able to help out people who are struggling. Even the toughest guys can go through hard times inside their minds.. (See for example James Hetfield at their latest gig in Brazil).
With these two songs we are trying to enlighten this very important theme.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
In addition to all our newest songs I love to play “Æ breinn” and “Gi faen”. Songs that have a lot of energy live, and that also are showing some of our musical talent in the band.
We often get requests about our oldest songs like “Gommipuppa”, “Sommerpils” and “Ode te Snusen”.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Everyone in the band contributes with both music and lyrics, but the mastermind musically is Ola Årbogen. His flair for good riffs and melodies is unique. In the beginning we were a Nu-Metal band, but over the years we have moved towards the alternative rock scene, with influences from both punk rock, metal and pop music. At first we were inspired by the Swedish band LOK. They were big favorites when we were teenagers. Today we listen to many different bands, and get inspiration from everywhere.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
At the very beginning of our career, there was a lot of shouting, partying and drunken lyrics, but over the years we have become grown ups. Last week we released the EP “Dansen” (“The Dance” in English). In this EP we have lyrics about the war in Ukraine, mental health, working class heroes and our little tribute to the phenomenon Justin Bieber. ;-)
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Yes, all the time. Everyone has an opinion and I think that is a strength for the band. After some arguing, we move on, better than before!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
This summer we will do several rock festivals in Norway. And in September /October we will release our third album. We're looking forward to that!