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Interview with Solnedgang
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music has always been around, my parents used to play music around the house and they both have quite varied tastes so I was exposed to a lot of different music early on. A fair bit of instrumental music as well (my dad is a big fan of the Shadows), so that’s probably where my love for instrumental music started. I can’t really imagine not being into music so that’s hard to answer, but I’d definitely be doing something creative.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I’m a full-time graphic designer and if I’m not working on something creative I get very restless. Music definitely influences my visual work, and vice versa. To me they are very linked.
How long has your band been around?
Just under a year now. I’ve been playing guitar for ages, but found myself playing less and less until I bought a new guitar last year and got back into it. I subsequently bought several more guitars and pedals and now I’m just struggling to choose which guitar to play…
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m based in London, but from Norway originally. Naturally Black Metal is a big influence because of my background, but growing up I would listen to all kinds of music, and being based in London there is just so much going on all the time so I’m exposed to a lot of different music and other influences.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Solnedgang means sunset in Norwegian, and while sunsets are beautiful they also symbolise something ending, which I find quite fitting as this contrast of darkness and light is something I try to create in my music.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I don’t really play live so haven’t got any shows of my own to talk about, but the most memorable I’ve been to was probably Radiohead at the Roundhouse in London a few years ago. It was amazing to see the band at such a small (relatively speaking) venue at this stage in their career.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
If I do play live I’d love to play Islington Assembly Hall, as it’s such a great building. I live just a short walk from Brixton Academy, so that would be amazing as well. Hopefully they are able to reopen soon!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Good question! I think it would have to be a bit of a mix of genres, but Enslaved, The Ocean, Mastodon, Radiohead and The Cure would be pretty great! And Solnedgang of course, though I think I’d have to settle for the opening slot.
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?
Patience! Keep working on songs, record them, and then work on them some more.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Just to keep going, trust your instincts and don’t fear rejection.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
There’s a song called ‘Lament’ which will be on the album which holds a special significance to me as it was written shortly after both my cousin and uncle passed away within a couple of days, in totally unrelated circumstances. I wrote that as a way to deal with my grief so that’s a very special one to me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
None of my songs have been written with playing live in mind, but there’s a track called ‘Folkvang’ which is fairly slow and very noisy so I think that would be the most fun to play live.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
It all starts with a riff of some sort, usually a fairly simple, rhythmic one, and I usually record that and just improvise over it. I then start thinking about it more conceptually, and see if there’s a story to tell. At the moment I’m focusing on Norse mythology as an overarching concept for the album so that inspires me as well, at least in the final stages of finishing a song, thinking about how it fits into the narrative of the album.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I like the idea that people can make up their own meaning, and this is obviously much easier with instrumental music. I’m inspired by mythology and religion, even though I’m an agnostic, and the relationship between humans and the idea of god(s).
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Being a one-man band means there are no disagreements thankfully!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I’m planning one more single before the album comes out later in the year. In the meantime, please check out ‘Nornir’ (available on Bandcamp and all the usual streaming platforms), and I’ve also got some t-shirts for sale on Bandcamp now so please have a look at those as well: