- Hi Andy! How do you do? Is everything ok with the Norwegian Winds?
Hi, yes we’re doing great thanks. We’re working on promoting our record and getting it out to people. We have to make sure people get to know about us you know.
- Believe me Andy, you are quite unknown here. This is not because you are a bad band but the audience here seems like sheep when it comes to finding/supporting quality bands! So please introduce Winds to the readers!
We are a Norwegian band with members that also play in other bands. Some of these bands are and have been Arcturus, Mayhem, Kovenant, Khold, etc, but the music we play in Winds is nothing like the music of any of these bands. Winds started out as a side project for most of us but now it’s one of the things we do that we enjoy the most, so it’s been somewhat of a ride. We have released three CDs so far, a MCD called “Of Entity and Mind”, a full length called “Reflections of the I” and our latest, “The Imaginary Direction of Time.”
- “The Imaginary Direction Of Time” is already out. So what can you say about this opus when compared to the earlier ones? And, are you content with the reactions?
We are very happy with both the record and the reactions. It seems that with our third album we’re starting to grow a base of followers who like what we do. It’s really difficult to self-analyze our own releases that much, but we feel the new album is our finest work to date and we’re every proud of it. It also seems that most people agree with us on this opinion.
- You, being the founder of the band, also have a deep background in piano. May I ask, how did your journey begin through this ‘divine’ instrument?
It was from taking piano lessons in my childhood. I then quit for a while and started again. I never viewed myself as an instrumentalist that much, as any instrument is just a tool for me to express the music I write. Deep down I’m a composer. I compose music on strings, piano, guitar, bass and piano, not just one or the other.
- You had also had a side Project called ‘Subterranean Masquerade’. Do you have any side projects at the moment?
First of all Subterranean Masquerade is not my side project, it’s a band that belongs to someone else. I was just hired to do a job, which I did, and I know they’ve done another record since which is not out yet. Regardless, I had nothing to do with it. But I do have another band next to Winds that’s called Age of Silence, which has some of the same members as Winds and some other ones, among other things from Borknagar and Solefald.
- On the other hand, do you think it helps your creativity when you play in some other side projects as well? Or have you ever though that it may have some negative sides when you have to spend some ‘musical’ time apart from your own band? Dont you think that you must be a bit selfish for the sake of your own band?
Believe me when I say that I’ve been plenty selfish. I have been asked to both join bands and do studio work that I have turned down. My main focus is Winds, then Age of Silence, then my solo projects. It’s very rarely that I’ll involve myself in other people’s projects, in fact I have only done it once and that was for Subterranean Masquerade.
- I think I have to admit it; this the first time I have ever interviewed a prog band (actually the term ‘prog’ could be inadequate to define Winds’ musical character) I wonder whether you listen Black metal or other extreme kinds of metal as well?
I don’t think any of us listen to black metal or extreme metal that much, in fact I don’t think any of us listen to music that much to begin with. Jan Axel is the only member in our band with strong ties to extreme metal and even so I don’t think this is the kind of music he listens to all the time. Lars can also listen to some extreme metal on occasions. Carl has never really had much interest for this kind of music as his background is more in prog like you said. But I also agree with you that Winds is not uniquely prog, nor is it classic metal, and it is definitely not extreme metal or gothic metal. It’s something that goes beyond genres.
- And from the prog scene, what are you listening nowadays? I listen some Ark, Beyond Twilight nowadays(..and some other)and really find them fine. And, do you have some recommends for us? They may be new coming bands or from the past which we accidentally skipped?
I actually have a copy of the last Ark album and that’s a very cool album. Jørn Lande is a masterful vocalist and it’s too bad he’s not in the band anymore. I haven’t heard much news about Ark since he left the band but last time I talked to Jørn he was busy with Masterplan. Apart from this I have to mention that Carl is a huge fan of Dream Theater. I don’t listen to much prog personally, nor do I really listen to anything else either. I’m too busy with my own music.
- You are the person who is responsible for the lyrics. What kind of themes you generally employ while composing the Winds’ literary spirit?
It’s all about existence and philosophy pretty much.
- Once I heard that you decided to not to perform live – which I highly appreciate. It is so bad to see some bands playing live in a careless/pseudo way and ruin their musical spirit! I think you must be very careful about live performances – especially when you have such an atmospheric sound. What is your opinion about it? No one has to perform live just for Money or fame or what the fuckin else…
I totally agree with you, and if money was our only motivation we’d be out there playing shows. Touring, without a doubt, increases your sales and exposure by a lot. You can almost not get big if you don’t play live and that’s kind of a shame because our music does not really form well live due to the complex and layered structure of the music. If we were going to play live it would have to be in the right setting and it would have to be with a lot of extra musicians on stage to perform all the parts.
- And about choosing ‘Winds’ as the band name, I think you tried to find something easy at first glance, but deep when you think well on it. Am i right? Moreover, were there any other suggestions for the bands name in the very first days of the band?
There were no other suggestions and the name was in fact almost given to us more than it was chosen by us. This is a long story and not awfully interesting either, but the main reason we are named Winds is because it fits the music and the kind of band we are. It may seem simple but it also depends on what you read into it when you think about it like you said.
- A weird question; Do you know the band ‘Royksopp’from Norway? Do you like their music? I have their ‘Melody A.M’album and really like it…
I have not heard much of their music but I definitely know the name. They were getting very popular for while and won a bunch of awards but lately I haven’t heard much about them. I guess that’s the way it is in the world of popular music. It’s the 15 minutes of fame syndrome.
- Jan Axel von Blomberg (Hellhammer of Mayhem, Arcturus, The Kovenant, Immortal, Troll, Emperor, Age of Silence, Fleurety, Thorns, Mezzerschmitt, Shining, Jorn, Mysticum, Covenant, Ulver, Vidsyn, Eibon, Mortem (Norway), ex Shining) is responsible for the drums in Winds. I think this makes some black metal listeners ‘interested’ in Winds as well, and this can be accepted as a good thing both for you and these mentioned listeners. Why? Because Winds can be considered a new taste for them, and it must be also good for you to gain fans from diverse veins. What do you think about it? Meanwhile, I think you are very satisfied with Jan Axel von Blomberg’s style/contribution to Winds?
His job is very safe, to put it that way, and I think it’s definitely a good thing that our music can appeal to and reach fans of different types of music. But it’s also something we have to be conscious of because we don’t want to give the impression that we are a black metal band, since that is not at all the case. This was somewhat of a problem to begin with because nobody knew what to expect, but it’s not that much of a problem anymore because most people who have heard of us now know what kind of music we play.
- I think it is high time for us to separate sheep from the goats in this scene. There are millions of bands who do not know what they are doing both in terms of ideological aspects and in terms of art. What can you say about today’s scene?
To tell you the truth I really don’t know enough about it to give an educated opinion. I agree that there are a lot of bands out there with ideologies and a way of presenting themselves that I personally think is quite ridiculous. But in those cases I find it more humorous that these people actually take themselves seriously than I find it important to tell them what I actually think about it. I don’t concern myself so much with what other people do as I concern myself with what I do with my own time. I think this is a healthy philosophy.
- Ok, Andy, thanks a lot for your contribution and help. It is time to utter last words, you can close the interview now. I hope I didn’t bore you with my questions!
Not at all, it was my pleasure. Thanks for taking the time to do it and for your interest in our band. This also goes out to everyone else who reads this, and who by now actually bothered to read all the way to the bottom of this interview. Hopefully I have been able to create some interest for checking out our music if you haven’t done so already. It can be ordered at www.theendrecords.com
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