[media stories: 2000: english]

From Track Zero with Motorpsycho

Article about the Italian mega-psychonaut Sebasstiano taken from the
Norwegian newspaper
English translation done by Paul Caspers,
as well as the involved picture scans.

(Milano / Pisa / Torino) The Norwegian Motorpsycho have a number of Italian admirers. Aftenposten Aften joined Sebasstiano Varini on a trip to his Motorpsycho concerts number 37, 38 and 39.

  Federica, Sebasstiano and Bent
Silence after the storm. Sebasstiano Varini and Bent Saether have a talk after the band's concert at Bar Rumba C in Torino, where Federica Zamparo also can be seen.
Photos: Kjell Henning Thon

Saturday night, near midnight, and MP just finished their hardrock-track in front of 700-800 eager fans at the club Track Zero - Binaro Zero - in Milano. Vocalist Bent Saether is pissed.
Ingenting funka. Guitarist Snah, drummer Gebhardt and keyboard player Baard Slagsvold agree. The band's dutch soundman Pieter Kloos has hated the club since they arrived.

We won't play here again, was the first thing he said to me in Italy. Outside, the band is receiving presents. Wine, liquor, cakes, pictures, home-made candles, CD'es and lots more. Fans and old friends: Elisa, Betty and Mary are here. Andrea couldn't make it, still dealing with the flu he picked up during the tour's start in Norway last winter.

All friends of MP are friends of mine. Need a place to stay?"asks Elisabetta alias Betty Boop. Of course, she pronounces MP the italian way. Mowtowpsaikow, with the P accentuated. Not far from the others, a shy Italian is standing and waiting respectfully. Sebasstiano "found" MP six years ago at a club near his home town Trieste on the boarder with Slovenia. And saw the light. Grateful Dead always had their Deadheads following the band. MP have their share of Psychonauts.

I learned that concert wasn't very good, but it changed my lifesays Sebasstiano. Sober. I found my band. The next day, Sebasstiano and I travel farther to Pisa and the concert at the Ciak club. Motorpsycho woke up to collective singing outside the tour bus there. The 20-minutes (sic) monster "The Wheel".

Motorpsycho posters in Italy

Check mate. MP took Italy by storm, and the concert at Ciak in Pisa was one of the band's strongest concerts ever.

To me, Bent is like a Beethoven, Antonella says, who has travelled four hours from Rome by train to see the Milano and Pisa gigs. Thankfully, he's not deaf, says Sebasstiano. It's a strange day. The night before, Gebhardt's house in Trondheim fell victim to flames. The concert starts with a 45 minutes of experimenting around the song "Un Chien d'Espace", before the band glides into the more accessible. The audience and the band lift eachother to some of the stongest things I've seen on stage.

I think Italy befits MP. Here, they have the time and the place to experiment without the audience getting restless, Sebasstiano thinks. In the middle of the night, Gebhardt leaves the tour bus with food to the people who started the day with singing "The Wheel". They used up all their money to travel after the band, but are satisfied nonetheless. And very grateful for the food from MP's drummer. I invite Sebasstiano to diner with MP in the wonderful Firenze. Afterwards, he's very moved.

Without you, this never would have happened. I have to thank you again. I was afraid it would be too emotional to sit there and eat together with my band, but I feel I fitted in well, he says afterwards.

People like him make it so easy to continue, says Snah.

He's almost too careful, says Bent.

Bent getting c a k e from Italian fans  
Let them eat cake. In Italy, the band was overloaded with sweet stuff from the fans.

There's nothing careful about Sebasstiano's tour of Europe's roads. He drove to Oslo in his Peugeot 205 GTI. Fifteen of the 38 concerts he's seen, have been in Norway.

I travelled more than 5000 kilomters on that trip. I saw all the MP gigs in Norway last fall.

You're always on the guestlist?

Lucky me.

But you still spend more money on MP than anyone else?
Big smile.

I moved out, but not in. I quit my job. They didn't like it that I was away all the time.

Next year we'll play on Cuba - you're on the guestlist, Sebasstiano, says Bent.

You could drive up to the North Pole, then back down to Florida and swim from there!

MP are on the end of their European tour, from Tromsoe in the north to Pisa in the south. They end at a sold-out Rockefeller sunday. Will we se Sebasstiano in Oslo on sunday?

Nohe insists before we part ways in Italy. But he wasn't going to Torino either. And this article will be sent to Trieste.

I suppose it's in norwegian - I'll have to master that language soon, he says. I'm not sure he's joking.

Kjell Henning Thon