[media stories: 2003: norwegian]

Bent slams by:Larm
and the music industry

Interview with Bent about Norwegian music
fair by:Larm and the music industry in general
taken from the Norwegian e-zine
BALLADE, 2003-01-21.
English translation provided by Gillian.

Bent from Motorpsycho - 2003
... as seen in Ballade, the e-zine of the Norwegian music information center (MIC)
Bent Sæther is merciless in his criticism
of the music industry. Not only has he decided to boycott the entire by:Larm arrangement in Trondheim, he has also hit out against the industry with the following volley: I detest all such arrangements. In my opinion they are nothing but cattle markets for the record companies / management / press and all those other parasites who are out to make money. They are characterized by a back-slapping, buddy-buddy vibe which is as sickening as it is dishonest. His advice to artists taking part in by:Larm is: Trust no-one you meet at these arrangements.

Bent's comments can be read in by:Larm's own festival newspaper, 40 000 copies of which are currently in circulation. The Motorpsycho front man's scathing comments about the music biz were given in an e-mail interview with Stian Wallum from Natt ´& Dag's editorial office in Trondheim, which has contributed local material to the festival paper from this year's host town.

In the same paper, the Musicians' Union (MFO), which was instrumental in getting Motorpsycho out of their much written-about contract with the record company Voices of Wonder, has taken out a full-page advert featuring Bent's unequivocal message: All guitars sold in Norway should come with a warning! MFO is offering free assistance to all unsigned by:Larm artists when signing contracts.

Bent was no less scathing when asked by Wallum whether he is thinking of attending any of the by:Larm events in Trondheim:

Conferences are not like festivals. People don't go for the concerts. Certainly I might miss out on some great concert experiences, but at least I won't have to feel part of an industry which I on the whole despise. The only thing of relevance I have to say is to participating artists: Do not trust any of the people you meet at these arrangements.

By:Larm is also heavily criticised in the Norwegian daily VG, with journalist Stein Østbø raising questions about the value of the conference. «The seminars are boring and the debates bull-shit,» he writes. He further claims that established record companies do their best to destroy the fundamental idea behind by:Larm by arranging showcases for their own artists.

[ Ed. Note: By:Larm is a Scandinavian conference for the music industry. It arranges daytime seminars, lectures and workshops and night-time concerts with new up-and-coming artists. ]

Arvid Skancke-Knutsen

Motorpsycho also part of the biz

Excerpts from an article about the
reaction of the by:Larm organizers
taken from the Norwegian e-zine
BALLADE, 2003-01-22.
English translation provided by Gillian.

Motorpsycho in 1998
Motorpsycho in 1998
[ ... ]

It seems to me that Bent Sæther is sitting in a glass house throwing stones, says by:Larm director Erlend Mogård Larsen. Motorpsycho are just as much a part of the music biz as all the rest, and they sell themselves and their music in exactly the same way.

The by:Larm director is also unimpressed with the criticism aimed at by:Larm by Stein Østbø in VG. Mogård Larsen believes that both Sæther and Østbø's opinions have an unsound basis, and he finds Bent's criticism surprising.

I have great respect for everything that Motorpsycho have achieved, and they way they did it. But in this case I think Bent Sæther is not only throwing stones in a glass house, but also firing off a shotgun. Motorpsycho are every bit a part of the biz as all the rest. They have played on two occasions at POPkomm, which is by:Larm multiplied by a hundred, and which functions in the same dependency relationship with record companies and agents as all the rest. Bent Sæther does not say no to press coverage, and gives out his records in Norway with Sony Music, which isn't exactly small and independent. It really doesn't tally when he says that he dissociates himself from the whole circus, says Mogård Larsen.

[ ... ]

Arvid Skancke-Knutsen