[media stories: english: 1999]

2000 Psycho

Article / Interview covering the 10th band anniversary
taken from the Norwegian newspaper
DAGBLADET, 1999-10-15.
English translation done by Erik Aas Hystad.
Photo scans done by Morten.

They have sold a couple hundred thousand records. Approximately.
About time to get serious, says Motorpsycho.

In Moss (1) a lady in her mid fifties is sitting behind closed curtains, listening to Motorpsycho in dim lightening. She has migraine. A daily dose of Motorpsycho is the only thing that helps. Bent Saether believes she is the band's biggest fan. Now she'll have to wait patiently.

Motorpsycho have taken a year off. It's the first since '91, but it's still some sort of break. And for this reason there won't be a new record this year. And the fact that the band is ten years old on Sunday is passing accompanied by dead silence.

It wouldn't be like us doing something big out of this, Bent says. We, who even rarely hold release parties.

The second-hand furniture in the MP head-office is shaking. A train passes three meters away from the extirpation-threatened wooden-building. The result being a cloud of dust appearing as from out of nothing, but it is soon absorbed by the one made from out of three rolled cigarettes. Bent puts his feet on the table. His felt shoes should also have been put to rest a long time ago, but are held together nicely by some black gaffa-tape.

  Bent in Dagbladet 1999
"The moment your head becomes as big as your band, you have a problem..."

The moment your head becomes as big as your band, you have a problem, he says. In these 10 years we have at least enfeebled 95% of all rumours about how it is to be in a band.

You have been reflecting what time does to you?

Nope. We don't do that at all. And that is typically us. We don't look back. Er, at least for nothing else than checking if it's something we've forgotten in some old song. What we do is a continuous process.

But first up was vacation. The boys, who best can be described as rehearsal-junkies who get withdrawal syndromes if not able to practice six times a week, believed they deserved a few days off. Gebhardt went to Brooklyn to visit some friends. Bent spent the days in a Buick touring the US with some mate (2). Snah, who has cut his hair and is now looking more like Pierce Brosnan than Brosnan himself, has spent the time with wife and kid surrounded by the spectacular nature of Iceland. They all needed air.

It helped. Now I want to play guitar again, says Snah.

So now you're going to make...

...arctic panorama-rock. Yes, exactly.

Motorpsycho giggles. In the room behind us the material for the next album is stored. We do not get to hear a title, nor what it sounds like. But we doubt it's going to be panorama-rock.

This time around Motorpsycho actually sat down and composed. For an orchestra, of all things. Bård Slagsvold, known from Tre Smaa Kinesere, has written notes and conducted.

It sounds grandiose. With strings and horns all over the place, ascertains Gebhardt.

  Geb in Dagbladet 1999
Geb: "We have never been into "being cool", showing up on the right places..."

Bård after all has an education as jazz-pianist from the music conservatory.

Before they made the record MP used two months trying not to play hard and massive. Because now it's gonna be soft and pop-like.

To make short songs must be the only thing we haven't done before, the band says and points out some sort of sound from somewhere back in the sixties. Not exactly Beach Boys, but somewhere near that area.

You never argue?



We need friction to create something. But we generate all of that into the music.

General partner personalities I think that is called, Bent sums up.

It is a long time ago since the band had their first rehearsal in a basement in Buran outside Trondheim the 17th of October 1989. A lot has changed.

I remember it was a fucking big thing to play Blitz, travel to Germany by boat just to freeze in some youth centre in January, Bent quivers.
That's why I joined, says Gebhardt who replaced Kjell Runar Jensen behind the drums eight years ago.

It's been some rock'n'roll too, but not as much as one could believe. The fact that MP have been fooling around in a more or less psychedelic landscape does not mean that they are a dope-band.

I'll repeat my favourite empty phrase: To make psychedelic music, you have to be clear as glass inside your head. There is no relation between what you do and what you're on, says Bent.

Snah in Dagbladet 1999  
Snah: The brain needed a summer-cleanup ...

But it was this vacation...

Well, we have decided to do it proper this time around. We decide about the single, make a video, and all the other stuff before we release the record. That one we also haven't tried before, the band says.

And they're going to try to break new ground. Alongside Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, MP is this time also going to be launched in France and Spain, and maybe, just maybe, England.

The most important about England is that Norwegians are so hung up to it, and that the music press there is so powerful. If you get attention in England, the rest of the world will notice immediately. Apart from that, playing in England is like going back ten years in time. The pay check there is so low that we can't afford to bring our crew, and the PA's there are so small it's like the stereo I got at home in my living room. But it'll sure be fun.

So no resting on your laurels?

We don't have any laurels to rest on, Bent laughs. This is a lifestyle.

To sit down and not lifestyling is difficult, says Gebhardt.

In that case we would have to start working, Snah concludes.

And MP do not want that.

Beate Nossum

(1) Norwegian east-of-Oslo city (EAH)
(2) i.e. Morten Fagervik (EAH)