[media stories: 2001: norwegian]

8000 kilometers for Motorpsycho

Article about the band and its fans / Interview with g35er Anders Hustveit
taken from the Norwegian socialist newspaper
KLASSEKAMPEN, 2001-08-11.
English translation done by Kristoffer.

On September 3rd, Motorpsycho release their new album. Ten days later they hit the road. They will not travel alone.

It is a common thing that international bands of a certain format have a number of dedicated fans who follow their favourite band on tour, attend several concerts every year, and otherwise basically live for the music and for the band. Grateful Dead is perhaps the most famous example. Pearl Jam and Neil Young also have their followers on the road. There are even ladies in their fourties and fifties following Cliff Richard.
In Norway there is only one rock band that experiences comparable conditions: Motorpsycho.

Snah ate burger

All over Norway and the rest of the world there are people who seemingly have no better things to do than keeping themselves updated on what Motorpsycho are up to.
If anyone has observed guitar player Snah at Burger King it is thorougly reported to the mailing list called g35, with responding questions on what he was wearing and what menu he chose. No topic is too small.

g35 is the playground for the most die-hard fans, the ones who live and breathe for Motorpsycho's music. Because that is what it's all about. The music. If someone shares his nightly dreams of Motorpsycho with the rest of the world, and another one shares his homo-erotic thoughts on male rock stars, so be it. As well as someone making theme crosswords about the band with approximately two hundred across and down.

Lately, the main topic has been the new album, which is yet to be heard by anyone. The only known song is Go To California, which was a part of last year's live repertoire, but that does not prevent true fans from discussing what they expect. Is it a good sign that the band now is accompanied by brass and strings on so many songs? Did they spend too much time in the studio? Is the new cover ugly or nice?

During the hours after the disclosure of the album title on the list, Phanerothyme must have surpassed all porn in the various search engines on the net.

Misses the Soothe box

This fall, Anders Hustveit is spending all his saved up vacation and twenty thousand NOK on following the band around Europe. Since 1994, Anders has witnessed twenty-nine concerts, in Norway and Europe. He has collected most of the band's releases, he only misses a couple of special items, like the Soothe mini album, about hundred copies released in an exclusive metal box, but he has got all officially released songs. Besides, and not least equally impressive, he owns one hundred and thirty live recordings of the band, a collection that is continuously growing through a well-developed contact net all over Europe.

Alongside two Norwegians, one German and a girl from the USA, he is going to rent a car and prepare for an eight thousand kilometers ride through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and back to Italy and Germany again.

Madness? No!

What makes a person drag around for 8000 kilometers in a car to see the same band every single evening?
Motorpsycho's music is my hobby. To me it seems like madness to vacate on some South European beach surrounded by drunk, viking helmeted Norwegians with the Rosenborg anthem on their ghettoblaster. If I had bought a ticket to the football World Cup in football, people wouldn't have lifted an eyebrow.

To Anders, this is the ultimate vacation, and far from insanity.

Don't you risk getting dead tired of the music when you're going to hear it every night for three weeks?
Usually, Motorpsycho's concerts differ from one evening to the next. If they had set down in Trondheim before the concert and said, these are the songs we are going to play every night for six weeks, I'm not so sure if I would have been going on this trip. That would have been too dull., he says.

One reason to go abroad, is the Norwegian concert culture.

The Norwegian audiences have a tendency to get drunk and not give a shit about what's going on onstage. I saw four concerts in Germany two years ago, and what I experience there was a totally different attitude. The audiences were quiet as a mouse during the songs, but exploded afterwards, he says.

The perfect concert

For a die-hard Motorpsycho fan – whose head is filled up with concert dates and venues, who remembers how long every live version of "Un Chien d'Espace" was, who knows when the riff on "The Wheel" was made and where – is it possible to remain critical?

Yes, he claims.

The concert on October 16th in Bergen I visited last year was really bad, but if it doesn't work one evening, the next could be the best thing you've ever seen. It's all about to experience the perfect gig, an evening where everything is right, where I get my favourite songs in optimal versions, Anders Hustveit says.

When the band is on tour, the reports come ticking in to g35 almost before the band has finished the last song, with extensive comments on the songs and complete setlists. After a concert in Halden, a group from Oslo came home at four o'clock in the morning, and before those who get up early in the morning got the morning paper on their breakfast table, a long and detailed report from the night before was spread to the approximately 250 news-hungry disciples on g35.

Vilhelm Bjørnseth