[media stories: 2000: english]
Bred Bent Arroganse
Interview with / article about Bent around LTEC et al
He has a big mouth by nature. Sufficiently self-assured and the frontman of
Norway's best band. Marie Antoinettes quote from the French Revolution:
"Let them eat cake" appeals to him - actually so much that the new album
bears that name. The queen's completely laking sense of reality compares
to the art-cocoon that Bent Sæther is in himself - as a happy fulltime
rocker. Terapi got two hours with the bassist and songwriter declared
Bent Sæther is visited by the legendary rock-writer Willy B. He's going to write a book about Bent and the others from Motorpsycho. He feels the Trondheim band is the most important thing to happen to Norwegian cultural life in the past ten years! The musical oracle remains seated during the interview. More than enough to make someone nervous. Willy B. eagerly listens while the interviews commences. Sits quietly and sucks up the words like flies over the table. Maybe a new chapter is taking shape up there in his head. But I assume he keeps quiet because the new album LTEC was turned on. Both we and Willy B. are very interested in this record. Among the first in the world we three listen and let the songs play with our hearing and imagination. After a while it strikes me that the record might as well have been called "Soothe"...
t r a c k o n e :
The first song starts and we soon learn that things have happened with MP. There is full orchestrating with both strings and horns.
"Every time we finish a tour and come back to write songs, there always is
one song that's different and makes for the center piece in the new vision.
'The Other Fool' was one of those songs that the rest of the album was to be
built around. We worked a lot on it. Me and Gehardt practiced for two
months just to learn ourselves to play the accompaniment easily enough.
We're not used to play fast and easy, or ["pinglåt"] if you will. We're usually
much more punkish[?]. The song went through various stages before I was
satisfied with the melody and the chord-orchestrating."
"Finally we greased things up and got Baard Slagsvold to write string arrangements to really take a step away from the power trio concept. For a long time we've had wet dreams of making music with a lot of strings and other orchestrating. We felt the time had come now. We'd been dragging the heavy stuff as far as we could with 'Trust Us' and the live album, so now we could do it. And how we did it! It makes you start writing differently too. The song is almost a pop symphony. Hyper-composed."
Bent is satisfied with the direction the band has gone. Very satisfied.
I can't wait until the work after the record's release. We're doing something completely novel and we're exploring new area's of music. On 'Blissard', "two-guitarism" and contrapunctual pop a la Bach was our main theme. On 'Trust Us' the goal was to see how long we could drag the ground tone and monotony. Now our goal is to sharpen our focus on the songs. Edit ourselves and let the songs come out without much addition. In the past our albums have had a load of songs. Now for the first time we've explored a vision to the outer limits and made the songs totally clean. Everything fits in a world of sound and a world of [stemmningsverden].
t r a c k t w o :
The new song silently asks for some attention.
" 'Upstairs-Downstairs'. Snah's song. Very mellow. Grand piano, horn and sax - two accoustic guitars and jazz drums in the background. This one also is central when it comes to the vision we had with LTEC."
After a long intro, Snah enters with his remarkable "downer" voice.
The music sounds different. Do we see a change in Motopsycho's growth?
Did you find anything in your search for the good pop song?
t r a c k t h r e e :
"Another hero when it comes to songwriting was Brian Wilson. During one period he was absolutely fantastic. The song you hear now, 'Big Surprise', is a pastiche in honour of The Beach Boys. An exercise in 'Pet Sounds'-sound. The depth in the sound, the high vocal ... "
Apropos ... where would you place Motorpsycho, retro or avantgarde?
But your own intentions ... I mean, you do have a full overview of the
history of rock?
How do you work on songs?
t r a c k f o u r :
Suddenly we heard horns come out of the stereo.
"Gebhardt wrote the song. He made the verse and the bridge, but he felt a chorus was missing. For me it was obvious that the song needed a chorus in the land of soul and that's how Walkin' with J. was conceived. Real teamwork."
This album sounds very worked-on when it comes to dynamics and
What do the fans think about this [avslipte ?] form of MP music? Don't you have
a load of die-hard-fans down at the continent?
Do you have the same feeling now as with previous releases?
t r a c k f i v e :
The stereo takes a break. The display shows that number five is ready. This one kicks off with a really swinging groove, and timing shifting.
"This is Gebhardt singing. His first vocal job on a Motorpsycho-album. 'Never Let You Out' is his own song too. Damn good. Sounds a little like Ray Davies ... this [ngøøøøh ?]-voice. Really good."
Your earlier songs have had an attracting force close to being physical.
You can't withstand a 12-minutes-drone riff. Now you're floating over the
surface as far as I can hear. How are you going to attract the audience?
You've said that self-transcending is important to you when playing
live. How can you transcend on a 3-minute pop song?
Can you point out the best live experience you've ever had?
t r a c k s i x :
A playful guitar melody underlined by a repeating bass riff quickly gets us out of our sentimental mood. 'Whip that Ghost' will surely become a classic Motorpsycho song.
"The first worked-on instrumental song. It used to have vocals, but we found out that it was more fun to play it on two guitars. That's how it got this Allman Brothers-feeling over it. It's 6 minutes on the album and will be 20 minutes live. Cool song to start gigs with. Listen to Baard Slagsvold here! A total Bill Evans or Miles Davis-[utfoldelse ?]. This kind of thing is so inspiring to hear. When we're a powertrio I have to glue everything, with Baard along I can go into the background and just have a good time. Incredibly cool."
So, you've become four?
t r a c k s e v e n , e i g h t a n d n i n e :
A sour accoustic guitar song is the next song on the record. Stained Glass sounds a lot like a Bent-ballad, and the songwriter admits a tiny little secret of the trade.
"When nothing else works and I'm completely blocked, I have a special tuning on the guitar that almost always makes a song. 'S.T.G.' is written in the same tuning, and several other songs. This time it's 'Stained Glass'. A last option, but hell. The song came out good. That's what matters."
'Let Them Eat Cake' calms down completely towards the end. The mood gets [avdempet ?]. It's time for confessions. Like marathon at NRK. When you're in the same room long enough, the person behind the masks finally will come through. Accompanied by 'My Best Friend', a song written about / for one of Bent's best friends [oh, really?! - translator's note], I try to get a little closer to Bent.
"I've been reflecting a lot on the situation I'm in right now, and I'm very grateful for it. I had to move out of my [kommunale ?] appartment and got 200.000 NOK that way that I'd been saving. I sat down and thought about what I should spend the money on. Then it hit me that I had it all like I wanted it. I don't want anything. Everything is ok. A funny feeling. A new feeling. It made me understand that I shouldn't waste it. As soon as being a musician feels like a job, I've ruined everything I love. I can't do that."
The last song is called '30-30', and you don't have to be Einstein to understand that a certain personal change in time lies underneath.
"Not really. It's more about the 30 year olds I see around me. Friends that are more 30 than I am. Wife and child. Maybe not as much in love with their wife anymore. I don't know. It's a sort of feeling that things haven't gone as you wanted them to. Plans that didn't come through."
Finally, why is the album called 'Let Them Eat Cake'?
Again, that harsh look.
No, apparantly not?
Are you arrogant?
Don't people walk on rubber boots around you then?
Terapi leaves the appartment at La'mon in a tough pose on army boots and hopes for the best.