[media stories: english: 1994]


Article taken from the
Dutch magazine
WATT #24 / June 1994.
English translation done by Paul Caspers.

Ever since 1991, the Norwegian band Motorpsycho has made it a sport to bury the nicest kind of songs underneath piles of feedback and noise. Only since the third album Timothy's Monster, released this year, the Trondheim band gives the melodies some room to breathe for the first time. That's why it's ironic that the band has to shake up the thousands of Dynamo Open Air visitors with their mellowest material to date. The band only enjoys this, full of contradictions as it is. We have often run into singer/bass player Bent Saether over the past few months in Amsterdam, most of the time with a fresh pile of english books under his arm. Together we compose a Motorpsycho crash course.

1. Lo-fi / No-fi

"Our music is hard to describe. That's your job. We talk about Lo-fi/No-fi ourselves. Call us schizophrenic, but I don't like one-dimentional bands. We show anger, love and vulnerability. Although we're very productive I don't think we've made any bad songs. In the first place, it's the sphere that matters, we adapt our songs to that. If a song needs a violin or mellotron, we use it, even though people might consider that pretentious. Sometimes we sound blatantly commercial, as in Another Ugly Tune (from the brilliant Another Ugly EP, 1994 -RH). That song contains a message to our parents, which had to be translated into a musical language that they understand. We're not steeped in one particular genre, music is whatever you want it to be. A love song can be presented as a metal song or a folk song. Only pure pop songs bore me, even though we can write them without much effort. It takes more than just a song, you have to make it worthwile for the listener. When something is too easy to listen to, it goes in one ear and out the other."

2.The monster

"In retrospect, I think Timothy's Monster maybe should've been a bit shorter, now it threatens to get boring. It's a more tranquil album than its predecessors, and will therefore probably be labelled as introvert. The main reason for this development is that we wanted to get rid of the noise-influences, they don't move me anymore. It was a challenge not to bury everything under a pile of of noise. It's also hard to put emotion in screaming. This time we go for the abdomen*, we no longer hide the soul thing. In country music, sentiment is a must, in rock it's considered something bad. I think that's a dumb attitude."

3. Superheroes

"I have some 1500 records at home. You'll find a lot of stupid L.A. metal in there. When I was 19, I got a job at the local radio network. Everyone had a speciality, so I got a pop- history crash course in no time. When Motorpsycho started, we imagined a goal to make a crossover between Hawkwind, Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü. I'm completely out of metal now, that's nice for a 10 year old. They're just like superheroes. Teenage Mutant Biohazard, haha. It lacks profoundity**. At Rock am Ring, during the Rage Against the Machine Show, I saw 50.000 people yelling "Fuck you, I won't do as you tell me". Isn't that ironic? We still want to do an Iron Maiden cover show for fun. We put on spandex pants and one of us dresses like Eddie. By the way, did you know our drummer is a huge TNT fan? He must have three scrapbooks full of them. I prefer Neil Young. He once said "Heart Of Gold lead me to the middle of the road. It bored me so I tried to find the ditch." That's our motto as well: always try to find the ditch***"

Robert Heeg

[translator's notes:]
* Sort of untranslatable, I guess. Dutch word is 'onderbuik'. Refers to that fuzzy feeling in your stomach.
** Can't find right translation. Dutch word is 'diepgang', being the opposite of shallow.
*** "so I head for the ditch instead and bide my time..." (Greener) ;)