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INTERVIEW – Marvin Nygaard, Kvelertak, August 2013

| 11 September 2013 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

Kvelertak Marvin Nygaard 01

Norwegians Kvelertak embark on their Australian tour this week and we got bassist Marvin Nygaard on the line to fill us in on what’s been happening in their heavy rocking camp of late.

Kvelertak Australian Tour 2013

Saturday, 14th September – The Rev, Brisbane (18+)

Sunday, 15th September – Manning Bar, Sydney (18+)

Tuesday, 17th September – Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)

Wednesday, 18th September – Fowlers, Adelaide (Licensed All Ages)

Thursday, 19th September – Amplifier, Perth (18+)

Kvelertak Australian tour poster 2013


Edited story originally published in X-Press Magazine, August 2013
100% ROCK MAG: Hey Marvin, how you doing mate?

Marvin: How are you Shane? I’m good.

100% ROCK MAG: You’re coming back for another Australian tour – you must have missed us or something!

Marvin: Yeah

100% ROCK MAG: How are the songs from the new album fitting into your live set?

Marvin: It’s fitting in good. We’re playing like 50-50 from the old one and the new one, so yep

100% ROCK MAG: After playing that album for like, 300 shows over three years, it must be good to get out and play some new material

Marvin: Yeah it’s awesome, it seems like a fresh breath going into the shows, it’s good.

100% ROCK MAG: It would have been pretty cool for you to have a bunch of labels interested in licensing the second album – what made you choose Roadrunner?

Marvin: Ummm I guess they just came up with the best deal. Yeah we were thinking about – we had some other offers too, but I think they had the best deal, so that’s what we ended up with.

Kvelertak 01

100% ROCK MAG: Is it paying off for you?

Marvin: Yeah I feel like it is. I feel like we’re getting our name out there and the record is doing well, yep.

100% ROCK MAG: Ah that’s great – it’s good to see all that hard work you put in start to pay off – makes it worthwhile

Marvin: Yeah. Absolutely, yeah.

100% ROCK MAG: I had a look at the video for Bruan Brenne… The video is awesome, with all the little mini-me’s playing and smashing shit up. How hands on were the band in coaching the kids for the clip?

Marvin: I think they found the kids – the guy who did the video, he’s a pretty famous director in Norway. I think he just picked out the kids from a local theatre in our home town. And I think our guitar player had some time with them, just teaching them the basic stuff. Other than that they were just like awesome, they were way into it.

Kvelertak 02

100% ROCK MAG: Yeah it came up really really cool. I also read somewhere that [vocalist] Erlund originally wanted it to be a bit darker, have the kids doing coke and drink driving and stuff – it’s probably a better idea you went the way you did instead…

Marvin: [Laughs] yeah that was the basics, that was the first idea, to make them get drunk and drive, yeah. A bit more darker in the beginning, but I’m glad we did what we did!

100% ROCK MAG: I don’t think as many people would have shown the clip if the kids were pretending to do drugs and stuff

Marvin: That’s right

100% ROCK MAG: The band sings entirely in Norwegian and it’s great that hasn’t held back your popularity in other countries. Was that a surprise for you?

Marvin: That people like it in other countries?

100% ROCK MAG: Yeah, even though they don’t necessarily know what you’re singing about

Marvin: Both yes and no. I guess it surprised me that that many people show up when we are playing in the US and other countries, but I guess music is just like a universal language. It sounds cliche but I guess people, they can hear where we find, they can just relate to the music, that’s the most important thing. They can feel the energy and they can feel like basically what we want to express.

Kvelertak 03

100% ROCK MAG: Do kids in America, Australia, Europe, everywhere, do they sing along with the songs even if they maybe don’t have a clue what the words actually are or what they mean?

Marvin: Yeah, it’s kind of funny to see. Yeah they do. I guess they do that to – every time, I’ve seen lots of punk and hardcore bands and death metal stuff, and the people screaming I guess, people screaming along even if they don’t know what it is. But it’s pretty funny to see when they try to sing in Norwegian, yeah.

100% ROCK MAG: I bet. Is there a very strong rock and metal scene in Norway outside of the scary black metal guys?

Marvin: Erm, Yeah I feel like it’s just getting better and better. I feel like there is a big mix of all different bands both in our own town Solenge, and all over the country, so yeah I feel like the music scene is pretty strong.

100% ROCK MAG: Right, cool. Like Australia, Norway has really strong government support for the arts and music with a grants system that encourages people to get out and go on tour. Do you think you’d be in the position you are now without that government support?

Marvin: No, I don’t think so – not that fast. We got the support from the Government on an early point of our career and it made us able to tour like a lot, and not have jobs. So yeah, no way we would have made it without that. Yeah, I’m super happy that it’s like that now.

100% ROCK MAG: It’s fantastic when the government puts a bit of money behind rock music! On your debut album the lyrics were largely based around Norse mythology, whereas on the new album they’re a bit more diverse. Was that a conscious effort to not be pigeon holed as a Viking Metal band?

Kvelertak Marvin Nygaard 02

Marvin: Yeah. I think Erlund wanted to – if he made another record singing about Vikings, then he had to be doing it for the next album as well, so he wanted to do something a bit different so we’re not locking ourself in a corner.

100% ROCK MAG: Good thinking. Style wise you’re really hard to narrow down – people throw genres at the band like heavy metal, rock n’ roll, punk, hardcore, even black metal. Is this ‘cos you guys all listen to a lot of different styles of music and it just comes out in your music?

Marvin: Umm… Yes… and no. Like, BJ our guitar player makes most of the songs. When we started playing together me and him, we basically wanted to do a power pop band. Then Kvelertak started, and we weren’t sure what it was going to be, and Erlund the singer, he’s always been into dark metal, so he introduced us to it. I guess it turn out ‘cos I played in a, like a, At The Gates type death metal band before. So I guess we all just came from different directions and that’s why it is what it is. Basically, I like to say we play some rock n’ roll with some metal elements and try to do every show with energy from hardcore shows that we’ve been to ourself.

100% ROCK MAG: Well the best description of the band’s music that I’ve read is “Norwegian blackened party punk rock n’ rollers” – how does that work for you?

Marvin: Yep. Yeah, it sounds about right.

100% ROCK MAG: It doesn’t sound bad at all actually! How did Baroness’s John Baizley come to do the fantastic cover art for the album?

Marvin: He, like, asked. He got a demo from his lights guy or something. We were in the studio recording the first album, and we had released – we made a demo, like before that a couple of years. He got a hold of the demo, and he wrote us. While we were in the studio, he wrote us and he didn’t want anyone else but him to make the artwork for the album. That was mindblowing for us, and then of course it was fucking natural for us. And we felt like musically we had a natural progression on this new album and we felt like it would be natural for him to do the artwork on the record too.

Kvelertak Meir full cover art by John Baizley

100% ROCK MAG: Well it’s fantastic – really striking, brilliant.

Marvin: Yeah, he’s awesome.

100% ROCK MAG: And he did this after the accident, didn’t he…? [Baroness’es tour bus was involved in a nasty crash whilst on the road in August 2012, resulting in injuries across the board and two members of the band quitting]

Marvin: Yeah I think so. Actually I’m not 100% sure, but I’m pretty sure that was the first thing he did, artwork wise, after the accident. And I heard too that he’s getting our logo – like, everyone in the band has a triangle upside down with a K in it tattooed on us, and I heard he’s gonna get that tattooed on him too.

100% ROCK MAG: Oh cool!

Marvin: Yeah, he’s awesome!

100% ROCK MAG: How does it feel when you have all these big name celebrity fans – Dave Grohl loves, the band, Baroness and… well, just about everyone!

Marvin: Ah it’s mindblowing – what can you say? Every time that happens it’s like I’m on a new adventure and it never stops – and I keep waiting for it to stop [laughs]

100% ROCK MAG: You got pretty big pretty fast after the first album – did anyone have trouble adapting to that, were there any Axl Rose type ego attacks or anything like that?

Marvin: No, I think, I’m not sure but I think it’d different with bands these days because you tour so much. And you know how much work it is – I feel like we’re on the road 90% of the year and that makes us have our feet on ground I feel. I feel like we’re good at having our feet on the ground.

100% ROCK MAG: That’s a good way to be dude! You came up with the idea for the owl motif which is on all your albums and t-shirts and was in the video clip I mentioned earlier. What does the owl signify for you?

Kvelertak Marvin Nygaard 03

Marvin: I feel like it’s just a fascinating creature. In the beginning we just had to come up with a logo for the band. And the owl has stuck with us for the whole time. I feel like in the last couple of years a lot of people used the owl… for cover art and t-shirts and stuff, and I feel we have to hold onto it and keep it and just have to show everyone that we own it! And other than that it’s just like we feel that it has nothing really deep about it but it’s just a really cool creature.

100% ROCK MAG: I read that after your 2012 Soundwave tour here, you went back through Singapore and played a gig where you ended up outside the venue and finished the gig with the crowd outside in the street! How does that even happen?!

Marvin: At that time it was the smallest place we’d played in a long time, and we were like, ‘Fuck, how is this gonna be?!’ And it was packed and a lot of fun, like the most coolest show we’d played for a long, long time. But it was so hot in there, we were standing on tables, people were stage diving, and in the end it was really just natural for us… we just ran out, and I guess it was just so hot in there that everyone just ran out and we all just came out!

100% ROCK MAG: Awesome – that’s definitely a gig to remember! I think we’ve run out of time so we look forward to seeing you in Perth

Marvin: Thankyou – we look forward to come

Kvelertak 04


Category: Interviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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