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The Lionheart Brothers

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One of the newest members joining the Sally Family is the Norwegian band The Lionheart Brothers. This three-piece was playing at the first annual Peacedog Festival and just before their show I spoke with the guys to get to know them. Check out this introductional interview. 

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Interview with: Marcus Forsgren, Fred Strand and Ruben Lie Hakkebo

Date: June 26th 2000

Where: At the Peacedog Festival, Ede, The Netherlands

Band's Geographical Home: Norway

Discography: Split-7" with The Spirit That Guides Us (2000)

Available Through: Sally Forth Records

Official Website: There will be an official website at: The Lionheart Brothers

Interview By: mpo

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I know next to nothing about the band. So, who are the Lionheart Brothers?

Marcus: It's me, Marcus, and Fred should perhaps introduce himself.

Fred: Hi....I'm Fred.

Ruben: I'm Ruben!

Can you tell a little bit more about The Lionheart Brothers.....?

Marcus: We are three guys from Norway playing some popmusic. That's about it....yeah!

Does someone else have something to add?

Fred: No, I don't think so.

Marcus: We are very boring people, yeah. We are Vikings from Norway.

Sounds cool......boring....right! How exactly did the band start?

Marcus: Well, it started with me and Fred and another guy called Rolf for about four years ago, playing covers. And Ruben joined and the other guitarplayer quit and here we are. But actually The Lionheart Brothers is just two years old. We play together for two years.

Today you're releasing a split-vinyl with The Spirit That Guides Us. This is a release through a Dutch company, Sally Forth Records. How did this deal come about?

Fred: I don't know really. I think it started for a year ago, at the DP Festival. And after it we were in touch with Glorybox who are on Sally Forth and through contacts and contacts we came in touch with Sally Forth Records.

So it was via via. Through others and through others.....Is the vinyl also released through another company? Maybe in Scandinavia?

Fred: We released the 7" in Norway on our own about a half year ago. Only a 100 copies. And these are sold out in Norway. So, they released it again with The Spirit That Guides Us here in The Netherlands

Can you tell a little bit more about the recording. You said it was released in Norway half a year ago. How is the music on the vinyl? I haven't heard it yet so can you describe it?

Fred: It's kind of indie rock. I don't know. It's hard to explain. I don't have any words. Maybe someone else?

Marcus: Ben!

Ben (described as the manager's manager): It's an insane noise conspiracy.

Right! What are the influences then? I understand that you have different influences, directions perhaps?

Marcus: A lot of people would say that we're inspired by Roadside Monument. Well, yeah. Maybe before but our new songs are more like, poppy. More pop then rock. So, I guess our influences are the things we listen to and maybe kind of old stuff from the 70's and stuff like that.

You played the DP Festival in Norway last weekend. How do people respond to your music there?

Fred: Oh, they....What did people say?

Marcus: People said it was good. I think it's kinda like: Either you like it or you don't like it. So, if you like it, you'll like it but if you don't like it, you won't like it. A lot of people said that they liked it. I didn't talk with everybody. But it was positive I think.

Ruben: About ten people I think....

Fred (laughs): I don't know...

Another question now. You have only a few songs on the vinyl. Why only releasing a few songs? Why not a full-length album so people can really hear what The Lionheart Brothers are about?

Ruben: We recorded one more song which is on The Sally Family Volume 3. We didn't have the time to record any more songs. And Sally Forth liked the songs we had on the last 7" so they wanted it like that. And we agreed.

Are there plans to do something more? A full-length album?

Marcus: Yeah. We'll probably work on a full-length album now, or work on the songs for the full-length for about a half year. And around Christmas...

Fred: ....On Christmas eve we will record!

Marcus (laughing): On Christmas Eve? No. Around Christmas time we'll probably record a full-length. And hopefully it will be out some time after that. I don't know.

The band doesn't exist very long. Did you have other recordings before the vinyl?

Marcus: Yeah. The vinyl songs were recorded in two sessions. One was recorded a half year before the others. So we picked up some of the recordings we had and put it on the vinyl.

Something else now. You play in a band. What's important for you to play in a band? What's important to you?

Ruben: It's a hard question (sighs). It's a lot of things. Of course we talk a lot together like "what are we doing in a band". "What's the purpose of playing". We've agreed that we like to play music. And of course, because we are Christians, we want to do it for God. Of course we do this for God and we want to see people saved. Maybe God can touch people through the music and we want to see more of it. I don't know....We want to do it for God. That's the number 1 thing. That people get saved. That's not the only reason because we have to be honest that we like to play music.

Fred: We're three guys who like to play music and we love God and we love the music we play. We feel that we're perfect together and we'll see what God will do with the band in the future. And that's about it.

Ruben: If you don't hear from us in a year, God has put us somewhere else.

Fred: But I don't think so, right now. But we don't know. You'll never know.

Other people who play in bands feel the need to express themselves. They have problems in their lives or they see problems in someone else's life. They need to express that. Share it with people. Do you feel the same?

Ruben: I don't think so.

It doesn't necessarily have to be problems. It could be funny things. Other things you want to share with people?

Fred: We want to share the love of God through our music.

Ruben: It could be. I love to pray and worship God while I'm playing. I mostly do when I play. So that must be something I want do while I'm playing. I love to feel God's presence when I play.

So, playing is more like the outcome of your Christian faith. So, it's about how you feel about it and stuff like that, I guess?

Ruben: Yeah, maybe.

Fred: A little part of it, I think. And we're expressing a lot of feelings through our music. I think we are. It's not all of our lives, the music. It's a little bit.

Marcus. We don't wanna do anything ourselves, actually. We just do what we do and we stand there and play music and it's up to God to do something else and to use us.

Ruben: We can do the natural things and God can do the other things. So we play and God must do what he wants.

You mean, you do the natural thing and he does the supernatural thing.

Ruben: The supernatural thing. Because we're open to that and we believe that and we have seen that.

How did you see it? How did you experience that?

Ruben: People coming to us after concerts.

Marcus: People coming to us after concerts with tears in their eyes and saying that God spoke to them while we were playing and God said something, said something in their hearts. It's not up to us to express our meanings and what we experience and what we think. It's really up to God. We enter the stage, play our music and say what we think God wants us to say and it's up to God to say and express what is best for the moment.

Okay. I understand you're from Norway. Now I know that in Norway the majority of the people are members of the local church there. Is it different for the band compared to playing in Germany or Holland?

Marcus: It's not any different. Of course, the people are different but the Norwegian people are in the national church but they are not real Christians. Just members. It's not any different in Norway than the rest of Europe. But, of course, there are different cultures and stuff but not different spiritually. No.

Last question: What can we expect from The Lionheart Brothers in the near future?

Marcus: After the summer I don't think you will hear from us that much.

Fred: After Christmas I think we'll come.

Marcus: Yeah, we'll play some gigs locally, in Norway. But I don't think we'll do anything more after this summer. But next summer.....

So when there's a full-length album you'll come back with full force.

Marcus: Yeah. After Christmas we'll also do a tour. So, yeah, you'll probably hear from us after Christmas to the end of the next summer.

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