After six years you've finally released a new album
in August. Before the release you thought it might be like debuting again as it's the
first release since 1998. How does it really feel to finally have it out?
Well of course there's a great relief to have it out, we are still
remembered by most magazines and we're grateful for that. Hopefully we will reach out to a
new audience as well reconnect with the "old" tribe of Veni Domine fans. We've
been well welcomed back, though we did not see this as a break. Most see this as a
comeback CD, but that's not the case for us. Even though we are "slow
releasers", we were so psyched to get this CD out soon after Spiritual Wasteland, but
that's the case sometimes.
The writing process for the new album began in 1997. That was even
before Spiritual Wasteland was released. The recording started in 2000. As far as I know,
only the vocals were recorded later due to an infection your singer suffered from. Now I
don't want to discuss the difficulties with your old label, but how were you able to keep
the band together? I mean, bands have split up for lesser reasons!
I always had the songs ready for next CD as the "fresh" was
mixed you know, I write music all the time and that of course adds to the frustration of 6
years. We thought we would do it smart this time around and put the drums down first, then
add the rest to a couple of songs and to add the vocals, so that in the end not having
Fredrik to add all vocals with no breaks, so not all were put in place direct. When
Fredriks voice turned bad, we only had a few songs ready. We started to add the rest but
slowly, I mean there was a time when we did not know if Fredriks was going to be okay. The
inspiration to finish our parts went down as Fredriks progress did not come. Then we faced
the fact that Thunderload (the band's previous record label, mpo) was renting their studio
for a long time, which forced us to download the recordings to my computer and finish the
CD elsewhere. A month later the studio was flooded and completely destroyed along with our
old tapes from Material and Spiritual. God moves in mysterious ways.
We talked about putting the band at rest, to get free time and space to
evolve into another band, but "something" kept the band around. The glow would
not stop and the friendship/ chemistry in band would keep it together. I never wanted to
do anything else but Veni, but when your hands are tied, you have to look around and not
be too proud of letting go. All these questions are quite tiresome to ask and answer, but
it's a healthy trial for a band and everyone involved. What is the reason for the band and
everyone involved to go on? And, how bad do you want to keep it? I'm a pretty stubborn
guy, the other Veni Domine members will not disagree, but at times I had no faith in the
band and still the band survived. I humbly believe that there's a reason for this CD to
come out and it's a spiritual reason. I said it before, to me this CD is a war in the
spiritual world, and that's where Veni should be.
When I listen to the Album Of Labour, I hear all sorts of influences,
style wise, including blues. What are sources of inspiration to you?
You know, speaking for myself...I listen to all kinds of music, grew up
listening to Rainbow, Deep Purple, Saga, Toto, Kiss, Lee Ritenour, Yes, Kansas, Rush, Rick
Springfield, Gary Moore, etc. You have a whole lot of different stuff in there. I try to
stretch in song writing and playing, some things end up on a Veni CD, some don't. I like
music that communicates things other than the normal sex/money/stardom thing, I'm not
really interested in someone else's sex life or their extreme fantasy.....Ones taste
changes during the years and it should.
On The Album Of Labour I noticed you didn't use the old band logo as
on the previous three records. Why?
It was time for a change and we felt it was a good timing everything being
the way things were. When Fredrik first made the original logo it was not that common with
that type of thing, but nowadays you see it almost everywhere in one way or the other. So
we wanted to fresh things up a bit. The old logo will probably still be in use at times.
On the album there are three songs called River Of Life. There's a
part I, a part II and a part IIII (rather than IV). I couldn't find the third part, nor on
the previous albums. What is the idea behind that?
Actually there's a part 3 and a part 5, I just could not find the strength
to finish them in 2002. I'm pleased to have made the other 3 parts. The River Of Life
theme was a bit of a dark horse on this album, but fun. To borrow some parts from The
Chronicles on Fall Babylon Fall was pretty fun as well. We'll see if they end up on the
next CD or how we will do that.
With the songs for The Album Of Labour being written in the late
nineties and recorded in 2000, I'm sure you have many songs for a fifth album already.
What do you have in mind?
Yeah, I have 10 songs ready for trial and a bunch more waiting if some of
those 10 won't suit the guys in the band :-) There are so many ways to go
with Veni. It would be interesting to go more doom, or more industrial, or more
symphonic.....but we'll see which of the songs falls into good soil. I would like to
improve the song structure and the lyrical content, but most
important is for me is to be closer to God than before. And if I achieve that, then I'm
not worried!! I have no pride in style. For God I would play whatever music! Fredrik is
writing some new stuff as well for the future. I think Veni need Fredriks talent, on the
first three CD's we wrote like 50/50, but on the new it's just me. I think for Veni Domine
to put out an excellent album it will need Fredriks involvement. He's one of the most
talented people I've ever met when it comes to music, hopefully he will find the drive to
write some more.
There's also a new song appearing on a compilation your church will
release. This disc will probably be a little more difficult for the fans to obtain. You
also had a bonus song called Visions on the re-release of Fall Babylon Fall. Will these
songs sometime resurface?
Hopefully we will be able to sell some via our site of that! But I'm not
sure, about the bonus track Visions. I have asked Thunderload about that, but I had no
answer up to this point.
I also like to discuss your side projects. Recently you left
Divinefire, an all-star project, as you didn't agree with how things developed. Can you
lift a tip of the veil?
Well DF was a matter of the heart for me, as well as it was for the others
involved, this was purely led by the hand of God, and as mentioned earlier, I have no
pride in style. I'll go where God leads me, and no doubt He led me there. What was said to
be a band, later showed it was not so. It was more like Christians (Rivel, the singer,
mpo) vision and I disagreed with some of that and Christian made it clear that my part in
the production was to be very limited in the future. I thought I better get out before I
get kicked out so... I don't know what's up with Divinefire today. I know we had some
great spiritual moments while recording and mixing. I hope it still is like that. I don't
say any of this to badmouth the Divinefire project or Christian. Sometimes things takes a
turn you would not have expected and I sure was surprised when it all happened. It's a
strange feeling having to leave something when you feel you're not done with it. When you
still have more to offer. But it was not my call so I'll take my business elsewhere.
You also have another band called Thorb that I don't know anything
about. What can you tell about that band?
Thorb is my solo project. It all came about when Veni was down. For years
I had wanted to do something like this, but never really had the guts or time to pull it
off. This particular recording session that goes by the name "A framed moment of
reality" is my reality project. A band rehearsed five times and recorded in two
sessions, with my vocals and most solos done separately. I got so tired of the music
business and decided to record some stuff that I could do whatever I wanted with, so I
gave the result away on my site. It's not perfect in everyway and that's the point! To
raise some questions, is perfection important? In that case, what is perfection? And so
on. This recording is the most crucial since Fall Babylon Fall for me, this recording
helped me in so many ways and that's the point in following Gods calling, it might look
stupid to others but what a reward when you're done!!
Any last comment?
There's so much to be said, but I think I'll leave at this... But please,
be sure of what you believe, don't trust anyone else to serve you the truth, you have to
find it yourself.