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TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE

This live interview with the Norwegian gothic rock band Elusive was done by Panayiotis Papandreopoulos on May 8th, 2004.

I met Elusive on Saturday 8th of May, one day before their concert. They would play the next day at Elfentanz festival 3. They were a bit exhausted from the travel. Tommy Olsson and Kristian Gundersen hadn't slept at all the previous night, while Jan Kenneth Barkved had waken up at 5 a.m. Despite that they were willing to answer my questions.

My first question was in which bands apart from Elusive have they played before.
Jan and Tommy have played in "Morendoes". They released a self-financed CD: “There Is No Salvation” (1994) and got a distribution deal with SPV. After the recording Jan left the band, while Tommy left in 1997 to join Theatre Of Tragedy (“Aegis”). He has played here in Athens with them in 1997 during Open Air Festival.

Kristian is currently playing in "New Breed" as well. He also has participated in both Sirenia releases "At Sixes And Sevens" and "An Elixir For Existence". Jan has also participated in "At Sixes And Sevens", in two Tristania releases "World Of Glass" and "Beyond The Veil" and in the Forlorn's :"Opus III Ad Calestis Res".

What about your co-operation with Morten Veland? On "Destination Zero" was written that he had played additional guitar parts. Do you still co-operate with him?
Tommy: No, not any more. He left in order to focus on Sirenia.

How do you explain the fact that with only one album you have made so much noise around your name?
Tommy: It's a good record. It's a good album and we were proud and competent with what we were doing.

(Kristian intervened here asking my opinion as a listener).

I think it's proportional. I mean you have nice guitars, rhythm and a little bit of everything. That's the secret. And also the production is very clear. However mainly it's a matter of inspiration and of good ideas.
Kristian: That sounds good.

Although one could characterize you as offspring of Sisters of Mercy and Fields Of The Nephilim, you still have a personal sound.
Tommy: I think Jan has his own voice. He doesn't try to sound like Andrew Eldrich or someone else. He just sings and is quite different. I also think our songs in many ways are quite different. You could not get :"This is a Mercy song to do". It wouldn't work. We are kind of inspired by Sisters but we don't sound like them.

What are your plans for the future?
Tommy: We are trying to make a new album. We have like at about 18 songs or something. It's nearly finished, not yet but we have to make a choice which songs we will put in the new record.

What I could remark at your album is a gradual escalation of rhythm and this involves an escalation of feelings as well. What do you think?
Tommy: I guess it's something that come naturally. It's not like you sit down and everything will go like this. Just goes that way.

Do you compose all together?
Tommy: I basically come up with some ideas, singing over and we work together and we are happy about it.

Jan: We see what's working, what's not working. If it's not working at all we try something else.

Tommy: I think I can make great songs. He (Jan) comes and says: "it's shit" and I have to leave it completely and again and again (laughs).

So is the final result a product of co-operation?
Tommy: Yes, we all exchange ideas.

Your first album was released in 2001 and now we have 2004. It has passed 3 years……
(Jan whistles indifferently, while the others can't help laughing)

No, no, that's not a problem. It's better to release one album every 3 years than to release bullshit every year. Have there been any problems related to the release of the new album?
Tommy: It's just basically taking the time. We can't do the same album again. It has to be different and we also had some problems with the local equipment and stuffs. So we had to make it over again.

Jan: I live 600 Km away from the studio, so we have to plan things when I go and we all have day jobs. Of course we have to use the weekends. I live in Oslo, the others live in Stavanger and if we decide that one song is crap I have to go back and start again. It takes a lot of time to work to the songs and see what's actually working and what's not. We may use the whole weekend on something that might not work and do it again.

Kristian: It's recorded at Tommy's home and we don't have any deadlines for being let's say 2 weeks in a studio.

Are you satisfied with your record company Pandaimonium Records?
Tommy: Yes. We decide ourselves when we have to do things.

Jan: Of course we write and release the album and they really get frustrated. Now we are not going to release it now…. (He burst into laughs). They are really nice guys and of course it's a small label and they have supported us at tours and things like that and of course we got very much freedom.

Tommy: We can do what we want.

So you are lucky with this.
Jan: Yes, we are really lucky.

Kristian: When you see other bands who just come off the tour and then they have to be in the studio within 2 weeks and start writing songs.

What’s your main source of inspiration? Do lyrics come from personal experiences?
Tommy: On the lyrical inspiration it’s from everything really. I can’t really say. It's spontaneous otherwise it doesn’t work.

The discussion with Elusive went on, but at this point I drew a line between interview and friendly discussion. My overall conclusion is that they seem to be nice guys, no relation with arrogant rock stars. I met them also for a while at Rodon Club after their show. Their first impressions were that they were satisfied by their performance and the audience response. I wish their forthcoming release to be as good as their debut and to see them again in Greece.

Some days after the concert I had a conversation with Jan. I asked him to tell me a few things about the new album.
Jan: The new album will be released on September and would be called "The Great Silence" (Personal Comments: is this for the 3 year release silence?)

I asked him about his after concert impressions.
Jan: The organization, the audience, Elusive (a lot of laughs) were great. We had a really good time playing in Athens. People were friendly and nice talking to.


Links of interest:

Elusive
Pandaimonium Records