Interview: In Vain (Norway)

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In Vain is an amazing band. They present full emotional spectrum in their music. It is very complex and melodic as well. Progressive technique goes hand in hand with interesting atmosphere. More of this, They’re responsible for bringing back Solefald legend for live appearances. This is music which You feel connected with. Deeper progressive experience.

Hi, in the beginning I wanted to congratulate You releasing probably one of the best albums this year. It’s complex, melodic and very distinctive.

Thanks man! We are glad that you like it. We are very happy with the outcome, and the reception both from fans and the media has been overwhelming so far!

Did You had fully finished and polished material when entering the studio or maybe You we’re improvising at some points?

In Vain has never been a band that makes songs in the studio. We don’t like that approach and we do not have the money to do it either. We always enter the studio with enough songs for an entire album. That being said, we always leave room for some improvisation and experimentation in the studio. But the songs are always more or less set when we start the recording.

Do You consider “Aenigma” as a complete piece in Your discography? Is it the best album You’ve done?

Honestly, I do not like comparing albums. It is not like sports, where you with 100% certainty can determine who is the best and crosses the finishing line first. However, I can point to some aspects which may make Ænigma our strongest album. First, the production is taken to a higher level and finally does justice the music. Secondly, I believe the songwriting is more focused this time around. We have tried to cut unnecessary riffs and make the songs as slim as possible. That has resulted in shorter, but also more effective tracks, which I hope our fans will appreciate.

From fans I notice many who find this is our best and most consistent album. However, there are also many who love our debut ‘The Latter Rain’ and it seems hard to make them change their opinion.

What emotions do You find in Your music? I must admit I found there everything I could imagine at the moment. Very serious dose of different and deep feelings.

When I make music I try to combine what I consider as the strengths in the various genres that I enjoy. E.g. the feelings in the blues, the aggression in Black Metal, the heaviness in Doom, etc. In Vain’s vision has always been to try to combine all these elements, with making the songs chaotic and non-cohesive. So you are right that there is definitely a wide range of emotions present in our music.

It’s very complex recording. How do You managed to get it done without any flaws?

The recording this time around was very smooth. Kjetil and I split the songs, each recording all the guitars on 4 songs each. We did this from home and sent dry guitar tracks to Bogren, which he later re-amped in the studio. Drums, bass, vocals and the rest were recorded in Strand Studio. We were very well prepared for the recording, since we had actually rehearsed the songs and done a proper pre-production ahead.

Could You illustrate us the main differences between Your older albums and the new one?

I think ‘The Latter Rain’ has a lot of grandiose songs, and certainly some of the best In Vain songs that have been released. ‘The Latter Rain’ is very varied and with many long songs. With ‘Mantra’ there is a more dark and progressive aura on the album. It also has more slow and heavy songs. Some people find it more difficult to get into. ‘Ænigma’ is a good representation of everything we have done so far. I find ‘Ænigma’ more catchy, and although the songs are still complex I think they are more accessible. Many have labeled ‘Ænigma’ our most consistent release so far.

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How do You see Your future at the moment?

We try to have fun with the band and take one album at the time. However, in the future I hope to tour more, get more fans and play more festivals. It would be great to tour outside Europe one day.

Almost all In Vain members are Solefald live musicians. How this happened?

Actually, I approached them with the idea of a tour with In Vain and Solefald back in 2011. There were many economic and logistic advantages, apart from the fact of getting them back on stage. Also, with In Vain as the backing band they would play with someone they already knew and did not have to hire expensive session musicians. On the other side, I viewed this as something that could give positive synergies for In Vain. Consequently, I considered it a win-win situation. It took some time and effort, and at one point I was about to give up the entire project until the tables turned and Solefald were convinced.

Isn’t that hard to play two shows, one after another?

I think it will be tiresome and indeed very sweaty. It’s not ideal at all, but that’s just how it’s going to be. I think we will look upon it as a learning experience and a round of good cardio exercise every evening :)

Could You tell me what do You think about them and their music? Some personal observations are welcome.

I am a big fan of Solefald and really like their open-minded approach when it comes to music! The first I heard the sax in metal was on their album ‘In Harmonia Universali’, and that inspired me to introduce the sax in In Vain. Another aspect I appreciate with the band is the use of both Cornelius’ and Lazare’s vocals, which I think complement each other very well.

Ok, less serious one – why do You play metal? What does it mean for You?

Personally speaking, I have never been a “metal head”. There are many well-known metal bands that I don’t even know. In Vain started as a result of a school project, and I thought it could be fun to try to write a metal song. I brought my friend Andreas to do the vocals and the first track we recorded was ‘As I Wither’. We decided to continue with the band and it has become what you know as In Vain today. In Vain is a metal band and will stay a metal band. Maybe I am confusing people now, but what I’m trying to say is that it is sort a “coincidence” that In Vain exists at all.

What’s Your stellar classics (albums, bands or both) which You may call “responsible” for starting musical career?

Back in the days I was playing in a hardcore band. I guess we were around 15 years old when we started. Eventually I got into more heavy music. The first extreme metal album I ever bought was ‘Zyklon – World ov Worms’, which is an excellent extreme metal album! However, I remember that I could only manage to listen to one song at the time, because it was so intense.. Eventually I got into the music, and understood the layers, melodies and fundaments of the songs. From there on I checked out other extreme metal bands. Some of my all-time favorite metal bands are Opeth, Extol, In the Woods… and Emperor.

What You would like to wish for Your band to happen in the near future? Maybe some special shows or something?

We will do a European tour together with Vreid and Solefald from 4-17 April. My wish now is that we will be able to arrange a second European tour for the fall of 2013. Besides that I hope to get into a good songwriting mode when the summer has ended.

At the end I want to thank You for making such amazing Music. It is simply, piece of art. Best wishes and see You in June in Poland!

Thanks a lot and thanks for taking the time to do the interview! We are looking forward to our first gigs in Poland and hope to see as many of you there as possible! Salude!

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Inferno Festival 27-30.03.2013

Inferno was great! We played at a packed club so it could not have been any better. The whole Inferno Festival is very professional and a great experience. It’s our second time there and people are friendly and in general it’s a very good atmosphere at the festival. Setlist: Captivating Solitude, Against the Grain, Hymne til Havet, Det Rakner!, Image of Time and The Titan.

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