(Herjann) Hi Per how are you?
(Per) Hello, I’m very good, everything is fine.
(Herjann) We are today at Blastfest in Bergen, you just played one hour ago; how was it, how did it feel for you?
(Per) Perfect, very good, packed audience, very good mood, everything was really good except my guitar, but who cares!
(Herjann) Yes I know, the people were really engaged in your concert, but what kind of problem did you have with your guitars, with your two guitars?
(Per) I honestly don’t know hahaha, that is the fun thing, I still don’t know.
(Herjann) I know that you were on tour around Europe, how was the feedback from people all over Europe?
(Per) The feedback was good, but the tour was not the best one because not so many people showed up. We played the same night as Marylin Manson and Mötley Crue, so one night it was like twenty people, but others were maybe five hundred.
(Herjann) Sorry, I have one question that maybe everybody asks you: how was the experience as a session on tour with Abbath?
(Per) It was awesome to travel to Japan, to Australia and do big shows, sold-out headlining shows, it was really great. The only reason I quit is because I’m not a kind of a weird guy but I want to do this by myself, you know, because playing with Abbath, you’re working for him, you know. I make my own music, and I really feel that if I’m not gonna succeed with my own music, I don’t deserve to do anything. Abbath is a king, and I really love the guy, he’s a really good guy, but just after a while I found out that it wasn’t for me to be a session musician.
(Herjann) Yes, I see. What is the most beautiful thing that you remember of this experience with Abbath?
(Per) Yeah! Amazing! Ja, there’s like what you see on TV, when you’re sitting at a long table, and there are like three hundred people standing there taking pictures and you’re sitting there signing and everything. We went out to the city to do the signing session at a music store, and people were actually crying when they came and met us! A surreal experience!
(Herjann) You said, you are working on new material of your own.
(Herjann) I also know you are starting another project called Valla.
(Herjann) Can you tell us a little bit about this project? I know you have a couple of songs ready.
(Per) Yeah. Honestly, I don’t know if I should say this, but unless you are like super super famous, you’re a kind of fucked in this business, it’s a hard business, and I don’t try to figure out a way to make some money in this business adapting to the internet world and everything. The only way to do this is actually to be just one person in the band because of the travel expenses and everything, and basically sell it, you make it at home and sell it via CD-R, sell it through mail these songs, just one euro per song.
(Herjann) It’s just a symbolic price.
(Per) Yeah, yeah exactly, instead of Spotify, that to make ten euros I don’t know how many plays you need, but it is a lot of plays actually. So it’s just an attempt to work more with music, because I love playing music, it’s what I wanna do, but the way it is today, you really need to think in an innovative way to survive.
(Herjann) What is the difference in your approach when you compose for Vredehammer and when you compose for Valla?
(Per) Valla is more like black metal but with a synth like in the eighties synth, a strange synth, versus Vredehammer is more powerful, but the synth is the main thing in Valla.
(Herjann) Do you think you’re gonna play live with Valla as well?
(Per) Yes, but as one person singing and playing the guitar, and I will have a session drummer with me, and the rest will be through the PA system, once again because everything is so expensive, the travels and the payment to get. So it’s just the only way to do it; of course if you get paid a lot of money, I would bring six guys in the band, but we were recently talking about maybe going to Australia with the band, we checked it and it would cost 20,000 euros just travel, and I was thinking “OK, so what would it cost, if I did it with the Valla project?”: I went myself and had a session drummer from Australia, that would be one fourth in the price. So it’s not I’m going to Australia because it’s still expensive, but it’s a way to try to move smart in the new industry.
(Herjann) Are you also working on new material with Vredehammer?
(Per) Yes, but I always need some time after a release, I need inspiration, so hopefully tonight here at Blastfest I will see something inspire me…
(Herjann) What is your main source of inspiration?
Good question. For the last Vredehammer album it was touring with Six Feet Under and Sic Zone: they had a groove and power. So this new album from our band Vredehammer is definitively more groovy and more like a live album music that works really well live. The first was more black metal and fast.
(Herjann) Yes I saw you have a big impact when you are on the scene. Do you prepare your shows in a particular way, or it’s just improvisation what you do when you are on stage?
(Per) No, actually. It’s improvisation and tonight it was the first time we actually met and played the new song, actually the newest song, because the drummer lives here in Bergen, I live 1500 km north from here. We never practice, we just meet and play shows.
(Herjann) How is playing in Norway, in your home nation?
(Per) Actually tonight it was perfect, but many people are from different cities tonight. Last time I played in Bergen it sucked, heheheh. It was like fifty people standing with their hands in the pockets, so it’s … you know…
(Herjann) I see
(Per) Of course! Some nights are good, but in general it’s more fun to play outside the borders.
(Herjann) Ah, ok, interesting!
(Per) Yes because we like to ehm …, you know, everyone needs to have an opinion on everything, and they stand just with their hands tight together, with a look that says “hm, you’re going to make a mistake soon”, or it’s versus go out in Europe, people want to have fun, they are ehm…
(Herjann) More relaxed.
(Herjann) I understand.
(Per) More open.
(Herjann) What are your plans for the future?
(Per) We can and we will play shows and festivals, and tour and everything, but there are many bands you know.
(Herjann) Just having fun!
(Per) Yeah, yeah, as everyone. We want to work with music, but there are so many bands who want to do it, so it’s just about meeting the right people, getting fans. We are on a good way of getting fans, we are starting to grow, that’s awesome, the rest I think is just up to chance, coincidence, what will happen. We will continue just working hard and see what happens.
(Herjann) What would you like to say to the readers of Unholy Black Metal to close this interview?
(Per) I would like to say thank you very much, those of you who listen to our music, we appreciate it very much, it’s awesome that you’re actually buying our albums and being fans of us, we appreciate it, and take care and drink beer hahaha!
(Herjann) Thank you Per, it was a real pleasure to meet you and talk to you!
(Per) Me too!
Interview and photo by Herjann