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Following the two albums Norwegian rockers Spidergawd put out in less than a year, we spoke to founder and frontman Per Borten. Apart from talking about going back to the music of his youth, the M-word was used, more than once and that is sort of inevitable. But not a bad thing.

By: Jan-Simon | Archive under alternative / pop

Thank you for taking time to answer a few questions. It has been a pleasure listening to your albums. How have the reactions been so far?
The response to our second album has all in all been really fantastic! It seems the second album has grown much more on listeners than our first one. And to be honest I think the second one is just a little bit better as an album than our debut. This one sounds more true to what the band sounds like on stage.

Can you tell us a bit about how Spidergawd came into being?
The birth of the band was just a comment I did about going back to my roots after doing many different genres with different artists. And Bent and Kenneth said they would come along if I did that.
Rolf Martin, the sax-player, had already heard a couple of my ideas, and was already "booked" to do something something. The fact that the "motorpsychos" came along, was a bit of a kick, since I know how far they are willing to take stuff in terms of focus on a project. Those guys have a die hard dedication to music.

You are doing a European tour in March. Is that purely because of the new album, or will we be hearing more from Spidergawd in the future? In other words, is Spidergawd moving from a friends’ project into a proper band?
What Spidergawd is or will be, is not my concern. As long as I write songs and as long as we have fun, I think we´re in this for real. But you know...a band’s lifespan is not just dictated by the band itself. Without an audience there is no band..

I heard the band has been named after a Grateful Dead song. Who thought of this particular name and what does it signify?
The band name was Bent´s idea. He is like a rock´n roll library. He has reference-points to the entire history of rock music. He came up with the idea when he saw the cover-art. So, the cover (by Emile Morel) came before the name of the band...:-) As for myself, I have no special bond to the Grateful Dead. I like their music, like most people, but I´m no "Dead-head".

The fact that Bent and Kenneth play in the band, makes comparisons with Motorpsycho inevitable. Do you try to be as different as possible, or do you make use of Motorpsycho’s fame?
The link to Motorpsycho will always be there. It does not bother me. Motorpsycho is Bent Sæther basically, and as long as he is in the band, that bond is always there, which is for as long as the band exists. Stand-in´s are not interesting for this band. We don´t try to sound anything different than what comes naturally to us and the way we play. The band is not produced in a normal way, it´s all instinct.

band image

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process? The fact that two albums have been released within year makes one think there is no writer’s block or something like that.
When you write contemporary pop-music there´s always dogma’s around for what is the right thing to do at a certain time. With hard-rock, that is not the case. It feels more free than most other genres to me. One cool riff is enough to make a whole song..!! If I had a time-machine I´d probably go back and try to steal Malcolm Young´s place. Oh man, if that could be my every day job, just playing those basic, but genius riffs... Yeah. No writers block yet.

You record in your own studio just outside Trondheim. Does that mean you rehearse there as well and keep the tape rolling all the time?
My studio is where all of our records will be recorded. I´m pretty sure of that. The studio is booked almost every day. It´s my dayjob. So we don´t rehearse there, neither do we elsewhere. We just play. And even though I come up with the ideas, I don´t feel alone in the creative proses. Everybody is allowed to do whatever they want to do.

In April you will be at the famous Roadburn festival. Did the fact that Motorpsycho already played there play a role in you being booked there?
Hehe. I think all the gigs we do, might have something to do with the Motorpsycho-link in some way or another. But I was really glad to see the Roadburn-booking come through. The only thing for me personally, is that I have to get in and out of there as quickly as possible, since my wife is very very pregnant during those days. The kid just might choose to say hello to the world that weekend. I cancelled all the other dates in April. But, Roadburn I´m still gonna do. So, I won´t have the chance to check out other bands at all....naturally.

All reviews of your records mention the seventies (hard)rock that obviously was an influence for this band’s music. Is Spidergawd a form of going back to the music of your youth?
Going back to my youth yes. That´s a nice way to put it. The first album I bought from my own money was 'Houses Of The Holy'. I had borrowed a guitar from my aunt’s boyfriend (an Italian hollow-body named Crucianelli), and i had got my very own jack-cable for my birthday and I could plug it into my dad’s stereo and play along to that album. I was ten years old. Prior to that there had mostly been heavy-metal-bands like Accept, Helloween, WASP, DIO, Maiden and stuff like that. So, I´m more rock than metal myself. But really I don´t care about genres. There are only two types of music. The good and the bad.

Is there one single band or artist who served as a main inspiration, or is this different for each band member?
The ways we hear ourselves in the band are very, very different from band-member to band-member. And that is very strange I think. But still does not matter at all as long as it still works. But as I said earlier, this band is not an intellectual thing, it´s pure instinct.

Thank you for your time. If there is anything you’d like to say to our readers, please do so.
Hope you find some of it interesting!

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