When and why did you decide to start with Stille Opprör?
I started making music for this solo project in 1999. At that time I played in both In The Woods… and Drawn which both were metal bands. All other albums that I participated in were also metal, so I started feeling the need to expand my creative side. I spent a couple of years learning to play the acoustic guitar, getting the right tone and from that Stille Opprör saw the light of day.
You have released a debut album in 2001 under that moniker, called 'Prosjekt 2 13'. Since I do not know that one, please tell a bit about this record…
As mentioned it came because of the need to play something else than just metal, so the album, as a reaction to that, is very calm and quiet. Main focus is the acoustic guitar and the whole soundscape is stripped down, having themes with a red line rather than straightforward song structures.
Did you have special reasons to opt for a one-man project?
No compromises. Just me doing whatever I want to do. I can include the session musicians I want and I can do things at whatever speed I want.
Indeed, you got assistance of many guest musicians. Who and can you tell anything about them?
They are extremely important for the album as I've given them freedom to add their sonic signature and to improvise over the songs. I didn't want to colour this project with only my own sounds. All in all there are eighteen session musicians, something that has made a diverse album. There are for example four drummers on this record who all have very different styles, so every song got the right groove as I could choose who was going to play the different songs. As for who's playing, there's too many to cover here. But some of them are Jan from Woods, Stein Roger from Green Carnation and Kenneth from Motorpsycho. The rest of them are good friends of mine and musicians that I respect a lot and that I trust completely. Having all these people with their creative ideas on the team made the album fresh and inspiring for me to listen to as well. This is actually the first album I have enjoyed listening to after it was done.
What instruments do you play on this album? Did you do the male vocals too?
I played guitar, synths, piano, percussion and did most of the vocals.
Who is the female singer and what's her background? (excellent vocals in title track!)
Cathrine Böe. She hasn't played in any bands but has always been singing. My sister, Elisabeth Cederberg also sang on a couple of songs. Hers and Cathrine´s vocals go well together as they are totally different from each other. Great contrasts.
We know you as guitarist of In The Woods, but can you tell us about when you got interested in music, which music, when did you start to play guitar and so on…
My father sang Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin tunes instead of the typical children songs for me when I was a kid. The standards were set there I guess. I used to do a lot of sports but quit all that when I decided to focus on the guitar playing at age fifteen. From there I played in a couple of bands before I started Drawn.
Drawn, indeed… I got their two issues 'Plan Be' (1998) and 'A New World?'. How do you look back at that time/band?
Lots of good ideas. We were young and the music reflects that, but I'm proud of it for what it is. We had a great time and discovered a lot of things for the first time together.
Today you are also member of Animal Alpha, quite a different band. What do you like on playing that rawer punky music?
I love to play that kind of music, especially live. All members and crew are great people and I enjoy working with them.
With Stille Opprör, you can gaze deep inside yourself. Can we say that 'S.o2' is a very autobiographic record?
Yes it is, I really don't know how to write lyrics that aren't personal. I wish I could though, as it sometimes feels too personal to give away to the audience. But I know no other way.
It is too difficult to point out favourite tracks, but the title song is absolutely outstanding. Please tell us more about this longest song on the album…
The song has three vocalists. Jan, Cathrine and me. Jan made the lyrics for his part and so did Cathrine and me. The lyrics share the same topic and we all tell our side of the story. The song was included on the Karmakosmetix sampler that was released a couple of years ago but it was always supposed to be on the album so I rearranged it and made a new version of it for the album.
What kind of music do you like to listen to yourself?
I listen to a lot of different music. Favourites are Radiohead, Tool, Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Hendrix and more.
Did you write the songs in a respectively short time or did you collect ideas from years to make this entire album?
I made most of the songs in a short period of time, but as the years went by before I recorded the album I included a couple of new ones. 'L tune' and 'Instrumental' are new songs.
What about the recording process? Where is it recorded, when, how long? Did you use an extern producer?
I recorded most of it myself but had an engineer with me when I did the vocals. I work as an engineer/producer so it was easy for me to do it myself technically-wise but a challenge creative-wise as I had many hats on being producer, engineer and musician at the same time. As Animal Alpha and external work in the studio has taken up most of my time the last years the S.o 2 recording sessions have been spread out over a couple of years. It hasn't taken many days to record the album all in all as much is improvised and I didn't spend a lot of time editing the project.
The record comes out at Karmakosmetix, label of In The Woods member(s) if my memory serves me well. What are the pros and cons?
The pros are that I know Jan very well and I am very much incorporated in the work that is being done within the label. It's a small label and that's good in many ways as I have full artistic freedom and also full control over what's happening. The cons are that a big label has more resources, more money and can do much more promotion, but this album is not a very commercial album and if I wanted to reach to the masses I would have to start with making pop music and that's not something I want to do. So I prefer an indie label.
Karmakosmetix's first issue was the compelling, standout live album of In The Woods. Can you tell me about that evening and what did you feel at this “closing of a chapter” last gig with ITW?
It was great! People came from all over the world to share that last moment with us. It was sad of course but it felt good to end it in such a great way. All of us agreed that it was time to end the band so that show was just a good way to say goodbye.
Is there a chance you would found a band around you in order to play Stille Opprör's music live?
I am actually doing the first live show ever at the 28´th of May. Transit and Stille Opprör release party. I rehearsed with the band a couple of days ago and it sounds great! Hopefully I'll be able to do some touring.
I hope the 'S.o2' album will harvest lots of respect and enthusiastic reactions… but I hope as well that we don't have to wait another seven years for its successor hehe. Any plans for writing more songs already?
So far the reviews have been great and I am very happy for that. I have made three new songs now and am very inspired these days, so I reckon it won't take seven years this time!
Which artists can be seen as an influence on your compositions/music?
I don't know actually. I don't have any specific bands in mind when making music, but I am inspired by bands such as Tool and Radiohead when it comes to arrangements. I didn't want to make any compromises with this project so if it took ten minutes to tell the whole story; the song had to be ten minutes long. I think this is something I have from these bands and bands as Led Zeppelin, King Crimson etc.
How would you describe your music yourself?
Atmospheric, progressive, pop, rock, jazz, Americana.
To occlude, this is the moment to wake up the masses! Which music freaks will like 'S.o2' do you think?
If you enjoy meaningful music with depth and details which you can discover after hearing it several times, music that grows on you, music with more than the usual intro, verse, chorus, verse chorus, chorus and music that moves you. Then, buy this album!