A Very Tired Norwegian Speaks: Einar Solberg Of Leprous Talks New Album "Coal"
Band Photo: Leprous (?)
Besides acting as the backing band for the legendary Ihsahn, the members of Leprous are becoming Norwegian prog metal icons in their own right, and now have another opportunity to bowl over the metal masses with upcoming album "Coal."
The band's third full-length album and follow-up to 2011's "Bilateral" is coming May 28th in North America and May 20th in Europe via InsideOut Music.
Keep your eyes peeled, because Metalunderground.com will also be premiering new music from the coming release soon, but in the mean time check out our interview with Leprous member Einar Solberg below.
xFiruath: Hey how’s it going Einar?
Einar: I’m good, very tired after a long day, it’s late here in Norway. I’ve done quite a few interviews so far, and I just came from rehearsal, so soon I can go to sleep. Sorry if I will be a bit incoherent in my answers.
xFiruath: Well to start off, can you tell me a bit about the band's recent Roadburn appearance?
Einar: Yeah, Roadburn is a really cool festival. It’s a quite unique festival with a very particular, it’s very different from a normal metal festival. It’s more kind of an art festival with metal bands. There’s lots of focus on visuals and there’s a lot of variety in the lineup. The show itself was a double show with both Leprous and Ihsahn after and it worked out really cool. I think I’ve never seen a festival that size with so many different things to choose between.
xFiruath: Onto the new album “Coal,” when were these tracks written and how did that process go?
Einar: It was a very different process. After the Amorphis tour in 2011/2012 that we did, we came home and went “OK, we have no material for a new album, we need to start writing.” So we said we’d start mixing in January of next year, so we needed to make everything before that. We put ourselves under pressure and started writing songs immediately and we were quite inspired. I think we did a total of 12 songs, just sketches, not finished songs. Then we left for the headliner tour in the fall, and when we arrived home we immediately started recording. So when we entered the studio we only had the song sketches, and it was a cool way of working because it put us under a big amount of pressure and we had to deliver in the studio and dig deep in ourselves.
xFiruath: Were there any guest musicians recording on this album?
EInar: Yes, we have two guest musicians, there’s Ihsahn again, doing the main vocals on the last track, and then we have a violin player, a classical violinist, and it worked out really well.
xFiruath: I want to hear the album all at once and haven’t really been listening to any advance music that comes out. Can you fill me in on how you think this album sounds as a whole?
Einar: I would say it has a more mature sound in a way. It’s darker and more melancholy. I think that we are more honest with ourselves with this record. We forget about all the expectations around, we just did our thing and the album contains fewer ingredients in a way, but those ingredients we have we used them for all they are worth. I’m not that good at explaining music, I prefer just to play it.
xFiruath: The album artwork is a lot different from the previous release “Bilateral.” What’s happening with that?
Einar: It’s actually the same guy who did the last album. I would say that the artwork, it has a strong character, whether you like it or not. You will definitely recognize it after seeing it once. It has the diamonds and coal, and it shows how you can reach a different result playing with themes.
xFiruath: The guys from Leprous have been known to guest on various albums like StarofAsh or Ihsahn releases. Do any of you have any other appearances coming up?
Einar: Our drummer is playing with a lot of different people these days, he’s playing with the Norwegian Shining. Me personally I don’t have anything else besides Leprous at this moment because there’s no time.
xFiruath: Will Leprous be coming to the U.S. to support this album?
Einar: I really hope so, but we aren’t big enough for a headliner tour in the U.S. We do headliners in Europe, but in the U.S. we would have to do a support tour, which is very expensive. If we get the perfect offer we’ll immediately go for it, but I guess we have to consider everything quite carefully. We spent quite a bit of money on the album so we’ll have to earn that back first.
xFiruath: What’s happening in metal that you are looking forward to?
Einar: I heard The Dillinger Escape Plan has a new album coming out, and that’s something I’d like to check out, they are one of my favorite metal bands. To be honest except for that I haven’t been listening to metal that much these days, it gets too close to my work and I get analytical if I listen to it, so I’m a bit too critical and I don’t enjoy the music as much as I would if I wasn’t a metal musician myself, so I look to other genres I don’t know as much about personally.
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