Interview: Petter Carlsen

 Peter CarlsonThank you for taking the time for this short interview. In the “crossfire section”, we always have the same 10 questions, so that our readers can make some comparisons to other bands, and we try to ask questions that answer more things within one step.
Feel free to write as much as you want. We will not shorten it or censor anything 😉 …

Congratulations to `Clocks don´t count`! Compared to `You go bird` its sound seems more desperate, a little bit rougher to me. What is your opinion about this?

Yes, it is rougher, I agree. Not sure if it is more desperate. It´s more diverse and more dynamic. It has more contrasts I feel, and it´s more interesting all together.

What influences your song idea most? Personal experiences, society, other bands?

I have to say personal experiences. A lot from family and friends.

„Spirits in need“ is nearly a progressive rock song. Did you already think about writing songs that have similar sounds and ideas and put out a record that does not include theses smooth singer/songwriter touch?

Maybe it is a progressive rock song. I didn´t give it much thought in that way. These songs are what came out of my head at the time, and I felt that everyone deserved to be on the album.

What are your next steps? Do you have kind of a „5-years-plan“?

Next steps are getting out in Europe more. I have a good booking agent in the Netherlands, and my aim is to get one in Germany as well. Always working on new sounds, and there will be a new album soon. I have a 15 years plan. To release 7 albums and do 92 tours.

Now we are heading for the crossfire part:
At home:
In which way do you write your songs? Does anyone of you have kind of an initial idea, or do you just play on and on until something sounds interesting to you, or another way?

The approach to writing a new song can be different from time to time. Sometimes I have a sentence that I like, and I try to sing it in different ways accompanied by the guitar. I improvise a lot. There has to be a certain energy in me to get the process going. I record all ideas, and wait a bit before I listen to them and then decide on which ideas tht deserves to become a song.

Except playing music, what do you do in your free time?

I like playing Squash. I like to read and watch films. Also into football.

Is PETTER CARLSEN (the „band“, not the person) job, vacation or hobby?

It hase become my job. It is my main income.

On the road:
Vegan, straight edge, or rather sex drugs and rock´n´roll? What does a perfect catering look like?

Sexs, drugs and rock ´n´ roll of course! I eat everything except chocolate with brandy. I´m easy. If it´s healthy, it´s a bonus. I want to be like Bruce Springsteen when I´m at his age, doing 4 hour sets, so maybe I should update the rider a bit. Okay… straight edge then.

If you could choose, who would be your favourite support band on a headlining tour / who would be your favourite headliner you would support?

The first of these two questions is difficult, and the second very easy. Hmmm. 1. I would like to invite with me Holte. My drummers own project. He releases his album „Hurricane“ very soon. 2. I guess I have already done it! I supported Anathema on their European tour in 2010/11. We had a fantastic tour.

What was your greatest event live or on tour by now?

February 2011 in Rouen, France. Supporting Anathema. Great venue, brand new. Excellent sound and light. Excellent crowd. Everyone paid attention and I did my set with overjoy and excitement. Jamie Cavanagh from Anathema introduced me and was sitting on the side of the stage sending out good vibrations. Magic evenening for me.

Imagine you are stranded on a secluded island and your I-Pod has a defect. It only will play one song (which is none of your own ones). Which one?

–Oh Boy– with difficult question, haha. Hmmmmmm… One song… Impossible question. The answer is „Nature boy“ – Nat King Cole.

If you could start again at the beginning of your band, would you do anything different than you did?

No, not really.

How much does the music you are doing mean to you? Are there limits in what you would invest (time / emotions / finances)?

I don´t think there are limits, no.

The very last question:
If there was a question you always wanted to be asked, but never were asked yet, what would it be and what would be your answer?

I wish that James Hetfield from Metallica asked me to get on stage on a big stadium gig to sing Harvester of Sorrow with him and play guitar. I would answer yes, sure.

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