Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bjorn Narrenschiff - Interview

Bjorn Narrenschiff is a metal vocalist who makes use of a variety of different styles.
He's probably best known for his time in the Danish metal band "Illnath"
But he's also did vocals on one of my favorite albums. 
"Hin Vordende Sod & So" By the Norwegian metal outfit Asmegin. 

Recently parting ways with Illnath, I figured i'd ask him for an interview to see
whats on he's got going on with his other bands, And he was Gracious enough to
grant me an interview. And i must say this one was a pleasure. 

Be sure to check out his other work!

and check out the tracks they have up on 54's Myspace page


Good evening and thanks for taking time out of your busy
Schedule for this Interview. Whats the weather like in 
Norway this time of year?
Bjorn Narrenschiff
Winter hasn't lost grip yet, but it's fading fast into spring and the wolves are going home.

You've Been around the Norwegian and Danish metal
Scene for awhile now, So which is a better crowd?
Danish or Norwegians?
Bjorn Narrenschiff
I've got to admit the Danes have the benefit of being a more social people. Norwegian metal-heads have a long history of leaning back in a corner and nodding along to the music without too much physical work. I believe people here listen properly to the music rather than just being out for a party.

Who would you say are some of your greatest Influences?
Bjorn Narrenschiff
There are so many influences; both people and works, and in all genre. For a long while Mr.Doctor of Devil Doll has been a huge influence on the atmospheres, but influence in lyrics and vocals can come from literature and visual art as well as music. Within art there's Dave McKean and Kent Williams alongside Gustav Doré and the Brothers Quay (animation). Literature wise there is always Mervyn Peake and the earlier victorian writers. When it comes to movies I've already mentioned the brothers Quay, but other films like Taxidermia, Pi, Barry Lyndon and the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari are also of great influence; both in my lyrics, my vocals and my art and tattoos.

How old were you when you decided you wanted to be a 
Musician? and what was your greatest inspiration?
Bjorn Narrenschiff
I've always wanted to play music, but since my brother played the guitar I early on decided not to step on his toes, so I chose to sing. I was 17 when I started in my first semi-serious band and the biggest influence at that point was definately Moonspell and Dimmu Borgir.

You've recently parted ways with Illnath, Much to your
fans Dismay. Do you have any other music projects in the
works? and if so is there a site where your fans can
sample some of the music? 
Bjorn Narrenschiff
Yeah, the break with Illnath was quite ugly, and I'm not very happy with being fired without even a warning after ten years of dedication. The oldest member in the band wasn't even there when I got sacked, and I still haven't managed to get a hold of him. There's never been any arguing in the band and I thought things were on the right track, but apparently people can still surprise you after a decade. When it comes to other projects I still work with Fragment and 54 in Oslo. Both bands are ready for studio time and it shouldn't be too long before we get an album out. 54 is currently signed on Ovis Records, and the myspace page is myspace.com/54band and our old demo from '04 is there. Fragment have only recorded a few very rough demo tracks, but are in the studio recording a debut album as I'm writing this.

Out of all your work, Which album are you the most
proud of?
Bjorn Narrenschiff
I hate to say this; but the album I would have been most proud of would have been "Three Nights in the Sewers of Sodom", but since Illnath decided to re-record all the vocals and re-write all the lyrics with the bass player's girlfriend there are only a handful of people who ever will hear the final rough mix with my vocals, and it's a tragedy for the metal world. Second to this I have to say "Hin Vordende Sodd & Sø" by Ásmegin was a very flattering album to be a part of. Even if it was my first album and I had no idea how to record in a proper studio I am very proud to be on it.

You have a very diverse vocal style, Any tips on how you 
keep your voice up to par? 
Bjorn Narrenschiff
Rehearse and experiment, try to get to know your voice as best as you can and try to analyze how it changes when it is warmed up and how you can push it without destroying your vocal chords. Uncontrolled shouting have never done much except ruining voices and shortening careers. Never press your voice unless it's warmed up properly and don't drink bleach. -It's NOT "metal".

Your work on the Ásmegin album "Hin Vordende Sod & Sø"
was amazing, Can you explain a little what inspired your
performance on that album?
Bjorn Narrenschiff
Most of the inspiration for that album was the work in itself; it created itself and it couldn't have been performed any other way. The richness of the lyrics and the musical landscapes were so innovative and deeply rooted in the Norwegian soul that all you need to get enthusiasm was to squeeze a handful of woodland dirt.

So what do you do outside of Metal? Pastimes? Hobbies?
Bjorn Narrenschiff
I've just opened my own tattoo shop in Oslo (Symbolic Ink Tattoo Studio) together with my girlfriend, and that takes a lot of my spare time. We're there working every day and the only other things we have time for is a little bit of painting and walking the dog before we're off to the pub. The days are extremely packed and I'm loving it. My only wish is that I could catch up on my reading at some point when I get the time for a holiday.
Thank you very much for your time. I'll let you finish
off the interview with anything you'd like to add. 

Bjorn Narrenschiff
I always have a hard time coming up with what to finish interviews with, so I'll just leave you with one of my favorite quotes: "Why was there bacon in the soap?!" Have a good St. Patrick's Day!

My favorite track off Hin Vordende Sod & So

A great track off Skin of Harlequin 


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