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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 57 - 06/06/01

Magnetic Tapes
- speaking with Mariann
Me And My Car b/w Once Again
Apartment Records

If you like dark melancholic music this is the band for you. After hearing both their demo and their vinyl single I went to their release party at MONO for about a month ago with great expectations. Their music revolves around Andreas Knutsens dark, mellow voice and the songs bittersweet, beautiful "tristesse" stunned the audience (they played by the way with Josh Hayden from Spain, who was in a very grumpy mood and all he was talking about was sex, religion and especially the virgin Mary - enough about him...)

Their sound alters between quiet parts where the vocal is in the centre and more violent parts with various instruments like violin and organ and guitars thus creating a very dynamic sound. Their music contains several delicate details that you'll notice after listen to the single several times. It's hard to decide what song is the best. They are both really good - the single is probably the most beautiful single this spring!!!!

I met two of the members from the band, vocalist Andreas Knutsen and one of the guitar players Per Gisle Galåen last Saturday at MONO for an interview to know more about the band. The band history is rather complicated. It all started in Kristiansand in 1998 and the band has had several constellations where members from bands like St. Thomas/Emily Lang and Ai Phoenix has participated. Today's constellation contains members from bands like DEL, Salvatore. St. Thomas and Driver. Some of the members play in as much as four bands at the same time.

livepic Luna Kafé : What kind of musical influences are creating the band's sound?
Andreas: The fact that most of the members are also playing in various bands with quite different musical styles, is creating this particular sound. There are so many creative people in this band who adds their specific sound into the band. I may bring the lyrics and the melody, but this is just the starting point. We create our sound together and I think this different musical background is the greatest strength of the band. But if you are talking about other bands that have been inspiration... I used to listen to Velvet Underground, Nick Cave, Swans, Neil Young and Johnny Cash.

LK: What are your lyrics about?
Andreas: Mostly about personal things or about people I know. I find it hard to be creative when I'm really happy. Writing songs is a way of getting it out. Our music is maybe not the happiest.

LK: Oh I don't know, listening to the single makes me really happy, because it's so beautiful.
Andreas: Maybe because you think "anyway I don't feel as bad as he does" (laugther).

LK: I know you don't like being compared to Tindersticks...
Andreas: We like Tindersticks, it's not about that. But we don't try to sound like them. Some journalists try really hard to put us down by writing about how we base our music on another band. They have a desperate need to compare us with that band just because we both have a dark vocal and violin.

LK: I think it's because your voice bears a striking resemblance. But there are both similarities and differences between the bands. The concert shows that you are not that similar. Anyway I think it is man's need to categorise everything. You describe a band by referring to another more known band, and people know what kind of music you are talking about.
Andreas: Of course I do it myself, but for the record we don't try to sound like Tinderstics. Anyway we all carry with us our musical inspirations.

LK: You released your single on Apartments Records. One of the songs is the same as the song on Sement #2?
Andreas and Per G: No, this is a new and much better version of the same song produced by Hans Petter Heggli who also joined the band as the bass player. But we also had a demo with five songs that we're going to send to some record companies. We've been a bit slow. Anyway we prefer to be on a small independent company, because the bigger ones put too much pressure on commercial success. It's hard to have a big commercial success in Norway if you're playing this kind of music.

LK: You decided to release a vinyl single?
Andreas and Per G: It's because we like that format. Vinyl has got it's own charm and you have some more options of what you can do with the sleeve. Maybe we would sell more copies if we had a CD single. But it wouldn't be right for us. The single is released in about 300 copies, but we have about 200 more sleeves...

LK: You also played at "Bylarm" (in the city)...
Andreas and Per G: It was quite fun to be there, but we didn't feel that good about the concert. We played at a place that by a men's magazine (Vi Menn) was declared to be the best place to pick up girls in town. They also used to play this horrible techno there and it was all the same people that used to hang out there. It was a totally wrong audience for us. Anyway we got good reviews. But about the concept I think it is hard for unknown band to be discovered there. Most of them are well known already.

LK: So what are your plans for the future?
Magnetic Tapes: Today we are going to play at Blå on Musikkens Dag (Music's Day) where we have a brand new song and we're also going to do a new thing, some kind of improvised jam. We also have a cover song (all laughing lady) on a Neil Young tribute album. But mostly we're going to focus on making new song for a period of time.

The concert at Blaa showed good prospects for the future with a nice new song. The jam also showed a different aspect of the band. I'm looking forward to their next release...

NB! FREEBIES - GIWEAWAYS! We've got a couple of copies of the Magnetic Tapes' single to give away. The first two to send an e-mail to Luna K HQ will get this "to be a rarity" gem (soon sold out). Just write yes, please! e-mail address

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