1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Carmen: We have promoted the album through interviews, Facebook chat with the fans, small video clips etc. We have made a music video to our new song «The Purple Sky», a «behind the scenes» video of the recording process to the cover song «Herr Mannelig» and a lyric video to the song «The Aftermath». We have organized some Brand new merch for our fans, and most of all we have practiced and practiced to the two release shows in Germany last weekend. I just came home from the shows, and now I`m ready for more interviews J
2.You have a new album coming out during the end of May, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Carmen: I think it is always difficult to categorize our music. We call our musical direction nordic folk metal, but it doesn`t mean that there are only such elements. The album is varied musically, so I guess there is something for everyone: besides the a bit darker and more complex singles, you have emotional ballads like «The unveiled truth», folk songs like «Vem kan segla», «Syns Sang» and «Eitrdopar», and also more midtempo songs like «Ikje glem meg» and «The Aftermath» and last but not least an instrumental song. I think there is a red line between all the albums and you still find the melancolic melodies and hard riffs of the past. Still, there are new elements that for example our new member Stephan has brought into our music, like darker and more complex elements that you find in the longer songs «The Purple Sky» and «Herr Mannelig». A huge new element on this album is Liv`s contribution and voice, which we are so grateful for! She wrote the song «Eitrdopar» and sings on it alone. We have so many possibilities together when it comes to the vocals now. Our range of voice together is quite big, with Liv with her angelic voice reaching incredible high notes and my rather folky voice coming quite deep. Stephan is also a great singer, and on the album you can hear all three of us sing together.
3.This is your first album since 2011, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
Carmen: Believe it or not, we started writing the songs a short time after we were finished with the promotion of the last album, the touring etc. But the problem was that the song writing process was very inefficient. We had so many ideas and couldn`t finish the songs, because we focused on different things and musical directions. We also had different ideas how the songs should be written. Huge private changes in our lives such as getting children, building houses, new work etc didn’t make it easier. All in all, the years went by, but luckily, our keyboarder and organizer Daniel early 2016 said: Guys, now we need to finish these songs, it`s now or never! And then we started going through all the material and ideas that we had (which were a lot), decided what we wanted to use and rewrite, and we wrote some totally new songs as well. And the process went very well this time and made a lot of fun!
4.Your lyrics cover 'Norwegian folk tales', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this subject?
Carmen: I have always been very interested in Norwegian folk tales. I`ve been told tales my whole child hood, I`ve read so many old books, seen films, and now i`m telling old tales to my children. Earlier days and the way that the people lived, their belief and traditions interest me. I often imagine how it would be to live like that, and I even wrote small books about a girl in the earlier days living in the woods when I was a small girl. I should try to find all those again hehe ;) It`s important to keep the old stories and songs and remember our traditions I think.
5.You have written lyrics in both Norwegian and English, how would you compare the 2 different languages?
Carmen: Both are very beautiful to write in and it makes a lot of fun to write in these languages. Often I feel that the Norwegian lyrics get more personal, more under the skin, and it`s very natural to write in since it is my mother tounge. But English has a lot more words than Norwegian, and more people can understand it, so it`s good to use both.
6.I know that the bands name means 'midnight son' in Norwegian, how does this name fit in with the musical style you play?
Carmen: Midnattsol is a special Nordic nature phenomenon and there`s something very mystical about it. It gives a special atmosphere while looking at it, like an escape of the thoughts to another dimension. In the older days it was said that when the midnight sun shines, nature creatures like trolls and elves comes out from their hidings. So it shines in a mystic time where the phantasy can go wild, like in many of Midnattsol`s lyrics. It`s a symbol of one of our big inspirations sources; the nordic nature.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Carmen: Oh difficult to Choose from, there have been so many awesome gigs together with our great fans! One special show was the last concert of TMM tour in Italy, where Midnattsol and Leaves Eyes were sharing stage banging together like hell hehe. What a special atmosphere, people were in euphorie! We were continuing in front of the stage and were partying all night with the fans. The Metal Female Voice Fest in Belgium is always awesome, it felles like coming home in a way. We meet so many fantastic fans from all over the world! The stage is great and you have lots of place to perform. Our performance is a magical expereince together with the fans, we feel so connected to them when we play! We give everything and do what feels right in this and this moment. It`s full of feelings where you try to be one with the music and rock rock rock! ;)
8.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Carmen: Besides our release shows in Germany, there is not planned any tour yet unfortunatly. We want to meet our fans and play the new songs live, but right now it`s a bit difficult to go on tour because of our small children. But as they get older, it will get easier, and hopefully we will play a tour, or at least at some festivals next year.
9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of symphonic metal that have heard it so far?
Carmen: The album has just been released, and we have got overwhelming response on the Internet! I`m so grateful that people waited for us all these years and that they still believe in us. That means a lot! It seems to me that people find the theme and the message of the album very interesting, almost all the journalists I am talking to have liked it so far. Both singles, «The Purple Sky» and «Herr Mannelig» are so far very well received by the fans. We have also got fantastic reviews so far, some of them you can read on our fb page.
10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Carmen: Actually when it comes to my other band from Norway, SAVN, we are soon finished with our next album! The mastermind Øyvind Lende has written almost everything on this album besides the vokallines and lyrics, we are so excited to soon be Able to finally show our fans the new songs! Liv is working on her solo album as well, so I guess you will soon hear news from her regarding this as well.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Carmen: I can imagine that we get more and more in a folky direction, covering more folk songs and making our special versions out of them. I can also imagine that we make some really uptempo powerful songs as well in the future. We are soon going to start writing new songs and will not wait another sehen years, hopefully only a couple of years befor the fans will hear some new songs. That is our goal!
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Carmen: We all have different influences that we bring into the music, which I guess you can hear on the variation of the songs. It`s not one special band or only one musical direction.Folk music and folk metal are inspiring me for example. Because of our release concerts last weekend, I`ve only listened to our album and some of the old songs lately, I didn`t have time to listen to antyding Else ;) I wanted to be one with our new songs on the shows.
13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Carmen: I am a person who loves to do too much hehe ;) I think it`s extremely difficult to balance it all, there are so many things I want to do, and I never feel that I have finished something. I spend of course a lot of time with my kids, but still I to be more with my children, friends etc, so these are feelings that I carry inside every day. I love languages, I am a full time language and music teacher for youth, and I have the responsibility for a class at the secondary school. I also love to be in the nature, at the sea and in the woods in the nearby. Fresh air, the sound of birds, rivers, Waves, the beautiful sights – that give me a Lot of energy. Please give me more hours a day so that I can sleep hehe!
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Carmen: Thank you for doing this interview and for your support! We really hope the fans like the new songs! I can`t describe how happy we are that we finally made it to finish the songs and bring out the new album. Thanks a lot to everyone who supported us through all these years and never gave us up, that means a lot to us! J Stay tuned!!