In Vain

Interview date

16 Mai 2012


Orion, Evanessa


Interview Sindre Nedland, Johnar Haland (by mailer)

Hello and thanks for taking some time to answer our questions, we are the French Webzine Aux Portes Du Metal. Although you have already released three albums (in my opinion all great ones), you are not very famous, especially in our country. Can you please introduce your band to our readers?

Sindre Nedland (vocals): In Vain is a metal band from Kristiansand, Norway. We started out in 2003, and have since then released two EPs ("Will the Sun Ever Rise" and "Wounds") and three albums ("The Latter Rain", "Mantra" and "Ænigma"). We play a diverse type of metal influenced by many different genres and styles, but with our own signature sound.

Why did you choose to name your band In Vain? Did you know that there is another band with the same name, it is a Spanish Power Metal Band?

Sindre: We really liked the name when we started up in 2003, and at that time no other bands had released any official releases under that name. I am aware that there are other bands with that name, but I don't really care to be honest.

In my mind, you are currently one of the most creative bands. There are lots of influences in your music, so many that it is difficult to know where they are all from. Which bands or musical styles have inspired you the most?

Sindre: There are lots of influences, and I can only speak for myself, as we all have different influences, but I have listened a lot to Emperor, Opeth, Solefald, Vintersorg, King Crimson, The Beatles, 4hero to name a few. The list goes on.

And which bands do you like the most nowadays? Can you tell us which albums do you enjoy listening to most?

Sindre: Again I can only speak for myself, but lately I have listened a lot to "Agony" by Fleshgod Apocalypse, "Season of the Assassin" by Vinnie Paz and "Noregs Vaapen" by Taake.

How would you describe your music? We have to put bands in categories to help fans know their musical style. I'd put you in the Progressive Extreme Metal category, do you agree with me?

Sindre: I would agree with that label to a certain extent, as it is a wide description that contains a lot. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of labeling music. I think people should listen to the music without being too concerned with what category it fits into. I've always found long snobbish labels rather silly. In our music we have some black metal, some death, some progressive parts, some jazzy parts, some hardcore etc. But if you put all these elements into a description it would look stupid.

When we listen to your last album "Aenigma" (and to the previous ones), we are struck by the great vocal diversity (growls, clean vocals, hardcore…) in your music. How did you get the idea to mix so many different vocal styles?

Sindre: We never use different vocal styles just to mix as many different vocal styles as possible. We always use the type of vocals that fit the track best. If we feel a song needs some hardcore vocals, we’ll use that, and if we think growls fit better we’ll use that. In general I'm a fan of diversity and contrasts.

Johnar Haland (guitars, vocals): The music is diverse and that also calls for different voices. E.g. using only death metal growls would simply not fit all songs. In addition, we have several strong voices in the band, so why not use them all?

You often use Norwegian language instead of English. How do you decide which language you will use to write the lyrics of a song?

Johnar (guitar, vocals) : As a Norwegian band, we like to include a song or two in our native tongue on the albums. I write most of the lyrics and obviously I find it much easier to express myself in Norwegian than English. So you will definitely hear more songs in Norwegian from In Vain.

Who made the beautiful cover for your last album. Is there a special meaning in this artwork?

Sindre: The cover is made by Robert Høyem from "At The Ends". There's no deeper meaning behind it other than we thought it fitted the album perfectly, and we wanted something different than the typical photoshopped cover that you see way too often...

For the recording of your albums you have worked with a lot of guest musicians. This time again on "Aenigma" we can hear saxophone, trumpet, cello etc... All this contributes to the diversity of your music. How do you proceed when you are composing?

Johnar: I guess we've made it kind of a tradition to invite a handful of other artists to the studio during the recording process. Sometimes you have a vision that e.g. his or her voice would suite a certain part of a song perfectly. We really appreciate it when the guests use their creativity and leave their own signature on their parts. There's also a number of talented guest instrumentalists featured on "Aenigma". When it comes to the composing of the songs, I do all that work by myself. It is a very thorough process, and I live and breathe these songs for months when I get into what I label "songwriting mode". When I'm in that "mode" my mind is focusing on music 24/7 and I can work on songs when I'm on my way to work, exercising, etc. I create the music in my mind and seldom use the guitar in the songwriting process. So it's more a matter of writing stuff down when I make something I like. In the end I send the songs via email to the rest of the members. Sometimes there is some feedback, but mostly not.

You have worked with Indie Recordings since your debut album, are you satisfied with their work?

Sindre : We are satisfied with Indie. It's a good label to be signed on.

You have just completed a tour with Solefald and Vreid. You came to Paris by the way. How was your show there? Can you tell us which memories you will keep from this tour?

Sindre: The show in Paris was great. It was at the smallest venue of the tour (Le Klub), but it was packed and hot as hell. The crowd was fantastic, singing along to the songs, headbanging and creating a great atmosphere. There are lots of memories I will keep from this tour. From all the great cities we got to visit, to all the great people we got the chance to meet, to the weird cancellation in Travagliato and the open shower next to the fuse box in Ljubljana.

One of your shows was cancelled at the last minute in Italy, what happened?

Sindre: I can't tell you in detail, as I really don't know. But the show was shut down by fifteen policemen before it even started. It was nothing we did as it was an argument between the club owner and the local authorities. It was really strange though. The police hang around the venue all day, and didn't close the club until after they had started letting people in the club in the evening. Really weird situation, and very frustrating for the fans that showed up, some travelled a really long way to see the show. And frustrating for us as there was nothing we could do about it. I have to give credits to the fans for the way they handled it though. We talked to them outside the club, and they were really great.

What are your plans for now? Is there another tour planned? Will we see you in some festivals this summer?

Sindre: We have no concrete plans for a new tour, although there might be something happening later this year, or early next year. We will see. As for the summer we are going to play some festivals. Amongst others we are going to play at the "dark bombastic evening" at the Iulia fortress in Transylvania, Romania.

Do you have other projects on the side?

Sindre: I have a doom metal band called Funeral, and apart from that I work as an editor for TV-shows here in Norway.

Johnar: I have a hardcore band called From Strength to Strength. Check us out on facebook!

Thanks a lot for all your answers, finally do you have something special to say to our readers?

Sindre & Johnar: Just check out our music, support the music scene by buying albums, and stay metal!

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