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6th January 2014
METAL DISCOVERY: Each album has quite a distinct sound all of its own and the new album, ĎSisterí, is no exception. Is this progression thought out or is it more of a progression that has come about naturally?
PELLE: To me, progression is ineluctable and essential in any creative work. And I really canít see what would remain urgent in this if it wasnít for the transformative nature of music. Like you suggested, this is something very natural and logical to us. And itís not even something we reason about. We just do what we have to do.
(Pelle Ňhman on the occult)
"In spite of the fact that my personal experiences and conclusions in this field...has a fundamental place in everything I do, I really donít like how that word is being thrown around when it comes to In Solitude."
Interview by Paul Sims
Official In Solitude Facebook:
In Solitude (2008)
From the same Swedish city, Uppsala, that spawned controversial and ritualistic black metallers Watain, the ever-progressive and occult-themed rock/metal quintet In Solitude released their third album, 'Sister', three months ago. Metal Discovery's Paul Sims posed a series of questions to frontman Pelle "Hornper" Ňhman early in the new year, and it seems he's not so fond of how the word "occult" is bandied around and misappropriated in describing In Solitude's music and general aesthetic...
In Solitude - promo shot
Photograph copyright © 2013 Ester Segarra
Official In Solitude Website:
Thanks to Andy Turner for arranging the interview.
The World. The Flesh. The Devil (2011)
Sister (2013)
MD: How did this album title of ĎSisterí come about?
PELLE: Through listening to how things reverberate in the right and wrong places, depending on your disposition. Itís a beautiful and powerful word with innumerable depths that immediately seemed to concern us in a special way once it was voiced. I even think it was the first suggestion. I believe every word has the potential of leading you to places you'd never thought you'd end up in, if only you have the patience to see where they lead.
MD: In Solitude's lyrics have been described as occult. The occult is a word that gets put around quite a bit, especially in metal. What does it mean to you as part of In Solitude?
PELLE: In spite of the fact that my personal experiences and conclusions in this field (even though I would use another word) has a fundamental place in everything I do, I really donít like how that word is being thrown around when it comes to In Solitude. A lot of the time it seems to land in quite inane things, disturbing whatís actually being said. If you ask me, it becomes difficult. I mean, I personally see things in a certain way and this affects how I'll speak about them, and this goes for music as well. When it comes to the whole "Occult Rock"/"Occult Metal" business in magazines, I get quite disgusted. You would think that people were more clever than that.
MD: In Solitude has a classic heavy metal vibe about it but also uniqueness. What is it about the band that helps you stand out from the crowd do you think?
PELLE: Itís harder than most people would think to see things from the listenersí perspective. I mean, if you personally think we stand out then you probably have a better answer than I have. I fully agree, but I can only speak myself. But to answer your question, I think itís because itís the five of us and that the five of us have something between us that is uniquely ours. Then again, I donít know what "crowd" of bands you are referring to. I canít come up with one that has anything to do with us.
MD: In Solitude has a vibe of being a tight knit family. Does this help with the band? And what passions do you or any other members have away from In Solitude?
PELLE: We really trust, understand and admire each other. Thatís very important and it definitely helps the band. In Solitude is, in a lot of ways, a result of our passions and obsessions. So, I'm not sure if itís about having passions outside of the band, as much as itís about bringing them into it. I would rather say that itís all a part of In Solitude since all these things tend to filter into everything we do. Most things we collect, no matter how diverse they might be, seem to aim towards the same point, so we use them. There is a nexus in the things that occupies us that is important to recognize. That goes for all individuals. Personally, I've found great treasures in such features. Lately I've lost control of myself when it comes to collecting polypores.
MD: In interviews youíve talked about the scene in Uppsala in Sweden, where the band is from. How has this, if at all, shaped In Solitude?
PELLE: Thereís not much of a scene here at all, to be honest with you. And I donít have any problem with that. There is, however, a small number of individuals, bands and artists here that are doing things that I think is relevant, fantastic and inspiring. The people involved in (and the music of) Reveal, Degial, Gravmaskin, Daniel Bay, Vorum, Watain, for instance, have meant the world to me. The individuals that surround us and their respective work tend to merge when I think about them. Itís getting harder to distinguish between the art and the person. This is a great thing.
MD: What is the bandís inspiration when writing new material?
PELLE: That really depends. It has a tendency to work in many different ways. At one point there is often great inspiration in the blank paper, so to speak. The fact that you have no idea where things are going. But, in general, I think we find inspiration for our music in everything. My answer earlier about our passions could really be read again when it comes to this. There is an inner urgency when it comes to these things that is important to remember. Something puts something in a new light, so to speak. This could be anything from the sun in a dead spruce to the feedback of Rowland S Howardís speakers.
MD: If In Solitude could be in existence in any decade of music which would you choose and why?
PELLE: I think In Solitude is just where itís supposed to be. However, Iíve always had a sore spot for the musical backwaters of the 20s and 30s. An absinthe by the Mississippi would be nice. It still is, by the way.
MD: Do you think itís much harder these days to be in a successful rock/metal band and make money from your music?
PELLE: Compared to how things were thirty years ago, definitely. But that has really not been the point anyway. I mean, if we would have wanted to make money in our lives we would probably be as far away from music as we could. Playing Rock music is quite expensive, considering how poor most of its participants are.
MD: What are the future plans for In Solitude?
PELLE: We will do what we have to do.