SAHG (Olav Iversen) - March 2008 (Интервю Eng)
So now the second SAHG's album is out, one more worth buying release. This Norwegian outfit was formed by already known musicians, and history of the band so far is rich and full of tours, so the interview with Olav Iversen, SAHG singer and guitarist, might be interesting. Enjoy.

Norway is a great place to call home


Musicians of SAHG have played one style of music, now you play another... Is it possible that once you will play glam-rock?
Hehe. I doubt it, but you never know. We do have needs to express ourselves through different types of music, but after all, the bands we play in all categorize under the metal genre, so it doesn’t mean we are totally indifferent to what kind of music we want to be involved with. On the contrary, we are quite critical when it comes to that, so a glam rock band isn’t what you will see us doing any time soon, I think.

Are you going to name your albums in the future also just by numbers?
We haven’t planned that any further yet, but personally, I don’t find it inprobable that we will come up with something different next time. I think naming the first albums ‘Sahg I’ and ‘Sahg II’, is our way to pay tribute to the great albums that have carried that kind of titles in the future, by bands like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and Kiss, wich have been of great influence to us. I think if we keep on naming the next albums in the same vein, we will become superstitious, and think that we can’t make a good album without it! So I think it might be best to leave it alone, the sooner the better.

Did you try to make “II” different or in the same vein than “I”?
The band has evolved quite a lot since ‘Sahg I’. When we recorded that album, the band had existed less than a year, and we had only had a limited amount of time to develop the band musically. So the album is very much based on what were our main influences when starting the band, which was Black Sabbath to a great extent, Led Zeppelin and Pentagram. Now, the band has grown from playing a lot of concerts and from spending more time on developing musically. So because of that, I think ‘Sahg II’ is a more determined and focused album, but at the same time, the material is more diverse. We have been more open-minded towards our sources of inspiration this time, because we feel more confident in the band’s expressional ability. We have tried to make a dynamic album, that doesn’t bore the listener with repeating the same kind of song the whole way through. There is so much predictability in a lot of modern hard rock and metal, the genre is about to betray a lot of its own values of rebellion and no compromise. So this album is an uproar against that negative trend. Also, we have taken a big step forward on the technical production on this album. Again, it is more focused and determined, because we have learnt a lot about what kind of sound we want to create for the band.

Are you satisfied with “II” or you already know what could be done better?
We are extremely pleased with the final result, and have no complaints about that. But the planning and practical preperations could have been better and saved us some time. So that is a goal for the next album, to prepare those things more thoroughly on forehand so the process runs more smoothly, and save ourselves from some trouble as well.

What does your band name mean?
Sahg is a mythical sea monster from the old Malaysian Kan-Gang mythology.

What is your inspiration for the lyrics? Where do you get themes from?
The lyrical inspiration comes from many things, for example can mythical literature a very fascinating and generate ideas that fit our music well. Other song lyrics evolving around mystical and mythical themes are also very inspiring. I am also very fond of movies, which can be very powerful sources of inspiration. However, on ‘Sahg II’ we have focused more of the lyrics on more earthly subjects than on ‘Sahg I’. For example, is ‘Star-Crossed’ about man’s endless urge for power, and discusses what will happen next if someone evntually manages to conquer the whole world and all of mankind. If his urge for power is endless he will still want more, so what will be next? Will he have to take on the universe?

You toured quite much. Can you tell what concert was the best, the most impressive?
We had many magical shows on the US tour we did with Celtic Frost in 2006. Among the very finest, were the shows in Chicago and Seattle. But to me, our performance at Wacken Open Air last year was the most memorable. Despite the fact that we performed simultaneously with Dimmu Borgir, we took ownership of our little corner of the huge festival, and pulled a crowd of respectable size. The response was incredible and the atmosphere was magical. We had one of our finest stage moment right there and then.

As you visited many other countries, would you like to move once somewhere else? Or are you happy in your own country?
I have been many great places. London and New York are among my very favorite cities. So I wouldn’t mind living there for a while. But bottom line is, Norway is a great place to call home. The biggest downside, of course, is the climate, but global warming will take care of that soon anyway, you know.

Do musicians of Sahg have any other work except music? Do you have any hobbies?
Most our time is devoted to music. There is writing, rehearsals, touring, and then there is the business side of things, which takes a lot of time, wether you like it or not. But we do take time off for a little celebration every once in a while, maybe even often enough to call it a hobby.

Does it take long time for you to compose new song?
Some songs are written in the course of one rehearsal, while others take years to finish. There are two good examples on the latter on ‘Sahg II’. ‘Star-Crossed’ and ‘By The Toll Of The Bell’ were among the first Sahg songs we ever started upon, but we never found the right arrangements for them before this album. We demand a lot from ourselves when it comes to songwriting, so we never settle with second best. So, it is a great relief to finally have finished these songs in a way that answers to our demands.

What are your plans for the future?
First of all, we look forward to the up-coming European tour in April, followed by a busy festival schedule. After that, we hope to do another tour in Europe or US before the end of the year, before we start writing for another album.

Your most unloved question from journalists :)
Hm... can’t think of anything in particular.

Do you know any Russian bands?
Not many, I’m afraid. But I remember watching the Moscow Peace Festival live broadcast on TV as a kid. There was this band called Gorky Park, which was on the billing alongside Ozzy, Motley Crue, AC/DC, and many others.

SAHG web
questions by Lucky
Написал - Lucky
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