♦♦♦ Aurora Borealis ♦♦♦
Gothminister (IV)
Interview mit Bjørn [Gothminister], 13.08.2011, Hildesheim/Flugplatz

M'era Luna 2011. Für Samstagnachmittag bin ich mit Bjørn Alexander Brem verabredet, Mastermind des norwegischen Düster-Projekts Gothminister. Der Auftritt der Band steht allerdings erst am folgenden Tag an. Warum hat es die Nordmänner dennoch schon nach Hildesheim verschlagen?

Gothminister will enter the stage at M'era Luna tomorrow. But it is Saturday and you are already here. Why?

Bjørn: This is a nice trip for us as we combined it with a sort of holiday – three days in Germany. You know, it's quite stressful to get up at six in the morning, travelling to a concert location, playing the show and going back home. So it's nice to have a bit time to relax and meet some friends.

You are not here for the first time. What do you especially connect with this festival?

Bjørn: This is the fourth time being here at M'era Luna. The first time was in 2003. Believe it or not – it was our very first show ever in Germany and we played on the main stage in front of 10.000 people. It was kind of a shock for us [laughs], because we had never played for so many people before. Later we have, of course, but I mean this was huge for 2003 and still it is. So it's a very special festival for us.

What have been the highlights so far?

Bjørn: When we played here for the first time in 2003, we were a very small band. We had no live drums, but a drum machine, one guitar and keyboards. When we played here for the second time in 2004, it was 40 degrees and we had some costume changes in the sun. The heat was horrible! We constantly upgraded our show during the years, every time the production is bigger than ever. We had a great time in 2006 with a big pyro show, and we also filmed some of the songs. We even had a rocket that went 80 meters into the air from behind the stage and colored the whole sky. I like all experiences I collected at M'era Luna so far.

Tomorrow you won't enter the main stage, but play in the Hangar. Will you nevertheless work with pyro effects?

Bjørn: Yes. I've heard about some problems in that hall in previous times due to old gasoline from the airplanes, but maybe they removed it as we're now allowed to use pyros. We're also constantly upgrading our show with haunted house effects from USA. This time for example we have a human sized goblin with wings climbing up and down from the roof. There will be more stuff next year. [laughs]

In our last interview referring to "Happiness In Darkness" you told me, it will be the last Gothminister-album. But just recently you've published a new CD. So Gothminister is still living on?

Bjørn: I just felt burnt out for a while, but the inspiration came back and now it's greater than ever. We will release our 5th album next year already. We've started now to mix a little bit between the genres. I like everything from metal to rock, a little techno, electronica etc. And the idea of this Gothminister universe just gives me the inspiration and fun to continue giving the audience a great show.

And how much time do you actually spend in the office being a lawyer?

Bjørn: It's hard to define, because I have my own company and I'm also employed in another company as a lawyer. So it is a lot! [laughs]

There has recently been this bomb attack and amok in Norway. How did you experience that day?

Bjørn: My wife and I just live behind the castle in Oslo. It's ten minutes from the city center. My job office is just a few hundred meters away from the place where the bomb exploded. I was supposed to be there on that day, but luckily I was in my home office. I just heard a big bang, because I was on my balcony at that time. I just thought that was a really heavy explosion. Then I turned the TV and radio on… It was a bit unfortunate that a lot of people immediately reacted that it was Islamist terror. They were very prejudiced – also a lot of Norwegian newspapers. Well, we actually have a lot of immigrants in Norway and a lot of them were kind of mobbed or not treated very well directly after all happenings which is of course not good at all. And then the news said that there is also a shooting on a youth camp. They also said that it's a police man who's shooting, that he's a Norwegian and that he's blonde. Some people directly related the bomb attack to the amok. Others thought that the gunman is just a fool who got inspired by the happenings in Oslo. But I have to say that the time schedule for everything is a bit scary – from when the police men got the message that there's a shooting till they reached the island… If I had a kid out on that island, I would have expected that the police have a helicopter or other resources to get there really fast – maybe even with a sniper to shoot him in the leg or something just to get his attention away from the poor kids. What the police did: Well, they have a helicopter, but it wasn't available. So they had to go by car. Then ten police men entered a boat, but as it was too heavy, it almost sank. And just because there were some private persons with better boats, the police could get to the island.

There is really just one helicopter for the Norwegian police?

Bjørn: Ja, just one, and it's a surveillance helicopter which can only stay in the air for a very short time. The private TV channel TV2 in Norway has two helicopters. Well, of course it's difficult to say that the police didn't do their very best, but I think the most important thing here is to look at the government. Of course an excuse could be that this bomb attack caused a big shock, but still we have to have a police helicopter. Norway is a very long country with lots of islands. Okay, Utoya is very close to Oslo, but what if it was further away? The police needed 1,5 hours to get to that island by car. Now it's time for the government to show that they cannot tolerate this and have to operate a security. Unfortunately they said "No, we don't have to improve the security, we just have to show more tolerance". Of course this is important, but it is just one side. We also have to make sure that no one can park a car with a bomb inside in front of the government building. Unfortunately I think that Norway is some kind of Utopian society, because we're quite isolated. We're showing to the world how great we handle this process of sorrow. But I think it's also important to ask the questions: Were we prepared? Could it have been avoided? I think, the media have to be more critical now. My impression is that we were not prepared. Okay, it was a very special situation and I'm sure that they did the best they could, but resources were not there. And that's not acceptable!

How's the atmosphere in the city at the moment?

Bjørn: It's okay. Just a few days after the happenings, when I was walking through the city, the atmosphere was really heavy. Now it's kind of back to normal. Unfortunately today I read in the media that Norway is a great idol for all the other countries. But they are only talking about the process of sorrow…

Do you still feel safe going through the streets now?

Bjørn: Of course you can never be 100 percent safe, but I feel quite safe in Oslo. Nevertheless – all that what happened will change us! It's horrible, but especially in Norway it's very, very unreal. In my opinion here do live too many utopians thinking "Well, we know that it can happen in general, but we didn't know that it could happen in Norway!" But really worrying is that one person from the police said that the terrorist or the guy behind the bomb attack bought or rented a farm where he prepared all this. It was a very idyllic and beautiful place and the police man said, that it's almost impossible to think that such horrible actions can be planned in such an idyllic place. Norway has to get away from that utopian dream. It was horrible what happened, but still I don't think we were even prepared for less than that.

Interview: Lea S.
Foto 1: taken & (c) by Sebastian Ludvigsen / taken from myspace.com/gothminister
Foto 2: taken & (c) by Sandro Griesbach / darkmoments.de
Website Band: www.gothminister.com

(c) Zillo Musikmagazin / Ausgabe 10/11 / www.zillo.de
copyright: Aurora Borealis 2007-2015
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