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Gothminister (V)
Interview mit Bjørn [Gothminister], 23.03.2013, phoner

Für die Produktion der fünften Gothminister-Platte "Utopia" hat Mastermind Bjørn Alexander Brem keine Kosten und Mühen gescheut. So umfasst das neue Album nicht nur acht frische Studiotracks, sondern auch einen kompletten Live-Film inklusive leinwandtauglichem Intro und Outro.

Gothminister will return this year in May with their 5th studio album called "Utopia". What is the current state of the album?

Bjørn: The album is finished, but we had a little delay due to the film. The thing is that we publish a special edition with a CD and DVD. So we recorded a pretty new album and a 77 minutes horror film which includes a one-hour-concert. It's a concept album which bases on the most asked question: How can I combine Gothminister and being a lawyer? The film starts at the court house where I am a lawyer and then it's about when everything goes to hell…

To what extent does the new album musicalwise differ from the previous one "Anima Inferna"?

Bjørn: The new album is more diverse and the focus is more on a metal direction. The keyboards are more or less gone. You know, before I started Gothminister I was part of the metal band Disco Judas. So it was quite logical when I started alone to work with computers. But as I come from the metal scene, it brought me more or less into the direction how Gothminister sounds like now. But you will still recognize Gothminister – the difference isn't so big. I just made the new album more organic.

For which reason did you decide to create a whole concept album?

Bjørn: I've always done concept albums. "Welcome to my nightmare" is one of Alice Cooper and I have also experienced strange things when I was a child. I used to live in a big house and I couldn't sleep. Outside I heard a man across the street coughing as he was very ill. That was really creepy… I just built the story of the concept album around it – of course also with some fantasy and imagination. On the CD I start with the child and this creepy man I could never see, because there were a lot of trees, so I couldn't see across the street… Later in the concept album I'm a grown up man and I'm walking across the street and what happen is that I turn into my worst fear – the man who I cannot see. So I become him. And it's strange, because how can you hear him as a child when you become him later in life? That's kind of an open question.

So the album is actually about you?

Bjørn: It's about me and I play around with the idea, well, a typical journalist question: How can you be a lawyer at daytime and Gothminister at night? How can you combine it? In real life I can more or less manage it. The concept album is about what will happen when I cannot manage it.

When did you start writing the new material and how did you proceed with the work?

Bjørn: I started in early 2012 and then I had this idea – because a lot of fans requested a live recording of the band – to let them take part in a recorded live show. In there's like a 3,5 meters doll and there's also a bit other stuff that you haven't seen before. In the middle of our show on the DVD the monster doll is taken by two actors on stage and the huge animatronic demon is dragging my feet and pulling me into the air. Then there is also a bat flying over the audience with glowing eyes. I spent more than 10.000 Euros for the DVD and stage performance from my own pocket. So it was a very big investment and I hope the audience will like it.

To what extent have Chris Dead, Icarus and Turbo Natas been involved in the writing process?

Bjørn: As before all the music, lyrics etc. are created by myself. They are more or less like a live band who contributes a lot during the live shows. On the album they are just playing what I like. But that was also my intention with Gothminister, doing a solo project… It's kind of good to be in charge of a band, because you can do what you want and then you're also able to get some advices, but in the end you can decide if you want to follow the advice or not. That might sound a bit egoistic [laughs]…

Which persons were involved in the production of the new album?

Bjørn: In the production process we had a guy called Neil Kernon. He has produced Judas Priest and Nile, for example, and he has a lot of Grammys on his back. But that doesn't mean much for me. It was just cool to work with him. For the film we actually had a crew of around 40 people. We have 18 different camera angles on the concert part of the film. As I work as a lawyer in the Norwegian film union and the members are incredibly people from the TV, commercial and film industry, some them helped us out with the make-up etc.

You already gave a little foretaste to your fans with the title track "Utopia" – presenting it at the Norwegian Eurovision pre-decision. How did this come about?

Bjørn: [laughs] Well, it's quite strange, but the guy from Gothminister called Turbo Natas is actually named Kjetil and played in a very hard metal band called Red Harvest. He wasn't supposed to be the most commercial, but he suggested to send something for the Eurovision. And so I did, but four weeks after the deadline. So I didn't think that we will be invited at all. But suddenly the Norwegian TV channel called us back telling us it's a great song and asking if we wanna join the competition. And I said that we can join it, when we can do a Gothminister show. It was a bit surprising, because there were around 700 songs waiting for a reply, but there were only 21 songs allowed to get in and we were among them and under the last seven. Everybody thought we would win, but we didn't think so, because it's not our stage. In the end we became number four. So I was very pleased. We played in front of, I think, almost one million TV watchers in Norway, so that's very cool. But also it's important that our fans know that we never tried to attend this very commercial song contest. Of course it's cool to play in front of almost one million TV watchers if you do your thing. But if you want to be in control of your art and everything, it's better not to win. We weren't there to win, we were just there to promote ourselves and show what we do! And I think the people liked it.

Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: Promo 2013
Website Band: www.facebook.com/officialgothminister

(c) Zillo Musikmagazin / Ausgabe 05/13 / www.zillo.de

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