Courtesy of Wearenoise.com
Ahead of their 4-date Irish tour, Honningbarna frontman Edvard Valberg gave Niall some uncompromising answers…
Hi, first of all could you tell us a little about the history of the band, how you first got together?
We got together at school when we where 17 and did what all 17 year old guys interested in music want to do. Start a band, play loud and have fun.
Other Scandinavian acts have had success through releasing records in English, but you sing in your native Norwegian. Was the temptation ever there to go for it in English?
Not really. The language is very important both for us and our songs. Even though people don’t understand the words, they tend to understand the universal energy and aggression. Non-verbal communication is often much more powerful anyway.
You’re in the middle of a fairly extensive tour at the moment. How would you say an Irish crowd differs from a Norwegian audience?
Since the metal scene is so strong in Norway, crowds there tend to go a bit more ape, than when we are playing in other countries. That’s a very big part of a Honningbarna concert – people dancing, yelling and having fun. But then again, it varies. For all we know people will go completely bonkers in Ireland.
You’ve been described as an anti-capitalist group and have released your music for free. Is it difficult to keep to this ideology?
No. Just don’t do what the industry tells you to do. We have a different view on who owns our songs. We don’t own them alone, we own the songs with whoever can dance, sing or play it. Or just likes it.
Your live act is known for its incredible energy. For those who haven’t seen you before, how would you describe the live experience?
Bring your dancingshoes and find out. A concert should be experienced. The sound, the smell, the things you see, the other people who are also there is a just as big a part of the concert as the band, so it feels wrong to describe it.
It’s unusual to see a punk act who have a cello onstage. Is there a certain classical influence and who else would you say has had the greatest impact upon your music?
Not as much as people assume. There really isn’t much classical inspiration other than the harmonic that almost all other genres share. Other than ourselves, it’s hard to take a single group that has influenced us the most. We listen to a lot of music and come from different muscial backgrounds.
Tragically, your drummer was killed in a car accident at the start of the year. Was it a difficult decision to carry on the band without him?
Not really. Anders is missed every day and he still feels like a brother to us, but all of us had made up our minds to keep on doing what we do. It was the only right thing to do, even though it would be understandable if people wanted out.
Lastly, with 2012 nearly behind us what does 2013 hold in store for Honningbarna??
Honningbarna Irish Tour Dates
Whelan’s Dublin Nov 14th
Róisín Dubh Galway Nov 15th
Dolan’s Limerick Nov 16th
The Pavilion Cork Nov 17th (w/ Girl Band, €6/€8, 9pm)