GREEN CARNATION, the legendary band from Norway, returned after 14 years of absence with its incredible new album “Leaves of Yesteryear”. An epic Progressive Metal journey that covers all the periods of the band and paves the way for a bright future. Recently, we had the opportunity to talk with Kjetil Nordhus, the majestic voice of GREEN CARNATION, about the new album, as also for the past and future plans of the band.
– Hi Kjetil. I’m going to start the interview by saying congratulations for your new album which is amazing! I believe that, although it kind of retains your identity, it’s also a fresh sound and it moves you on to a new direction as a band. Would you agree with that?
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, that was kind of one of the aims with the album for us. Coming back after such a long time – 14 years – it didn’t really make sense to do something that we’ve done before. But still, it was important for us to keep the band’s identity, the typical GREEN CARNATION elements. Looking back, we have released five albums that were really different from each other, so I think we have been following the gut speaking; We said, “let’s do an acoustic album” and then we did an acoustic album. We said, “let’s do an album with only one track”, and we did an album with only one track. Then “let’s do a prog rock album” and we did a prog album etc. With all the albums I think that you would find some pieces and parts of some songs that it is so typical GREEN CARNATION you know? So, we try to work a little bit with our musical identity and try to gather all those typical GREEN CARNATION aspects in one album.
– I think you accomplished that and I’m assuming you are happy with the result then?
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, I think we are, and I can talk on behalf of all the guys in the band and everybody involved that we’re really happy with it. Probably that’s because we managed to do what we wanted to do?
Obviously, it’s a huge bonus for us that other people like it as well and you will hear every band saying something like this but we had an ambitious aim with the album, and that was to not compromise on anything. We did some bold choices I think with, including only three new songs for example. Many people are asking us about that. The explanation is that we wanted an album with no fillers. We wanted an album that you could follow from the first to the very last second. Everything’s there for a reason.
– That makes sense. Make every second count.
Kjetil Nordhus: Every second counts. We did have maybe three or four or five new songs, we could have included but we needed the album to decide what was going to be on it. We wanted to make it like a journey from the first to the last second. We couldn’t have any elements that didn’t belong one hundred percent in there. So that’s why the album turned out like it was and that’s what we wanted to do. I think that’s the main reason why we’re so happy with it. We didn’t put any, for example, personal pride into it: “Oh, I have a new song, I like it, it has to be on the album…”, you know, stuff like that.
– I understand. I think it’s very cohesive as an album and it sounds like you are on top form. I mean every review I’ve read is praising it, so that must mean something, right?
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, Of course it does. It was a thing we did after coming back in 2016 to do “The Light of Day, Day of Darkness” reunion here. We didn’t really agree before that we were going to continue after that, because we wanted to see how it was to play together again. Obviously, it was great for us to play together again and all those shows in 2016 were amazing for us. So, we decided to continue: “Let’s try and make new music. Let’s see if we have it in us to make a record good enough to be the sixth GREEN CARNATION album”. Because you wouldn’t know that before starting it as we’re all you know, 10 or 15 years older. And the one thing we didn’t want to do is to release something that wasn’t extremely good, therefore we used quite a lot of time on composing. Throwing away a few songs, bringing in some new ones and to try and figure out how to make this album like we wanted it to. So, it was early last year we decided to do the album.
– Just last year? So, it didn’t cross your mind at all since you came back so many years ago? It was 2014, right?
Kjetil Nordhus: Yes. And after those shows in 2014, we then we started preparing for the 2016 shows which took one and a half years to get us back on stage. That was thousands of hours.
You know, again coming back after so many years to do “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” we didn’t want to give the audience something that was 95 or 96%. Those last few percentages, that’s a lot of work. You can get it up to a certain level quite easy but it’s getting from something that’s good to something that’s as good as you can. That’s a lot of work.
– I agree. That level of dedication and passion must have been deeply appreciated by your fans. In terms of your record company, you’re back to Season of Mist. Was that an easy decision or did you consider other labels as well?
Kjetil Nordhus: After deciding that we were going to do an album, we had an idea for what we want to do with the band all the way up to 2023. Obviously now in the situation we’re in, we might have to adjust some plans, but we talked with maybe five or six labels about doing like a short-term collaboration or longer-term collaboration. I remember talking to Michael of Season of Mist, after we played at Roadburn in 2016. He asked me to contact him in case we wanted to do something new, because we used to work with Season of Mist in the early 2000s and we kept in contact. So, it became obvious for us when we talked to different labels that Michael really believes in the band, Season of Mist really believes in the band, and believes in what we want to achieve in the next few years. Up until now it’s been a perfect collaboration. Season of Mist seems to have grown quite a lot since the early 2000s.
– It has! Too many amazing bands in the roster.
Kjetil Nordhus: It’s very different to work with them because formerly, like 15-20 years ago, we talked with a label manager about everything. Now, he has people to do everything that are all experts on everything. And that’s really nice.
– That’s great. What would you say that your strongest market is at the moment? Europe or the US?
Have you got an idea about these things?
Kjetil Nordhus: Well, you can kind of sense that, and you get statistics on Spotify, for example, and stuff like that. Our biggest market is the US but it’s kind of unfair to Europe because if you compared USA to Europe, I think Europe would be bigger. Actually, Greece and Turkey are quite big. Norway, obviously, the US and Finland. Finland is quite big as well. I think Helsinki would be one of the cities with most at least Spotify plays.
– Wow! I believe the European audience was more used to your kind of sound, whereas the US, in my opinion, wasn’t so big into that. When you came out in the early 00s, nu metal was passing the torch of popularity to metalcore so not many fans where into dark and progressive music like yours. But now I think the tide has turned. We see many progressive bands, becoming more popular in the US, which is really good.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, it’s true. Obviously, there’s a lot of people in the US, so it’s no surprise that maybe US is on the top but if you decided to divide the US into all of the states, I’m not sure if any of the states would be on the top 10 list anyway, so it’s a bit like this.
– That’s very likely indeed. It’s great though that you have fans from all over the world. Do you listen to any modern bands by the way?
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah. I think I’m the guy in GREEN CARNATION who listens most to contemporary music. I’ve been using the Corona period to check out music, check out albums and even genres. Last summer I went kind of deep into the sludge genre which I didn’t know too much about from before. There is this festival in the Netherlands that I have been to just both as an audience and as an artist called Roadburn.
– Oh yes, it’s very popular.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, it is and it’s not a genre festival, it’s a contemporary music festival presenting a lot of stuff I’ve never ever heard about. The common thing with all the bands that participate in this festival is that they are uncompromising towards their arts.
– That’s true. It’s one of the most interesting festivals every year.
Kjetil Nordhus: And that’s what I’m kind of trying to look for when I listen to new music now – it’s the uncompromising relation to your own art. We could say maybe non-commercial music, but I can like pop music and everything as well.
– Oh yeah, me too. I learnt to like everything.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah! The Post-Rock genre is also a really nice thing to dive into for me. I have become a really big fan of CULT OF LUNA for example. And through CULT OF LUNA, Julie Christmas and Chelsea Wolf.
– Great voices!
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, amazing! And also, Emma Ruth Rundle.
– Oh, I don’t know her.
Kjetil Nordhus: No? So, there is this playlist that I’ve been listening to; A friend of mine who’s really like an expert in all these, you know, these contemporary new artists. She made a playlist at the beginning of the Corona time that’s called “The High Priestess” on Spotify. I’ve been using it to dive into and to check out more artists because that playlist would consist of actually only female singers which isn’t a political thing but it’s really amazing. I’ve been like, going from there and into the artists and listening to lots of new music, so it’s really good.
– I have discovered many new bands from Spotify. Initially, I wasn’t a big fan, but it has become a very useful tool to discover new music.
Kjetil Nordhus: True, true.
– You said that the performances you did back in 2014 were really good and you received some amazing feedback from the fans. Would you say that this was kind of your defining moment that made you realise you have to turn this temporary reunion into something permanent?
Kjetil Nordhus: We split up in 2006, I think it was. If you had asked any of the guys in the band in 2006-7-8-9-10 or maybe even 2011, if we were ever going to come back together, I think you would have got the same answer from everybody: “no, that’s probably not going to happen.” But during 2012, I talked a little bit with Tchort and a little bit with Stein Sordal that maybe it could be cool to just do a gig for fun and see how it is, because we didn’t part company as enemies or anything like that. So, the offer came from the festival that we had played on in 2005. It was where we recorded the “Under the Dam” DVD. You know, on top of the Norwegian mountains, under the waters. We were the first band who played under the dam, and now in 2014, they were going to tear it down, the entire dam! So, they asked us if we wanted to be the last band to play under the dam. That was kind of a good enough excuse to get everybody talking. We’re going to do this and see how it feels and then afterwards, let’s just decide afterwards if we’re going to do anything more. There were people coming from I think 13 or 14 different countries – from the US, from Australia and from all over the world – to see that gig, which was obviously extremely motivating that people hadn’t forgotten about us. Then, there was a big part of us checking if there was any special year coming up soon. We saw that two years from then, it was going to be the “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” anniversary, so we decided to do that and see how that was and then decide if we were going to do something more, long term.
– And here we are today, with a new album and plans at least until 2023! You mentioned earlier that you had recorded some other songs that didn’t go in the album. Can we expect a future release, maybe an EP, with those songs?
Kjetil Nordhus: We were discussing this with the label right now. Because we did have a plan, but it didn’t include an EP. Next year, we’re going to relaunch the “Acoustic Verses” on vinyl and stuff with some extra songs and a remade cover. It will also be remastered for vinyl which is going to be very nice because then we will have an anniversary for that one. (laughs) Also, since 2017 we’ve also worked on long term debts, where we’re going to do three albums in one go!
– Three albums? This is great news!
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah! So, we do have plans for all these, but then, the COVID situation comes along and kind of messed up everything. But during the Corona time, we have also made a new song, a ten-minute prog epic!
– That’s incredible! I was going to ask to be honest if you were inspired by this situation.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah. Stein Sordal is the main songwriter of the new songs on the new album and we found this way of working together, that works out really well for me and him. We work a lot on the songs before showing them to everybody else and then we get some feedback from them. Then we change it a little bit more until everyone’s happy with it. So, we have done this with a new song now, which we are like incredibly happy with. That’s why we contacted the label about maybe – because we have to postpone so many things now – doing an EP or something like that to keep the, you know, momentum.
– Yes, quite a few bands do this now. Release material to keep the interest of the fans.
Kjetil Nordhus: But this is basically down to money. Like always! And we haven’t really figured out how we’re going to do it yet because it’s going to cost us maybe six or seven thousand euros to do that song, like how we want to do it with the music video and everything. We don’t have the money and it’s a bit complicated. It’s not easy to crowdfund something when you don’t have a physical thing to give people either you know, because that’s basically begging. So yeah, we think we’re going to try to be a bit creative and see if we can come up with something clever that our fans would like to do together with us.
– Well that sounds like a plan and I hope it works well because now I can’t wait to hear the song!
Kjetil Nordhus: We were totally chuffed about it so I really hope that someday we can manage to release it.
– Fingers crossed. So, back to the album, what do you think drove you to cover “Solitude” by BLACK SABBATH?
Kjetil Nordhus: There are a few reasons for that. Well, first and foremost, it has already been in the band for a few years. I think Stein Sordal actually, before the “Acoustic Verses” recording in 2004-5, he suggested that one, but we chose another song instead. But it was kind of still in our minds and in 2014 we started working on this acoustic live in the studio thing for a YouTube project, but we didn’t finish it, so we never launched that. “Solitude” was the first song we actually kind of made a version of. When we then saw how the album was panning out, the structure of it, we needed this last song to land everything to finish off the album. And then when we went and looked at that one, both lyrically and mood wise and everything, it was just 100% perfect for the way we needed to end the album. Therefore, that’s why it’s there.
– It’s great cover and it’s a great ending to a great album!
Kjetil Nordhus: We could have put a progressive new song in there, but it would have changed the entire album if we’d done that. So, I’m really happy that we allowed ourselves to let the album decide which song needed to be finishing off the album.
– Yeah, I totally agree. And what about “My Dark Reflections…”? Why did you choose to rerecord this song from your first album?
Kjetil Nordhus: One of the things we talked about – because we did talk a lot about this album, more than we used to do back in the old days. Maybe that’s because of age and everything (laughs) or maybe that’s because we know how important it is to know what you want to actually do. There is a certain level of retrospect in the album. Everybody would hear that, although it’s done in a fresh way, in a contemporary way, and also maybe sometimes pointing towards the future; we did something on this album that we have never done before.
– It’s like a bridge between the past and the future.
Kjetil Nordhus: Exactly! And this very first album by GREEN CARNATION, the only guy in the band from the first and the second album was Tchort. He changed the entire line-up before “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” and today’s line-up is basically the same as that album. So, “Journey Through the End of the Night” hasn’t really been something that’s been in our minds. I mean, it’s still there, it’s a GREEN CARNATION album, but it’s got its own history and we wanted to bring that into, into our history. Also, “My Dark Reflections of Life and Death” is probably the most important GREEN CARNATION song ever because it’s the basis of the entire “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” album. In a way, this album is kind of just a long, long story coming from that song.
– Like an extended version of that song.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, so if it weren’t for that song, there would never be “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” probably and without it, at least GREEN CARNATIONS’s history would be…
– Completely different?
Kjetil Nordhus: Maybe not even there! Because that’s our breakthrough album. So, there’s a lot of reasons. We also brought the song into our live set in 2017 or 18. And then we needed to make this slightly new version out of it because we are playing stuff differently than the ones on the original and it just worked out so well live because it sounded for us even, that this is something we could have written today.
– Definitely. It’s an epic, dark atmospheric song that enthrals you from the first note!
Kjetil Nordhus: So, there’s a lot of reasons why that song is on the album. It’s an extremely important song as well. It’s like this heavy, long centrepiece that holds everything together. The entire album is kind of built out from that centrepiece. There are so many reasons for everything on this album that I get a little bit surprised when I think about it because there’s so many things that kind of perfectly fit together.
– This shows how much work you’ve put into this album. Moving on, what would you say your inspirations were back then? When you first started the band?
Kjetil Nordhus: GREEN CARNATION has obviously been a band evolving a lot. Also, when it comes to stuff like that, because “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” obviously, for the people who know the story behind it, the inspiration for that long song is Tchort’s. It’s all inside Tchort’s head you know. From there, bringing other people into the band ended up in having other people composing songs and lyrics and everything. On “Acoustic Verses” for example, all of the guys in the band wrote songs. The drummer had a song; I did a song; the different guitar players had a song; Tchort had a song… As you see it’s very hard to say what the inspirations were because it’s been so many different inspirations as we’ve been so many different people, you know, writing the music. It would be anything from all Norwegian Black Metal to Pop bands like AHA and BLACK SABBATH and PINK FLOYD, it’s so so different. And I think that’s what made GREEN CARNATION sound like we do today because we are extremely different when it comes to musical taste and where we’re from in the music. Tchort obviously is from the extreme metal back in the day, but he’s also the biggest, you know, the guy who brings in the most PINK FLOYD into the band. I’m genre-less but then I told you that I listen to a lot of contemporary music. On the other hand, Stein Soldar who’s coming with the musical ideas, he’s into outlaw Country music, Pop and old BLACK SABBATH stuff.
– That’s very interesting and I think it explains the uniqueness of your sound.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah. Even though we’re really different, I think that within our DNA, we do have some GREEN CARNATION DNA.
– And that’s your common ground?
Kjetil Nordhus: Yes. Yes.
– I want to ask you next to tell us a few things about the new guy, Jonathan Perez?
Kjetil Nordhus: Well I know him for almost my entire life. We grew up in the same place and we played in a few bands together before, me and him. He’s the drummer that we always wanted to have in the band, and he helped us make everything perfect and everything fit together. All the guys in the band knew him from before but he’s a friend of mine since we were kids. So, I know him also, you know, when it comes to touring with and everything. It’s been a really good addition for GREEN CARNATION both socially and musically.
– Judging from his drumming in the album, he sounds very talented.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yes, he’s very talented, and we’re still kind of pushing him. I think what he did on the album is like he did exactly what the songs needed and that’s what we agreed. But we’re kind of pushing him to be even more, you know, experimental and stuff. We’re also pushing each other. All of us are pushing each other, you know, in directions so things don’t get too stale. So, it’s never like a stable thing with GREEN CARNATION. It’s always moving.
– So, we’re looking forward to hearing more from Mr Perez in the future and more crazy stuff from the band. Recently you did this live stream. I have to say it was very impressive. I think it was even better than DVDs and stuff. The sound and the quality of the picture were amazing. What do you think about this experience? It must have been very unique.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yes. GREEN CARNATION is a band that has done some extraordinary stuff in the past, like the “Under the Dam” DVD for example. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. Making a one-hour song, it’s not something you know anybody else does. Also, the “Last Day of Darkness” DVD with a documentary and everything… It’s like we’re a more-is-more band; We do something, we do what’s expected and then we try and do a little bit more you know. So for us when the idea to do a live stream came up because of COVID-19, we said “okay we can do that,” but we don’t want to do something, you know, in our kitchen with a mobile phone because our fans deserve more than this. It’s our first release party for 14 years, so we kind of brought all the good minds together that we could in our small hometown in Norway and luckily there are enough great minds and great professionals to pull off something like that. But I have to say it was probably or by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as a singer live, because everything was so different. Normally you would come to the venue, you rig up, check the lights, check the sound, and then do the gig. But this was, first a lot of rehearsal. Then we arrived at the venue, on Wednesday and we were there the entire Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday! My brain was completely roasted! And then we were supposed to deliver the best show ever!
-That’s a lot of stress and pressure!
Kjetil Nordhus: Definitely. And then we went to do the gig with no audience. Of course, I tried to prepare for this, but it was really challenging because everything was so different that even the sounds were coming from different directions than I was used to. So, my brain was like completely working on overload, all the time to compress everything. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the after-show party because I was totally knackered.
– I hope you managed to get some rest after everything was over.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, the entire day after the show I didn’t really do anything. Then we had the Monday off luckily and I didn’t really do anything on Monday either and then it was back to normal life on Tuesday.
– And then you had your birthday, right? So happy birthday!
Kjetil Nordhus: Thank you. Thank you.
– So, we talked about “Dark Reflections…”, your past influences and “Light of Day, Day of Darkness”. Is there any chance we’re going to see the whole song or part of it again in a live show?
Kjetil Nordhus: I wouldn’t say that it’s not a chance for it, but again, we don’t really want to play parts of it. It’s like showing a little bit of a movie only to people on a film festival. You wouldn’t show the first 20 minutes of a movie and then turn it off and then show another movie you know. Plus, we are not fond of the idea of repeating ourselves. I don’t think it’s possible to do it better, for us at least, than we did in 2016. There needs to be something new to it for us to be interested in doing it, otherwise it’ll feel like we’re doing the same thing again and again. So, that’s not something that really sounds too interesting for us. We have been talking though a little bit about slightly if we were to do that again how we could do it, but up to now we haven’t really figured out a way.
– I understand. There needs to be a new experience for you. Well I had to ask, as it is one of my favourite albums and I would love to see it live sometime in the future. Still, I’m glad to hear it’s not completely out of question.
Kjetil Nordhus: We have quite a few plans now until 2024. As I said, it took us one and a half years to prepare to get it back on stage in 2016, so it’s probably not going to happen in the next few years.
– Understandably. Talking about plans, did you have any shows planned that you had to cancel because of the virus?
Kjetil Nordhus: We didn’t have an extreme amount because the album was released way too late for the summer festivals anyway, so we weren’t really on too many summer festivals. We had to postpone a headlining festival in Romania in March, a show in Turkey in April, Rome and Kristiansand too. There’s also a couple of festivals in Hungary and Slovenia this summer that have been postponed. We wanted to headline the Prog Power Europe festival in October and that has been postponed. But we do have some new dates in October for Greece and Turkey, but to be honest with you, I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. I’ve been trying to get used to the idea that we’re probably not going to play live in 2020.
– I think that’s the reality now and it is really sad for both bands and fans.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah it is really sad because for us it’s something that we really wanted to do. We wanted to play the new songs live, as the reception has been great and the songs sound really good live as well. But I think we’ve agreed to try and use the time that we were supposed to travel to something else band related. So maybe you know long term at least something good can come out of it, because we need to use a few thousand hours on that three-album project as well and we just have a bit more time for that now.
– Well let’s hope that this thing is over by 2020 and next year, every band will be on the road again.
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, absolutely! But there’s many problems with this because, our plan was to play the bigger festivals, the big summer festivals, next year, but they’ve already been fully booked with this year’s line-up. So, it’s a bit frustrating but we try not to be frustrated because it wouldn’t do us any good. We just tried to be clever about it and do something else instead.
– That’s a good way to deal with this whole situation. Let’s talk about the album cover now, which is captivating. It was done by Costin Chioreanu?
Kjetil Nordhus: Costin was the one who did the video. It’s Niklas Sundin who made the album cover.
– Oh, really? I saw the video first and then the album cover and I found the style to be quite similar, so I assumed that it was the same artist…
Kjetil Nordhus: Well, there’s a story behind that as well because Costin and Nicholas are related artistically. They have been from many years; Niklas used to be Costin’s big hero when Costin was a kid, because Niklas is maybe 15 years older than him. So Costin has always been really inspired by Niklas’ style. Obviously Costin now today has his own style and it doesn’t look like Niklas, but you can still see that there are some similarities. When it came to the cover, we contacted Niklas as we’ve been working with him for almost well for 20 years. We know him really well artistically and in the last 10 years I’ve become really good friends with him on a personal level because we’ve been touring together with his band with one of my other bands. So, I’ve been getting to know him really well and we’ve been talking a lot about GREEN CARNATION. Therefore, we knew that Niklas would understand what we wanted to do with the album and that we wouldn’t have to explain too much because we sent him the demos and the lyrics.
– So, he created the cover from the lyrics and the songs he heard? That’s awesome!
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah. We knew that we were going to get something that we would like a lot. He gave us some different ideas in the very beginning, and went for this one, and then he just developed that into this amazing piece of art! For me, that’s kind of significant in many ways you know with all the complexness and the entire mood of the album cover. I think the colours of the cover are the same colours as in the music of the album. Sometimes it’s the right thing for bands to challenge themselves with working with people they don’t really know what they’re going to get. But again, as I told you earlier, we knew so well what we wanted to do so we needed people on board that understood that, because we couldn’t have an alien element coming in and disrupting the rest. That’s also why we had Costin to do the music video because he would relate to the cover and the cover was related to the music. So, you know, everything is kind of like this.
– Again, like pieces of a puzzle fitting together. To be honest, I believe that this is the best cover you’ve ever had.
Kjetil Nordhus: I think so too. Niklas also made the “Quiet Offspring” cover if I remember correctly, and the “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” as well.
– Which are completely different from his usual style, but all are very unique.
Kjetil Nordhus: Of course. We are like the same age and obviously 20 years ago we were the same age then as well. So, we kind of have developed together and I find that interesting as well because the music develops, the artwork develops, and if it develops not like this (moves his hands away from each other) but if it develops in the same way (brings hands together in front of him and interlocks his fingers), it’s going to fit together after 20 years again.
– That’s really great. Let’s go to your past again. Have you got any kind of memories that are always going to stay with you from the early days with the band?
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, I think there’s quite a lot with GREEN CARNATION. Both good and bad, I guess. (laughs) But more recently I think the level of expectations when we… We were going to do that show in 2016 for “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” at a festival in Bergen in Norway called Blastfest. When I went there the day before to do some press and to meet people, I was kind of almost shocked by the level of expectations that people had for that show. Because obviously, as I told you, we were really well prepared and everything but we hadn’t thought about that people are going to have like enormous expectations to this, because they haven’t heard it for 10-12 years or maybe never you know. So, I did some interviews the day before and then I met people from South America that had come to basically see that song being played live. I was like ‘oh my god, what if this isn’t as good as we think it is?’
And I remember during the show that we could see it after like just a few seconds that we had already connected with the fans. I think that some of the magic with this song also live is that we invite people in from the moment the opening tone sets the stage and the light sets. We keep them there for an hour and we never let them. So, it’s emotionally draining in a good way for them and I remember one special moment I think I could see maybe 10 or 15 people crying at the same time.
We weren’t really prepared for that emotional feedback because we had never discussed how to react to a situation like this. Then everybody was like, “Wow, this is almost too much” you know and kind of a bit distracted by it, which was basically a good thing as an experience. That’s something I’ll never forget because it was so overwhelming for us, after so many years and everything.
– Makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing that with us. Another thing I want to ask you is, would you say there is a difference between the way you recorded music back then and the way you record music now?
Kjetil Nordhus: For us it’s been different from album to album. When we went to in the studio with “Light of Day, Day of Darkness”, we basically just had a lot of musical themes – the entire composition was put together in the studio. There were hardly any vocals there before we went into the studio. The basis of the album was already on demos, but we had no idea how it was going to develop. As you understand, the producer of the album played a really important part in the whole process. Then, we went on to “A Blessing in Disguise”, which we demoed and went into the studio and recorded it. When we made the demos, Stein Sordal played all the instruments and Tchort played some guitars. We then learned it by listening to it and we recorded it in the studio. This time around, as I said, Stein and I, worked a lot on the structure of the songs until we had a complete song. Then we went to the band with it. We got a lot of feedback from them which we used to do some more changes. Next, we took it to the rehearsal room to see how it really sounds and maybe do some more adjustments. You know, at first, when you programme demo drums for example, they can sound really nice and then when you do it live the song can lose something. So, we ended up having different versions of the new songs and even in the studio we had to be open to do some adjustments because things will sound different in the studio than on rehearsal space. We’ve been working in lots of different ways but right now this is the way for us to do it because it’s really worked on this album, so we’re going to try and continue working proximately like that for a little while. We’re not completely sure yet though on how to work on that three-album project, because that will probably be a combination of our old and new ways of working.
– Again, mixing a bit of the past and the future. I like that. Speaking about your new three album project, I think your first three albums were part of a trilogy? Did you have this in mind back then?
Kjetil Nordhus: (shaking his head) I think for us the trilogy has never been finished. It was just an idea in the early days, because you could say that even from the first to the second album, to have these as the first and second part of a trilogy wouldn’t make any sense because they were too different. Also, having “A Blessing in Disguise” as a second album of a trilogy where “A Light of Day, Day of Darkness” is the first one, it doesn’t make sense at all because they don’t belong together. So there’s been a lot of speculations and everybody’s asking about the trilogy because it’s something we said in some interviews many years ago, but I think what we’re going to do with the three new albums is probably going to go on and give people answers on all the trilogy questions they have without me saying too much about that.
– You’re going to let the music do all the talking eh? (laughs). I remember that Tchort had mentioned back then, that he was planning to release another album after “The Acoustic Verses” but that never came to be. Are these ideas part of this trilogy you’re talking about?
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah.
– Excellent. This whole project sounds very intriguing now and I can’t wait to hear it!
Kjetil Nordhus: We’ve been working on that project since we’ve had like a short term and a long-term project on the side. So, we have been working on those three new albums since 2017. And we still do, even though this year we’ve been very busy with this release of our new album obviously. But I think even this summer we are going to use quite a lot of time on composing for that long-term project.
– Make the most of the situation right now, right?
Kjetil Nordhus: Yeah, absolutely.
– Brilliant! Well I think that’s all for me. Thank you very much for your time and this interview. I really enjoy it and like I said, I hope to see you soon on the road. And if it’s not a gig then some new music.
Kjetil Nordhus: I hope the same too. Thank you and take care!
Interview: Dimitris Benetatos
Cover Artwork: Alexandros Soultatos
Design & Editing: Alexandros Soultatos
Photos: Petter Sandell, Jacob Buchard
Date: June 15th 2020
External Link: GREEN CARNATION – Official Page
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