Kort interview in het Engels met Torgeir Waldemar

Onlangs bracht Torgeir Waldemar Engen het schitterende No Offending Borders uit, waarover ik een recensie schreef. Hij is een echte laatbloeier, want zijn solocarrière ving pas een paar jaar geleden aan. Zijn debuut was de vaderlandse pers ook al niet ontgaan en kreeg veel lovende kritieken. Ook zijn optreden toen op TakeRoot werd een groot succes. In mei komt Torgeir voor een paar concerten naar Nederland, een absolute aanrader, want live komt hij nog beter tot zijn recht.

Questions for Torgeir Waldemar Engen.

You started your solocareer just a few years ago. Did you play in bands before that?! Or did you something else for a living?!

I have played in several bands that didn't result in anything particular. But some of them were pretty serious. I attended Jake Ziah in 2008 for the live setup. And I played bass in The Goo Men. We also started The Devil And The Almighty Blues before I released my first solo stuff.

The songs are very serious on No Offending Borders. Are you a very serious person or are you just concerned about the huge problems in the world nowadays?

I am extremely serious. Haha. No. But yes. My opinion is that you can make humor out of anything, and it's important to do so. Sarcasm and satire are extremely important to help us not to take ourself  so serious. It's much more important to get ourself out of our own eyes, so we can see the need of people around us, so we can do something for them.

Neil Young is a huge influence in your music. Are there more?

Cash, Adams (Ryan), Welch&Rawlings, Van Zandt (both, but not Gus), Prine, Kristoffersen, Durado, Cooder, Fogerty, CSN, Browne, Clark (both), Harris, Parsons, Hillman, Nelson, Allmann and so and so and so.

Is Falling Rain recorded in one take?! I think that you already knew that song for a long time, isn’t it?

Falling Rain is recorded in one take. It was take three of that session. Actually, that record got my attention because of a friend of mine that wanted me to do a cover of another one from it. But then I heard something that stood out in Falling Rain that I in one second knew that I could get to work.

Great arrangements, especially Island Bliss with the two mellotrons. Did you follow a study for that?!

Hehe. Thanks a lot! No, it was just a sound we were looking for. How it turned out is almost out of the blue.

No Offending Borders is a different kind of record than your first one. Is this more closer to the real Torgeir or just an other part?!

Well, it was a natural thing for me to do, I've played the electric guitar for years so at some point I had to bring into the Waldemar-universe. Actually the second last song on the first record, We'll Meet Again, is played with the same guitar setup. My Telecaster Thinline -73 through my Fender Blues Junior.

Can you tell me where the song Sylvia is about?! Has the song something to do with Sylvia Plath?

Hehe. It has nothing to do with Sylvia Plath. It has much more to do with our minister of integration, Sylvi Listhaug, and the likes of her. And I use Young Southern Man as a backdrop to say that at this matter, nothing have happened since 1972. And that is not a good thing, it's an embarrassment to our western civilized world. Good job you did with your election, keep on fighting for the right ideas and keep the right-winged away from power. It's dangerous.

The lyrics of I See the End was written by Moji Abiola. How did you two met?

We met in Austin 2015 at SXSW. She turned up at an after party one night and I happened to sit with a guitar on my lap. And she started to sing the blues. I've never felt so close to the bedrock of the blues in my entire life. It was like touching the main power line. So I invited her to Norway, and six month later she was here.

She’s great singer, is there a possibility that you two will work more together?

We'll see how it turned out, but it's absolutely a chance for that.

Do you think the next album will be again a rock orientated album?

I haven't have time to think about the next record for one second, because now it's all about this one. But give me about six months or so, then I'll much more able to answer that. Hehe.

You had a lot of success last year at the Takeroot Festival. Are you coming over soon for new gigs?

I will play four shows in Holland in may. 18th to 21st, and one of them is in Groningen. So join in folks! It will be a blast! See you there.