Lengsel is a black metal band from Norway whose deeply reflective lyrics and heavy tunes are beginnng to win them fans all over the world. Their debut album SOLACE has just been released here in the U.S. by Solid State Recordings. We recently had a chance to e-mail the band, asking them questions about their music, the famous Norwegian Black Metal Scene, and their spiritual beliefs. Read on for enlightenment!

Highwire Daze: Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Lengsel and how long the band has been together?

Tor Magne: I'm Tor Magne and play guitar in the band and I handle the vocals on Solace as well. Lengsel is now located in Oslo (capitol of Norway). We started up as a thrash-band in the early -90's, but we've been around as Lengsel since 95 I think.

HD: What exactly is a Lengsel?

Tor: Lengsel is the Norwegian word for yearning/longing. To us Lengsel is an extreme word which describe the intensity in our lyrics/music perfectly.

HD: The lyrics on Solace are deeply personal and reflective. What are some of the songs about and what inspired you to write the lyrics?

Tor: We just want to write down what's on our minds, and it is important to us that the lyrics are not just fantasy. The lyrics on Solace are about being what we are, dealing with depression and hope. I think we kind of inspired ourselves when we wrote these lyrics. It's been easier to write lyrics when we've been depressed, but we've changed a lot since then. I guess Solace was a part of a bigger process in our lives.

HD: Aren't the terms Black Metal and Christianity kind of contradicting one another?

Tor: Black Metal has been a perfect way to express ourselves. Some might think we're pathetic writing serious lyrics and playing Black Metal, but we play the music we like, and to me it's Black Metal. Maybe there's a term that fits our music better?

HD: What do you think of fellow Black Metal bands like Mayhem and Darkthrone?

Tor: Mayhem is a great band with excellent musicians. Their songwriting is non-typical and it's hard to compare this band with others. Darkthrone is not of my taste really,- too static in their performance in my opinion.

HD: How did you wind up on the American Solid State record label?

Tor: We got the deal through Endtime Production in Sweden. Solid State seemed like a good choice, and there's nothing to compain about. They're highly professional in what they do. It's great to have distribution on more than one continent.

HD: How much of an influence does Christianity have on your music and your life?

Tor: It's almost the same as with music,- if you enjoy music, it's hard not to show it. "You'll end up like what you eat".

HD: Are you interested at all in Viking mythology?

Tor: No not really. Of course it's interesting to know what our forefather's beliefs were like, but nothing apart from that.

HD: What do you say to a non-Christian who is really into the music of Lengsel but may or may not agree with the messages you convey?

Tor: If you enjoy our music that's great. Our lyrics are personal and sometimes abstract and I can easily understand if it's hard to catch the message. But to me it's absurd if someone came to me and said "you're not happy today" if I am happy. The lyrics reflect our lives and our emotions. Of course one can say our lives are based on lies, but still we feel the way we do and no one can deny that.

HD: What do you think of the state of the current Norwegian Black Metal music scene today?

Tor: There's some good acts here, and Norway has still the the strongest Bm scene in the world, but many bands have started copying the more famous bands. Still, the scene is in progress.

HD: Are there any other Lengsel recordings that are available?

Tor: We have recorded several demo's and rehearshal-tapes, but none of them are available on CD so far.

HD: Which member is in Extol and how are things with that band?

Tor: I stepped in as bass-player on the U.S.-tour last year, and have been playing with 'em since then. Extol's new recording "Undeceived" will be released in June and we'll be touring the U.S. for 6 weeks this summer. Things are going the right way for this band. They're some really cool guys and I love playing with 'em. Hopefully Extol will be touring Europe as well in the near future.

HD: Any plans for Lengsel to tour here in the States?

Tor: First we need to complete the live line-up, - but it seems like this problem is going to be solved pretty soon, so maybe next year? It's hard to say. We can't do a tour on our own, we'll have to be supporting some other band.

HD: Do you have any messages for metal fans here in the States?

Tor: Check out the metal-scene here in Europe. The European scene differs in many ways from yours, and if your interessted in some fresh metal you should check out Solace.

The members of Lengsel are Ole Halvard Sveen on drums, Tor Magne S. Glidje on guitars and vocals, and John Robert Mjaland on bass.


SOLID STATE RECORDS: The U.S. record label for Lengsel!
THE OFFICIAL LENGSEL HOME PAGE: All the news on Lengsel!
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