Pagan's Mind - A peek into a Pagan's MindAfter three full-length releases and a lot of news about the band, Metalrage.com thought it was time to interview Pagan's Mind. We got lucky and found a willing Pagan's Mind - encyclopedia in bassist Steinar Krokmo.
First of all, hi! It's awesome to be able to ask you some questions. I especially liked the latest album, 'Enigmatic : Calling'. Did you get many
"Thank you, sir, and cheers to ya! With the release of our third album we have received loads of good reviews and all the attention concerning the band has been great. Always when you release an album you get opinions and nice words as well as bad criticism, and that is the way it should be. It is simply impossible to satisfy everyone and everybody. But so far all the criticism has been overwhelmingly positive. It is really cool to read a top-notch review of the album knowing that we did whatever possible in our power to make it the best CD we could ever make. That is a big inspiration to us, although it really shouldn't mean anything. In the end, all reviews are merely one man's opinions, but they are always interesting to read."
Next thing I'd love to know: your lyrics involve, as on the previous albums, discussions about the origin of man and divine intervention. Where do you guys get the inspiration to write these lyrics? I find them pretty deep sometimes.
"We get a lot of inspiration from our adolescence where any thought or dream seemed possible, really, growing up reading about the great wonders and mysteries of the world, for instance, Erich Von Danicken, Shirley MacClaine, Carl Sagan, Tolkien etc. There are many thoughts and philosophies around us in modern society and how mankind perceive the pure excistence of itself, and those are real issues that I believe everyone asks themselves once in a while, like; Where do we come from? Where are we going? Is there such a thing as fate/faith? These are all interesting topics for everybody, to challenge the mind. I have to point out the fact that we are not religious, or promoting a philosophy or way of life onto people. Our concept is strictly fictional, for the record?"
To me it looked like you chose a more melodic and accessible style for 'Enigmatic : Calling'. Is there a reason for that choice?
"I believe that your observation is the product of us, both performing and omposing/writing as one unit, coming closer together over all, really. Hopefully we have evolved quite a bit as a band since the start 5 years ago, getting our stuff together, so to speak. I believe that, this time we made everything heavier, harder, more melodic, even more progressive and
playful (when it gets progressive). This was not something we decided to do before we recorded. Our process is quite slow, really. Some of the songs for Enigmatic : Calling were leftover parts from the previous album, Celestial Entrance, and we have been trying to combine all the riffs and melody patterns in every way possible until we were satisfied. A song is like a baby you have to raise, and the moment you record it, it has become definite, like the kid leaving the home to have a life of its own. A very interesting process really. We are all fortunate enough to live 15 minutes away from each other, which is a huge advantage when trying to work as one unit, a band, instead of becoming a project band,
and that way we keep up the inspirational level of one another all the time, being able to evolve and expand the material together, as well as having regular rehearsals, in average 3 times a week."
I read something on the website in Nils' profile about 'having a deeper
conversation with Nostradamus'. Does that have something to do with your
lyrics? Oh, and if you see him, tell him I said hi =P
"Might do, (laughs out loud) I believe he refers to the deeper literature he tends to read. We were all inspired by, and attracted to occultism and philosophy growing up and I believe he has a date with Nostradamus VSOP tonight? I will see him, but the big question is; will he see me???"
By the way, I took a look at your favourite dreams and I noticed that you dream a lot about women: miss Shekter, Carmen Electra and becoming incredibly rich. And of course of a pink, fluffy world. Pretty wild dreams, I'd say. Are you close to reaching one of them yet? Hehehe.
"Well, the world doesn't seem very pink and fluffy these days, with everything going on that we do not need at all. Stinkin' rich?? Nope. Women; YES! Apart from the fact it's not Carmen Electra. Thank god for free porn on the net, though."
Speaking about dreaming, how do you feel about extra-terrestrial life? You sing about it on 'Enigmatic : Calling'?
"Who knows if there is any? I find that you have to be open-minded about everything so why not? There is more to it all than meets the eye, I believe I have to stress the point that we are not followers of any cults or churches. These are just funny thoughts to play around with, really. As you probably can tell, we all love science fiction movies, too. And movies can be great inspiration for both writing lyrics and music. Mankind has throughout history been terrified by extra-intelligent life, or the mere thought of it. The whole topic rests undiscovered and that way we can fantasize and discuss the subject in any way we want, and that freedom is ours, to interpret it in any way we like."
Something else: how does it feel to be a successful Power Proggressive band in the land where Black metal rose greatly?
"That is a great feeling and enormous satisfaction. Why Black Metal became the dominant form of metal in Norway, is a mystery to me. But I believe that if you make good music no matter genre, people will notice you. Take for instance Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon and Arcturus, they've all become major players in the business. To me, coming from Norway playing kickass heavy metal with some progressive parts in it, and even entering the official
Norwegian charts with our latest CD, is a tremendous achievement. We are very content about it. Black Metal helped putting Norway on the hard rock-map again after TNT and Conception but I believe that their grand reign is over. People get their eyes up for other genres of Norwegian Heavy Metal."
Do you have any affiliation with the Black metal genre?
"Oh man, we have loads of friends in various Black Metal bands, like Dimmu, Satyricon
Mayhem, Limbonic Art, Arcturus, Dimension F3H (which Stian and myself were a part of for a couple of years) .We were doing live shows with DF3H but due to the time needed with Pagan's Mind we had to quit, unfortunately. It was a blast doing real aggressive sounding symphonic metal. I sort of miss it a bit."
You'll be playing at the Powerprog festival in the Netherlands in October 2005. Are you looking forward to it?
"We are very eager about doing this festival again this year. The response after the progpower '03 show was great but this time we are co-headlining, and the Dutch are such nice people with so many nice shops, hehe. The main man behind the festival, Renee Janssen, is such a nice guy, too, being able to pull off a festival with quite big names on the bill, in this tiny town of Baarlo. Amazing. They are very dedicated, indeed, and we are truly honoured to be playing there again in October. In march next year we will even do the first installment of Progpower UK."
Will you be playing a lot of songs of 'Enigmatic : Calling' or would you rather do more 'old stuff'?
"That is a big secret! Well, we will be doing 50/50 of old and new material, I believe. We normally work out a setlist for every show just before entering stage, so I really have no idea, but it will be good, I promise."
The first video for 'Enigmatic : Calling', 'Enigmatic Mission' has become a really cool clip. Are you planning to record more clips for the album?
Personally I'd like to see 'The Celestine Prophecy' as a video.
"As of today no new videos are planned, but I like your idea of releasing The Celestine Prophecy for our second video. The biggest tv channel here in Norway, NRK, are currently editing all the material shot at our release party in April and we are planning a DVD release of that in the future. On the 24th of August we are being released in Japan, and in that order we might need a new video as well, but as of today nothing is planned."
This is usually the spot where some legendary words are formed to our dear
readers. Let it rip!
"Watch out where the huskies go, don't you eat that yellow snow!
Always remember to remove the sleeping cat from the kick drums before starting playing."
Thank you very much for the interview and we hope to hear much more from you
guys in the near future!
"Thank you very much!"