«In alcuni periodi è stato più semplice, in altri meno ma non è mai stato un lavoro duro. Le sfide sono stimolanti e ci siamo resi conto che non possiamo avere il controllo su tutto. Se diventassimo cinici facendo musica solo per scopi commerciali, il risultato farebbe schifo e finiremmo per odiare sia il prodotto che noi stessi. Nel nostro caso funziona solo ciò che viene dal cuore, con purezza»: Bent Sæther, basso e voce dei Motorpsycho sintetizza l’etica che ha guidato la band fondata con Hans Magnus “Snah” Ryan (chitarra e voce) a metà anni ’80. I maestri del rock pesante a 360° che da trent’anni surfano tra psichedelia, noise, stoner, progressive, metal aprono la stagione di concerti al Capitol di Pordenone in via Mazzini 60, mercoledì alle 20.30. La band norvegese presenta l’ultimo album: «S’intitola “The Crucible”, il crogiuolo, un termine preso da “Blueprint for Armageddon” di Dan Carlin – spiega Sæther – per descrivere come la Prima Guerra Mondiale sia il momento che più di ogni cosa ha forgiato il mondo moderno in cui viviamo: un grande calderone di violenza che ripropone i vecchi imperi sotto forma di nazioni e rimuove ciò che avevano lasciato le società feudali e pre moderne».

E oggi come si è evoluta la situazione?

«La tendenza politica in Europa sembra orientarsi verso un altro cambiamento – dai valori rappresentati dalle democrazie illuminate che abbiamo conosciuto fin dalla Seconda Guerra Mondiale, indietro verso un concetto populista di “uomo forte” dalle tinte fascistoidi. Sono un convinto sostenitore della democrazia, e sono preoccupato: non penso che figure come Putin, Trump, Berlusconi o Erdogan portino prosperità, pace e civilizzazione. Dobbiamo imparare dalla storia, non ripetere gli errori del passato».

Che concerto portate?

«È la seconda tranche del tour che ha già toccato l’Italia a primavera, ma non ci fermiamo mai e le nostre scalette cambiano ogni sera. “Vi aspettano due-tre ore della miglior musica rock in circolazione”: suona pretenzioso, ma è un po’ vero».

In Italia avete un pubblico fedele.

«Ci suoniamo regolarmente dal 1994, la amiamo anche se è cambiata, oggi ci ricorda di più i paesi nord europei, ma mantiene ancora il fascino stravagante che ha presa su degli scandinavi come noi».

Conoscete la musica italiana?

«Siamo fan delle band progressive come Il Balletto Di Bronzo, Le Orme, Goblin ma siamo meno aggiornati sulle novità. Nei tour italiani hanno aperto per noi varie band locali, in una gamma che va dal fantastico alla spazzatura, ne deduco che come in ogni luogo ne abbiate di tutti i tipi».

È possibile definire il vostro genere?

«Andiamo dove ci porta l’ispirazione, non ci preoccupiamo delle etichette, se ci piace e funziona lo suoniamo. Ci caratterizza il metodo più che lo stile: il nostro modo di fare le cose – con energia e voglia di esplorare – segna le nostre produzioni».

Com’è cambiata l’industria musicale?

«Quando abbiamo cominciato il rock era mainstream, oggi rappresenta solo una sezione della musica (come il jazz)».

Il vostro autunno?

«Abbiamo passato un’estate impegnativa, registrando due album fino a giugno e andremo avanti come sempre: altri tour, altra musica, altre “motor – psicosi”».

 

Elisa Russo, Il Piccolo 7 Ottobre 2019

Motorpsycho Capitol

 

 

So you’ve performed in Italy many times what do you know/think about our country/culture and do you know of any italian artist/bands?

 

We have played regularly in Italy since 1994, and have loved it all along! We have also seen how it’s changed over the years, and it now feels a little more like a northern european country than it used to, but it still has a lot of the charm and ‘weirdness’ that appeals so much to a Scandinavian! We are big fans of bands lake Il Balletto Di Bronzo, Le Orme, Goblin and others from the progressive era, but are probably not quite up to pace with what’s happening these days, sorry!  We have obviously played a few gigs with local support over the years, and those bands have ranged from fantstic to utter rubbish,  so like anywhere you have all kinds!

 

  • You are coming back to Italy in october. What can fans expect to see at your italian shows?

 

This is formally the second leg of the Crucible Tour that also swung by Italy last spring,  but we are a really restless band and our setlist changes every night, so I really don’t know what to answer! «Two-three hours of the best rock music anywhere» sounds a bit presumptious, but … a little true too? Come on out and check for yourself!

 

 

“The Crucible” has received amazing and outstanding reviews and critical acclaim so far. How do you see this album fitting in your broader body of work?

 

It is still a bit too soon to say, but it clearly lines up with a few of our earlier, more demanding albums like The Death Defying Unicorn, albums that were demanding to write, demanding to record, very demanding to play right, and albums quite demanding of the listener: ‘uneasy listening’ you might say! We have no master plan and follow where the muse leads us, and some times she is less concerned with fitting in with the modern formats than others I guess. This somehow seems like a good middle ground where the music is challenging in the right way, but also catchy enough to not throw the listener off.

 

  • What’s the significance of the album’s title? And what was the thinking behind this album?

 

The Crucible is a term used by Dan Carlin in his podcast ‘Blueprint for Armageddeon’ to describe how WW1 was the moment that more than anything else shaped and formed the modern world we live in today: a big cauldron of violence that reshaped the old empires into modern nations and removed most of what was left of feudal societies and pre-modern society in Europe. The political dvelopment in Europe in our time seems to foreshadow another change – from the values represended by the enlightened democracies we have known since WW2, back towards some kind of populist, ‘strong man’ idea with fascistoid overtones. I am a convinced believer in democracy, and am concerned and worried that the world is changing into something else: I do not think that leaders like Putin, Trump, Berlusconi or Erdogan are good for civilisation, for prosperity or peace. I would rather we never had to endure another crucible like those wars, and felt a need to look at history to make sense out of- or at least to get some perspective on the current situation. So short answer: ‘change’, long answer: a little more convoluted!

 

  • Your albums seem to display quite a diverse range of genres. Do you consciously try to change your sound or is it more of a natural progression?

 

we go wherever inspiration leads us, and a re not concerned with stylistics at all: if we like it and it works, we’ll play it. Our thing seems to be more of a method than a musical style: it’s a way of doing things that permeates everything we do whether we want it to or not: a certain energy and drive and sense of exploration. We hope!

 

  • What’s the glue that makes your connection stick?

 

To Italy or to each other?

in both cases it’s that sense of exploration I mentioned I guess: of boldly going where we haven’t been before and seeing what happens.

 

  • What goals do you have with your music and its impact on the world?

 

We have no other goals than trying to stay real and true and to treat the gifts the Muses bring us with respect and gratitude. We don’t do this to acceive anything – it is enough in itself! (of course, world domination and shitloads of money would be nice, but …!)

 

 

  • You’ve been in the music business for several years. Did your view of the music world change over the years compared to when you started out?

 

Oh, it’s a different world! Wen we started rock music was mainstream music – now it seems to have reached the age where it is – like Jazz for instance – only one of the musics, and a niché one at best. That is just how it is, but it makes the demands on the music different: these days, when every music from recorded history is available instantly, people seem to go for extremes in a bigger way than before, so we do too. Fun, but really hard to calculate!

 

 

  • What would you say has been the hardest part of your musical journey so far? And the best part?

 

It hasn’t ever been hard! It’s been easier in some periods than in others, but I wouldn’t call it ‘hard’. Challenging and exciting, yes, but not hard. Best part was realising

that we cannot control anything and still be good at it. This is perhaps paradoxical i know, but it is actually true: when we get too cynical and start fucking with the music in order to acceive something commercial  – or do things motivated by anything other than musical concerns – the music sucks and we eventually hate both it and ourselves for doing it. It has to be purely from the heart to be any good, we can’t do it any other way, and that has freed us from a whole lot of carreer wringing of hands and stuff like that.

 

  • What’s happening next, is there anything upcoming and in the works already?

 

Oh, we have had a busy summer, recording two albums since june, so yeah! More music, more tours, more Motorpsychosis!

 

Thank you!

B.S.

 

 

 

Elisa Russo,
“Il Piccolo”, Trieste, Italy

 

Elisa Russo

Elisa Russo

Si occupa di musica e spettacoli su stampa, radio, tv e web. Dal 2004 collabora con il quotidiano Il Piccolo di Trieste. Spesso lavora in coppia con il fratello Ricky. The Russos hanno ideato, scritto e condotto il programma musicale “In Orbita”, in onda su Tv Capodistria (Slovenia) e su Radio Capodistria.
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