sábado, 27 de abril de 2024


1. In Vain was born around 2003. If I'm not mistaken, its creation is related to a school project. Can you expand on this information? Why did you choose the name In Vain and what does it refer to?

In Vain actually started as a school assignment in 2003, when I was attending a music school. We had do to a project in a recording class where each of us needed to record a track using the school's recording studio. For some time, I had been considering the idea of forming a metal band with my pal Andreas (Frigstad – he was the main singer), who was really into metal music back then. That assignment from the school really helped turn our idea into something real, which eventually became In Vain. I hadn't played extreme metal music before, but I managed to come up with some guitar pieces that turned into the song 'As I Wither'. Andreas handled the lyrics and the singing part. 'As I Wither' was our first song, and it was included on our first album 'The Latter Rain', which was released in 2007.

Originally, we wanted a three letter band name; i.e. something like “xx in Vain”. But we were never able to come up with what should be in front of “in vain”. So we ended up just calling ourselves In Vain.

2. The edition of your fifth album “Solemn” has just been released, a new work that comes almost six years after your previous “Cuerrents”, what has the composition process of “Solemn” been like? 

Just to be clear, the composition process has not been 6 years. Typically, after the release of a new album, I take a break from composing music, as it is quite intensive and hard work. The album was mastered in Sept 2022. It was delayed intentionally because we did not want to release an album in the middle of Covid, and not being able to support it live. In addition, there was quite big delays on the printing of vinyl. 

3. You have always been characterized by being a band that has not left its followers indifferent and with each new release you do not set stylistic limits, to that progressive death sound that nourishes your sound, you have always liked to color it with elements of doom, heavy or a pinch of black, even for the occasion we can glimpse sections that may remind us of jazz. Is innovation and the incorporation of different elements and styles to your sound something non-negotiable? What can your fans expect from this new work? How Do you think the sound has evolved compared to your previous album? What bands and styles are an inspiration for you when composing music for In Vain?

Being the only songwriter so far, for me having variety is an absolute must, in order to keep my interest in writing music. I do not think I could have written 5 pure death or black metal albums, strictly sticking within its boundaries. It would get boring for me as a songwriter. In addition, I think music with variety and contrasts is way more interesting, as long as it is done with finesse and balance. 

In terms of our next work, I have no idea. I have some ideas laying around. I am not even sure if there will be another album to be honest. 

I listen to music from all types of genres. However, I am not as good as discovering new bands as I used to be. Happy to take suggestions!

4. I think there is a very strong connection between the style that you practice and that of bands like Solefald, and the recent sound of bands like Enslaved and Bornagar, is there any link between you and these bands?

Sindre, one of our singers, is the brother of Lazare, who plays keys in Borknagar. We also know both bands well. We have actually toured with both of them. In addition, some In Vain members used to be the live band for Solefald.

5. Your albums generally have a concept in their lyrics. Is there a general theme for all the songs on this album? Who is in charge of writing the lyrics? 

Actually, we have never had a lyrical concept for any or our albums. Our lyrics are as varied as our songs. So far, Andreas and I wrote most of the lyrics. However, on Solemn, Sindre wrote lyrics for four of the songs, I wrote the rest. 

6. There is a wide range of guest artists in “Solemn” who have served to shape the incredible sound achieved at the end, both with the inclusion of wind instruments and with the presence of clean voices, in this case not as small sections that serve to “decorate” the sound of the album, but you have invested heavily in them in some parts, what was the idea of giving greater prominence to the clean voices on this album? Is this aspect here to stay? in the future in your sound?

Yes, indeed there are quite a few guest musicians and also a guest vocalist, Vidi, who sings on the last track – Watch for Me On the Mountain. They all did a fantastic job. I do not think we have more clean vocals on this album than on the previous. Although, I have not compared them, maybe we do. Anyway, we will always make choices on vocal solutions that we think are the optimal for each song.

7. For the mixing and mastering of the album you have chosen Fascination Street Studios where bands like Amon Amarth, Sepultura, Amorphis or Opeth among others have recorded. At what moments did you make the decision to work with them? How important was it to get a powerful sound and rich in nuances like the one offered on the new album?

We have worked with Jens Bogren for three albums now. We understand each other and we like how he produces and mix. In my opinion, he is able to combine the best of the modern-day techniques, with more vintage and organic approaches. That said, I am not really that updated on what other great producers that are out there.

8. You have made a video for the song “Shadows Flap Their Black Wings”, why did you choose this song to make the video clip? What was the entire process of recording the video like and why did you decide to do it?

When you release videos and songs, it this time and age, it is typically smartest to go with songs that are immediately catchy for the listener. You want to grab their attention, to check out the rest of the album. We felt that song is in that category. We spent a full day in a studio outside Oslo. We actually recorded two videos; one will come later. We also filmed on other locations.  

9. Throughout your career you have always released your music through the Indie Recordings record label. How was this relationship forged over so many years between the two of you, something that is not entirely common? Have you almost grown up together?

We were the first band to ever sign on Indie Recordings, back in 2005. We have a good working relationship with them, but obviously, there are bigger labels out there.

10. The cover has been designed by Subterranean Prints, why did you decide to work with them? What does this cover represent and how does it relate to the content of the album?

We wanted to try a new designer and we liked her work. I think she created a great artwork which both suited the music and our history. The picture of the old worn-down king, relates to Solemn in various ways, based on my subjective interpretation.

11. You have never overextended yourself when it came to offering concerts. Is it difficult to combine your daily life and attending a band to go on tour? Who would you like to offer a mini tour with?

In Vain has never been full time band. We have focused on studies, and now we all have full time jobs and families. Obviously, if we had spent some years touring non-stop, the band would have been a LOT bigger. That is how you build a band big. But to make a living of music is very hard... But we would love to grow the band and tour and play more festivals.  

12. With more than twenty years of career behind you, what do you think has changed the most in the music industry over these years? Is Norway still a reference country for black metal?

When we started, you could make good money from album sales. Now that is all gone. Also, touring was way less expensive. Post covid, touring has become very expensive. I know many bands that have stopped touring and only play festivals. I absolutely think Norway is still a reference place for Black Metal and I do not think that will ever change. In Vain is not a black metal band though. 

13. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What happened in your lives that pushed you to want to be musicians?

I do not exactly remember the first concerts I attended or what albums I bought. But I did not start out with metal. The first band I played in, played grunge. Later I joined a metalcore band, before I gradually ventured into harder types of music. In terms of playing the guitar, it was something my parents pushed me into. I hated it for years.. It was not until I joined a band that I started to enjoy it. 

14. What album represents for you the essence of black metal? What latest albums have you bought?

It depends on how you define it I guess. I have never been a fan of the very raw types of black metal recordings, where the sound is crap basically. I think Emperor is perhaps the best Norwegian black metal band, although some might say it is not “true” black metal because they used synths and strings. 

15. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for In Vain fans this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this interview and thanks for your support! Hope to see you live one day


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