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Deutsche VersionInterview mit Isole (02.02.2008)

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HH: Hi there, how do you do after having done your new record Bliss Of Solitude?

Crister: Hi, I'm just fine, my second daughter has just arrived to the world, actually the same day as our release party for the new album. The release party was awesome and the promotion work with "Bliss" has also been really interesting.

HH: The roots of Isole reach back to 1990 when you formed a band called Forlorn. With Forlorn you released several demos but you stopped doing music with Forlorn somewhere around 1996. In 2001 Forlorn returned with a new demo called Autumn Leaves but in 2004 you changed name to Isole. What happend in the years between 1996 and 2001?

Crister: Yeah, that's right, we seem to have been doing this forever now. But there have been long periods of time where Forlorn/Isole has been in hibernation. We had troubles with line-up changes and at certain points there were only Daniel and myself in the band. 1996-2001 was such a period, but we were also busy with other band commitments and we released records with Withered Beauty, Windwalker and Februari 93 during this time.

HH: Why did you change the name from Forlorn to Isole?

Crister: Forlorn seemed to be a rather popular name and a couple of other bands with this name turned up, for example a Norwegian band that actually has been signed to Napalm. We didn't want to be mixed up any of the other Forlorn and we also wanted a fresh start after the hibernation.

HH: What does Isole mean?

Crister: It means sort of isolation or loneliness in French and island in Italian. It has the same meaning as Forlorn, at least to us.

HH: Why didn't Forlorn release any full-length records?

Crister: We were really lazy. We didn't put any effort in trying to get a record deal what so ever, and we never have. If it weren't for I Hate Records we probably wouldn't have released any records at all. It was the same with Napalm, since 2005 record deals seems to just fall from the sky for Isole and I don't know why, because I think we were a good band already in 1994.

HH: Since 2004 you released three records (Forevermore, Throne Of Void and Bliss Of Solitude), one demo and an EP called The Beyond. Quite a lot of releases, you seem to be in writing mood the last years, aren't you?

Crister: Well, we have been writing lots of songs during the last couple of years but keep in mind that we have used a great deal of old Forlorn material as well. For example the whole debut album is built up by old songs because we weren't active back then so we didn't have any new material when I Hate contacted us.

HH: Is it easier to write songs for Isole than for Forlorn?

Crister: No, it's much harder to do a Isole song, Forlorn was more of shattered band and had lots of more musical styles mixed in the band. When it comes to Isole it has to sound in a certain way and it must have really high standard otherwise we just skip that song.

HH: What is musically the difference between these two bands?

Crister: Isole is a much darker band musically and as I said earlier Forlorn was a more shattered band. Isole is also much more based on vocals while Forlorn had lots of long instrumental parts in the music.

HH: Bliss Of Solitude has a very sad spirit, a lot of dark melodies and heavy riffs. The recordings took place at your in-house studio Apocalypse where you forged a very good sound. Where does you recording experience come from?

Crister: To be honest we wanted some more time with the mixing and mastering to do it even better and we are always upgrading our studio so I hope the result will be up another notch next time. Most of the credits goes to Jonas who has been working really hard with the recording, he is an educated sound engineer and Daniel has also helped Jonas a great deal. The advantage you have when you record yourself is that you will get it to sound the way you want it to sound if you have enough skills and know your way around the studio. Otherwise I think it's better to get a professional doing the work for you. We have discussed things and maybe we will hire professional help next time just to get another point of view but nothing is decided and it's also a financial question.

HH: How much did the mastering of Thomas Nilsson contribute to the sound?

Crister: Thomas is actually a friend of Jonas and they discussed things back and forth during the mastering process. Jonas didn't want to do the mastering himself so we used Thomas to get a second point of view but it is hard to say in what way he contributed to the sound, I think he did a great job of course.

HH: Where do you get your inspiriations for those sad songs?

Crister: Our inspirations comes from lots of sources, we listen to many kinds of music and I think you can hear some Death metal as well as some melancholic pop in Isole. Sometimes you get inspiration from the surrounding environment like the weather of the season or happenings in life.

HH: Every song on Bliss Of Solitude is a little doom treasure, very dynamic, heavy riffs, catchy but sad melodies with strong epic vocals. I like every song very much and can't tell any favourite. Which song do you like best and why?

Crister: Personally I really like the first track "By Blood" and the title track "Bliss Of Solitude", both of them are probably the darkest and heaviest songs we have written so far except for "Beyond the Black II" from the B-side of the 7" inch The Beyond.

HH: How were the reactions from the press and your fans? Do they have a favourite song of Bliss Of Solitude?

Crister: Actually all songs have been mentioned in the press and from fans and that feels really good because that means that all songs on the album have really high qualities.
The album has received good reactions almost everywhere and most people say that this is clearly the best release from Isole this far. And personally I can only agree.

HH: What does the title Bliss Of Solitude stand for? What do you want to express with it? Is it really good to be on your own?

Crister: Henrik who wrote the lyrics refer to the calm and peace you find when you die. I read his lyrics and thought it was a good idea of making a Shakespear comparison which I wanted to do with the front cover. It's supposed to be an image of Ophelia from Hamlet where she commits suicide by drowning. We often write lyrics in an abstract kind of way so the reader must make his/her own interpretation.

HH: Which bands do have the biggest influence on your sound?

Crister: I don't really know, it may differ between Daniel and myself and it's really hard to say. My biggest source of influence comes from Daniel and Forlorn I guess.

HH: In 2006 there was a new edition of your first record Forevermore with a bonus track called "Tears Of Loss". Why did you do this re-release? What is the difference between these two editions?

Crister: I Hate is the ones behind this idea, Forevermore was sold out and they wanted to spice up the second pressing. The difference is the layout and the fact that there is a bonus track on the new edition. "Tears Of Loss" is a song that is written in the same period of time and we thought it would fit really well on the album.

HH: Imagine Bliss Of Solitude is a soft toy. What would it be and why?

Crister: An owl, because we really like owls.

HH: What about live-performances with Isole? Will you promote Bliss Of Solitude with a tour here in Germany?

Crister: We truly hope so, we will do our best to head out to Europe this year, and we have recently started a co-operation with a booking agency "Timeless wounds" from the Netherlands. And we will see what this will lead us to.
Our two last tours got cancelled in the last minute due to circumstances beyond our control and we feel kind of jinxed so I will not mention any details in this matter because I'm afraid of cancellation again.

HH: What about festival appearances? You already played at the Doom Shall Rise-Festival, will you play festivals in 2008 too?

Crister: Festivals are the best promotion you can get and it's really great playing at festivals. And we will attend at festivals if the organizers wants Isole.

HH: Thanks a lot for your time and good speed for your future! Any last words?

Crister: Hope to see you all in German this year and Doom on God damn it!!!

Lord Obirah

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