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Jorn Viggo Lofstad – Guitars for Pagans Mind

Date: 12/13/07
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. Why have you decided to work with Stefan Glaumann (who has worked with the band Rammstein) and what were his contributions to these songs on “God’s Equation”?

JORN: We felt that our new material was a little different and more straight to the point this time. we also wanted a change in sound partly and after hearing so many of Stefans fantastic productions, especially the powerful and heavy but still organic sound on Rammsteins “Reise Reise”. We knew that this was the guy we wanted to work with. We are very satisfied with the work that Fredrik Nordstrøm did for us on our two previous albums but we felt it was a time to try something else and also try to reach a more organic and original sound. Alot of the metal bands use a lot of the same top five studios in Europe and a lot of the stuff sounds almost the same. We want to stick out in the crowd and its better to go to a guy that not so many metal bands use (he does a lot of pop rock mainstream stuff too) then to the ones everyone uses. On top of that he is without a doubt one of the best there is! And he gave us what we came for and that we knew he is so good at: A heavy but still very organic sound on the entire album.

2. I can definitely hear the industrial influences on “Gods Equation”. Why do this now after releasing three other successful albums without that element?

JORN: Its just a natural progression for us, why would we ever look at three previous albums and try to copy that, that would not work for us and we would deliver a less than good album, I think. I guess if I’m gonna try to analyze it like that I think maybe the Power Metal (the sing along national anthem kind of thing) elements are not that present on this one and switched out with more heavy and straight to the point songs. And also like you mention some industrial elements here and there on the keyboards. Other than that and of course a different production, I think we have a lot of the same energy and big sounds as on our previous albums. In other words, we did it because we think it sounds cool hehe...

3. Niles also has some different effects on his voice. Can you tell us about that and how often it was used for the recording?

JORN: All the distorted and other kind of Fx sounds on Nils vocals where recorded like that by us and not done in the mix, we have also done that on our two previous albums but maybe not as much as this time. But then again and for instance the song “Atomic Firelight” or the bridge on “Evolution Exeed” was not on any of our previous albums either and I think that kind of vocal sound really benefits those songs. Nils has a lot of strong sides as a singer and what we try do is give them a perfect blend, its an important element of his sound .

4. How has your experience been playing the States and do you plan on returning sooner than later to tour?

JORN: We have always felt a very warm welcome from the people in the US the times we've played there and its a big shame that we have not gotten to do a longer tour there. Its maybe the thing we want most right now and we cross our fingers that will be possible for us to get a tour in 2008. I have a good feeling so let’s hope I’m right… Hehe.

5. How do you think the Pagan’s Mind formula has changed with “God’s Equation”?

JORN: Like I mentioned earlier maybe the more classic Power Metal elements are not as present as before and switched out with a more "no holds barred" attitude inspired by bands as Pantera, Rammstein, Slipknot etc. The way we work is the same as always and I guess bottom line we have just done what inspired us and came naturally in the period we wrote the songs.

6. What is God’s Equation” and can you explain?

JORN: It´s a most enchanting sentence – first off was Albert Einstein talking about that in the 1930´s – his theory about the ever expanding universe was "God´s Equation", he later declined his theory until recently scientists has proof that he was right. It is mathematics, physics and religion all together. You know, everything in life is really mathematics – numbers and equations – which sows everything together. God´s Equation is also a real equation that explains the formula that everything organic and alive in the universe are built upon. Really true – and it really makes you think, because when knowing that all living things has an equal factor – that specific formula – how can you say that it is all coincidental?

7. When it comes to writing a song does Pagan’s Mind start with an arrangement or a chorus/melody line?

JORN: With Pagans Mind it mostly start with the music but often it can be an idea for a melody played on the guitar or the keyboards that we build the song around, so its a mix between by the above mentioned methods. When I for instance work and write songs with Jorn Lande everything is built around the vocal melodies, but I guess in Pagans Mind and bands like us the music plays a bigger part and a lot starts with that.

8. How do you feel Pagan’s Mind fit into the progressive metal genre?

JORN: I like to see us as a metal band with progressive elements and not the other way around, but the progressive part of Pagans Mind is very important too. I’m not an expert within the Progressive genre but I cant understand why we wouldn’t fit it hehe.. To be honest I’m not a big progressive freak either but I do like some of the old classic prog bands like Genesis and Yes. I also like bands like Dream Theater, Circus Maximus and Symphony X, guess Van Halen isn’t that progressive, LOL..

9. Plans to record a show for DVD?

JORN: Yes , the next planned releases now are a Live Cd and DVD. We have over the years done some recordings and we have a lot of cool footage. The thing is that we want the main concert to be from this release and therefore we plan to film and record a couple of shows in near future, but the DVD will also contain stuff from when we first started until now. So the plan is to put together a nice selection of the Pagans Mind history so far.

10. Your cover of King Diamond’s “At the Graves” I think was outstanding and one of the best faithful renditions of a King Diamond song ever recorded. Would you consider doing another and what track(s) would you like to do?

JORN: The King Diamond cover turned out really cool , and it was done cause we needed a couple of bonus tracks for the re-release of the “Infinity Divine” album. The thing for us is that if we do a cover version of a song we should be able to bring new life into it and also not choose to obvious stuff like Queensryche etc. We are also very very happy with the result of the David Bowie cover “Hallo Spaceboy” on our new album and we choose that because we thought it would fit so good with the songs we wrote that is a bit more straight to the point and maybe a little different than the stuff we did earlier. And also its something that people would not expect to hear as well as a song that has an original touch to it, and its not that known within the metal scene. So a positive surprise we hope.

11. Did King hear your version and what were his thoughts?

JORN: I think he did and enjoyed it very much ! So that’s really cool !!

12. Future plans for Pagans Mind?

At first we hope to tour as much as possible promoting our new album ! We just finished a tour with Fates Warning, we have some gigs here in Norway in January/February, we will then go on a tour with Brainstorm in Europe and hopefully we'll do a tour in the US as well as festivals in the summer of 2008. Then to finish of and release the live Cd/DVD.
Thanks so much for supporting Pagans Mind, we really appreciate it !!
Take Care and be well
Jorn Viggo Lofstad

Official website: www.pagansmind.com
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