Unveiling New Realms of Music
CoC interviews Morten Veland of Tristania
by: Adrian Bromley
Tristania's new gothic metal masterpiece _Beyond the Veil_ [CoC #45] has been out some time now, but this fall was supposed to be a big deal for Tristania's career. The band was to tour parts of the United States and Mexico, as well as participate in the metal festival November to Dismember in Los Angeles. While the band has a core following, praised by critics and fans around the globe, this trek to North American soil was going to bring about more exposure for this Norwegian act. That was the plan.

As the interview takes place, Morten Veland is holed up in a hotel room in Los Angeles with the flu and getting ready to go back home after just a brief four-day visit to the United States. The tour they had planned is canceled and there will be no show in Mexico. And to boot, the band only played a 30-minute set at the festival, which was marred (how unusual?) by cancellations by anticipated acts like Venom and label mates The Sins of thy Beloved. Welcome to America, Morten!

"It has been a short trip for us here, but I guess it was worth it. The festival was good exposure for the band. Playing the festival was okay; a few technical problems with our set but it was okay. We're getting ready to go home tomorrow", explains Veland. "In the beginning we were supposed to do a bunch of shows here in the US and in Mexico, but that didn't happen. It's quite unfortunate."

"This whole trip hasn't been a real big thing because we have not really been a big part of it. We came to our hotel after we arrived and I got real sick and I have just stayed in my hotel room drinking lots of water and taking painkillers. Then we went to the festival an hour before we played, talked to the stage managers, set up our equipment, played and then came back to the hotel. From that point on I have been nursing this cold." Veland adds: "As I said before, we weren't a big part of all of these things going on, but it was a treat for our fans to see us play in the US and that makes me happy. It is a shame that there were all of these problems with the festival, but at least we played."

Talking about the way the band (female vocalist Vibeke Stene, synth/programmer Einar Moen, bassist Rune Osterhus, drummer Kenneth Olsson and guitarist Anders H. Hidle) approached the new disc, he offers: "We have always been about expanding our sound. With each release, we take what we have as a band and try to make it go a lot further. We want to be able to keep all of the elements and influences, but not be afraid to bring in new ideas. With the new disc, we wanted to take the music of Tristania into a much harder direction. We added some aggressive parts to the record and tried to add a bit more of an electronic feel as well. It worked out well for us, I think."

What draws Veland into the music of the band and keeps him interested in what he does musically? "I think the main reason is that we as a band always try to make the music so versatile and we never get sick of it. We have tried so many different things over the years. Each song has its own form of expression and ideas making it up. When we started we kept to the same style of music and it was getting boring for us. By changing things up and doing new things with the music, we are all still very excited about what Tristania does as a band and within the music."

"Making music for this band has become a lot easier over the years", he states. "It has become a luxury of sorts for me to do. I enjoy making music. In the beginning of the band, after a record, I had very few ideas left over. Now I have hundreds left over and that is great because I know that I have so much to look forward to with the next release."

Any new sounds and ideas for a new disc yet? "Oh yeah. We are in the middle of the process of writing new material for the next record. We go into the studio in February and the record should be out sometime in May or so. It is a bit too early to really say just what the new stuff sounds like, but it is a definite progression for us. At least that is what we are trying to do."

"I love the studio", he says. "Studio work is one of the things I love most about working with this band and making music. I like to be able to come into the studio with the sketches of songs and carefully work on them and watch them grow into new songs. It is just a great feeling to be able to go into a studio and have your songs turn out the way you want them to."

He finishes, "There is nothing more exciting than making music that you can be really happy about and fall in love with your work. I have been very lucky with Tristania and I'm sure things in the future will be just as good."

(article submitted 10/1/2001)

1/16/1999 P Azevedo Tristania: Flowing Midwintertears
12/26/2006 J Ulrey 7.5 Tristania - Illumination
10/19/2001 C Flaaten 8 Tristania - World of Glass
1/15/2000 P Azevedo 9 Tristania - Beyond the Veil
4/13/1998 P Azevedo 9 Tristania - Widow's Weeds
1/1/1998 S Hoeltzel 7 Tristania - Tristania
1/14/2002 D Rocher Tristania / Rotting Christ / Vintersorg / Madder Mortem A Night to Remember, a Bill to Forget
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