Kari Bremnes
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Kari Bremnes

Oslo, Oslo County, Norway | INDIE

Oslo, Oslo County, Norway | INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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Interview with Kari Bremnes - English Version
(Kari Bremnes)

23.03.2009 von Jessica Walther
Kari Bremnes, the great Norwegian Singer, adds another fantastic album to her discography, with her new release “Ly”. If, she sings, like on earlier about Norwegian legends (Svarta Bjørn) or makes music out of Edvard Munch’s diaries, she always does it in her own unique way. Jazzy pop or poppy Jazz, whatever you like to call it. On “Ly”, which is released on 27.03.2009, she lets the sunshine in. With lighter tones and weird Lofotendelikatessen, there’s enough to talk about, thought Jessica Walther from Musicheadquarter and asked some questions to Kari Bremnes. Here are her charming answers.



Your new LP has an all in all lighter note. Beginning with the cover with its light colours and even a bit of sunshine. The music, especially songs like “Passelig Dose” and “Kåpa I Milano” are unusually light, not to say sunny. Was that a decision or a development while writing and recording the album?

Kari Bremnes: Oh, this was a development while writing. The only thing I decide before I start writing songs for a new album is actually that I want to write some new songs, and then I write about things that come to my mind. I think darkness and light live in the same room, shoulder by shoulder, there is something funny in almost everything – and also there is blues in most things. I like this to appear in my songs as well. Maybe I have made it even more clear this time, with this album. I agree that "Ly" has a lighter side, especially in the music. And the cover, I was so convinced that the photos should be taken in the north, in Lofoten islands, where I come from. I like the beauty of white winter.

Nick Cave writes and works in an office, just like an accountant. Do you have a writing routine?

Kari Bremnes: Yes, I definitely have that. I have an office in an old house in the middle of Oslo, where I can sing and play music as loud as I like, and there is where I write. I go to my office every morning, when I´m not touring or on vacation. For me it is best to keep a continuity in my work, so I write daily.

Scandinavian musicians work together a lot. Arve Henriksen for example was also a guest on the Odd Nordstoga LP. Is that something very unique about Scandinavia, that musicians all seem to know each other and are always playing on each other recordings? Sounds a bit like one big family.

Kari Bremnes: But we are a small country, you know, and we know of each other and sometimes meet at the same stage. It is easier to get in contact when the world is smaller. Norwegian musicians also do not mind to cross musical boarders, it is not very important what genre you play, if the music is good.

A lot of Scandinavian bands found their way to Germany. From Wencke Myhre to Kaizers Orchestra. Is there a band or an artist that you like very much or maybe discovered only lately that we should look out for?

Kari Bremnes: Ida Maria is a young girl who is very talented, I think. She is a rock`n roll girl, original and strong in expression. I also like Ane Brun a lot, and Maria Mena, but I think you have discovered these already.



"I think my audience know that there is quite a bit of lightheartedness in what I do."

Every record store puts your music somewhere else. Your music ist genre defying: Pop, Jazz, World. It can’t be adequately described as “sounds like …” because, frankly you just sound like yourself. Not many artists archieve that kind of unique sound. Are you aware of that?

Kari Bremnes: I am very glad to hear that, and I have heard it said before, yes. My music comes out of my lyrics, that`s where it always starts. And I write about what I see and what I experience, it has to be personal. I believe in being personal, for me that is the best way to tell a story. The most direct line.

Your career is spinning over 20 years now. Have you ever thought about writing an autobiography?

Kari Bremnes: No, never! (smiles) I like to write about here and now.

Dark, sensual, melancholic are words that are often used describing you and your music. Have you ever been tired of that? When you performed with the camp group The Penthouse Playboys, people seemed to be surprised that you have a humourous side.

Kari Bremnes: Sometimes I can be tired of those descriptions you mention, because they can put up a distance between who I actually am and who people think I am as an artist. But for now, I think my audience know that there is quite a bit of lightheartedness in what I do. I know I can be dark and melancholic, but everyone that has experienced any of my concerts know that I also show a lighter side. There is a lot to laugh about, and I certainly do. My own mistakes, for instance. People without self-irony are very boring.

You recorded “Lite Barn Som Kommer” for the Mette-Marit curated LP “Sorgen Og Gleden”. What was the atmosphere like, during the recordings, with the crownprincess being prese - Musicheadquarter.de


Discography

Mitt ville hjerte (My wild heart, 1987)
Blå krukke (Blue jug, 1989)
Spor (Trace, 1991)
Gåte ved Gåte (Riddle beside another riddle, 1994)
Erindring (Memory, 1995)
Månestein (Moon stone, 1997)
Svarta Bjørn (Black bear, 1998)
Norwegian Mood (2000)
11 ubesvarte anrop (11 unanswered calls, 2002)
You'd Have To Be Here (2003)
Over en by (Over a town, 2005)
Kari Bremnes live (Reise) (Kari Bremnes live (Journey) 2007)
Ly (Shelter, 2009)

With others:
Tid å hausta inn (1983, new edition 2001) with Lars Klevstrand.
Salmer på veien hjem (Psalms on the way home, 1991) with Ole Paus and Mari Boine Persen.
Ord fra en fjord (Word from a fjord, 1992) with Ola og Lars Bremnes.
Folk i husan (People in the houses, 1993) with Ola Bremnes and Arne Bendiksen Records.
Cohen på norsk (Cohen in Norwegian, 1993) with various arists.
Løsrivelse (Breakaway, 1993) with Ketil Bjørnstad.
The Man From God Knows Where (1999) with, among others Tom Russell.
Soløye (Sun eye, 2000) with Ola and Lars Bremnes.
Desemberbarn (December child, 2001) with Rikard Wolff.
Voggesanger fra ondskapens akse (Lullabies from the Axis of Evil) (2003) with Eva Dahlgren and Anisette Koppel.

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Bio

Norwegian born singer and songwriter Kari Bremnes was born in 1956 in Lofoten. Her career as a performer was delayed by her desire to finish university (she earned a Master's Degree) and a short stint as a journalist. Eventually, the call of the stage won out, and in 1987 she released her first album, Mitt Ville Hjerte. From there, Bremnes went on to release more than ten full-lengths over the next 20 years, as well as a number of successful — in Norway and in other European nations — singles. In 2007, Bremnes released the album Reise — or, "Journey," in English. In 2009 the album "Ly" was released, and was one of the best selling albums in Norway that year. In October 2010 a double compilation CD spanning her 30 years as artist is released.