|27 December 2003
|Source : Dagbladet's "Magasinet"
Lene Marlin (23) says she's become paranoid of the success. However, the rumours are just making her laugh.
- He called me a f*cking spoiled little brat!
Lene Marlin tells about her first netmeeting after her comeback in september. She got 1757 questions. There were "thank you"'s and blessing from Røros (small town in norway - editor) to Rome. But one question seperated from the rest.
"Can't you create something else than sentimental whining songs? ... I'm so damn tired of all your whining and complaining! Curse the one who got you into the spotlight again, and even more he who gave you a record-contract! ...Isn't it possible for you to create atleast ONE happy song? With that paycheck you have, one should think you have something to be happy about, you spoiled little brat!"
- It was fantastic. I had to answer that, Lene says, and smiles.
- What did you answer?
- That I admire the people who use their time and energy irritating over such things. And I reccomended that he listened to "The Darkness" the cheer up.
- Do you think many people think of you as "whiny"?
- I don't feel like I go around all day whining. I am amazingly priviledged, you know. But I understand that certain things can be misunderstood.
IT'S BEEN five months since Lene Marlin came back in the spotlight. For three years and 186 days, she'd held back.
Now, finally, record number 2 was finally done. It was time for the most talked about comeback in the history of Norwegian music.
Thursday, July 31rd., 25 radiostations waited. It was chaos. Everybody was wondering the same thing: Where had she been all these years? Why did the popcomet who sold 1,8million records, suddenly "die out"?
- It became abit too much. I got the need to pull back and think a little, she said to NRK P1.
- I guess I can be honest and confirm that i seeked professional help, she said to P4
- In the beginning, i just slept. It was nice to sleep, she said to NRK Petre
- I'm a couple of experiences wiser. This time I'm wiser. she said to NRK Tromsø
LENE MARLIN HAS a cold.
She throws a white scarf around her white sweater, and curses that she ran out of the C-vitamins she bought in England.
Here, in the recordcompany's offices, big posters of Robbie Williams and Morten Abel are hanging on the walls. And a bit blue Lene Marlin. But her last album isn't really a "happy-album" either. It's about despair, longing and tough love.
- I leave the happy music for others to create, then I'll take care of the sad part. I'm very thoughtful, and I can understand people think I'm sad. It's natural for them to believe I'm writing about me, and my life.
- Especially with lyrics like: "I'm okay, I really am now.. Just needed some time to figure things out.."
- It's impossible to live 23 years, without it affects what you write about, but it can be about anyone and anything. I love it when people step up to me, and say "I don't give a s*it who you're writing about in this song, but I feel it's about me.."
- You look sad when you sing?
- Hehe.. Many wonder about why I don't smile in the "You Weren't There" video. Is it a song i want to smile to? No. But, ofcourse; when I recorded it in Verona in front of thousands of crazy Italians, I couldn't help smiling.
THIS FALL Lene has overcomed the stage-fear. In Verona she played for 20 000 people, and 8 million TV viewers. She played live at the Nobelconcert in Oslo Spectrum. The album "Another Day" has sold in excess of 450 000 copies. The sceptics compare the numbers to her debut-album, but Lene is completely calm about it. She's just glad people still remember her.
- It's incredible. I'm glad all the way in my belly. Just think about it, that they still remember me in Italy? There's people who made special T-Shirts, and who shakes when they hold me. That's when I'm thinking "But it's just me..!". It's very strange.
- How's the last year been?
- I'm so happy about it. With the last records, alot happened, in very short time, and I didn't have time to reflect over what happened, before I had to move on again. I've forgotten so much of what happened back then.
- Like what?
- Before, I couldn't understand how people could say that they didn't remember what hotels they had lived in. I had to eat those words. I've been in Paris probably 15 times, but I've only seen the Eiffel Tower for about 5 minutes total. I don't remember places. Only airports, tv-studios, hotelrooms and interviews.
THE ENORMOUS SUCCESS has left it's traces. Before Lene Marlin walked out the door this very day, she scouted the area around her apartment. It's almost become a hobby, organizing vacations and moving, to avoid the celebrity-hungriest press. She's still sceptical to making new acquaintances.
- There's probably some people I should have given a better chance get to know me, but I've been to afraid of attaching myself to someone these times.
- Isn't that sad?
- Very sad. But it has it's reasons. After the worst "tip-calls" that has no hold in reality, you become paranoid.
- Are you? paranoid?
- I'm a paranoid person. Absolutely. Some is "good" paranoia. Other parts I could well have managed without. I know that there aren't photographers outside my apartment every day, but it has happened before.
- Have you become better when it comes to coping with all the commotion?
- Yes. Or, that depends on what's beeing said. One never knows. Of course I can get hurt. But there's also many funny things being said. I've laughed quite a bit regarding all the rumours about me being away for three years.
- Can you mention the three funniest rumours?
- That I was away because of a massive cocaine abuse. That people say they have seen me at places I've never been to. And last but not least, that I was pregnant, and that I was supposed to have atleast 10 children.
- What's the last rumour you heard about yourself?
- There's been a shortage of rumours lately.
- What about the one that says you and your ex-boyfriend Stian Barsnes Simonsen are together again?
- Hehe.. To put it like this, according to rumours, I'm supposed to have a number of boyfriends. Even old boyfriends I've never seen before. But I never mention anything about my private life. Never. There's no answer to get there.
THE BETTER KNOWN Herborg Kråkevik became, the more distant away the farm she came from was described. This is also how it is with the village of Stordalstrand, deep into the bottom of Ullsfjord. It was here Lene Marlin Pedersen lived in her first three years, before the family moved in to Tromsø. There seems to be no limits to the desolation and desertation in the description of Stordalstrand in regards to Lene Marlin.
The artist has preserved both the home village, the mother, the father, and the five year older brother.
- I don't answer private questions. I give enough of myself in the music, Marlin says.
IT WAS THE PARENTS that gave the daughter a guitar when she reached 15 years of age. Two days before the summer vacation of 1996, Lene picked up a guitar from the music room at Tromsdalen high school, sat down outside in the hallway, and played a song she had made herself. The pupils halted. The day after she played at the school closings.
The rumour of the talented, blonde, little one at 160 centimeters reached NRK Troms. She recorded a demo, a journalist liked what he heared, and passed it on to a friend in a record company.
The friend was Per Eirik Johansen, at that time Norwegian head at Virgin Records. After half a minute of listening, the record manager had heard both gold and platinum.
On March 22nd, 1999, the debut album Playing My Game was released. The senior school girl was just 18 years old, and became a pop star over night.
- The very next day after finishing school, it was to move along. I didn't really move away from home, it just became that way. I was planning of taking a year off, realizing what I would like to do, and travel. I did travel a lot, but it wasn't exactly like originally planned, Lene says.
She made her debut in a 6th position on the hit list in England. She was a star in Italy, beloved in Japan, and got an MTV Award as best nordic artist. Four prizes at the Norwegian HitAwards. She sold an incredible 1.8 million copies of the first album. She became the girlfriend of Stian Barsnes Simonsen. It was an incredible year.
At Christmas 1999, she had earned almost 21 million nkr. The year before she was listed at 22.900 nkr as her income. At the time she still had home adress Tromsø, she payed taxes corresponding to almost a whole cultural budget to her home city.
OSLO SPEKTRUM, February 26th, 2000: Lene Marlin is sitting on the floor with four Spellemann awards in her lap. She is smiling bravely. She has tears in her eyes. They weren't just happy tears. The day after she went home to her brother's wedding in Tromsø. For the second time in the history of Tromsø Airport, a person was picked up by a car out by the plane. Lene Marlin couldn't bear to think about the press waiting in the arrival hall.
- I know it was bad timing, but I was so incredibly tired. I didn't want to have my picture taken, I just wanted to be at my brother's wedding. That week was total craziness. It was then I realized that I had to do something, Lene Marlin says.
The plan was to take a month's vacation from the artist life. Lene Marlin was away for 42 months.
It was never about when she was about to come with another album,. It was about if it was to happen. It was first in the summer of last year that she felt she started to become ready. She was cleaning, and on the radio a familiar song was played. That was Lene Marlin's hit single from 1999. When I hear that song, I can feel I'm missing her a little, the programme host was twittering. Lene Marlin was standing there with the washing cloth in her hand, smiling, thinking that this was really nicely stated. She felt strong enough to return.
- Have you on some days regretted the come-back?
- No. Not as long as I can enjoy the moments, and have fun. That things are moving along in a tempo that is making it possible for me to have some days off, be at home a bit.
Now things are harmonic, yes, really all well and good.
- Are you still seeking help?
- Yes, but in a different way. Psychologists may be used for various things. It's a wonderful valve to have, even if you are just sitting there in pure delight. You go to a dentist when your teeth ache. A chiropractor if your back hurts. It's totally natural that you seek help if you have problems in other areas.
- Has it been difficult talking about the trip down?
- No, but I almost got an anguish to perform. What did people expect me to say? One could get the impression I had been living in a cave for four years, and only sneaked about at night. However, now there's nothing more to talk about, there's no hocus-pocus. Anyway, I do absorb what is being written about me.
- Does it become a habit?
- I know what the truth is, but it's worse for people in my proximity. Headlines are being created for the most incredible things. Things that aren't necessarily even close to the truth.
- VG was wondering where you were in the closing number at the Nobel concert?
- It was totally comical. I was there, indeed! I stood with my band and the Cardigans, in the back of the stage. Anyway, what so if I wasn't there? Is that worth a 2-pages bill? I get very dejected. However, nothing surprises me anymore.
- Have you been surprising yourself this autumn?
- Perhaps not surprising, but I'm glad that I'm able to say no, and being involved in my own time schedule. We could have been traveling like mad, and worked really hard the minute the album was released, but only to become death tired after half a year. I'm not interested in that. Now I'm looking forward to a new year, and to working slowly, but safely towards more countries.
- Is there going to be an album number three?
- I hope so. The experience with album number two has been really well, and that makes album number three not so distant far away.
- You've earned a lot of money?
- Yes, and I look upon that as an insane privilege. It's incredible that I can be doing this, and be living well off it.
LENE MARLIN IS ENJOYING the success, but is still cursing the focus on her as a person. Then she get angry.
- If somebody puts their camera in my face at two o'clock in the night, I get furious. I have in a high-voiced manner yelled at a photographer on the airport in Tromsø, after he was taking pictures of me when I got off the plane, Lene Marlin says. She puts down her coffee cup, and bundles her fist around the scarf.
- Some have a strange thought that well-known people should get along with everything. That is a lack of respect and normal civility. I don't understand it. And in situations like that, I can get incredibly pissed off, and release some words you rather not would want to hear.
- Do you wish you weren't all that well-known?
- I have experienced an incredible lot I wouldn't want to be without. However, this autumn I chose to be honest, and would like to say some things I'm not ashamed about. If that is perceived as being a spoiled brat, so OK. It's a lot in the media I could have commented on, but I've chosen not to. The worst part was with that prize in Tromsø, says Marlin. For the first time, she's searching for the words, her gaze is wandering, and she's grasping the cup with cold coffee, and looks down:
- That was very sore, she says.
IT WAS HER BROTHER that woke her up on the telepone. He had been calling several times to warn her. She was on the frontpage of the nation's largest newspaper, and a local paper in Tromsø. The chairman of Tromsø was angry. Jørn Hoel meant that Lene Marlin was acting disrespectful. After the jubilation year 1999, the municipality would like to honour her with an honorary prize. However, Lene Marlin didn't care to pick it up. But she didn't understand any of it. Didn't they know she was sick? That she was not allowed to travel and perform in public? This is what the doctors were saying.
In a debate on the radio, an editor from Tromsø meant they had claims to know why she didn't come and picked up the prize.
In Oslo, a sick little girl was sitting there, listening.
- That was not a good day. In addition, I had got the infectious mononucleosis.
- Couldn't you just tell them you were sick?
- I thought they knew why I wasn't there. It must have been a failure in some parts of the chain. I did have a great urge to receive that prize. It wasn't about lack of time. I had an ocean of time.
- Have you been making up now?
- Yes, yes.
LENE MARLIN IS SNIFFING. It's that damned bad cold. With a tired, blue pair of jeans, an airtight nose, and a white sweater, there is not much that reminds of an artist being good for at least 10 millions.
- Many say I haven't changed, but that's not possible. Of course I've changed. Everybody changes from when they're 18 to when they're 23.
- What is the biggest change?
- Four years ago, I was attending school, living at home with my parents, sneaking about, and was anonymous in Tromsø. That seems so very long ago, Lene Marlin says, and turns back the time:
- I almost can't comprehend it.
Translation by memo and Tef Johs