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05 December 2004
Done away with the crisis
Source : VG
- In my head I often imagine that I'm older than I am. It's not possible that I'm just 24. It's not possible!

She was a pupil during the daytime and pop star in the free time. There wasn't free time. There was no youth. Lene Marlin just spoke about the first time she heard her own song on the radio. The time was eleven fifty. It was Saturday, and she should take the bus to the city to meet a friend. She remembers that precisely. For exactly then they played "Unforgivable Sinner".

- I sat in the bus with the biggest grin, Lene laughs.

She was 17 years, and that was the beginning of a hell's adventure.

- I was as innocent as I could possibly be. I will never get that time back again. But I have it a bit like that now, actually!

Friday evening she went on the stage in Stavanger together with Bertine Zetlitz and Morten Abel. After 2.2 million sold disks and seven years as an international pop star she did that with the unique feeling of a maiden-like expectation. We met in a coffee bar at Bygdøy Alle' a bit earlier this week. Lene says that she is happy and looks just as.

- I'm a bit surprised about it. I thought I'd be in a full hysteria now. But the panic hasn't come. What do you like to drink?

She is energetic. Big smile. Curious eyes.

- Have you changed?

- I never moved from home, Lene answers.

- The day I finished school, I just went away and never came back. Of course I have changed. She talks about absurd situations. About last year at the college, where she was acting a pupil during the daytime and pop star during the free time. There was no free time. There was no youth.

- I went from being totally anonymous to something completely different. In that year everything happened. Everything!

She flew to Oslo every Friday evening to record the album. Back to Tromsø every Sunday night.

She flew to Japan and did interviews from morning till evening ten days in succession. And back to Tromsø to have a Norwegian school-test.

- I don't think I'd manage that again. But I got a very special energy.

She lived at the Grand Hotel from the day she finished school ("I think I tried all the rooms there!"). The sadness came slowly creeping. She moved to a female record company's residence.

Three months after the graduation time she bought her own apartment. With her own money.

- I had to strike roots at a place, Lene says.

- I moved in with two cases. That was everything I owned. I called up mum and asked: "What should I have?". Went to Smart Club and came out with a pillow, a cover and a six-pack with Budweiser. Went to IKEA and stayed there seven hours the first time and five hours the second time. IKEA is good! We didn't have that in Tromsø.

She is talking fast and eagerly with her whole body and face. The coffee is getting cold without her being able to taste it. She interrupts herself with short, resounding laughters and unreal summaries like: "Even I don't manage to grasp it all. What happened? How did I end up here!?"

- It's important to sort out things. To think about things before you move on. I had to get used to normal days where no one had made a plan for me, she says.

- It was then I got lost. I went completely empty. I only wanted to close the curtains and not to think about anything.

She was released in England while she hid herself. Lene tells that people were wondering whether she really existed.

"Does she exist in fact?" she laughs. I had happened that she wondered herself.

- But I found myself on the way. Things have fallen in place. That's why I'm so satisfied. She disappeared approximately when the disk sale exceeded the first million. The absence took three and a half years, from Spellemannsprisen in 2000 until the launch of "Another Day" in 2003.

- I couldn't come with a new album before I did. I had to get myself on my feets again before I could come back, she says.

- A lot of good is gone from memory. I just wanted to rest and to forget everything. I didn't have a need to be an artist. I wanted to feel happiness in what I did. It's when this joy is put in a system, that the happiness of it “fades out”.

She speaks about all the times she sat alone in a hotel room at ten in the evening and had to get up at five o'clock while friends were calling from a party. The same friends who, a few months earlier, sat in her room and chose favourite songs out of those Lene had written. The only ones she had played for.

- I was so happy when they called, but at the same time it felt so very sore. I felt that "I just don't get to experience anything".

- What have you learned?

- I don't want that everything rushes past and I get a briefing after that. I want to have everyday life in between that.

- Would you have done it all again?

She does not answer. Plays with the hair and "disappears". Contemplates. Like she at this very moment makes an opinion about her life.

- Of course, she says at the end.

- Of course I would have done it again! It's much I would have liked to be without.

But the life I live today arose because of that. Even with all the ups and downs I would have taken it. Because I managed to come out of a situation which was that bad.

For a while I thought that "I shouldn't have done this ever". I asked myself "What the hell did you think about?". Now I just should wish it went more slowly.

- Are you proud of yourself?

- I'm surprised about myself in either case. She reconsiders again.

- Yes, of course I am proud of what I have done. But it is strange thing to say. Since it's still just a bit unreal.

- You managed?

- I just had to stop satisfying everybody.

- I think you have to follow your own goals. Not somebody elses. As long as you are satisfied it must be enough.

- It is difficult to get there?

- Yes, but I feel that I'm there a little.

Lene had reached that point that evening in autumn last year when she rose from her chair, borrowed a guitar and spontaneously played two new songs in the bar in Frognerveien 6 in Oslo.

That was her declaration of independence.

- But honestly: That wasn't planned, she assures.

It was the evening before 25 interviews. Album launch. Publicity for the first time after three and a half years. She called up her friends. Wanted to have some beers. A band was playing. Lene suddenly had a desire to perform. It felt right.

- And it was an insane kick. I was completely shaky after that. Jumping while going home. First I was nervous. After the first song it was so good that I had to do one more. After the second I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't take it any longer.

Lene Marlin is a company-craving social animal.

- It's a lonely thing to be a solo artist, she says.

Lene has to meet people. At the same time she has become frightened to let new people into her life.

- I am 24 years old and I'm standing on a reliable economic base. It's an insane privilege. But it means very little if you have no one to share it with. You can have a house for 15 millions [NOK] but it's no use if you're just sitt'ing there alone. I'm free to do want I want to. And that I am really glad about.

- What do you do to have fun?

- It's fun just to go out and meet people in a bar or cafe'. Or just to be home and watch a film or two and have dinner with friends.

- Do you cook?

- To say it like this: there are several pizza delivery services that have earned a lot of money on me. The trick is to invite friends and to cook together with them.

She doesn't know notes either. When she wanted to have cello-arrangement at the Nobel concert, she had to record her singing on a disk and get it written down. She learned to play the guitar by herself. And made up some new grips on the way.

- Now I've just begun to play the piano. As if I needed more sad moods in my songs! I should have begun with the trumpet!

She lays back her head and laughs.

- There is much fun in a melancholic song?

- I have much fun in writing them at least. And I write many songs just for myself.

- So your drawer is full of secret happy songs!?

Lene almost sobs while laughing.

- I've tried to write when I'm very happy, but that just becomes gibberish.

She says that she has never been so happy as she is now. At least it feels like this.

- I've left behind that with the crisis. Now I can go on becoming 30 and so on. When you're creative you have a much stronger perception than other people. But that also means you absorb the impressions much more intensely.

It's actually all about reconciling oneself with it.

Born August 17th 1980
160 cm height
Had her debut with the album "Playing my Game" in 1998. Sold 1.7 million copies.
Came with the album "Another Day" last year. Sold 500000 copies.
Currently on tour together with Bertine Zetlitz and Morten Abel. Remaining concerts:
Tuesday: Bergen
Thursday: Trondheim
Saturday: Bodø
Monday: Tromsø

Translated by Daniel


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