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31 July 2003
Lene Marlin interview by Radio Tromsų
Source : Nrk Troms
Lene: Hello?

Radio Tromsų (RT): Hello, Ole Borten of Radio Tromsų here, hi!

Lene: Hi!

RT: A little special about Tromsų, isn't it?

Lene: Yes, it is.

RT: You have looked forward to this the whole day?

Lene: I have looked forward...yes, I have, in fact.

RT: That's nice! Okay, let's get going. We have 10 minutes, right?

Lene: Yep!

RT: How are you doing, Lene?

Lene: It goes okay...

RT: Sure about that?

Lene: Yes...(laughs)

RT: How is it being back again?

Lene: It's a mixture of excitement, fear, and delight, kind of. It's a good blend of everything.

RT: Are you coming to Tromsų soon, we miss you, you know?

Lene: Yes? I was to come up in the summer, but I have spent a lot of time preparing this record, so, in fact, I don't know when I'll be coming up the next time.

RT: Have you been in Tromsų lately?

Lene: I haven't been there since...I haven't been there since Christmas, actually. It's a while now.

RT: The person that has produced your new album, Mike Hedges, he's previously worked with U2 and Travis. Will there be a more rock based Lene Marlin album we can be expecting in September?

Lene: No, I won't call it rock, I won't say that, but it's an album where I've become older, and the music has followed along; it's been a natural development. It won't be...I won't exactly call it rock (laughs), no.

RT: Are you still writing your own songs?

Lene: I do, yes. I have to do that, I like that.

RT: What expectations do you have for the new album. Will it be as good as Playing My Game, or will it be better?

Lene: I think it's better. However, that's probably because there's been a while since the previous one, and the road to making this album has been so special, that it's great just to getting it made. I'm very, very proud of that, and I feel it's the best album I could've made when I made it.

RT: Will there be a concert tour across Norway this time around?

Lene: I am really longing to do that, I must say. I hope we can manage that, and I reckon we do, with time.

RT: Nothing's planned yet?

Lene: No, you should think we were better prepared, but things change all the time.

RT: Were you caught by surprise somewhat by the Internet leakage on the Italian fan club sites?

Lene: Yes, we were, indeed. We laughed about that, we thought we should be prepared, but we weren't. However, it was just incredibly fun that it was such interest, and thus it's just only to enjoy it.

RT: You had a totally unannounced concert yesterday at a bar in Oslo?

Lene: Yes, I read about it in VG. I wasn't aware of that it had gotten out. I was just enjoying myself with a couple of friends, and there it was a guitar, and suddenly I just had a thought that I would just do it. Nobody is expecting it, and I'd just see how it goes. It went very well, so it was a lot of fun.

RT: It's been three years since we've heard from you. After the Spellemann awards in 2000 you just disappeared. What have you been doing since then?

Lene: Well, it got a bit bigger than we had thought, nobody had expected that at all. It was a lot of attention, and generally, it became a little tough. I was very tired, and felt the need to withdraw totally.

RT: Did you become depressed?

Lene: I was a little depressed, I'd have to say.

RT: Did you at some point consider retiring from the career?

Lene: Yes. I went several rounds with myself if I was to do it all over again. Because, you have a lot of good experiences, and there's not-so-good experiences. Many thought about "when" the next record was to be released, but for me it was at one time a question of "if" it would ever happen. Luckily, I managed to do it.

RT: There's been a lot of speculations in the media about what really happened to you. What do you think of these speculations?

Lene: You shouldn't believe everything you read in the newspaper. Well, many made attempts to smoke me out, and get me to say something, but it didn't feel right, and I had to think: Yeah, yeah, they can just write whatever they want. I know, at least, that it isn't true, so I reckon that people don't take whatever the newspapers write as the truth. It wasn't everything that was equally pleasant.

RT: Was it different than you thought, becoming a pop star?

Lene: I had never planned to become a pop star! That's the whole thing! No, no matter how well prepared you are, you'll never actually understand what it's all about until you're right in the middle of it. Like now, I think that I've prepared well this time, but I have no idea how it will be to jump into it again. So that's going to be exciting to see.

RT: What is it that have made you come back now?

Lene: It was the joy in making music, and all that came back, I got an extreme need to, and when the thing with the producer worked so good, I thought that, okay, now the time has come to just go for it, present it to people, and it was just all right.

RT: How is Lene Marlin as a pop star today, compared to when you broke through?

Lene: Pop star? I'll never get used to it.

RT: Okay then, as an artist?

Lene: Artist, yes, that's better.

RT: How is it today, compared to 1998 when you broke through with "Unforgivable Sinner"?

Lene: I've become older, and I have learned an incredible lot. Really. I've got both good and bad experiences, and those you bring along, trying to avoid the errors you made, and to repeat the things you did well, and to do them better. It's just taking things as they come.

RT: Have you put some limitations on your work as a pop artist, and your private life, and said "now, it's enough work, now I have to spend time to do other things..."

Lene: It became way too much the last time, and I wouldn't have done this all over again, if I couldn't say that, yes, I'll do it, but I can't use all my time, and I need to have some fun, and to enjoy it. Have a life outside of it as well. I think that's very important, and I have planned to do that this time around.

RT: What do you think about the future, Lene; if you should predict about your future?

Lene: Yes, I'll say, I hope I'll be able to make more music, no matter how things go with the album. Now, this album is finished, but I feel I'm on it again, thinking anew, and I think that's incredible fun, and inspiring. I hope I can do this a while ahead.

RT: You're not like the other girls in the pop industry, playing on sex and their looks, you are playing more on the mystical.

Lene: But I don't do that, actually, playing on the mystical. For me, it just became so important to keep back, because I really needed that. Whether it got mysterious, yes, perhaps, it felt right, and I had to do it. I had to spend the time I have spent, it was totally necessary. It's the music I want to keep in focus.

RT: Have you set some goals for your career, or do you feel you've achieved enough?

Lene: What am I to say, I'm fully aware that there's been a long while, and this isn't "Playing My Game 2". I've become older, and it's a different album, in many ways. It's impossible to expect, I'm overwhelmed by the reception that's been, and the interest that's actually there, considering the long time's that passed. You can't expect to just waltz in and repeat yourself, you can't expect that, and I have no plans of that either.

RT: You've become a rich girl, or is that too much? What do you spend money on?

Lene: Paying a few bills, buying everything possible, various junk and rubbish, things I don't need.

RT: A couple of months ago, the media revealed a disagreement between you and your manager, Arne Svare. According to VG, you denied releasing the album if not the contract with Arne Svare got cancelled. Is this correct?

Lene: Oh, I wish it could be that, but it wasn't, at all. I began recording this album at the end of October, and this happened in London. It wasn't like I was spending several months there. I traveled back and forth, trying to make things fit, and feeling that you have an album you actually might be able to release, and that you may stand for. Half of the album was written in the studio, so it wasn't like that. I would've liked to release it earlier, because I can feel that; now, things are very good, and things are rolling, and it's like "oh, September is so far away". I can feel the desire is there, and this whole thing with the management, it's on the sideline, one might say.

RT: Was it like a big argument?

Lene: That would just have to be kept between the involved parties. I think it's better to continue that way.

RT: At last, the knowledgables in the music industry say that it's you and Kurt from Idol that's going to conquer this Fall of albums. What do you think about that?

Lene: I have no idea what's getting released. I wasn't aware of it until now that Kurt's supposed to be released simultanously. That was bad timing for me, he's also popular these days, so we'll have to see how it goes.

RT: What do you think of Idol?

Lene: I looked at it from time to time, and I thought it was very entertaining, to put it that way. Kurt is very able, and sings very good, so all honour to that.

RT: Lene, I look forward to you coming to Tromsų, hope that's not too far away.

Lene: No, I don't hope that as well.

RT: Nice! Great, thanks a lot! Goodbye!

Lene: Thanks! Goodbye!

Transcription and translation by Tef Johs


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