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30 August 2005
Lene Marlin - Uncensored
Source : PlanB July/August
Ask Lene Marlin if she is okay these days; on a scale from 1 to 10. It could happen she lingers a bit. Between twelve and thirteen.

Lene Marlin Pedersen (23) became Norway's greatest female pop star because of one single song. When she released the debut single 'Unforgivable Sinner' in 1999, it was so refreshingly unnorwegian, professional and pop melancholic, that it took the Norwegian folk soul by storm. However, suddenly it got to be too much. After the breakdown four years ago she has been nursing herself in silence. First now she is releasing the third album entitled 'Lost In A Moment'. When PlanB met her, she didn't seem neither lost nor silent; on the contrary, so happy that we could swear she is in love. However, Lene Marlin does not of course answer to such things. The readers' questions, on the other hand, we get answers to right here.

- Do you have very many songs in stock? In the hiding? Hundreds of songs? (From Solveig Eie)

- Not hundreds, but quite many. And how many there have been up through the years, I really don't know. I've become so old!

- Do you have songs in your head all the time, like some kind of a mild musical 'tinitus'?

- Not all the time. The songs are coming in certain periods. Sometimes at very long intervals. The song dryness can last so long that I'm starting to wonder if I have lost the ability to think music. But then I suddenly awake when I'm least expecting it.

- How was it to be working with the team at Stargate Studios compared to your earlier experiences? (Harry Hansen)

- It was indeed totally fantastic! They are used to working with everyone from Mariah Carey to Mary J. Blige... I've been working with different people on each album, and also this time it exceeded all expectations. By that very fact that I had written the songs myself, they got to be working with songs they hadn't touched before - and this they thought was very much fun. To me, it was incredibly fascinating to watch how professional and effective they were. It rushed by!

- Hi Lene. Every day 50.000 children are dying of hunger. Why should I spend my money on your new record and not on them? (Stein Aryven)

- Eh... If the choice is between helping hungry children and buying my record, I really think you should not do it. Buying my record, that is.

- We are sitting here watching the Don Quixote movie. What is your relationship to him, and how does he put a mark on your everyday life? You are rough on the head, by the way! (Scott Maurstad)

- First; thanks for the compliment! Other than that, I must admit I have a very vague and undefined relationship with this Don Quixote.

- Hi Lene! I'm seeing that the designer Cavalli likes you. Are you going to become a model now? (Kåre, Tr.heim)

- Yes. I have decided on putting the music on the shelf and be starting up as a model. That has been the plan all along. I'm going to be heading a fashionable revolution where no models can be over 1.60! No. Definitely not. I met the Cavalli people once, and I'm really not sure about what they are visualizing. However, I'm open to suggestions. Besides, it is so wonderful being in Italy these days. Totally chaos!

- Yes, I'm hearing you're huge down there; being high on the charts and is visiting a lot of TV-shows. Are there hysterical conditions with sweet Italian groupie boys?

- Boys and girls at all ages. There are things happening there all the time, so I've been a couple of trips, and will be returning soon.

- I thought you didn't like a lot of attention?

- Hehe. Not all attention is equally fun, and it is very much dependent on the situation. Nevertheless; people are changing. That is what is so nice. Now I'm able to enjoy the success. At one time in Italy, I had to have a circle of life guards around me to keep people out. Now this is just fun. I just had to learn dealing with it.

- I saw you live in Spektrum with Abel and Bertine. Very nice concert! Was it equally fun for you as it seemed to be from the floor? (Huge regard from Siri-Lill)

- So insanely so, too. Totally special! And then it's so fun to be playing in Oslo, because here I know so incredibly many people - by that very fact that I live here. In addition, the fan-club from Italy arrived. It is just so totally insanely wonderful that they are coming all the way just to see me...

- It seems almost like you like the Italians better than your own countrypeople. Now that we are finally leaving you alone, you are smiling warmly to hysterical Italians. Kind of lame, if you ask me.

- I've always been smiling to my fans. It's just that, one should be allowed to choose when you want to be left alone. That has been more difficult here at home. In Italy, I can actually walk about on the street without people recognizing me. It is on special events where the fans are gathered that there is some commotion.

- Are you watching Idol? (Lill, 16 years old)

- I was peeping now and then. If I accidentally was at home.

- No favourite then?

- I probably stuck to all others, and was cheering a bit for Ali. You could say what you want about that circus, but I must admit I'm admiring the participants a great deal. I had never dared to be singing in front of four strict faces who are just waiting for you to be finished, so that they can butcher you.

- Hi Lene, what must be required for you to have a good morning? (Jarle)

- Lots and lots of time, no plans, long breakfast, and complete quiet. I can be sleeping very long. So long that my girl friends are 'clicking' on me.

- If you would have received a million dollar to get naked in a magazine, would you have done it? (Scott, 16, Oslo)

- 16 years there, yes. No, I would not.

- Dollar...

- No.

- Good.

How happy are you these days, on a scale from 1 to 10? (Mathias)

- Hmmm...let me see...between twelve and thirteen!

- Oy! You must be in love.

- It is good times, I've released my record, and get to travel a lot. Besides, it's summer, beer, and ice!

- You are reacting on some reviews of your new record, I see. Why? Is it the criticism that burns, or just generally incompetent reviewers that provoke you?

- The criticism doesn't burn. I have been talking a lot about the lack of decency. There is a great deal that has no place in a review. For instance the private.

- Where do you get inspiration for your songs from? (Arne, Stavanger)

- Everything around me. The so-called surroundings. Things I see, hear, or read about, and the thoughts I'm having about it. And a bit from my own life, but a lot less than what many are making it out to be.

- What is your relationship to fish fingers? (Hug from me!)

- Not that close. I must admit I almost don't think about them at all.

- Are you some day going to be dancing, pyro, and gigantic soluble genitals as parts of your stage show? (Great cosiness from me! Someone you know just a little)

- One I know?

- Embarrassing, Lene! And soluble? Inflatable it is, I'd reckon...

- This person can't know me very well who is asking about such a thing.

- Are you going to be playing live soon? Hope you'd come to Trondheim! (Regards, Lene-fan, 21)

- I'll be going to be playing a bit here and there, but we haven't prepared for anything yet. First, there is promo work. It takes time to be putting together a concert based on the new record as well.

- Do you like being mysterious? Or is it just a grip to survive in the music industry? (Anna, Bergen)

- Mysterious!?! I can't comprehend where she is taking this from. I'm not mysterious at all. I may not be putting my face out at all times, but especially mysterious I've never felt I was.

- Which artist could you be thinking about working with, if you got to choose from the absolute upper shelf? (Mari, 23, Bergen)

- BONO! Singing a duet with Bono I wouldn't be saying no thanks to.

- His or your songs?

- One of mine, of course. Or rather, I would have been stretching far to be allowed singing whatever it may be with him. So no conditions and no ultimatum. Just me and Bono.

- Hi Lene! Your first album was naive girl's room poetry, but nice-nice pop. The second album was sizable, great, and sterile. Agree or disagree? How is your new record? (Åge, Oslo, 17 years old)

- Eh...hehe? It was okay to get my album history summed up once and for all. Well, the new record is neither naive nor sterile, it is fantastic. Spend money on it! As long as it doesn't get to be on the expense of the children in Africa. Then you'd get 11 nice songs.

- New tendencies; new rhythms?

- There should be no surprise that I have developed. I was despite everything only 17 years old when I started - and has become older, both in body and in soul, as one is saying. It would've been heck of a sin if I didn't have any new rhythms to offer.

- What have you learned since you met the wall and withdrew? (Monica, Tromsø)

- I don't really understand the expression 'meeting the wall'. How do you meet a wall? What happens then, kind of? You can't see anything because of all the bricks? That wasn't what happened to me, at least...nevertheless. You learn from most things. I've been learning a lot about the industry and myself. In the beginning, I felt insecure about everything. Record deals, charts, and prizes and all that hustle. Everything came like lightning from the sky, no matter how much I tried to prepare for things. Quite simply because I didn't know anything about this. I didn't know shit! I knew nothing. Now I have learned to take time off! You have to combine an artist career with a life. It is indeed only that which can inspire new songs.

Translated by Tef Johs


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