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02 August 2003
”It’s good to be back”
Source : Nordlys

For a moment Lene Marlin turns serious. She talks about a cafe-visit in Tromsø a while ago. –I was just standing there and cried and “thanked” her for doing the worst things anyone had ever done to me”.

One hour before this, Nordlys is taken thought the Virgin-building in Oslo, and to the room where the interview will take place.
-Come, says the woman who leads the way, -listen to this.
Then she played three songs from Lene Marlins new album. “Disguise”, a calm, melancholy song. Beautiful, sad. “Sorry”, calm, melancholy. Beautiful, sad. “Another Day”, err… calm, melancholy.


The woman leads us to an office at the end of the building, the newspaper will get their share today. Half an hour each, that’s it, no pictures. When we enter the room, Lene Marlin is already there, with a smile on her face, says that’s it’s been a while and that everything went all right yesterday, despite all the 25 interviews.
-It’s good to be back. I noticed I had a headache when I came home last night, but it didn’t matter, she says and smiles, and agrees that her songs are melancholy, yes.
-It’s an album you need to listen to several times. People who have heard it has said that “suddenly that song sneaks upon you”, and then I’m satisfied, then I feel I’ve made the record I wanted to make. Than it’s a record that for the listener has a lifetime, not one you listen to a few times and then you’re tired of it.
-It’s very different from your last album, I think. Are these songs representative for the whole album?
-It’s more vary than that. You have the three songs you just heard, and than the single, and then there’s a song with just the guitar and singing. And then there’s a song that is six minutes long. The tempo of the songs is also varying. It’s difficult to describe it cause I’ve lived with it for so long now.

Half the record made in the studio

-It was so much fun to record it. Live, with a band, I wrote songs, and then we went to practice before we recorded it. And it went really well, says the 22-year old, who wrote 50% of the record while she was in the studio.
-I wrote while the others did things I couldn’t do. It was so inspiring to be in the studio that I just wrote and wrote. I sat there and suddenly I’d yell “come, come, I’ve written a new song!”, she laughs.
-I was hoping that it would be like that, that I would write alot and have much to write about.
-You had enough songs to a new album when you promoted you last album. How many songs have you actually written?
-Oh, I don’t know. Some songs, some ideas, some half-written songs. Some lyrics there, some melodies there. But I didn’t feel that it was right to have them on the album. I needed something fresh, that I felt I could sing today. Not everything feels right to sing about now.

Wrote to herself

And there we were. Here where all the radiostations in the country were yesterday; by Lene Marlins difficult time and absence. She was open, brave – said that she just wanted to disappear, that she considered to stop making music, that it wasn’t fun any longer.
-Did you write back then too?
-After Spellemannsprisen in 2000 I didn’t want more. And if I had wanted, I couldn’t have. I tried, but there were times when I just couldn’t. And I think that was just healthy. In a period I wrote songs that I knew was just for me, that no one else would listen to. It was a way to get things out.
-Yes, it was. I could sit and play the guitar in my couch a late night and just reflect on things, smiles Lene Marlin.

Felt bad

That was the time after it said stop. After she had slept. Slept, slept, slept.
-I was just so tired and it was like “today I won’t go out”. I didn’t have anything to give. And if you’re going to meet someone, you want to have something to give, and I couldn’t – what was the point? So I stayed home.
-Was the worst part that you felt like you didn’t go round?
-Definitely. But I can’t make everyone happy. I wanted to do so much more, but I couldn’t. I take everything so seriously, I want to be prepared and be able to give something. When journalists called and said that they just needed fifteen minutes, that’s not just fifteen minutes to me. It’s something I think about a while ahead – and long after. Just like they prepare, I have to prepare.
-Hard to say no?
-Yes. And I feel really bad if I do say no.
-Was it because you felt bad for everything and everyone that led to what happened?


On the radio she’d said, kinda joking, that she felt “paranoia” along the way. She laughs now too, but there are things she remembers. That is difficult to forget.
-I can’t get them out of my head. That there are two photographers outside my house, behind dirty windows, who takes pictures. It took so long before I went outside again that I had “scanned” all the cars that were parked outside. Automatically, I didn’t even notice myself. But others did, and they asked “are you aware of what you’re doing?!”, she says.
-Then there were days when I thought I could relax, that of course there wasn’t anyone outside waiting for me. And it was strange, cause I was ready to just relax and then BANG, there they were again.
-Things like that are still in me, I can’t forget and if I start to think about it then…
Lene hits herself in the forehead and laughs:
-Paranoia! You have to stop, Lene! But then I have been right at times, it’s happened and then I get like that…
-Still, you jumped into all of this again?
-Yes, she smiles. –Maybe it’s naive to think, but I think about the joy in music, and I want so bad to make it. And maybe it’s naive to think that “ok, I can do this again, and I’ll just go for it in a bit different way this time. Abit more fun, a little more careful with the tempo, and not from place to place all the time. That I can do things in a longer period of time”
-But did you decide all by yourself when you’d come back?
-Yes, cause one thing is the personal roller coasters, but another thing is the music. It had to be right. Many shook their head and though I shouldn’t have waited for so long. But I think that if I had come out with a record two years ago, the result would have been really bad. And I bet that I’d flop if I had. I was willing to wait, and luckily the recordcompany was ok with that.

Felt right

Now she’s happy about that. It feels right today.
-I feel a relieve to finally get it all out. It’s been really good. Ok, here’s my song, like it – hate it, but here it is atleast. Just that was a great relieve. It was something that just disappeared. Now it’s atleast over with, she says.
-Yesterday I noticed that feeling I had…he-he, many, many years ago. But it’s different. This time – independent of what’s happening, if I flop, whatever – I’m going to try to have fun with it all. And take breaks now and then – say “You know what? No!”. This time I give myself the right to say no, without any explanation. I don’t want to go around and feel bad all the time, cause the exhausting.

More new songs

Now she’s noticed that the eager to get out there rises. And she’s already written songs for the next album.
-I like that. It’s a good sign, she smiles.
-So much happened last time, and I wasn’t made to absorb all at the same time.
We get interrupted by that woman again.
-Are you soon finished? Aftenposten is waiting…
-Please, just five more minutes, asks Lene.
And then she starts to talk about all those little things that disappeared the last time. To be able to sleep in her own bed, for instance. That’s something she’ll do more in the future, no matter what happens with the record.
Not to mention Tromsø.
-Tromsø is very special to me, and it’s so nice to be home and meet people I know. I know every street in Tromsø, but hardly any in Oslo, she smiles.

On a cafe in Tromsø
But unfortunately unpleasant things would happen there too. Many wanted a piece of her even when she took a break from the spotlight.
-In Tromsø I’m home, I visit my family and friends and want that to be private. But things has happened that suddenly makes that change…
She says that she has noting against neither Tromsø or the people there. She adores the city, honestly. But there are things she could have been without.
-Suddenly to go to Tromsø wasn’t something I connected with fun and happiness.
-What do you think about then?
And this is when Lene turns silent. Under the entire interview she’s smiled, laughed and been polite like she always is. But now she turns serious.
-I can’t really remember when it was, I’ve tried to forget. I was out with some friends that I hadn’t seen for a long time, and there I met a person who I knew was working in the press. It was one o’clock in the night, and I was having a nice time with my pals. Then this person came up to speak to me, but I tried to reject her in a polite way and said that I was just out to have a good time. Well, when I had said this to her, she took it the wrong way. Fifteen minutes later I went to buy a drink and then something happened that I didn’t really get, and suddenly someone was standing behind the bar and took a picture of me.
It wasn’t the picture that was the problem, but that she couldn’t be a guest there like everybody else who was there.
-I wasn’t prepared for that to happen in Tromsø. It made me really sad what had happened. I just cried and went home.
Our time with Lene is up. Lene smiles and gives us a hug.
She’s ready again.

Translation by Nina of Mbuzz forum


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