Lasse Marhaug interview


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You Killed King Kong

Norway's king of headsplitting noise...

About how many releases are you up to now?
"I have lost count at the moment. Probably nearly a hundred cassette releases, over a dozen CDs, about a dozen 7" singles and one LP. As for highlights, I'm not quite sure. I'm almost happy with the two Jazzkammer albums, and some of the DEL 7"s are quite special to me. I'm most happy with records I made with other people. I judge my solo records hard. Probably because they are not as good?"

What made you start your own musical project, your own music?
"I guess I had nothing better to do. My interest in experimental music came from my love of rock music. It had the right attitude and energy, but I felt something was missing. Then I found Throbbing Gristle and I knew I was on the right track."

Desicribe your live performances.
"Live performances are different from each time and place. It depends on what project I'm performing with and the where-and-when's. Jazzkammer live is pure sound work, the solo shows are more visual and with DEL it's a whole different approach, building up an atmosphere over time. I used to perform with something called The Lasse Marhaug Band, which was often quite violent, in a happy harmless way. It was the same when I was in Origami Replika (1996-98). That was also happy violence. I haven't done a violent show in a long time. Maybe I'm getting old?"

Is the Jazzassin label still in function?
"Yes, more or less. But I kind of feel I've gone as far as I can with it. I've done all the fun I wanted to do. And I don't feel I have the time for it anymore. I don't have any plans for future releases. But I'm not going to lay it dead, just not put out as much as I used to."

What about Tidal Wave Recycling?
"Same thing. Low activity but not dead. I did release a cassette this summer, a split of me and John Hegre called "Acoustic". I plan to release a cassette compilation sometime next year."

Describe your Jazzkammer project.
"It's a project I have with John Hegre. We specialze in making recordings that have nothing to do with music. Not anti-music, but more like non-music. We work with location recordings, broken instruments, computers etc. It's less noisy and more complex in structure than my solo works. We have two albums out; "Timex" on Rune Grammofon and "Hot Action Sexy Karaoke" on Ground Fault Recordings. Next year we'll put out a 12" and a remix CD, both on Smalltown Supersound. And we are going to collaborate with the videoproject Nervousvision."

How do you see the Norwegian music scene?
"I think it's fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. We have names like Arm, Kjetil Brandsdal, Ring, all the Origami fractions, Clop Neplat, Continental Fruit, Fibo Trespo, Alexander Rishaug etc. Lots of interesting artists. I probably forgot a lot of names. I'm proud to be a part of what's going on here."

What artists are you listening to now?
"I have just finished listening to the Merzbow "Merzbox" 50 CD box set. It took me all summer to get through it. Now I have a whole pile of other records to get through. I listen a lot of experimental, electronica, noise and improvised music. Oh, and the new Madonna record is brilliant."

Couldn't agree more. Do you consider Merzbow as the king of noise?
"No, I don't think Merzbow is the king of noise. He's done far too many different things to have such a limited label on him. If I had to crown someone the kings of noise I'd say Incapacitants."

Okay. What can we expect from Lasse Marhaug in the future? Phil Collins cover versions or what?
"No Phil Collins covers yet. Shoot me when I get to that level. However I will cover Dire Straits with a new project I have called Sultants Of Swing. It will be a one-time performance celebrating the European tour of Cock ESP. Other than that there's the new Jazzkammer coming, I'm working on a new solo album, DEL has a few records coming and I plan to play more live. I also plan to get more active with doing web sites of my projects. Stay tuned."

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