An Interview with Per Steinar Lie and Pål Jackman of Undergrünnen
TimeLord Michalis: Introduce us, the band, and tell us how it all started with Undergrünnen. (like when, where etc)
Per Steinar Lie: Undergrünnen started when I got a gig in the local prison back in 2015 and none of my regular bands was able to join. Pål had just moved back to our hometown, Haugesund, Norway and for us local lads he had been a legend for years and we all wanted to play in a band with him. Ørjan, my regular drummer, joined in and we blasted up our local prison and ended up with three jammed songs which lasted for 45 minutes all together and they are still in the set.
TLM: Tell us a few words about the other bands, projects that you’ve been to. Also, please do mention the kind of music these bands were/are playing. (a very short bio of each band if it’s possible):
PS: Me and Ørjan (drums) have played together since early 2000. We started off with the dirty postrock outfit The Low Frequency in Stereo, which played a lot around Europe and the States. We actually played in Athens (Since this is a Greece fanzine) once as well… Club Underground I think the place was called. We have still just pushed that pause button on that band, so maybe we will put out some more music someday. We are also playing in Action & Tension & Space which is a Psychedelic instrumental rock band. We have recorded our next album which will be out next year and I and Ørjan are also playing in the instrumental Lumen Drones together with Nils Økland (Hardingfiddle) which have released an album on ECM and now last year on the label Hubro. Lumen Drones is a sort of folk/psychedelic band.
Wunderkammer: Pål Jackman’s punkish eclectic blend of genres. European, gypsy, and Arabic influences as well as Anglo-American. Has released 4 albums since 1999 (Other central members: Per Zanussi, Børge Fjordheim, Dag Sindre Vagle, Gjertrud Økland, Johan Egdetveit).
TLM: What are your influences, musically, and lyrically?
Pål J: Kraut bands of Germany: Can, Neu, Popol Vuh… Ali Farka Touré, Prince Nico Mbarga, Salif Keita, Fela Kuti, Tinariwen… Black Sabbath, Santana, The Doors, Eno and Byrne: “My life in a bush of Ghosts” album. Lyrically influenced by Norwegian Author Arild Rein (and likely Sylvia Plath).
TLM: Can you describe the music of Undergrünnen?
PJ: It’s rock ‘n roll jamming motored by repeating riffs and influenced by German and African Kraut.
PS: We like Rock that goes into circles and trance mode.
TLM: You have chosen your native language, Norwegian, to dress your compositions, why?
PJ: Norwegian is our language. It keeps it close to the heart.
TLM: Tell us a few things about your self-titled debut album, released in 2015.
PJ: It was jammed and improvised like this one.
TLM: Your 2nd album entitled “Ein revnande likegyldighet” (“A cracking indifference”, if I’m translating well) is just released (29 May 2020)
in a period of General Quarantine and in rather strange times. Tell us a few words about it.
PJ: Your English translation is good. The songs are from before the General Quarantine. Lyrically it contains a cultural critique, as well as the outsiders, take on trying to fit in and the overall urge to lash out at the general buildup of nonsense. We don’t really sing about General Quarantine. However, we’ve spent much together ironically since the Quarantine. Jamming and rehearsing…
Listen to the 13min Epic African-Kraut-Norwegian-Psych “Nå e me her” from “Ein revnande likegyldighet” by Undergrünnen
TLM: If I ask you to compare your debut album with the one that you just released, what would you say?
PJ: I guess I’d have to listen to the first one again in order to give that comparison of justice. However, it’s better someone outside the band did that. I think the last album is more of the same, only more.
PS: The first album is a bit shadier and blurry with more echoes, this one is a bit more focused. We are proud of both!
TLM: Anything else that you’d like to add?
PJ: Thank you for taking your time and write to us. It’s always good to try to answer some questions and try to write some general nonsense about ourselves.
For more info and to communicate with the band visit Undergrünnen’s Facebook:
Listen & Buy their albums through Undergrünnen’s Bandcamp:
• Undergrünnen, LP/CD, Jansen Plateproduksjon, Norway, 2015
• Ørkesløs Fryd EP, 7″, Jansen Plateproduksjon, Norway, 2016
• Ein revnande likegyldighet, LP, Jansen Plateproduksjon, Norway, 2020 (review)
© TimeMachine Productions / TimeMaZine®, 2020