Musicscan: I believe most of the people are not familiar with // delaware yet. Please tell me a little bit about how you guys got started and how the deal with Columbia developed.
//delaware: We formed the band //delaware in 1999, but we didn't play an official "//delaware" show before the year 2000. Actually as support for Zeromancer. Then we did some demo recordings with Alex Møklebust(the front man in Zeromancer) as producer, and also played a lot of live shows. Basically in Norway. Then we got in touch with a German tour manager through our light engineer, and included 4 dates in Germany. And one of the four shows was in Hamburg where we met a few guys from the German record business. These guys got a demo from us and introduced it to Columbia. And here we are now...!
Musicscan: How did the recording for your debut album go? Where did you record and how did you approach the recording process? How was working with Georg Kaleve and what impact did he have on the record?
//delaware: The recordings went really good. We stayed for like two weeks in Hanover, recording the drums and bass in Horus sound studio. Then we moved to Berlin and stayed there from July until the end of November, so it was quite a long production period. We first made the arrangements, and then we found the right tempo for the songs. Which is probably the most difficult part in the recording process. It is really hard to find the right tempo to songs. That's why it's so important to have an experienced producer to give you ideas and to come up with suggestions. And George was a brilliant man to work with in that case. When arrangements and tempos were done, we resumed building the songs brick by brick.
Musicscan: Would you say that your music is influenced by your environment and especially your hometown Drammen? Please tell me a little bit about the town and the music scene there.
//delaware: I don't think that our music is that much influenced by the town of Drammen. I mean..., maybe to a certain point because you have a lot of time to think and create music here. It's a rather small town and not much to do during the weekdays. Except making music, playing football and hanging out at the local gas station. The music scene here is very vital. We have a lot of bands, playing everything from pop to black metal. And bands like The Jessica Fletchers, In-zect and Dead Sheriff are doing it quite well at the moment.
Musicscan: On "...everything reminds me" you have succeeded to create some beautiful pop songs without catering to a polished radio friendly format that usually comes along with that. How did you accomplish that balance within your music?
//delaware: Well, you know our absolute biggest fear was to end up in that too smooth and too polished bag. So we went in to the studio focusing on finding a way to make the pop songs rockier. And we found a way by using distorted syntheffects underneath and also a deep bass, which creates a rougher, and bigger sound picture. We have also recorded some out of tune guitars to get this special sound.
Musicscan: What fascinates you about bands like Slut, Low, Muse or New Order? Do you try to incorporate some of the aspects of these band into your own music?
//delaware: We like the way they arrange their songs, and also how they manage to find the balance between pop and rock. They have brilliant pop melodies going on in every song, and like us, not only the vocals have a dominating hook line to it. Also guitars, pianos etc. It gives the songs greater depth. This is something we definitely have adopted from these great bands. We have a policy in our band, that every song we make should contain at least two hook lines or melodies apart from the vocals. This because when you get tired of listening to the vocals, you can listen to a different melody line that lies underneath.
Musicscan: Did you have any worries before signing to Columbia that they were going to influence you artistically and perhaps market you in a way that you would not be comfortable with? Have you ever considered signing to an indie label?
//delaware: No, we didn't have any worries. We have been doing music for quite a along time now. So I believe we know best what is best for us. And I think the record label recognized that. We have never considered signing to an indie label. Basically because we wanted our songs to get the right production, and we think that our songs deserve a high quality production like this. And such costs money...
Musicscan: What importance to you attribute to your lyrics? Why didn't your print them in your booklet? What do your lyrics mostly deal with?
//delaware: Our lyrics deal with personal experiences, things that are affecting you in a positive or negative way. Could be as easy or as hard, as a break-up between a boyfriend and a girlfriend. The songs are often made before the lyrics. We usually have a melody line to follow, and Richard (our lead singer) tries to capture the feeling of the songs in his lyrics. The lyrics mean a lot to him, and hopefully they mean a lot to the people that listen to our songs. Our intention with the lyrics is not to carry out specific messages, but to give people an opportunity to interpret them in their own way. To give them association to things which have happened in their own lives. We chose not to print the lyrics in the booklet because: first of all I think people should concentrate on listening to the record in its totality. To us the totality is more important, than what the lyrics are about. It is not music to poems, but poems to music. If you know what I mean. Therefore I hope that the listeners will pay attention to the music first and then the lyrics.
Musicscan: In Germany you often hear stories about Scandinavian bands getting money from the government as tour support or in order to buy equipment. Is there any governmental support for popular music in Norway in general? What is the situation?
//delaware: You can apply for certain scholarships regarding tour support etc. It's common for a band with visions. You have many funds that support bands in our situation. Both private and public. This is a great help for bands at their starting point, of course, but it is not said that every band that applies gets funding.
Musicscan: What do you hope people to take away with from a //delaware show?
//delaware: I hope people like what they hear and get a good feeling or experience from coming to our shows. We will do our best to make it worthwhile coming to a //delaware show.
Musicscan: What can we expect from you guys in the near future?
//delaware: We will start touring in June. So we hope that many people will visit our gigs. We are not yet sure of what to expect ourselves, but hopefully you can experience a band that develops from being a rather small band, to become the greatest band in the whole wide world.
Musicscan: 3 favorite records, books and movies?
//delaware: Favorite records: Puressence-Puressence; Only Forever-Ruressenc; Songs of Faith and Devotion-DM.
Favorite books: Beatles, Bare bra rabarbra bar, fleskepølsa fra mosjøen.
Favorite movies: Elling, Seven, The Blob
Musicscan: Any last words or comments?
//delaware: Looking forward to playing gigs in Germany. Make music, not war...