Intervju: Maja Trstenjak (email@example.com)
Photo: Jörn Veberg
Djerv are Norwegian female-fronted band whose music carries influences of various rock and metal genres. Lead by Agnete Kjølsrud, known for collaboration with Dimmu Borgir on their song „Gateways“, are real refreshment on a world metal scene. About their new, debut album „Djerv“ we talked to Ms. Agnete herself.
VENIA: Since Croatian audience is not very familiar with Djerv, how would you introduce the band to them?
Djerv consist of the three core members Erlend Gjerde, Stian Kårstad and me, Agnete Kjølsrud, and the lineup is completed by guitarist Stamos Koliousis from Mencea and bassist Victor Brandt from Entombed who join us for our live performances. Djerv is a band from Oslo, Norway.
VENIA: Tell me something about the new album „Djerv“, what’s the meaning behind it?
Well, «Djerv» is an old norwegian word for «bold». If you for instence make a djerv decision, you dear to take chances, kind of. There is a lot of positive connotations to the word «Djerv».
In this album we try to be bold. We tried to explore the borderlines between rock and metal and on some tracks there are more or less obvious black metal references. The overall sound is quite stripped down, groove-oriented and melodic, yet it has those cold black metal-influenced riffs accompanying the dark moods of the music. I am also a sucker for quireparts, and you can hear Desneyguire in some of the songs.
VENIA: Why did you chose exactly the song „Madman“ to be the first single from this album?
We believe «Madman» is one of the songs that represent Djerv the best. It is hard, groovy and it has a hookline to it.
VENIA: How did the recording process go?
It went well and we had a lot of fun! We spent most part of the fall of 2010 working on our debut. The album was engineered by Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah ) in Oslo, before we traveled to LA to team up with Grammy Award winning producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Hatebreed, Monster Magnet) to work on the mix. It was very nice working so close with those guys. I guess we worked a month all together in effective time with this album, and it was pretty hectic I must say. One cool detail was that it normally takes Matt Hyde 30 seconds to figure out how to mix an album, to decide what sound he`s going for, as the inspiration of the band is so obvious to spot out. But when he was listening to the Djerv album he had no obvious direction on the mix. Quote: ”Their music is truly unique. It’s absolutely awesome and it’s totally different from anything else I’ve heard in a long long time” - Matt Hyde. This makes me proud.
VENIA: What inspires you to write songs/play music, which are your musical influences?
My main inspiration has for several years been Mike Patton and his work. I think he is the best singer of all times and also his music is fantastic. Faith No More and Mr.Bungle has inspired me a lot and I love that it is so playful. Also I think „Fantomas`Directors Cut“ is one of the best records ever made.
VENIA: How did the audience accept the material live? How does the audience react on your live performance in general?
We expect a lot from each other and the concerts have to be good. Therefore we are really trying to do our best at every show. The sound and the songs has to be as close to the recordstandard as possible, but also with a lot of energy on stage. Energy is important and also obvious when you convey this kind of music. Also we love playing the music and being on stage together, so the vibes are awsome! So much fun.
VENIA: Tell me, how does typical Djerv song come to life?
Stian, the guitar player sends riffs over to us. It often starts with an easy setup for a song like simple drums, yet the guitar and bass is worked through. If we all digg the idea, Erlend starts arranging it and than I start to work on the melodies and lyrics. From there there is a lot going on. We call each other up and talks true the song. Chords changes, words changes and melodies changes. What`s missing? How`s the feeling to it? What to add? From there Stian and Erlend goes in rehearsalstudio and adds what feels natural. Drums are taking shape and details are developed.
VENIA: You are from Norway, country that has really strong and famous metal scene. What does it take to get recognized, to get the attention among all big metal bands? What makes you different from all those bands?
We played the Inferno Festival in April and I was actually the only girl on stage through the whole festival. Having a female-fronted singer is an obvious difference from most metalbands, with some exceptions of course. We are also known as a good live act, something I am very happy about. The metal scene is famous in Norway, but it is also pretty small. Therefor if you have talent we support each other. I think the combination with the tree of us is perceived as kind of interesting. We have different backgrounds and we try to challange each other, wish makes us forced trying new stuff. I think that`s worth some attention.
VENIA: For the end, write your message to Venia-Mag readers.
Thank you for reading this interview and hopefully you got a bit curious of what Djerv is. You can check us out on www.myspace.com/djervmusic. Hope you`ll love it. For all the people that allready knows of us and support us: thank you so much- it means a lot! Thanks!