C= Carmen Espenæs (vocals)
D= Daniel Droste (guitar)
1. Speaking of talent, I would like to start with the front lady, Carmen, the younger sister of Liv Kristine. Talent seems to be part of the family. Are you from a family that was into the music world?
C: Singing has always been a great part of my life, already as a child I used to make melodies and write some lyrics, record it all on a small taperecorder, as well as trying out some songparts on the keyboard. But actually, my parents aren`t musicians. But the fact that my mother always sings and that my father was the greatest Ozzy fan in our town (and maybe the first in norway!), I`m sure that they had a special musical influence on us ?
2. You were asked to go on tour with Cradle of Filth as a back vocalist on
"Nymphetamine" world tour. You decline the offer to concentrate on "Where
Twilight Dwells". Brave and hard decision I suppose. How did this all happen?
Do you regret it?
C: At that time our debut album was going to be recorded, which
meant a great deal of work for me over the coming month. I also had to be concerned
with my studies, as I had an important exam coming up. I wouldnt have had enough
time to prepare for the vocal parts for the Cradle songs, neither would I've been able
to give C.O.F. my best. And for sure, I didnt want to disappoint professional
musicians like Dani and the other members of Cradle Of Filth! But believe me, the
decision wasn`t easy, I thought about it day and night..I don`t regret it, it really was a
busy time for me, but of course it would have been a unique chance and a great
experience to go on tour with them!
3. Many talented female singers are from Norway: Vibeke Stene, Monika Edwardson, Liv and you. Perhaps Im missing some
but personally what are yours, even if not hailing from Norway?
C: I have to say that no one beats Lisa Gerrard from Dead can Dance! She has such a beautiful, strong and emotional voice. It`s a pleasure to hear her sing. But she is not from Norway, so we aren`t the only people that have good singers ;)
4. You are responsible for the words and vocals. Are you playing any instrument as well?
C: I concentrate on singing, I just have to sing every day, that`s my life. Earlier I played a lot of instruments though, for example the piano, lots of wind instruments, flutes and even a bit bass. It was interesting to try out different instruments, then you know what`s really your kind of thing.
5. How was the formation of Midnattsol?
D: Midnattsol was founded in 2002 by Carmen and Christian.
The male members of the band already played together in the
band penetralia so that it was just a question of time
till Chris(Drums) and Daniel(Keys) entered the formation.
Birgit (Bass) and Christian Fütterer (guit) completed the
early line up of the Band. After composing Desolation and
Dancing in the Midnight sun Christian Fütterer left the
Band. A few weeks later Christian phoned me because he needed a
session guitarrist to add some guitar parts for the upcoming
demo recordings. I was so curious to hear the new song
material of my ex bandmates that i agreed to join the
recording sessions and later entered the Formation for good.
6. I know the foundation is on Nordic mythology but how do you gather other
musicians that have the same interest?
D: All of us except Carmen played/are playing in death metal
bands so it was just normal that everyone now wanted to
make something different.We knew each others musical interests and faves(bands like
amorphis for example).The foundation of Midnattsol by Carmen and Christian gave
us all the chance to show our fave for nordic melodic music combined with metal which we couldnt realize in our other bands. With Carmen as a native Norwegian on vocals we
also have the possibility the express this lyrically.
7. Christian, one of the founding members, plays mouth harp, besides the guitar. This is not too common in metal but fits very well in your style of music. What is your musical background?
D: The first instrument i played was flute with the age of
5. Two years later i startet playing the piano for many years and had the possibility to learn much about classic. As i started listening to metal when i was thirteen(i was
a real big metallica fan)i also wanted to play this kind of music. So i went to the only music store in my hometown, bought the cheapest guitar i could get(a stratocaster copy)
and started to play guitar. I also had lessons for about 6 months but i finally kicked it because my guitar teacher (a 40 years old guy who looked like a drug dealer) only
wanted me to play blues stuff and Led Zeppelin song, so i
decided to try it on my own. C: like I said, I played a lot of instruments earlier. I also sang in a choir for years and when I was a teenager I had a couple of singing-lessons. Music always was a great part of my life.
8. What would be, if at all possible, your favorite composition?
D: I love Lament because of Carmens great vocal Harmonies but I think i would choose unpayable silence. The song has nice guitar melodies, its a very compact song and it has a lot of northern spirit. C: I also have to say Unpayable Silence, it gives me so much good energy, I always have to smile when I hear it.
9. How do you see the scene in Norway, Europe and worldwide?
D: In my opinion scandinavia has today the strongest scene worldwide. Bands like Opeth, Ajattara, Moonsorrow, Timo Rautiainen or Cult of Luna are really great and unique bands.
10. As it may be the case with you guys (and girls) many metal bands are made of talented musicians that either have a full time job or study. In many cases I find it unfair that musicians have to do something else for a living. Just curious to find out what is the situation in your band.
D: Most members of midnattsol are still studying. We live at least 100 km
away from each other so that ist sometimes difficult to come all together to
make music.I think nowadays its more difficult than ever for a musician
to live from your music. On the one hand file sharin on internet is growing
day by day and on the other hand:" Why should i buy a cd at a record store
if i have the possibility to get it at e-bay for half of the price?"
I think it is not unfair that i have to work/study besides being a
musician.The problem is not the lack of money, it's the lack of time, and
this really sucks. You need a lot of time to compose and arrange songs till every band member is satisfied and this is very important.
My aim as a musician is not to become rich, but to reach as many people as possible with our music and in this case internet can do a lot of promotional work.
C: For sure, I`m not angry that I have to study!I have chosen it, because I like to develop in other ways too, I`m so interested in so many things and people.
11. Is there anything you would like to express to your fans and our readers?
C: I truly hope that I and the other members of Midnattsol can give you something through our music, that we can reach you in a special way. Stay yourself, don`t change because of others and please take good care of yourself, other people, animals and our nature. And last but not least: have fun!