How did you come
to music? Were you influenced by anyone in particular
when you were growing that led you to what you do now?
I started out as a sound-engineer and found that I could
use the studio as a musical instrument. Complex sounds
used as an instrument appealed more to me than conventional
musical instruments. Growing up, I listened to a lot
of different music, however Led Zeppelin and The Residents
have probably been the most important early influences.
Norway seemed to be neglected for years musically.
Was it hard to make a name for yourself, or did that
give you an element of freedom, allowing you to explore
When I started making music I did not have a specific
plan to become a recording-artist, so that just happened
gradually. Even though Norwegian music was not very
well know outside of Norway at the time, there has always
been a strong underground scene, which have been important
for what is happening now.
You have been involved in an impressive amount
of various projects in the last few years, including
recording and touring with Supersilent and producing
records for quite a few artists. How do you find the
time to do everything and still keep some focus on your
I think all my collaborations have contributed to my
solo work in a positive way. Obviously there have been
periods of work overload, but all this work has been
important to bring different elements to all these projects.
My solo work has never really been dependent on release
schedules or touring so it has been produced over a
very natural timeline.
It’s been a while since your last album.
Do you miss working on your solo stuff at times?
These days my main focus is on Supersilent. The completion
of Morals & Dogma has taken a long time
but that is a result of how I wanted the music to function.
The track Dead People’s Things was recorded
after the release of the Treetop Drive album
(1994) and that track was the key to how Morals
& Dogma would turn out. Eventually it took
a really long time to complete all the tracks.
How did you get involved with Supersilent,
and did you expect the band would gain so much respect
in just a few years?
I was living in Trondheim in the early nineties and
the three other members of Supersilent had a trio called
Veslefrekk, and they were also situated in Trondheim
at the time. I think we were aware of each others work
but it took some years to finally start the collaboration.
We did a concert in Bergen in 1997 and we all enjoyed
it so much that we recorded our first album shortly
after. We didn’t really consider at the time where
it would lead, but we are grateful for what has happened
You have produced quite a few records over
the last few years. What makes you decide to work with
a particular artist?
There can be a number reasons but obviously the music
is the key. There has to be some elements in the music
that appeal to me and reflect something that can make
my work an integral part of the music. Sometimes I also
work with people because they are very nice people.
You recently produced the first album by Susanna
& The Magical Orchestra that we recently featured
on the site. How did you come to work with Susanna and
Morten on this project?
They sent me a demo of some of their work and I instantly
knew that I would very much like to work with them.
Their version of Jolene really blew me away!
I found it to be very honest music and that is important
I would imagine that producing a record is
a completely different process to working on a solo
record, or to work with Supersilent. Which part do you
prefer, and why?
There is nothing I would cut out because each projects
adds a flavour to the others. However the work with
Supersilent is the most important. I cannot think of
a better band to be a part of. It is a privilege to
play in that band.
How does working with Supersilent compare to
working on your own?
It is a different process. My solo work is very composed
even though there are elements of improvisation. In
Supersilent we use improvisation as a tool to compose
music and the live interaction is very important. My
solo work is often based on very few sounds, while Supersilent
often is more complex in sounds and patterns and the
layering of these.
You are also a member of Motorpsycho, a Norwegian
metal band, and have been for a few years. This seems
very far from your solo work. How did you get involved
with the band?
I was a member of the band between 1992 and 1994 and
have worked with them as a producer since. During that
time, we did a lot of freeform noise improvisations
blended in with a more common rock sound and I think
it has been important for what I have done since with
Supersilent. They actually heard my solo material and
wanted to incorporate those elements in their music,
which was unusual at the time here in Norway. I think
the energy of good rock music is very interesting.
You seem to be involved in a lot of the Rune
Grammofon projects, often producing. Have you found
your spiritual home there?
I enjoy working with Rune Kristoffersen and really respect
his dedication to music. His label is very rare and
it is great to be involved in so many of his projects.
Supersilent and the label started out at the same time
and we have worked together with different projects
Whose idea was it to release the boxset with
your first three solo albums, and what was the reason
I had wanted to do that for quite some time because
so much of my music has been out of print for years.
I wanted to collect all the old material in a box together
with the new album, since Morals & Dogma
might be the last Deathprod album. Rune was also very
interested in this. I have no plans to release any more
Deathprod material so I thought it would be good to
collect everything and make it available.
spans about ten years of your work. How do you analyse
what you recorded at the beginning of the nineties compared
to your more recent work? What was it like to revisit
There is a definite link between the oldest and the
more recent music, though it obviously sounds different.
The early work was usually live improvisations with
no other musicians while later on it became more planned
and composed. I also started working with other musicians.
However the use of very few sound and the organic repetitions
have always been a basis for my music.
The second track on Reference Frequencies,
6.15, is a collaboration with American poet
Matt Burt. How did you get to work together, and was
the syncopated way he recited his verse something you
asked him to do or was it his choice?
I got to know him in the late eighties and he used to
send microcassettes he recorded with poems and strange
radio cut-ups. I started using these in my music as
I found it to have a similar texture as some of my own
work. The specific track you mention was made out of
a spoken word tape he sent me, and his voice is only
edited by himself as he reads it in to the microcasette-recorder.
You've also collaborated quite a lot with Norwegian
violinist Ole Henrik Moe (Dora on Reference
Frequencies, The Contraceptive Briefcase II
on Songs From Tristan Da Cunha, as well as
a couple of tracks on Morals & Dogma).
Do you find a particular affinity with the violin in
general, and with Moe¹s in particular?
I also worked a lot with Hans Magnus Ryan (guitarist
in Motorpsycho) who also plays the violin. Both he and
Ole Henrik Moe have a totally unique style and really
understand how to blend in with the electronic sounds.
It has been important for me to make electronic sounds
be very organic, and the layering they have done on
different tracks have been essential to the end result.
It is not really that important that it is a violin,
it is more their approach to the music which I find
How do you decide to collaborate with someone
on one of your project? It is always a musical decision?
How they can relate to the specific music? Is there
someone you haven¹t worked with and would like
No, but then again you never really know what will come
up. I do however really admire the American band Lightning
Bolt, which is probably the best live band I have ever
Songs From Tristan Da Cunha
is a homage to the island of the same name, which is
situated in the South Atlantic, and which is said to
be the most remote island in the world. How did the
idea of the project come up, and why choose this particular
I read a book about a Norwegian scientific expedition
who went there around 1930. The history of this island
and the people who live there is very interesting.
Morals & Dogma is your first album
in eight years, and features some tracks recorded nearly
ten years ago. Did you actually spend that long working
on this album?
Yes I did, but I did obviously not spend eight years
in the studio. It just took a long time to get it complete
in terms of the total feel of the album. I had a very
specific idea about how it should sound and that made
it more difficult than I anticipated to complete. As
the Deathprod project has never been dependent on touring
or specific release schedules I did allow myself to
use the time that it took.
Although the mood is generally quite introvert,
your albums are all quite different. Does the creative
process change with each album?
I don’t know. It has never been a philosophy to
do so, but since I often use some time to make the albums
I guess it comes quite naturally.
How did you get involved in the Nordheim
Transformed project, and did you know Arne Nordheim¹s
I suggested that it could be a nice thing to do and
Rune Grammofon got everything organized. I knew of his
music before, especially the electronic music. I think
it interested me quite early on just from a technical
point of view; how these sounds were made. However it
took some time to realise the originality of his compositions.
I guess he is an early influence; it just took some
time to actually understand it.
How did you split the work with Geir Jenssen?
Did you know him before working on the project?
We just choose which tracks we preferred to work with.
We did not collaborate with the actually tracks that
we made, it was a completely separate process. I think
however that we had a sense that this material would
work great together after completion and I think it
did. I had met Geir before but never worked with him.
You both work with ambient soundscapes. Would
you ever consider working on a purely original collaborative
project with him?
I do not know, it could happen but no such plans have
What inspires you to write music? Do you need
to be in a particular frame of mind to work on your
I can’t really say. I find it difficult to tell
what happens in such a process.
What are your next projects?
The Deathprod box and Morals & Dogma
is probably the last I will release as Deathprod. Supersilent
is currently working on a DVD (16mm black and white
footage directed by Kim Hiorthøy).
Email interview September 2004
Thank you to Helge and Jim