If there was a band that made a sensation in gothic metal last year, that would definitely be Norways Tristania. The band has been around for a few years, but only their third record World Of Glass brought Tristania up to a position that they had always deserved. Advantages of the record were so obvious to most of the staff that we decided immediately after hearing it to do our best to interview some of the band members. It took some time for new singer Osten Bergoy to answer our questions by e-mail, but its not really important. What matters is that you can now read what he said. Let's start with your latest album "World Of Glass". I've read different opinions about it in the press and on the Internet. Do you consider the record a dramatic change of style or a logical progression from "Beyond The Veil" and "Widow's Weeds"?

Osten: My opinion is that World of Glass is a logical progression from the two previous albums. We have kept the basic elements and added some new ones. One of the trademarks of this band has been musical diversity - and it still is. World of Glass is probably the most diverse album we have made so far. Are you satisfied with the final result of the recording process? Would you improve something if you had a chance to do it now?

Osten: We are all very pleased with the result, but there will always be details that you would like to change. The things that we are not satisfied with are things that we keep in mind and try to avoid on the next album. The three Tristania albums were officially released in Russia practically in one month. Which album would you recommend to buy first for the persons who have never heard Tristania before?

Osten: Hm, that is a tricky question. That really depends what kind of music you prefer. I think World of Glass would be the logical place to start. There are two new singers in the band. How did the band get in contact with them and where had they played before?

Osten: Actually I am one of the new singers - my name is Osten, and I have history with Tristania. I have contributed on all the albums with clean male vocals and I became a permanent member during last years European tour. Kjetil (Ingebrethsen) - who replaces Morten Veiland on the extreme vocal parts has been a friend of the band for quite some time. We both have side-projects - Kjetil with a band called Blindfolded and me with Morendoes. I read in an interview in early 2000 that the songs on the bands previous album "Beyond the Veil" were made up of pieces and themes that were composed separately over quite a long period of time. Did you use the same songwriting scheme on "World Of Glass"?

Osten: Yes. Anders (Hilde, guitarist) and Einar (Moen, keyboardist) used the same method on World of Glass. Who writes the lyrics in the band? If it is possible, can you comment on the meaning of the song "Selling Out"?

Osten: Morten was the one who used to write most of the lyrics. On World of Glass - Einar and me. And the lyrics for the song Lost are written by Pete Johansen, the violinist. Selling Out is a song about being pushed towards the edge. It is about a person that realizes that he has failed to live up to his own ideals, and he struggles hard to find any reason - at all - to stay alive. The album cover is quite different from what we saw on "Beyond The Veil". Who is the girl on the cover, is it your singer Vibeke? Is there any special meaning behind the cover?

Osten: Yes, the girl on the cover is Vibeke. I think that the album cover reflects the title of the album quite well (at least that was the intention). Glass is fragile, but yet it is strong and creates a distance. A limited edition of World Of Glass" contains a cover version of "The Modern End" by the now defunct Norwegian band called Seigmen (they are now called Zeromancer - ed.). Why did you choose this song and what covers would you like to do in the future?

Osten: Seigmen used to be a wonderful band. Doing a cover version of one of their songs in our own way is a tribute to Seigmen. We have discussed different cover alternatives, but we have not decided anything yet. All Tristania full-length albums were recorded with the same producer, Terje Refsnes. Do you plan to continue working with him on the next records or will you invite somebody else?

Osten: Terje has been important during the recording of all the Tristania albums. Before we record another album, we must decide what is best for the band: a new producer or sticking to the old one. Tristania was the first band on Napalm Records to release a live video. How did it happen and what do you think about that video now?

Osten: I think it was the record companys idea. I have the impression from the others that they think that the production of the video is quite silly. The sword-swingers have got nothing to do with our music.... Next time we do a live-video, we want to get some sort of control over the final product. Why did singer Morten Veiland leave the band and what is he doing at present?

Osten: This is a question that we have been asked in every interview we have done since Mortens departure. We dont want to say too much about it. But what we can say is that there were both musical and personal disagreements prior to the split. Morten has started a new project signed on Napalm called Sirenia. The album has just been released in Europe. What songs are included in the "Angina" single (1999)?

Osten: Angina, Opus Relinque (Radio Edit) and an instrumental song called Saturnine. Does anybody in the band have side projects?

Osten: Only me and Kjetil (Morendoes and Blindfolded). Which I mentioned earlier in this interview. Here is a question to Vibeke. There have been a lot of rumours recently that Tarja Turunen is leaving Nightwish because she believes that singing in a metal band affects her voice and does not allow her to continue as an opera singer. Does singing in Tristania has any effect on Vibekes voice and what kind of effect is it, positive or negative?

Osten: I asked Vibeke about this. She said that it was no big problem for her. As long as she gets to nurse her voice (do the required warm-up, etc.) It is not the singing itself that affects the quality of a soprano, but the touring - chain-smoking bandmembers The tour bus-life in general is not exactly an advantage. How do you see the future of Tristania? Do you pursue any goal when writing songs and playing in a band or are you doing it just to express yourselves and have fun?

Osten: All of the above. We want to continue developing our music, play live as often as we are able to, and I guess we all share a dream about being able to earn enough money out of music to make a living of it. It can be frustrating that our jobs, studies etc. put limitations on the touring. Please say something to your fans in Russia. Is there any chance to see Tristania in concert over here?

Osten: I really hope so. I hope that you enjoy our music, you are the main reason for our existence. Rock on!.

Roman The Maniac

(June, 2002)

* * *
Special thanks to Roland Wurzer (Napalm Promotion) for arranging this interview.

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