Hailing from a small Norwegian town, did you ever think that your dreams of becoming an international rock star would come true?
I definitely dreamed of it! When I moved to Bergen as a 15 year old I saw a norwegian rock band for the first time, I would sneak in to concerts, I learned that dressing up in colorful eccentric clothes was a great way to get past the doormen without ID, because they would never ask anyone flamboyant for ID. So it was all about showing off and having a big ego, then I could get in to shows when I was underage. I saw rock bands perform and I knew I wanted to do this for a living.
You gained notable well reaction from Jools Holland, Glasvegas, and The Times. When the reviews started coming in, what was your reaction?
I think my ego blew up a bit, and I got a little big headed. Now life has beaten my ego down to a slightly more sympathetic size. But I also felt like I had accomplished something, I had broken the code somehow.
Your breakthrough single, "Oh My God" featured Iggy Pop. How did that collaboration come about? What was he like to work with?
Iggy is amazing, and he really gave me a lot of good advice. I feel very much like a young version of him in many ways. Really shy and thoughtful and philosophic, and also explosive and curious and artistic. And misunderstood. We didn´t like the treatment for the music video, so we did a whole other thing instead. We wanted to do something anti-punk. I don´t know what´s more punk than anti-punk, so we wanted to make something where Iggy was the protector and the guardian of the younger punk aka me, and where we behaved more like children than posing like rockstars. He was totally into it and he said it was the best music video filming he had ever participated in. He is a highly intelligent person and has a lot of experience to draw from. We have a common friend in Jonathan Shaw who is a tattoo artist/gypsy and amazing author of among others the book Narcisa.
Another collaboration you did was with Anthony Green for his solo album. How did that come about? Where you a fan of his work before working with him?
I didn´t actually know a lot about Anthony before we worked together but I think his management sent my management a song and asked if I wanted to do a duet with him, and write some parts for the song, and I really liked and identified with the song and the thematics and it was a joy and very inspiring to write and sing it with Anthony. I got to perform with him at his show in LA a few years back and we got to hang out and chat but not enough. I was so impressed with him and his band, I was not touring at the time, so I was a bit out of the live-loop and his band was super tight, it inspired me to put a band back together and start touring again.
You just released your latest EP, "Accidental Happiness," what was different about the EP that you had done from your full lengths?
What´s different about Accidental Happiness is that it is very much a first person storytelling. Where Katla was a lot about other people, stories and anecdotes, and descriptions of other people, Accidental Happiness is very much meticulous descriptions of me and what I´m interested in and what I´m not interested in, plus warnings about how bad I am in a relationship, how ice-cold I can be towards men and so on. It´s also about my boogie nights with the devils soul, there´s some exorcism, there´s the physical attraction, there´s the sex vs. love, which I think I have been discussing on all of my releases.
On Fortress it was the story of Stella the prostitute, who got the power of the World as payment for a night, from her customer God, the Bearded man. Also on Fortress was the song I Like You So Much Better When You´re Naked, where it´s me objectifying the man. About time if you ask me. On Katla there was Cherry Red, my feminist anthem about giving head, funny how I got a lot of criticism from old feminists for that one, and totally banned on the radio. And then of course 10000 Lovers and I eat boys like you for breakfast" which are two sides of the same coin - non-exclusive relationships gone wild. Welcome to life on the road! Musically, I would say it all rocks. Especially live.
What does the title, "Accidental Happiness," signify?
It signifies that you can walk around in darkness for years, like after a nuclear war, and have PTSD ´s, bad hearing, bad vision, nausea, and stay in the darkness for so long that you think that darkness is all there is, and light is a myth and light is a dream and a vicious lie, a joke with no laughter, and then all of a sudden the sky cracks and the sun beams start shining and all you can see is unicorns and shooting stars and palm trees and elephants with ornaments and velvet plush and purple wigs and belly dancers and the best food you can imagine like waffles and pizza and carousels.
With the release of a new EP, does this mean we will get a new album soon?
What is next for you?
I´m taking this crazy big cruise ship Hurtigruta from Nesna to Harstad in Norway, it´s gonna take 24 hours on the boat to the next place we´re playing, Harstad. And from there we are renting a car and driving to Finnsnes and from there we are driving to Tromsø, from Tromsø we are taking a plane to Vadsø, and playing in Vadsø. If you look at the map, you will see that we are touring the North Cape, far above the Arctic Circle, in landscapes that are absolutely beautiful and dramatic. We are trying to document this and put it out on youtube, because this is truly exotic even for me as a northern norwegian. It´s pretty much Alaska the Last Frontier meets Ice Road Truckers meets The Osbournes, meets Lilyhammer.