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- Everyone must succeed in everything

Sailors are far tougher than Norwegian rockers, say other rock authors. – Most rockers I know do not practice either drugs or violence, and live in stable relationships, says author Ole Idar Kvelvane.


How should Norwegian rock novels compete with larger-than-life stories from reality? The biographies of Mötley Crüe, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Eminem? Maybe that is why many people concentrate instead on those who did not succeed? The almost successful bands, losers, fans and rock journalists.

- There is a lot of good literature in defeat. Success stories are perhaps better suited as a biography than a novel. The challenge is to tell what you have to tell in an interesting way. That the members of Mötley Crüe desk four ladies every day is all well and good, but it can be just as good literature to read about a Norwegian rocker who walks down the street in Namsos to get pussy after a concert with 12 payers, Ole Idar Kvelvane believes.

He plays bass in the pop band Lano Places, and romance debut last year with Astronauts – about the unemployed student Dag-Olav Sørensen, who is fanatically interested in the English band The Stone Roses and dreams of a job at Platekompaniet in Stavanger. Kvelvane does not think it is a coincidence that we now get so many music-related novels.

- Before was a musician and happy with it. Books were written by authors. Today, one can to a greater extent do as one pleases. The fact that Norwegian rock is now coming in book form with greater weight than before also seems to be part of an institutionalization process, which also includes the Museum of Norwegian Rock and the TV series on the history of Norwegian rock. Finally, rock is taken seriously in this country as well.

national satanist

Erlend Erichsen is a former drummer in Gorgoroth and Molested, and romance debut in October with national satanist. It takes place in the black metal environment of Bergen in the first half of the 1990s, in the shadow of news stories about church fires, killings, nationalism and Satanism.

- There has been a pop and rock wave within the novel lately, but my book stands out from the crowd. This is not a key novel from the Norwegian black metal community, but I write about a subjective universe that is colored by the most extreme aspects of the black metal community.

Black metal is today a worldwide subculture, with Norway and Norwegian bands in a unique position. Therefore, Erichsen is not surprised if French, German, Swedish and Japanese publishers announce their interest.

- This is not a typical rock novel. It contains neither petting nor alcohol, and the story never actually moves outside Bergen. It is a reverse formation novel, a "division novel", about people who are not looking for money and fame – but who want to spread ideology and foolishness. It's more of a romantic novel than a rock novel; a little Hamsun and a little Dracula.

everyday Rock

Different Bortnes A good band goes more into the cliche with the rock clichés. The story of the Bergen-based band The Seculars is a social democratic band adventure; where cocaine, groupier and fame go hand in hand with depictions of incestuous rock environments, media hype and the gray everyday life in the rehearsal room and backstage area of ​​the student inn in Volda. Bortne agrees with Kvelvane that the everyday life of a Norwegian rocker is rarely particularly glamorous.

- A joint backstage on Rauma rock, okay, but this fucking and kicking down the continent in cocaine intoxication only applies to a small per mille of Norwegian rockers. It is a myth that is easy to believe in this country, because one can actually become a playlist on P3 and end up as a rock star on the front page of Dagbladet Fredag ​​without having played a single concert.

Bortne believes the flow of rock novels can just as well be explained by our ever-increasing desire for self-realization.

- The self-realization hell owns no shame in this country. Everyone must succeed in everything now. While record releases were a distant dream for beginning bands ten years ago, today it is only a matter of sound cards on the PC and a few thousand for printing. It may seem that publishing a book has become the next ego barrier to be torn down, and it has already become too easy. Besides, it is no secret that Norwegian publishers today can just as easily start with a name instead of a script. And then some tired rocker shows up in the pile as well.

Bortne played guitar in Whopper, which awoke in the crust of water in the Norwegian music industry around the turn of the millennium. A good band was written as a desire to tell the story of one of these smaller bands.

- Black Sabbath and Mötley Crüe biographies are fun, that, but they say nothing about my life. I wanted to tell a story about the little bands, about which no biographies are written. There are plenty of them out there, and they will not even get a place in the Norwegian rock encyclopedia. I wanted to try to find out why all these people play in bands, and never stop dreaming of becoming a rock star, no matter how hopeless it seems? And is not it universal? Everyone wants to be a rock star.

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