Leprous – Einar Solberg
Greg: Do you consider LEPROUS a “Metal band”, or do you prefer to avoid genre tags and labels altogether.
Einar: Well… it is undoubtedly a Metal band, it is. But none of us listen to Metal very much these days. We’re inspired by so many other genres. I find the Metal scene… I think it has stagnated a bit the last years. I don’t find many new interesting bands in the Metal scene.
Greg: In other interviews, you’ve listed KING CRIMSON as an influence. Are there any other bands like that you look back towards for influence? Are you rediscovering old music?
Einar: No… There is some good new music as well. Bands like MARS VOLTA. You know them?
Greg: Yes I do.
Einar: We’re quite inspired by them. Actually, we’ve been so for a couple of years.
Greg: And you’ve also mentioned THE SHINING, from Norway, whom I’m also a fan of.
Einar: Yeah, yeah. I love them.
Greg: So who do you take influence from for the more extreme elements of your sound?
Einar: I don’t know. I think we’re not consciously taking influence from anyone. But I guess unconsciously, through the time we’ve been inspired by OPETH, of course, as you can probably hear.
Greg: That’s an interesting point. When you begin to read comparisons of your music to another band, over and over again, does it cease to be flattering and begin to become frustrating? Perhaps people are missing the point and oversimplifying who you are?
Einar: Yeah… I definitely agree with that. Because, often when you have a song, which both contains, melancholy, quite soft elements, and quite hard elements, with growling, everyone just keeps comparing to OPETH, because they were one of the first bands to do that probably.
Greg: OK. Because it seems that you likely draw your influence from a similar pool, but not directly from OPETH.
Einar: No, not directly. But, of course, some elements. We’ve listened a lot to OPETH, when we were kids, and we’re still quite young.
Greg: Yeah… I read in your bio that the band is quite young. I believe you’re all between 19 and 24?
Einar: Now it’s between 19 and 25. I was 25 two weeks ago.
Greg: Well happy belated birthday. (mutual laughter)
Einar: Yeah, thanks.
Greg: So, do you look at the band’s youth as an advantage, or in a way, does it make it inevitable that the band will go through line up changes as personal priorities shift?
Einar: Both… I would say, because we’ve already had a lot of changes in our line up. Right now, it feels really good. But as you said, things may change. I can only speak for myself, but I know that I… I have no plans of doing anything else the next couple of years. I think I will have LEPROUS as my main priority for many, many years to come. Our drummer is only 19 years old, so things may happen.
Greg: That’s amazing. I don’t want to jump ahead, because I wanted to ask you some questions about the bands role as IHSAHN’s backing band. Is it just overwhelming to be 19 or 24, and get up on stage at Wacken, or any of the big Euro festivals, or you yourself, with Emperor. Is that just mind-blowing?