Ē formed in the summer of 2018 when Ingvild Nærum (Are You Having Fun Yet) and Chiara Cavallari (FOAMMM) got together. Nærum is the band’s long-standing drummer and lead singer. Cavallari plays the guitar and takes vocal duties on some songs. Ē completed its lineup by adding experienced musician and songwriter Sigrun Sæbø Åland (Hysj) on bass. They have released their first ĒP on Eget Selskap and it’s a potent mix. We were delighted to interview them a few weeks back.
We love “ĒP” – the songs are really immediate and are all quite different, yet there is a thread of anxiety running through them. Are you happy with how the record turned out?
Thank you, that means a lot! We recorded everything ourselves, so we’re pretty chuffed about the sound quality turning out the way it did. And we’re super happy with Simen Hallset’s mixing and mastering.
Do the songs reflect how you are feeling about the world right now?
I: I think the songs reflect more how we feel in the world right now. Or at least now and then.
How did you all first meet?
I: My band supported Chiara’s band one night, and I was walking nervously up and down the stairs backstage to burn off some adrenaline before the gig. I was embarrassed when I bumped into Chiara on my way up, but she just decided to join me, and that’s when our friendship started.
C: I met Sigrun when we played at the Fjellpark Festival two years ago. Ingvild also played that festival but missed Sigrun by a day. And now we play together, imagine that!
What’s your favourite song on the record?
I: I would have to say If You Asked, because it’s a song I’ve spent a lot of time being immersed in, and at many different stages. And I can still enjoy listening to the finished song. The first version of the song, which we loosely interpreted later on, was the first song I ever made in Logic (music software), as well. It sounded like the theme song from a middle eastern detective show.
C: I mostly listen to Afraid Of The Ocean, but that’s just because I’m massaging my own ego.
S: My favourite song is Now And Then I Feel Destroyed cause it’s relatable, it has great harmonies and it’s fun to play.
How do you write together?
I: A year ago, before we’d even had a practise or started making music together, Chiara managed to book us in as support for Omni at Øyanatt in August, so we had to put things in motion pretty quickly. We brought some of our respective song ideas to my rehearsal space and finished them as best as we could in the month before the gig. We only did four songs, and the same set of songs eventually became ĒP.
What bands/artists have been your biggest influences?
I: We take inspiration from pretty much anything, but we do have a soft spot for post-punk bands from the eighties and The Smiths. I often channel Morrissey from the Smiths days when I make vocal melodies.
C: I’m really into both the old and new post-punk scene. Growing up listening to Joy Division and New Order really had an impact on me both musically, mentally and aesthetically, I think. Now I love to explore new bands, but there are too many great acts to mention, really.
Word Association: Please say the first word that comes into your mind after these words –
1) Water – [Afraid of the] ocean
2) Wind – flatulence
3) Elton John – wind
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
The division between people’s privileges.
When is the last time you cried?
C: Literally two minutes ago while watching a video of Labrador puppies attached to helium balloons. Can you blame me?
S: For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to watch a documentary about the Norwegian pork industry, but every time I try, I get so sad that I end up turning it off. Highly recommended for anyone who has been meaning to stop eating meat, or just needs a good cry.
What colour is July?
C: After attending the Waldorf school for almost two decades, July is of course yellow ochre.
I: I used to think of July as kind of a peachy haze when I was younger. From inside the house, of course.
What’s the best phrase you’ve picked up in another language?
I: I really like the Yorkshire phrase “I can’t thoil it”, meaning that you can afford something, but can’t justify spending the money.
What is next for the band? Have you more tunes to share?
We’re working on an exciting three-part conceptual album that will hopefully be ready in the next couple of months.
Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
A lift technician.
Did you have any strange habits as a youngster?
I: When I was around eight, my brother and his friends made me pull a ridiculous face whilst saying the name Eia – the name of my gerbil – so often that I developed a tick that I couldn’t’ rid myself of and did ‘in secret’ for several months. Coincidentally, that is the name of bass player Sigrun’s girlfriend now, and she is one of only four people with that name in Norway!
S: I also had tons of ticks as a kid and can still not watch someone wiggle their nose without being terrified of never being able to stop wiggling my own nose.