I recently got to connect with the Viking of Norway Jorn Lande. Jorn’s new album Life on Death Road was just released. It is a true rock album that I had the privilege of reviewing, so it was nice to get to follow up that review with an interview. During phone interviews it is always fun to guess where my interviewee is located during the interview. When I interviewed Jorn, there was no guessing needed because he told me where he was and what he was doing there.
I am in Sweden at the moment. We have a second home in the south of Sweden. Its an old historic building or a house from the 1840’s. The house has become our hobby and it’s where we spend our time these days. It is fun to restore the house and discover stories about it’s past.
Sometimes we seem to forget that as we age so do the artists we enjoy. Jorn is no exception to this. He just celebrated his birthday on May 31st. What would a rock star do on their birthday?
I am trying to forget that I am one year away from that magic number. No, it was quiet. My wife bought me a new PC and she cooked me Paella, which is my favorite. It is a Spanish dish. I love it.
The more you talk about food, the hungrier you get. So, time to transition into the subject which got us here, the new album. Life on Death Road was released just the day before. What direction does this album take vs. other Jorn albums and what should fans of Jorn expect from this album?
I wasn’t sure if people would really appreciate getting this pure rock album. I know that we are really happy and proud of what we created, and we wanted to do something genuine, pure and honest. I think it was time for us to take our time and find some joy in what we were doing. It seems everyone is trying to finish records as fast as possible. They are using technology to finish faster which is practical, but then again you also lose some craftsmanship and everything gets more stereotyped. It all sounds cold. Everything sounds the same. I just found it very liberating to find the right musicians to join forces, and that’s what happened. We made something simple but yet pure and honest and as you get older you realize that sometimes less is more but not if you ask Yngwie Malmsteen. Then more is more.
Jorn is an artist that has been around quite a while and seen a lot of changes for better and for worse in the music industry. We know what kids of today like but can they appreciate what got the music of today here?
I played some Led Zeppelin to a young kid and you can hear Robert Plant singing, “Baby baby oh oh oh ah ah ah.” I am telling the kid this what we listened to growing up and you know this is the real deal. Then the kid says to me, “Yeah, this Plant guy probably has a good voice and can sing, but why is he always moaning? Why is he always complaining? Why can’t he just sing that song?” That was funny to me because that shows how different they think compared to how I do. It’s the same thing with long instrumental intros or long guitar solos in a song. Kids of today don’t have patience for that anymore. They don’t have time to wait to see Jack Nicholson get crazy in The Shining.
One of the changes in the music industry happened in the early 90’s. When Grunge took over the rock and metal scene it left behind a lot of artist from the 70s and 80s. Jorn came on to the music scene after growing up with these artists that were left behind.
When you grow up in the 70’s and 80’s you see these guys you idolize on stage and then 10 years later you start trying to build a career like they did in music. Then when you realize that people really don’t want to hear that anymore; they want to hear grunge. It can be really tough. I can’t really relate to the grunge stuff. I loved some of it like Chris Cornell and his work with Soundgarden, but I could never really get this Nirvana thing. I tried to build a career in a time where it was really difficult, so I am grateful I was able to make it.
Fans of Jorn know that he is not only phenomenal as a solo artist but he has been part of some amazing collaborations in his career, Avantasia, Allen-Lande and Masterplan just to name a few. As he progresses in his career he seems to want to go back and rediscover some of the artist that he grew up with.
I don’t think there’s any new band that I would dream of playing with. I think I’m more retro with my thoughts. I would love to play with some of the guys from Deep Purple. It would be cool even if we’re just jamming together or just playing a few shows together. I love those songs. I would love to sing some of the Deep Purple Mark II era songs. I know them by heart. So, it would be very liberating if I went on stage with some of those guys and got to perform some of those songs. There are so many older musicians I would love to work with like Brian May from Queen. I would love to sing some of those songs with them.
A Jorn version of “Tie Your Mother Down” would be awesome. That seems like it would just work perfect. Jorn has other ideas that at first don’t seem so “Jorn” like but the more you think about them, you realize they could work.
I think that there is one person that I would really love to do something with, but I would say that it’s probably never going to happen. I would love to work with Kate Bush. That would be something totally out of the box and I don’t think anyone would ever expect me to say that. I wouldn’t expect me to say it either, but to me it would be insane. To have that combo of her voice so theatrical and soft sometimes with my voice would be very cool.
At first I was not sure, but like I said, the more I thought about it, it could work and be pretty amazing. So, I decided to put it out to the world. If Jorn wanted it to happen let’s try and make it happen. Kate Bush if you are out there and read this Jorn wants to work with you.
I have all of her vinyl’s from back in the day, but I heard she never really liked to play live. That may have changed though because she did a couple live shows a year or two ago in London.
As a fan of Jorn I had to give my suggestion to who I would love to see him collaborate. Kobra Paige and Jorn would be awesome as a fan to hear.
That’s a nice realistic potential collaboration that could actually happen right now. We are both from the rock scene, so that could happen. You know that is a really good idea. She has a distinct voice. You hear it and you instantly know its her and that’s what I like. She doesn’t just sound like everyone else.
So again, I put it out to the world, Jorn since we are doing this interview and Kobra if you read this, a Jorn/Kobra collaboration would be awesome.
When it was all said and done I had spent 90 minutes on the phone with Jorn. It was obvious to me that Jorn has been around the block quite a few times and he is at a point in his career where he wants to do what he likes to do, which is Rock. Unless Kate Bush calls: of course, that would be a game changer. During our conversation I mentioned to him that I remember ten to fifteen years ago people comparing him to Dio and Coverdale, but now people are comparing vocalists to him. That is the point in which I feel like you have made your mark in the Rock business. Jorn has defiantly made his mark in the Rock world between his solo work and his collaborations. Who knows what’s next for Jorn, but one thing is for sure. It will be done his way.