Have been 11 years already since Norwegian JOYLESS released their second album which is as well, the last full-length piece they had until the release of this brand new “Without Support”. As many of you already may know, JOYLESS were formed in 1996 from the band FORGOTTEN WOODS. They formed it as they needed a change away from the “true” (as they say) Black Metal that wrapped (and still wraps) FORGOTTEN WOODS.
We talk to the band’s vocalist, Ida, an we also exchange some few words with the bass player, Olav, and they tell us any kind of details behind this awaited “Without Support”, but we either forget about doing a little review to their whole lengthy musical career.
– Hello and first off thanks for taking the time. Soon after releasing your third album, “Without Support”, what are you currently up to.
Hello to you!
Life for us after the release will mostly consist of everyday life.
Work, school, home and family. We have all three pretty hectic lives in addition to Joyless. Nylon is working a lot overseas. Olav wakes up before the birds, to travel far to work, and myself (Ida) trying to create a home on a farm outside of Bergen.
When it comes to rehearsals and the making of new music, it is often difficult to make time. But we’ll probably be able to accomplish something. Because it is a need that we have. A need to create. It is also important to have something constructive to do besides from job and the A4 life. We have made a separate studio in the basement, so there are a lot of possibilities for Joyless future to come- or other projects.
It is quite nice to be able to pull away, close a door and suddenly be in your own world. Even if it is just for a little while.
– What prompted FORGOTTEN WOODS’ band members forming a band like JOYLESS?
A change was needed. Away from “the true”.
Since we liked other music forms than BM, we created Joyless, influenced by all the forms of music that we like. Velvet Underground, The stooges and so on. It’s a more personal style and Joyless gives us the possibility of being more experimental. Forgotten Woods will be drifting in the “black metal scene”. And if we someday feel like making BM music, Forgotten Woods will come to life once again.
Why try to sound like everyone else? Why not break with the sound-trends that rules today’s music scene?
– Anyway, your debut album, “Unlimited Hate”, had a more Metal shape than “Wisdom & Arrogance” or this new release. What was the reason behind this change?
You can consider “Unlimited Hate” as the bridge that led to where we are now. A complete change from Black Metal to the style we have now would have been impossible without “Unlimited Hate”. Looking back at those days, “Unlimited Hate” was really difficult to swallow for our previous record companies. What the heck was this kind of music?! Yet Rune and Olav had more plans to come for this band! They planned a total change of style and already then to have female vocals on future albums.
– Curiously, the band changed in some way its sound when you Ida joined the band. Had this something to do with that musical change? And why did Thomas leave the band?
The music for “Wisdom and Arrogance” was already finished long before I met Olav and the Joyless ones. So I don’t think I have been an influence on the sound part except from the fact that I was a new vocalist. And of course a female one.
It’s been more than ten years ago, so memory is a bit vague…
Thomas was at the time buissy with personal stuff and slipped on a way out of Joyless. He has since then been on the new Forgotten Woods album “Race of Cain”, and we might come to hear from him again. Time will show. Anything is possible.
– Have been 11 years since you released your previous “Wisdom & Arrogance”; has been any concrete reason for this? Have you been involved in any other projects?
Life. The last years have been about life. Everyday Life.
Suddenly the interest in making music awakened again. We built our own studio, and still we keep on learning the opportunities we have here. Rune, Olav, Nylon and Thomas opened the new studio with making Forgotten Woods “Race of Cain” album.
Otherwise, I have been involved in a small project as a guest vocal on Heretoirs debut album called Heretoir.
– Have these 11 years affected JOYLESS in any way?
Of course. I think that we have become a little more mature in some points. Our lives are certainly totally different from then. At that time we were frustrated, angry youths with many expectations. Now we have gone trough metamorphosis and been beautifully transformed into a bunch of frustrated, angry adults with a lot of responsibility.
– Something that stands out since the very first moment is the album title, “Without Support”; does it have any link to the band? Why such name?
The title “Without Support” comes from the music style we have chosen for Joyless. We know that we have broken with the current sound-trend, and therefore expect some criticism for this. We have chosen to call the album for the reaction we think will come after its birth. Our wish is not to provoke- but to be able to create the music that we like!!
– Do you think the album name has more in common with your sound than with the band in general? So, could you describe your sound to all the people that hasn’t listened to you yet?
Good question. Yes absolutely. The new album title refers to the sound. Joyless has a minimalistic style. Sometimes spontaneous. Inspired by music from black metal to 60’smusic. We feel that this style is creating an authenticity about what we are trying to express. Namely the lyrics and the feelings we are trying to create or enhance.
– Lyrics seem to be quite realistic, are they personal experiences?
Snapshots of people at their turning points in life, is the basis of my lyrics. Some of them were written almost ten years ago- and some are fresh from this moment. Several of the texts are really dark observations from everyday life- and some are lighter. My purpose is to say- if you find yourself in a dark chapter; remember to keep your mind towards the light!
– I consider this album as less catchy and more experimental than “Wisdom & Arrogance”. Have you tried new things with this brand new album?
First and foremost the album was recorded at our own studio, so the sound is naturally different than in Wisdom And Arrogance. We are more spontaneous this time. Wisdom and Arrogance was more planned down to the last detail. Something that is absolutely necessary, if you go into a studio where the clock is ticking- and you only have a certain amount of money available. This time we didn’t have to worry about this. Funny thing is … when you have money, you do not have time …
New instruments such as banjo, harmonica and organ has also been used in this album.
– Dark and melancholic atmospheres are, once more, an important point in your sound. What can you tell us about this matter?
Well, I think that when a person takes the time to reflect on things, then feelings of melancholy will follow. We found that darkness and melancholy is a beautiful and exciting thing to visualize through music. Personally, I feel that music that sounds like an indifferent air coming out of the speaker is pretty boring. It does not give much nourishment for new thoughts.
– Bass is, once again, a standout into the album; it’s just great and creative…
Olav: Thank you! We are pleased with the result ourselves. Interesting bass lines can lift the music to another level.
– As well and as far as I know, most compositions have been Olav’s thing (except for some tracks). How do you work in your compositions? And where do y
ou take inspiration from?
A song starts with a few different riffs that suit together. I show the cords to Nylon, and we record the drums. Guitar and drums together. When the basic guitar and the drums are recorded, we try out some melodies. Nylon usually comes up with these. One of us records the bass and suddenly the song is ready for vocals. Normally we need an evening to record one track. The inspiration is the feelings from nearby days as well as instant thoughts.
– Inspiration could be bands as well, and I guess your musical influences may be quite varied… which are they?
A lot of stuff…….Velvet Underground, The Stooges, Mc5, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, the doors, Led Zeppelin, to mention a few classics.
– And finally, what are the near-future plans for JOYLESS? Are you playing live?
Olav: First off all to see the long awaited CD and LP. Then to start a new recording. Joyless have never played live. Maybe sometime in the future, time will tell.
– That has been all. Thank you again for taking the time. If you now want to add any last words; last lines are yours.
Thank you Tania and Queens Of Steel for the interview! We would also like to thank Sven and Van Records for blowing new life into Joyless. Also thanks to our long-time friend Stoni at Problem Child Records. I would like to end this interview with some words, written by the poet Arthur Rimbaud. Words that ‘summarizes why Joyless still exist. I will leave you here. Forget not! :
“THE FIRE WITHIN YOU, SOFT SILKEN EMBERS,
IS OUR WHOLE DUTY, BUT NO ONE REMEMBERS.”