Exclusive Interview with Jorn Lande Part I (Vocals) (Jorn, Masterplan, Allen-Lande, Ark)

Quantity rather than the quality of the actual music. That's what i think happened in the old era, Ronnie was a part of that and that's also why a...

Jorn Lande Interview pic

© Leah Burlington


 Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine


Official Transcript Part I

Hi Jorn? How are you doing?

J-“Mark,I’m fine thanks”

Just want to start by thanking you for taking the time to speak to
Myglobalmind this evening. I realize that you are a very busy person”

J-“Mark, that’s fine, its a pleasure to talk to you”

 Its been a little over a month since the “Symphonic” CD was
released. A collection of tracks from your career with  symphonic
arrangements.What was the purpose behind the concept and how has it
been received?

Jorn Lande Interview pic 6

J”I guess it was just a spontaneous idea. I had these thoughts about
releasing some orchestral versions of the older songs. The opening
track “I came to rock”,its already like a new story in a way even
though its a basic rock song-with bass,drums,vocals and the
guitars. The whole structure of the song invites you to add something
to it., and that’s what i was thinking. We tried to orchestrate some
stuff on that song,and it came out really cool.That’s how it all
started ,with a friend of mine who is very talented,and knows how to
do everything. He is a metal player,the same as Lasse Jensen ,who is
the young guy that lives near by to where I live. He is the guy that
helped me out with this,. Basically that is what happened. I asked if he
would be interested in doing some more songs, and the rest is
history. The record company liked the idea as well”

How did you come to choose the actual tracks to put on the CD? That
cant have been easy with your extensive back catalogue of songs?

Jorn Lande Interview pic 2

© Leah Burlington


J”In a way it was difficult because,I could only choose a maximum of
15 tracks.I thought however if I chose the most obvious songs ,it
would be too typical,and it didn’t feel right to do that.I thought
instead,what about doing something different.The world is changing
these days,we used to be so focused on staying in a certain frame,to
keep a certain concept. I thought that those days are now over in a
way,and people are a lot more enlightened. People like different
things. I thought if people were still trying to stay in a typical
frame with only the most known Jorn songs, or what were the most
typical heavy rock songs. I thought that maybe it would be cool to
bring forth some of those tracks,that people might have
forgotten. Actually songs that I really thought I would never bring to
the surface again. That were part of a more experimental period of my
life, but as years go by you start to change. I decided to bring some of
those “odd”tracks to the table”.


Your last album”Bring Heavy Rock To The Land”,was another great Jorn record.

J”Why, thanks”

You now have been involved in the music business for over 30 years,do
you think in modern times that your music is still under-appreciated?

J” I think that if you do something that comes from the heart then it
will find its audience. Sometimes you reach a bigger audience, I have my
ups and downs , but I think If you try to do something that you really
like,something that you love doing you will have a market. There will
always be a lot of people for it.For me that’s always the main
thing,to share thoughts about life and death existential stuff,with
other people.Where people can identify with these images of
whatever, that I am trying to express.Pictures that I am painting.I
think that is something that makes it worthwhile.We all have the same
questions,the same frustrations. I think that is my kind of purpose in
life,and at the same time I am able to do something that I have wanted
to do since I was a small kid.  Since i was 5 I wanted to be a lead
singer,maybe even earlier than that but i don’t remember
that.(laughs). I am just thinking how to proceed with things,how to be
creative. In the end you make a living from what you love to do and I
am grateful for that. At the same time I don’t want to be sold to the
business.In a way I have to survive,but I like to find a balance where
I can go out there,but then step back and do my thing,do normal
things,have a family life. Be creative,write some new stuff,sometimes
I have to compromise,with things to make things happen. The business is
the business,and the world moves on”

Especially with regard to the music business,I’m sure that you have
seen significant changes since you first started.What  is your view on
how the music business has actually changed,and bands having to become
more self-sufficient?

J” Yes i guess that the business aspect was always there,even in the
old days. Back then there was more room for personal thoughts,and
originality.Today I think that people consider the business and the
market in a different way. Back then the record companies would
consider the business more than the bands, and in the old days  bands
were more dedicated to the music.”

Do you not feel that as an artist these days you have more creative freedom?

Jorn Lande Interview pic 3

J” That was the case for example in the 70,s but at the same time all
bands usually still had the pressure from the record labels to produce
a radio hit or something. You could get away with a less commercial
album for example,but not in the long run. In the end you had to
deliver something or you would be dropped from the label.I think if
you had one song on the album that would be a potential radio hit,or a
single then you would often somehow get away with it. I think today
that people are somehow much more framed somehow. The bands are
younger, I don’t think that they are dedicated in the same way,they are
more technical and dramatic somehow. Everyone is constructing
something,instead of going deep into themselves a little bit.Once in a
while you have to ask your heart what feels right.I just think that
people use this new technology-and devices as a substitute for the
lack of talent sometimes. That’s why you have all these albums out
there now because people that wouldn’t even get a record deal in
1980. They can now produce albums and actually make them sound pretty
good.You can go into your computer and find a lot of great stuff,to
help you out. Its not a bad thing because,we need development and
technology to move forward and that’s great.I do think that we lost
something on the way there,because everything became too fabricated
somehow. I think that is the problem now,that we don’t have
time,everything moves so fast.We also have to deliver on time and that
is also true in “normal” types of work.People have to do several
things. In the old days you could run a radio and TV store.Today the
guy that runs the store,he has 3 different jobs,and that’s also the
same with musicians. A drummer s a web-designer or he works in IT.”

Yes that is the state of the world today, where people have to do other
things to sustain their living and economically survive.

J”Because of that, you don’t have the time. Of course if you only focus
on your daily job,then you are not a full-time musician. Then you can
wait 2-3 years or more before you release an album that you worked on
for a long time. I think most people just want to finish things,as they
have other things in life that they have to do.I don’t think that it
is the same focus anymore,and I don’t think that people are calm in
the same way with what they are doing. I think people are really
desperate that they just have to finish in time,and they use all these
substitutes   to be able to  finish in time. Even if it is not the best
choice, if you choose a sound or you choose an instrument or some
arrangements just to fill over gaps in the music. Then you just pack
everything and there is no air left,it doesn’t breathe anymore. I think
it is just because by doing it this way people don’t have to spend the
time to make it personal in solving a composition together with the
band.I think actually that pop music is actually better than the metal
scene. Pop music especially country,they still have that “real”feel.”

You like to keep in touch then with other musical styles and genres
outside the metal and rock spectrum?

J” Oh yes, I like all kinds, I’m not a typical metal guy. I grew up with a
lot of stuff, I love Peter Gabriel, used to listen a lot to 10cc and
Kate Bush when I was growing up. A lot of non-metal and non hard rock
bands. Some of the best bands came from Britain., less bands than
today. You really had a golden era,especially in Birmingham”

Just touching on influences, it is well known how much of an influence
Ronnie James Dio was to yourself, and you brought out the “Dio”
album. How do you explain the interaction with Ronnie , and his impact
on your career?

Jorn Lande Interview pic 1

© Leah Burlington


J” I guess, in the seventies I used to listen to a lot of bands when I
was 5 years old.. In 1973,my folks came home with the Sweet single
“Ballroom Blitz”,and that was when I first started getting into rock
music. Before that it was Elvis Presley and stuff, and that’s how it
began.Then Free with Paul Rodgers,was a big influence on my career at
that stage. Later you had other singers like David Coverdale and all
these classic singers. Then came Judas Priest, in the mid seventies
.When I got older I think what happened was I realized that Ronnie
James Dio would stay true to something that he loved to do. When you
look back and see all these other artists ,of the sixties and
seventies would try to feed the market,but he stayed true to himself.
Ronnie was a great inspiration ,not just as a musician but as a human
being also. Most people in this business are really  political,really
colored, and try to live up to something that is not really honest. A
guitarist will not even admit to where he gets his true influences
from , producing some odd name eg on the jazz scene. It might be obvious
that he listens to Ritchie Blackmore ,but he is never going to  say
that, instead will give a name that is totally far out there. I have
met that many people that are not so good,or to use the right word
“assholes”. So meeting a guy like Ronnie was just something that you
are never going to forget..It really changed my whole thinking .I
remember when I toured with Yngwie Malmsteen for a while,we played on
the same tour as Dio in the States in 2000. (When the “Magica” album
was released) What happened was on that tour I got to meet Ronnie,and
everything changed after that. Then i really realised what a great
person that he was. After that I started looking up to some of those
artists that I had been interested in since I was younger. I just
realized that he was a great mentor, i don’t mean that i was directly
taking influence from every sphere. He was just always there somehow
because of his music. I always end up with elements of Ronnie in things
that I do. I think that when you have a teacher,or when you have
somebody that really influenced you a lot, its a natural thing that the
person Ronnie James Dio made a difference to me. Then when you look
back and you really realize what these other bands tried to adapt to
the market and the business . There is nothing wrong with trying to
hit that certain wave -like  crossing over to the eighties , or tried
new producers. Then you have the technology coming ,a new way of
recording,  drum machines and loops. Nothing is wrong with that its
just I just felt that Ronnie  had something unique that was his-that
nobody else could affect him in any way he just chose his own path and
that’s what really impressed me”

What also impressed me that he never lost any of his vocal power. I’ve
seen other legendary singers Coverdale, Gillan etc that have lost some
of their range in recent years…

J”I guess its because he didn’t often take the easy way out with
things but at the same time he was very focused on staying within a
certain register vocally. If somebody gives you a piece of music
whether its your guitarist,keyboardist …if its a good piece of music
you can always add some melodies ,and write some cool lyrics .It
doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be perfect for your vocal
ability. You might be able to pull it off and it may sound great.I have
done stuff like that myself,you have been working on an album and I’m
short of a couple of songs,somebody has a couple of songs that have no
melodies , nothing but its a complete piece of music.i think OK,I will
put something on top of this,and I am able to make something cool. Even
though I have a talent to do something based on that piece of music it
doesn’t necessarily mean it is the optimum thing to do. I just choose
to do it because I need to finish the album and it needs nine,ten
eleven or twelve songs. I think with Ronnie it was really a different
story, he also came in a time where you could spend more focus on one
project or one band(with 100% focus). Today as I have said things are
much more complex and faster. I think that was his force and at the
same time an LP, how many songs can you fit on it? I have some albums
that   are twenty eight minutes long.Who would release an album today
lasting under half an hour…nobody? I guess also that is why you have
the strength in these albums( which I don’t think people consider).I
just think that people worship these albums and say that it is a
classic album,and that nobody can do this anymore. If you analyse it in
a way then these albums were only between thirty and forty minutes
long maximum. Today you wont even get a record deal if you give the
record company less than forty five-fifty minutes of music. Usually
people will want to put an hour of music on the album because they
need to give the buyers some value for their money..That is what its
all about,its more about the product and the value for money. Quantity
rather than the quality of  the actual music. That’s what i think
happened in the old era, Ronnie was a part of that and that’s also why
a band could put only the best eight,nine or ten tracks on an
album. Usually there wasn’t ten but seven or eight maximum nine .Of
course if you have this amount of tracks then you can have only the
interesting songs. You can have the ballad.the real fast one,the
mid-tempo one .What happens today though is when a band comes to track
7,8 or 9 then they start to repeat for example track number 2. It is
kind of a similar song,with a similar tempo and is weaker than track

Music is clearly a driving passion with yourself,and you have made
many albums.You are very productive,and have a strong work-ethic.Was
that instilled in you from your parents?


J” I guess its a combination of desire to work. Part of the dream that I
had as a young boy, I wanted to be a musician, I wanted to be a singer
and I tried to find my way. When I realized that those days were not
like they used to be anymore,in the late eighties, when I was old
enough to build my own career ,the grunge music came. Everything
changed with Nirvana etc, think the last classic band that we had was
Guns n Roses. At least they had some classic element., with Nirvana and
all these other bands it all changed. The Seattle wave came about and
it was good stuff, but the scene for classic rock music and heavy
metal was really going down. It was kind of my purpose in life to try
to find a way to continue with what I liked to do and loved to do. I
guess that’s why I have been so creative and productive. I just had to
be involved with different things, and I had to survive. I didn’t want
to have a normal job, I just wanted to find a way to survive in this
business and live for music”

How  do you balance that with your personal life,and family?

J”I have two kids ,from before but I am married with another these
days,.my wife Christine we don’t have any kids together….





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Due to technical difficulties and the length of the interview  we decided it was important to split in two parts, we apologize for the abrupt end the call dropped unfortunately. To be continued on part II………….

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Photo Credit: Ange Cobham

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