MELODY LANE had a great interview with the Norwegian Atmospheric Post/Psych Rock band HIMMELLEGEME. 
"...From the dark psychedelic shadows of Bergen, HIMMELLEGEME returns create an otherworldly and timeless sound."
HIMMELLEGEME's latest album 'Variola Vera' has been released on October 1st 2021 via Karisma Records . 
Band highly recommended to fans of Sigur Rós, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Radiohead and Queens of the stone age. 


MELODY LANE: First of all, also if it can sound a bit expected…Can you tell us where does the name Himmellegeme come from? 
The name Himmellegeme can be directly translated to “Celestial Body” in English. This is, by definition, any natural body, or thing,” floating” outside of the Earth’s atmosphere – like our sun, moon, a comet, meteor, you name it. It could be anything that exists in space, so that is pretty mystical. We wanted the name because of our “spacey” sound and at the same time it sounded a little “exotic” in Norwegian.

MELODY LANE: The line-up of the band is confirmed…or have you had changes in the last years? Can you tell us anything about the roots of Himmellegeme  ? And where the band was born?
We recently had some changes in our line-up. Our former drummer Thord departed from the band after the first album to focus on career as a painter, and our former bassist, Erik, left right after the last album to pursue his own hobbies, work and band. Even though we really loved our boys, we got Leiv Martin on drums and Stian on bass. They do their job perfectly and add new sounds and energies into our recordings and live sessions. Leiv actually came into the band right before we entered the studio, and recorded the drums pretty much from scratch without any rehearsal.  Hein (guitar) and Aleksander (vocals) played in a band called Symbiose a long time ago. This was a melodic death metal band. After they experimented with more mellow sounds, they felt like starting the band, Himmellegeme as we know it. They met Thord and Erik, and soon Lauritz (keyboards) followed after being persuaded by Erik on a night out drinking. The band was “born” in the rainy streets of Bergen, but none of us are actually from the city itself. We have always loved the city and we met there. Some of us were students, while others worked. Every one of us are from different places around in Norway, but we like to call Bergen our home.

MELODY LANE: Can you list us 5 songs, from  Himmellegeme’ s discography (including new material), that can define the sound of the band … 5 songs that can help our readers to know Himmellegeme  at the best.
That was difficult! (but cool question). So, we think that one of our strengths is that we have different kinds of sounds. Some of our music is more “typical rock” (Hjertedød, Kyss mine blodige hender), while other songs are kind of more atmospheric, experimental and mellow (like Brother, Agafia, breathe in the air like fire) .
I think you’ll see a more mature sound in our second album and I think we want to elaborate further on what we have. It was important for us to keep our sound, but to expand it even further by not making the same album over again. Nevertheless, we think 5 songs that will help your readers to know us better are: Shaping Mirrors Like Smoke, Fallvind, Heart Listening, Let the Mother Burn and Brother (and maybe Natteravn!). I think that sums up pretty well! In that order. We think that if someone, who has never heard of us before, wants to know us better, they should listen to Shaping Mirrors Like Smoke.

MELODY LANE: Tell us something about the creative process of your music. Is there a main composer or we can talk about a team work? The songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio jamming together, or your songs are written in the studio and all the members compose together?
The first album was pretty much written by the two founding fathers Aleksander (vocals) and Hein (guitars). Even though they had a “vision” of how it would sound like and what they wanted to include in the songs, everyone had a thing to say about what they did. The last album very much started as the first album, with Aleksander and Hein working on riffs and ideas in Aleks’ home studio, but Lauritz (keyboards) played a more prominent role in the songwriting process this time. The rest of the band did gradually participate more in the writing process, trying out things in the rehearsal space etc. Even though Hein and Aleksander came in with most of the main themes of the songs, we still needed the whole band to create a unique and distinct sound. Everyone had their say, and we created that album all together, in the end. On Myth of Earth 90% of the songs were finished before entering the studio, and Anders (producer) helped us with adding extra “sauce”. On Variola Vera we actually only had four songs that were “finished”. The rest we did more “on the spot” writing and recording, which was refreshing! Since we used Anders again, we got a sweet deal in regards to studio time. Because of covid his schedule was more open than usual, so we didn’t have any time restrictions. So, all in all most of the songs start off from different ideas that Hein and Aleksanders have worked on together with Lauritz, and some of the ideas are more jams that we’ve done in the rehearsal space, and that we think sound really cool. Other songs might have been an idea that one of us have had for a long time, but may never have completed. A good example of that is “Brother”, which started out as a three-chord riff Aleks played during the recording of our first album. We could never get it to sound quite “right”, until we decided to record it with acoustic guitars and to mellow it out even more. We think it broadened our sound and turned out great in the end!

MELODY LANE:  Can you tell us something about contents and messages of your new album ? …Can you tell us anything about the whole concept of “Variola Vera”? And please tell us where does this title come from?
The contents and messages from our new album is about the impact that humans have on planet earth and its inhabitants. We have considered for a long time that we wanted to create an album that shed light on the injustices towards both social groups and the nature around us. Even though every one of us is interested in fighting these problems, we didn’t want to create a concept album of some sort, even though the songs have a general theme. The name Variola Vera comes from the latin name of the viral disease, Smallpox. First of all it is a beautiful latin name of a pretty horrific disease. Secondly, viral diseases are often a result of the human impacts of the surrounding nature around us. And at last infections tend to be worse in the areas of the world that are plagued with poverty. But the name was actually something Aleksander has been wanting to use for a few years. It’s actually a coincidence that the album was recorded during the pandemic.

MELODY LANE:  …After time, are you totally satisfied with your choices about sound and the writing of your previous album? If you could… would you change anything? For this album, what did you focus on to make the sound better and perfectly consistent with the musical ideas you had in mind?
Ultimately, we are very satisfied with the sound, both us and our brilliant producer, Anders Bjelland, have managed to create in our album. Our new album does have a bit more punch, and “oomph” to it than our previous, and we are pretty satisfied with that. We consciously wanted the album to be different from the previous one, but still be recognized as “us”. When you’re a musician, you’re always nit-picking with your own work. So, we’ve always noticed some minor details in our songs that we would’ve wanted to change, but sometimes you just gotta accept that the product is finished and be happy with it. As Bob Ross once said, we don’t make mistakes, just happy accidents.

MELODY LANE:  So apart from the covid/pandemic situation…will you tour in the next future? Have you already a touring schedule? Any chance for us to see  Himmellegeme  playing live here in Italy or in Europe in the next months/year? 
In these times it is very difficult to say, to be honest. We would love to play further south in Europe sometime, but it is problematic to say when. We’re also six members that all have different jobs and places to live. Sadly, we don’t earn enough money to live off our music, so it has to be planned around work and family life. It was interesting to see how our label managed to spread our music around the world after the first album came out. And now as time has passed we’ve seen an increase in fans from around the world, which is really cool! After our new album dropped, we’ve seen an increased interest in other countries than Norway. So yeah, it would be great to travel again. Italy seems like a great place to play! But as of right now, we don’t have any plans.

MELODY LANE: Could you tell us two bands, from the actual international scene, you’d like Himmellegeme to tour with?... Two bands that would represent a perfect line-up for Himmellegeme to play with and that playing with them would help to enlarge your fan base…And why these bands?
There are so many bands we would have loved to play with, but if we’d have to choose two bands we’d probably have to go with someone like Solstafir, or Motorpsycho? We think our music would pair great with those bands. Maybe Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson could’ve been a cool match too. I think we have enough similarities with these bands to appeal to their fans, potentially gaining more fans.  Right before the pandemic hit we played a small gig with Airbag, and we were discussing the possibilities of touring with them, but as mentioned above, everything has slowed down a bit.

MELODY LANE: We know that ‘to define is to limit’… but how do you define Himmellegeme’ sound? Are you a Progressive Rock band…an Atmospheric Prog Rock band… A Post Rock band…Or…?
To be honest, we have never thought of ourselves as a “progressive rock” band even though we see a lot of people do. And it’s quite difficult to say what kind of sound we have. As you say yourself “to define is to limit”. If you could define our sound nevertheless I think we would go for a mix between Atmospheric, Post Rock, Psychedelic Rock. Sometimes Himmellegeme can sound like a Pop band as well. I think you can find a lot of different sounds, genres or inspirations in our music, and I think that may be some of our advantages.

MELODY LANE: Which musicians are/have been your main musical inspirations? And which are your favorite bands nowadays?
As mentioned earlier we were five members (now six) with different musical backgrounds, which has made our music a mix of many different styles and genres. While Himmellegeme started as a side project to the heavier Symbiose, we wanted to go for a more mellow sound which meant we could play around with all the different genres that inspired us. Nowadays Aleksander is heavily into bands and artists such as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kevin Parker/Tame Impala, Donny Benet, Electric Eye’s newest album (our producers’ band!), amongst many others. Hein is still listening to a lot of Meshuggah, but also listens to a lot of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Tame Impala, Mastodon, Orville Peck and Electric Eye. Lauritz is quite inspired by the Tom Waits’ jazz/blues era, and at the same time also influenced by 70’s soul. Leiv listens to a bunch of different bands, and also plays in two hardcore bands; Angrep (vocal/guitars) and Rat Lord (bass). Stian is like a multitool listening to and playing in so different bands and genres it’s almost impossible to follow, haha! He constantly plays for multiple artists and at multiple jam sessions, he’s really quite impressive! He has also one a Norwegian Grammy in the blues category with MK’s Marvelous Medicine. Our newest addition to the band, Matt, listens to a lot of experimental death metal, and also writes music for his band Nautilus. As a whole, we’ve been greatly influenced by a lot of different styles and bands, and fans and reviewers have related us to bands such as Pink Floyd, Sigur Ros, QOTSA, Radiohead - but we’ve always set out to not sound like other bands, even though our inspirations can shine through. We think that’s one of the reasons behind us taking sooo long to write new songs - constantly second-guessing and tossing away ideas deemed “too similar to [band]..”..

MELODY LANE: As a musician, what has been your biggest achievement to date and what do you want to achieve in the near future?
One of our “biggest” gigs was when we got to be the support act for Seigmen - that was really cool, as we got to play a bigger stage with a larger crowd. And we got to play a festival called Fjellparkfestivalen not long after the release of our first album, and even though we were unknown, they still treated us like the bigger acts - “private” chauffeur, big backstage, our own cabin to sleep in etc. But to be honest I’d also have to say that our biggest achievements have been being able to share our music with a lot of great people from all around the world. When we recorded our first album we were planning on just releasing it ourselves, but we’re glad Hein bumped into some of the guys from Karisma, because they made it possible for us to spread our music out to a larger crowd. We didn’t expect much (being self-critical), but the amount of positive feedback over the years has been greatly appreciated!

MELODY LANE: Until today...What was the most important concert for  Himmellegeme ’s career? And why?
HIMMELLEGEME: We have had some really cool concerts, so it’s difficult to put a finger on one specific gig. But, as mentioned above, the Seigmen gig and Fjellparkfestivalen have been significant. We also think that some of the local concerts in our hometown, Bergen, have been really nice to be a part of. We’ve also toured with our buddies from Shaman Elephant and Howlin’ Sun, which was really fun! In addition to that, we would add a really special experience: once we had a concert in a small cabin in the mountains of Norway called Hallingskeid. The only way to get there is by train, and there’s nothing there other than a few cabins. Even though it was tiny, we had a great time in the wilderness. There was no electricity, so we had to play the whole thing semi-acoustic (with some additional electricity from a diesel power supply outside). There were probably around 50 people in that cabin, just centimeters from our feet. It was a special experience!


MELODY LANE: In the end…A message from you to all MELODY LANE readers.
 Thank you so much for listening to our music! We really appreciate Italians with a good taste