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Silje Wergeland from The Gathering was so kind to give us an exclusive interview. Enjoy!


MG: You have recently became a mother. Congratulations! How did your life change after having a baby? Is there an abyss between Silje BEFORE and Silje AFTER? Or you are the same Silje?

Silje: Thank you! It’s more busy and I need to plan a lot more, but I am still the sameWink

MG: You replace Anneke van Giersbergen behind the microphone in 2008. No secret that the similar replacements often cause to the real fans wars. Were you scared by public impression or not?

Silje; I wasn’t scared, but I was a little worried and quite aware that people would have opinions about it. I have been very lucky though, many have been very supportive! The majority of the Gathering fans have been so sweet to me, and not acted like idiots like many fans of other bands do in the same situation.

MG: Could you tell me please about the craziest thing you have ever done for the band? And what can you sacrifice for a deal? Is there anything that might be considered a taboo for you?

Silje; It was quite special to do our South American tour back in 2011. A lot of things happened; we were stuck in Argentina due to volcanos, we almost got stuck in Bolivia due to some bureaucracy and just made the flight in the very very last minute, there were silly ticket problems when going to Columbia so we had to play a show without our drummer, Hans, and our sound engineer as they didn’t get on the plane, so it was a lot of stressful moments. But what a wonderful continent and such a bunch of wonderful people! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Not sure what you mean by ‘sacrifice for a deal’, or the ‘taboo’ question so I leave that one out.

MG: The Gathering fans are very sad about the fact that upcoming shows could be the last in the band history. Tell us please it is not true!

Silje; I don’t think this will be the last shows ever, but Frank, René and Hans needed a break as they have been doing this for 25 years and needed to focus on private matters for a while. I am sure other things will come up in the future, but how and when I don’t know. I am just sure I will not stop making music

MG: Your vocal is one of the most recognizable and beautiful among the modern vocalists. Do you plan to record your solo album? Is music your main passion and occupation or it is only a hobby for you?

Silje; thank you!:-) Music has been part of my life as long as I can remember, so it is one of my main occupations and passions for sure. The music industry is really hard these days so you need to secure your income elsewhere. I am doing master studies right now in leadership of management, and I have always had job besides being a musician to be able to pay my bills. I recently also bought a new house, well it is an old house that need total redecoration, so my life is full with other things right now. But we are building a perfect room for making music in it, so who knows what will come out of itWink

MG: Could you describe your ideal day? And your day on the tour. Do you like bustle of the long roads or prefer to perform staying at home and surroundings?

Silje; its two completely different things, and I like both; at home my life is all about my daughter, Marie, and everyday stuff like studying, working, doing the house thingies that needs to be done, eating well, rehearsing etc. On tour everything is the prepared and it is a nice bobble to be in for a while, but you know you’re gonna go home at some point and take care of the everyday lifeWink

MG: How do you see the perfect the Gathering show? Chorus, orchestra, acrobats, pyro or maybe even Circus du Soleil? Or only you and guys on the stage in a small club?

Silje; I looove it on big stages with lots of audience, but I also love small stages as long as there is a good vibe in the audience. I particularly love the use of visuals on stage. I never played with an orchestra, so that would’ve been pure magic to try one day!:-)

MG: Do you think that music is self-sufficient or it requires a pretty wrap in any case (I mean expensive music videos, photo shoots, concert outfits and so on)?

Silje; I wish I could have lived in the late 60’ise or 70’ties. Then it was so much more pure, more about music itself, today the industry is more about everything else as well. Today we have more channels to spread the music over; TV, radio, the internet and all its different arenas like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram etc so people get closer to the artist and it is easier to reach out just with a picture of your breakfast.. Yes, I guess, that most bands do need all this to make themselves heard today. Some use it more than other though, especially in the pop industryWink

MG: How do you train your voice?

Silje: I take singing lessons and practice my voice with vocal exercises as well as singing TG songs and other songs. I also try to get a lot of sleep every night and live healthy as my instrument is my body.

MG: Have you felt yourself like a real super-star sometimes or you are you in any case and it is not important how many fans surround you – 10 or 10 000?

Silje; haha, no, I never feel like a super star, but I feel incredibly honored when people come up to me telling me they like our music or that we move them in any way. That is so flattering and it means a lot!

MG: Do you like classical music? You are Norwegian and did Edwarg Greig influence on your musical tastes?

Silje: Yes, I grew up with jazz, folk and classical influences from home. I played piano at the age of 6 and it was mainly classical pieces from the big composers like Beethoven, Grieg and Severud. I am sure they had some kind of impact on me although I am not sure how.

MG: And our traditional question – could you recommend three modern Norwegian or Dutch but not well-known bands for mandatory listening?

Silje; yes! I’ll do the Norwegians; Highasakite, Susanne Sundfør & Monica Heldal. Totally different but all great artists!

MG: There are some pics with you and other the Gathering members (ex and present) on the Internet. How do you feel about meeting with Bart, Marike and Anneke? Did you meet them before?

Silje; Great! I meet Bart at a TG show some time ago, but I met Marike and Anneke just a month before our 25 anniversary show. It’s great to know them! We all share bits of the TG history, so there is a strong connection.

MG: You are not just a singer but a lyrics writer. Could you tell please more about a concept of the last band album? And do you write poems in Norwegian? I think it is a very beautiful language but unfortunately many bands prefer using English…

Silje; If we speak about Disclosure which is the last ‘real’ album (and Afterwords is based on this one) it is a very personal album. We wanted to make it as personal as possible which means writing about our feelings and emotions. There are love songs, break up songs, songs about tough family situations and so on. I love Norwegian, but to reach out to more people I started writing in English, and just continued with it.. Maybe one day I’ll something in Norwegian

MG: There are in fact the same text in "Gemini I" and "Gemini II, but in a different order. I have read a lot of versions about why it was done. Personally, I have always recognized the lyrics of these songs are the one person feelings but in different time spans. Could you tell more about the real idea?

Silje; the original idea is Gemini II version, but when we ended up doing two Gemini’s I wanted them to be a little different as Gemini I is more of a full song so I decided to build up the lyrics more. They are very personal, and I guess quite easy to understand what they are about. It can be a little difficult to be so open in a song, but at the same time I guess a lot of people can relate to the song so it gets it beauty from that..

MG: We can heard your voice in "The One You Are Looking For is Not Here" song by Katatonia. And also you shared a stage with musicians from the band. What is you impression about this collaboration?

Silje; yes, I love Katatonia! We met on a few festivals we both played, had some beers together. They are also Scandinavians so we go easily together. One day they contacted me about singing on their album. It was super easy to say yes, and later on they invited me to play in astonishing Union Chapell in London earlier this year. A truly awesome experience!

MG: Checking your Instagram photos it seems you are an adept of healthy lifestyle. Have you got anything harmful in your diet like Cola or fried potatoes you could not live without?

Silje; haha! Yes, I try to eat very healthy each day, but I love unhealthy food as well, especially chocolate (the bad light one!). I hardly ever drink Cola or eat Mac Donalds kind of food, so I can live without that for sure (thought I do it this now and then in our busy lives!Wink But chocolate has to stay in my life! HeheWink

MG: The song "You Promised Me A Symphony" is written by you. Did you compose it special for the Gathering or it is one of your old things which is suitable for the band?

Silje; it was a song I made before starting singing in TG, but I never finished it before I TG asked me to. So it is a mix I guess

MG: And of course many the Gathering fans are looking forward to the anniversary gigs this autumn (and another site admin will visit both of them)! Can we feel hopeful about DVD (PLEASE!) or Live-CD?

Silje; There might be a live CD, but no DVD unfortunately. The band decided not to do this as it is very expensive to do and it would require many cameras on stage. This is not something we wanted, as we would be 12 people going on and off stage with a lot to coordinate. Having lots of cameras on stage would make a lot of distortion for us as artists. I know people would like it, but there are not many people buying this these days, so it would be too expensive as well. Sorry…

MG: The Gathering played in Ukraine in 2010 at Global East Festival. Have you ever been in Russia? Do you know anything about these countries? Would you like to visit Russia as a tourist (maybe to attend the Opera Theater or Moscow Kremlin or other nice places)?

Silje; I would love to go to Russia! I have never been there, but it sure is on the list of places I want to go!! There is so much history there, and I know many people telling wonderful stories from Moscow. One day, I hope.. I love Dostoevsky’s books!:-)

MG: The last question. Could you tell a few words your Russian fans?
Silje; Sure! I hope we one day will come and play in Russia, because I know we have a bunch of wonderful Russian fans! Some I know as they have come to previous TG shows, and its amazing that people travel so far to see us. Thanks a lot for your support! We truly appreciate it!:-)

Thank you very much for your voice, your personality, your poetry – for everything! A million hugs from all Russian fans!

Silje; thank you too!! A million hugs back to you!
Форум / Interviews and music reviews / Silje Wergeland Interview
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