ENSLAVED's GRUTLE Discusses Sheep-'Downloading' Stunt

Guitarist Ivar Bjørnson and bassist/vocalist Grutle Kjellson of the Norwegian Viking metallers ENSLAVED hit the mainstream press in Norway on October 10, 2007 when they appeared to steal, or according to their rationale, "download," a sheep belonging to politician Lars Sponheim as a protest against his Venstre party's proposed legalization of music downloading.

"It was a symbolic act," Grutle told UK's Terrorizer magazine, "against a party that wants to legalize piracy and copying. A lot of people are downloading stuff and a lot of people don't actually realize that it's illegal and they don't realize what they're doing to hard-working artists. We've received a lot of positive feedback and a good response; some people have decided to pick it up and understood what it's all about even if they don't understand our style of music.

"It was initianted by the Artists' Association in Norway; it's actually a couple of artists' organizations campaigning against downloading. It's based just outside Bergen and they wanted a couple of Bergen-based musicians to go up to this farm belonging to the party leader and steal a coulple of his sheep. Eventually we didn't steal his sheep but we used another one. So we actually just borrowed the sheep for two hours from a farmer who agreed with us and replaced the tags wit hsome similar to those of the politician's."

Video footage of ENSLAVED stealing sheep:

Norwegian TV report on ENSLAVED's sheep-stealing stunt:

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