Jorge Fretes of Spain's Goetia Media recently conducted an interview with frontman Einar Solberg of Norwegian progressive rockers LEPROUS. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On LEPROUS still having any connection to the black metal scene after being EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn's initial solo backing band:
Einar: "At the moment, I honestly don't feel we have anything to do with black metal. We actually have never played black metal. We have the connection with Ihsahn. We don't have any connection to that scene except for him, of course. That's why that link has been used even though we really have had never anything to do with it. We see some black metal shirts at our shows. That's cool because the more people you can appeal to from different genres, the better. I think it's about time to erase boundaries within those subgenres. It's just different moods, that's all. Some genres, they cling themselves to one specific mood the whole time and for me. That becomes way too one-dimensional in the long run. It doesn't mean I never appreciated it; it just means that I don't appreciate it all the time. I feel we don't connect that much with a lot of the metal bands because a lot of the metal bands are very conforming to those genres. I don't have any [strong feelings] for prog either. It doesn't mean I don't like prog. It just means, for me, as a whole genre, it's also very predictable and one-dimensional. It's all about the musicianship rather than about emotions. It's more, like, 'Whoa, that was incredible!' The same way as you see a football player or something like that, it's not what we're doing. Sometimes we spice things up a little bit here and there. It's only technical stuff, of course, but it's never to be in the cloud of the technical stuff. Even in the old days when we were all over the place."
On whether being Ihsahn's backing band was a boost or hindrance to their career:
Einar: "I think, in general, he was very important for us in the early days — very important. In a way, he was our first meeting with the professional music world, to say it like that. Even though we were maybe musicians back than and maybe would have gotten to where we are anyway, he was definitely a good help and really nice shortcut to get to some big stages pretty early on. Sometimes, of course, we get that — I still feel like it's 'the backing band of Ihsahn.' It's been such a long time ago; I don't understand why people are still making that reference. It's probably because of where they are musically and they're coming from an extreme metal background. That's how they discovered LEPROUS and that's of big importance. If you're coming more from the alternative rock and prog rock world, then you probably don't even know what EMPEROR is. It depends. For us, it's not really that important who our listeners are. We just do our music. People can like it and they can dislike it. It's beyond our control anyway. [Laughs]"
On the writing and recording process for the band's forthcoming sixth studio album and whether the songs are being built around his voice:
Einar: "I didn't build them around the voice on 'Malina', but I've done it a lot on these new songs, or some of the songs. Some songs, the thing is, you never know which is which. Some songs are very vocal-driven. It may be the vocals are added until the very late stage, even the same week as I was recording them, but still it sounds like a very vocal-driven song and it was all the way supposed to be a vocal-driven song, but I just never got satisfied with the vocal lines until really late in the stages. Other songs, right away, here's the vocal lines and that's it. That's one of the main things. It really depends. I've become way more laid-back with the way I'm writing music through the years. I don't try that hard anymore. Whatever comes, comes. I'm confident enough that I know right away when we have enough songs to make a good album."
LEPROUS's next studio album is due later in the year via InsideOut Music.
The band's most recent LP, "Malina", was released in 2017.