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SoulMonster

Interview with Richard and Saivu - June 4, 2010

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Interview with Richard and Saivu - June 4, 2010

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:16 am

Translated by Soulmonster.

"Sami rocker to release album with Guns N' Roses guitarist

Lasse Johnsen Kvernmo (28) went to USA to get a flight certificate. As a bonus he also recorded a rock record with Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus.

From out of nowhere the 28 year old man from Karasjok now releases a rock album which according to Fortus has the potential to do great in the US.

Johnsen Kvernmo calls his band project Saivu, which according to sami mythology means the World of the Dead. The record he has now made with Fortus and other hired musicians is self-titled, recorded in Los Angeles and Memphis and is a result of collaboration with the American star producers Skidd Miles (Saving Abel/Daughtry/Sick Puppies) and Ben Grosse (Marilyn Manson/Filter/Ben Folds). The record is released in August.

But already today it is possible to get a taste of the record by watching the video for the song The Concept of The Dread, directed by the American movie producer Matthew Santoro.

Took contact by E-mail

- I received an E-mail from Lasse with links to some sound tracks, and liked his strong material. I immediately decided that yes, this is something I want to work with. He has got some strong and unique rock songs of high quality, says Fortus who Wednesday night played with Guns N' Roses in Oslo Spektrum.

We meet the long haired and tattooed rocker a few hours before the concert in a library bar at Grand Hotel in Oslo, together with the Norwegian-Sami musician friend.

Richard Fortus is a valued studio musician and rented guitarist, and has previously played together with such big artists as Rhianna and The Psychedelic Furs.

- This is the third time I am in Oslo. You have a great capital. I simply love Vigelandsparken with all the statues of naked people. I was there for the second time today, he tells us.

Despite criticism of the late concert start and unison slaughter in the media for the Guns N' Roses concert in Vestlandshallen, he also has a favourable impression of Bergen, a city the band spent five days in.

Hoping for a Saivu tour

In July he returns to Norway to play with Johnsen Kvernmo and Saivu at Midnattsrocken in Lakselv in Finnmark, featuring Norwegian musicians. It is not yet clear whether the musician will join for a longer tour in Noway, during Guns N' Roses' long break from their tour till August.

- I really hope we manage to get a tour here in Norway and Europe, and US, too, with Saivu. This is one of my most exciting side projects right now, says Fortus.

The amazing story about young Johnsen Kvernmo started in 2003 when he went to Myrtle Beach in South California to get the flight permit.

- I had never played in any bands, but played on my own and made lots of songs at the time when I went to the US. In Myrtle Beach I started looking for musicians to a studio band, and met an old speed guitar freak who had once warmed up for Yngwie Malmsteen. He was very enthusiastic about helping me. With 500 dollars of my own money we recorded a few demo tracks in a studio. It was with these songs I contacted Richard Fortus through his web page, he tells us.

Richard Fortus looks forward to playing beneath a midnight sun at Midnattsrocken in Lakselv in July together with Lasse Johnsen Kvernmo and the rest of Saivu.

The collaboration grew tight between the sami boy and the celebrated studio musician from California, who, through a long career among others have played for such huge acts like Psychedelic Furs and Rhianna, in addition to Guns N' Roses.

- Richard plays guitar on all songs on the record, and he has also been co-producer during the finishing of the music. He has acted like my closest mentor and critique, and made me much better to improve the quality of what I do, explains Johnsen Kvernmo.

Fortus tells that he all the time gets E-mails from people who wants his comments or help with the music they make.

- I very rarely answer or enter such side projects. In anyway there is a huge difference between joining for a song or two, and getting involved in a complete record like what I have done here, he points out.

Specially invited guest.

Wednesday night Johnsen Kvernmo was a specially invited guest at the Guns N' Roses concert in Oslo, and with both backstage pass and access to the after party with the band members. Present at the meeting with band members in the basement of Oslo Spektrum after the concert, among hard core fans and young, beautiful women, were also Marion Ravn. She has previously used the relatively fresh Guns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba as guitarist on many of her records.

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