Interview with Vidar Edland, Singer with Leper Messiah and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
VE: Hey, Pete, and thanks for having us on 😀
We’re LEPER MESSIAH, a 5-man rock band from Norway. Our music sits somewhere in the intersection between glam rock and hard rock, but we like to dip our toes into various genres and sub-genres, just to keep it interesting. Personally, I’m Vidar Edland the singer of the bunch; ahoyhoy, sailors!
The rest of the band comprise of:
Peri on main guitar
Øyvind on rhythm guiter
Iggy on bass
Per Henrik on drums
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
VE: We started out as a Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars tribute band, touring through 2012-2013 a glittering Ziggy show in celebration of the 40th year anniversary of Bowie’s legendary glam project. Once the anniversary was up, we dove into original music with a bit harder edge. In 2015, we added a fifth member to the band to give it all a heavier, rocky sound, and after some pandemic delays, we recently released our debut album, FELL CREATURES. Next up is touring the album this fall, and we have some exciting tour plans for 2022, too, fingers crossed.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
VE: Being five guys with different tastes, there’s a lot of bands that tickles our fancy, individually and collectively, but… David Bowie, Nick Cave and the Bad Things, Kiss, Jimi Hendrix, and Foo Fighters is a good place to start when gauging our influences. We also dig us some Tom Waits, taking to heart such Waits’ian wisdoms as “accidents make for interesting music” and “I like pretty songs about ugly things”. Beyond that, I’m personally a fan of old black & white movies and art deco, and we’ll often let such things influence our art.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
VE: To continue growing and to bring great music and experiences to both old and new fans and markets. We’ve got no endpoint in sight and are ready to follow the dream as high as it will take us. In the short term, we’re very excited about some tour plans next year to the UK, US, and Poland, for a start.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
VE: Our songs are typically created by myself and/or our main guitarist, Peri. He’s the musical genius in the band and I the writer, so oftentimes it’s Peri who supplies the melodies and arrangements while I do the lyrics.
We write about love and hate, and peoples’ experiences with such things. Dark subjects, including stalkers and murderers and addicts, also permeate our songs; fell creatures, if you will. Our debut album is a collection of songs about bad folk and good people making bad choices.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
VE: In whatever way we can! Social media is, of course, the default but we also rely on word-of-mouth and good old-fashion posters *laughs* Earlier this year, we got a radio spot on the Norwegian national broadcaster, NRK (the bastard cousin to the BBC), discussing our band and the album, and that was so much fun! We managed to freak out the presenter a few times and received a lot of great feedback to the program; awesome times! We’re definitely getting back on the radio waves, soon! Finally, we spend much time networking with other up-and-coming acts, to forge friendships and help one another out in this cutthroat business. Our largest contribution in this regard is our annually hosted RockFest, to which we invite cool bands we know to come and share the stage for an all-evening celebration of all things rock. If you ever have the chance, do attend a RockFest; It’s wild!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
VE: As long as you pay for it, I don’t much care how you consume your music. Some venues are technically more profitable for the bands, of course, (please buy our CD!), but in the end you have to go with what works best for you. That people listen to and love our art is much more important to us than the how they do it.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
VE: Oh, that’s a great question, man! Personally, I’d love to have written “Station to Station” by David Bowie, an epic magic-mystery rocker with a sonic landscape out of this world! Similarly, I’m quite envious of virtually everything Nick Cave does, especially the “Higgs Boson Blues”, just a weird and wonderful rock journey. Fantastic stuff!
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
VE: Bands whose songs all sound the exactly same. That just so VERY boring! Stop it, please.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
That’s got to be the RockFest we hosted in 2019, where we invited a band of 15–18-year-old kids, After Luminous, to come play on the big stage with us and two other grown-up bands, giving them the kind of break that no one would give us starting out. That felt pretty good and the kids were awesome! A bunch of angry girls and a guy, launching into Rage Against the Machine and other kick-ass stuff as if the world was ending. Good times! We’ll definitely do something like that again.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
VE: Coming out of the Age of Plague, we’ll tour the album for a bit, starting with the RockFest 2021 in September, and next year we’ll set our sights again on foreign venues. We’re also well underway with writing music for the next album, and we’ll head back into the studio to record that at some point, when it feels right.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
VE: You can find our music on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7znRKVKPwbSzcACvatUJWV
Reaching out to us is easiest on Facebook. We’ll build a merch shop when we get around to it, but for now, shoot us a PM and we’ll see what we can do about an album and/or t-shirt, at: https://www.facebook.com/TheLeperMessiahBand
Thanks again for having us, Pete, and kudos on the great questions! You and your readers are awesome and y’all smell so very nicely! Cool.