Susanne Sundfør x Gorilla vs. Bear takeover Part III: Musicians for People in Trouble
I’d like to write a little bit about the musicians that participated on my album:
Jesse is a brilliant multi-instrumentalist who plays clarinet and flute on the album. I was actually gonna use a mellotron for the flute parts, but Simon Raymonde at Bella Union recommended I ask Jesse to play the parts instead. Boy am I happy he suggested that! We had a fun session in Woodstock together with Scott Petito as an engineer. I’d stayed at a cabin a few days ahead of the session to compose the last few songs I needed for the album, and I’d finished Bedtime Story the day before and sent it to Jesse and asked if he could play the clarinet on it. It basically took three days to compose and record the song (apart from the crazy interlude with Jørgen Træen’s recording of an old lady in her apartment in Norway that we added later). But this was supposed to be about Jesse, sorry! He used to play with Midlake and now has a new band called Banquet. They’re touring soon I think. They’re amazing. Go see them or listen to them!
John is a fireball. There’s so much depth in everything he does. Wisdom and humour. How else do we get through these crazy years? He’s meticulous in everything he does. I have many favourite songs by him, but Voodoo Doll is on repeat as we speak. That bassline...
Megan is also a multiinstrumentalist. She just bought a house with her wife Gunhild Kristoffersen in the countryside. I’m so envious. I bet she’s making some homemade sauerkraut now and petting their dog Bacon. Megan has played in my band for I think 4 years. Gunhild has played with me for 8 years. We went to high school together. She played Patty in Grease. I played...Principal McGee. They have a band together called Bow to Each Other and have released some truly beautiful albums. Listen to the heartbreaking Thinking ‘bout Myself as a start.
Greg is a legendary pedal steel player. I was so psyched when he said yes to play on my album, and a little bit star struck when I met him. We recorded at my friend Clay Schmitt’s house in Los Angeles, and I think in a way he shaped the sound of the album. I loved how perplexed he got when I said I wanted it more country. Apparently it’s not what musicians want these days from a pedal steel player. Nothing is more beautiful than a corny country song with a long pedal steel solo on it if you ask me. That’s what we aimed for with Reincarnation.
Gard Nilssen’s Acoustic Unity:
Gard plays in 100 bands. I always say that and he gets annoyed. So now I’ve written it here as well hehe...I haven’t given him his wedding present yet. It’s next to me here in my bedroom. Gard is the best drummer in the world. Hands down. I’ve played with him for 8 years, same as Gunhild. Gard treats the drum kit like it’s a piano. Or a guitar. Or just an instrument that’s not only there to add rhythm but to add sound as well. That’s rare. He released a beautiful solo album a few years ago on his own label. It’s called Drumming Music. He has a trio called Gard Nilssen’s Acoustic Unity with André Roligheten on saxophone and Frans Petter Eldh on upright bass. They all play on my album, my favourite part I think.
Jon is one of the biggest jazz legends on the Norwegian scene. He asked me if I wanted to play on his festival Fjordflyt, and then I asked him if he could play on my album. He plays the otherworldly piano interlude in the Golden Age and I played on a floating dock in Randsfjorden surrounded by boats with people on holiday. Norway is good at that, we know we have incredible nature and we like to combine it with music and art. I’m proud of that. And I’m so proud of Jon being on my album.