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. with Jostein Hansen, bassist & founder of Norwegian Progressive Rock Band KERRS PINK
.                                   by Sergio Motta, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Sergio Motta - Your band was formed in 1972, so I suppose it must be one of the oldest
progressive rock bands from Norway until then. Although this musical style is taken as
an underground one, would you say Kerrs Pink is a  well-known band there in your

Jostein Hansen: Kerrs Pink is a well-known band by the fans of Norwegian prog of today’s scene, but not among the general music buying public. But I think many of those people heard us on the radio when we were at the State Radio Top Ten in 1981 (‘’Welcome’’). I have read in a Norwegian Webzine on progrock that Kerrs Pink is probably the most internationally well-known progband from Norway today! That’s how it is, it’s hard to get recognition from your own ones!
Although I am a deep-rooted Kerrs Pink fan, I can’t leave out my appreciation for your
band’s songs sung in your mother tongue as featured on the first two albums. By the way,
do you have plans sometime of releasing an album with Norwegian lyrics right down?
Jostein Hansen: No, not at the moment! The problem is. of course, that we should have to translate the lyrics into English, something that we did with the two first albums (‘’Kerrs Pink’’ and ‘’Mellom Oss’’).
For the time being you are working upon a new album, which will be issued under the
title of ‘’Tidings’’. Will it be musically as symphonic as the other albums?
Jostein Hansen: It will be more symphonic than any previous albums. This is mainly due to the fact that we for the first time ever have two keyboardists, Freddy Ruud and Lasse Johansen. Freddy, especially, is very fond of symphonic rock, and he generates this affection in his music and colours the overall Kerrs Pink sound. Lasse is more of a classic progrocker.
Three years ago on an interview for ‘’Mvsika’’ magazine you expressed some
dissatisfaction toward the lack of interest of some Norwegian record companies in
supporting this sort of music. By the way, have you seen any change for better from that
time on??
Jostein Hansen: Not really, but there are still some private releases in Norway in this musical vain today, so progrock is ‘’die hard music!’’.
A few moths ago Kerrs Pink took part in the ‘’Kraftfestivalen’’ where a buddy of mine,
who had the chance of being there was quite thrilled upon listening to the new songs to
be introduced in the coming album. can you please tell us something about the
performance of your band in that event?
Jostein Hansen: What’s new to our line-up, is that we utilize the strength of two lead vocalists. The new male lead singer Lasse Tanderö, of course, and what’s more; the female voice represented by Tracee Meyn, a coloured lady from Los Angeles, now living in Norway. She adds a touch of black soul to our music, and I think that element conveys something quite new and extraordinary to our new album. we played two festivals in Norway with this line-up, and are satisfied with our own performance. We got a 5 on the dice from a music Webzine for the concert in Askim. We had some problems with feedback in the monitor system, otherwise a good show! 
As far as I have been noticed ‘’Tidings’’ will feature two keyboard players. By the way, are
these two musicians’ musical influences the same? How has that new experience been
for you so far?
Jostein Hansen: Amazingly enough, they share very  much of the same influences, even though Freddy is 11 years older than Lasse Johansen.
For long Harald has expressed a certain discontentment with the vocal parts of the band 
and then now for the first time Kerrs Pink will  feature a lead singer in the person of
Lasse Tanderö, which has got a great pleasure for singing. Do you definitely take it
for an evolution in your band?
Jostein Hansen: Definitely yes! Lasse has made a very valuable contribution to the album. he doesn’t only sing, he even invents some melodies and praising of the lead vocals, and arranges the backing harmonies for the other musicians who sing; Lasse Johansen and Knut Lie.
Also, for long it has been very usual to find some female singers’ co-operation on some
Kerrs Pink pieces, as it has hereunto happened to Kirsten Hognestad Böhn, Heidi
Drengsrud Jahren and Cecilie Ljunggren. Will you give us the pleasure of listening to
some of these beautiful voices once again on the new album?
Jostein Hansen: As I have also stated, we have a female lead voice in Tracee. There is another female lead singer who contributes to the album’s title track; Wenche Mortensen, who is in fact the mother of Frederic Mortensen, the saxophone player who played three concerts with us back in 1997. Wenche is a trained Norwegian folklore singer, she sings in a special way which in Norwegian folk-music is called ‘’Kveding’’. She sings quarter notes within the traditional melody line. We have no plans of using more female singers than those already mentioned.
I remember being told by you once a live set was within your band’s plans but even so
in that jiffy the priority would be the recording of another studio album. After releasing
‘’Tidings’’, do you think your attentions will be returned to the live set again?
Jostein Hansen: Yes, there are chances that there will be recordings of live sets. But we have nothing decisive yet in that respect.
On my interviews I have been requesting some musicians’ opinion regarding the current
progressive scene and that’s also good enough to know to what extent the musicians are
optimistic or not as to it. Are you also able to express your opinion? Thanks?
Jostein Hansen: I’m more realistic than optimistic! That means that I regard progrock as an art form of Rock that will still be kept alive with affection from a minor group of bands, but progrock is all about the music itself, and not a craze or trend. It’s more about bringing elements of classical music, folk-music and Jazz into a rock-setting, or if you prefer, a mixture of all kinds of music, where there are no limits or formulas; except for a non-prejudiced and non-inhibited love for music in general, played with Rock instruments.
Just to close our interview, would you like to impart a message for all those who 
appreciate Kerrs Pink music and progressive music by and large?
Jostein Hansen: You are a precious and seldom group of music lovers! I think you are more sensitive to music than most others! You like to explore your landscape of emotion and expand beyond the boundaries of the soul within the body! You are the ones who prefer melody and beauty to rhythm. You are the ones who want a ‘’Journey on the Inside!’’.
Sergio Motta
is a friend and partiner from the Progressive Rock And Progressive Metal Site

Freddy Ruud - Keyboards and vocals
Lasse Johansen - Keyboards and Vocals
Harald Lytomt - Guitars and Flute
Jostein Hansen - Bass, Acoustic Guitar and 
Lasse Tanderø - Lead Vocals and Percussions
Knut Lie - Drums and Percussion

Kerrs Pink
Mellom Oss
A Journey on the Inside
Art of Complex Simplicity

Kerrs Pink Home Page

Kerrs Pink has existed with various members and with varying styles of music, for almost 30 years. All through this long period the band has kept a low profile always putting the music itself before the desire of making the band commercially  successful. The band has maintained its amateur status, although its music is often compared to that of professional and famous bands. This has kept the band somewhat ‘’underground’’, which has given it some cult status among connoisseurs in the field of progressive rock music in Norway and even abroad. With the reissues of their two albums from early 80’s on the Musea label, a wider audience has been introduced to the original music of this band. their style is influenced by the folk-music of their native country, but still maintains a personal touch when combined with progressive and symphonic art-rock.

The origin of the band dates back to May, 1972 at Trömborg, in Östfold county, South-eastern Norway. The only present member to survive all the 20 line-ups from the band’s establishment to its most recent form was Jostein Hansen. To date, altogether 21 members were involved in the band.

The name of the band is in fact that of a common brand of potato grown in Norway. But it also meant to be a friendly and respectful joke about all the other ‘’Pink-groups’’ of the early 70’s. Until 1979 the band was playing local dance- halls, but then decided to perform at concerts with a repertoire mainly made up of their own compositions. Their style was based on the guitar instrumentals, utilizing two and even three lead guitars in complementary harmonies. At the beginning of 1978 their sound was broadened by the addition of multiple keyboards. In 1979 their first record, a purely instrumental single was issued in 1000 copies on their own label ‘’Pottittskiver’’ (Potato Slices). Inspired by the favorable critiques at a time when new wave was the dominant trend, the band found the time ripe for the release of their first album th following year. The opening cut ‘’Velkomst’’, an instrumental composed by Thore Johansen, even reached the Norwegian national radio Top Tem. This time a few vocal tracks sung in their mother-tongue were included. In the Autumn of 1981 they recorded their second album , namely ‘’Mellom Oss’’ (Between us). Like its predecessor, it was issued in 1000 copies on their own label, with the vocal parts still in their own language. This time the band had built a recording studio of their own and took part in all aspect of the recording of the music and cover art. Thus, the musicians were enabled to enjoy complete artistic freedom. Both LP’s were distributed by Polygram in Norway only.

A short time after releasing their second album, the band went through personnel changes and had their activities stopped for a few years. Then Musea came to the rescue and offered to reissue their two albums on Cd, and what is more, Musea offered them the chance to record a new third album in the old vein of the previous releases. Then one more album was issued by the band, this time a double album on Vinyl under the title of ‘’A Journey on the Inside’’ in 1993. A few years later precisely in 1997 ‘’Art Of Complex Simplicity’’ was issued, also through Musea, the then fourth album of this legendary Norwegian progressive rock band.

At the moment they  are working on the 5th album, which has taken much more time than they assumed when they set out. The title is "TIDINGS". And this is a describing title as they have not released anything since May 1997. "The best greetings to all fans, new and old, known and unknown!"

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