April 25, 2024

KALANDRA… The Magic Sound from Norway!

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KALANDRA is a Norwegian band that will come in Athens the next year on 02.03.2023 at GAGARIN LIVE MUSIC SPACE 205, for a dream triple-bill of modern hard sound with Monuments and head liners the Great Norwegians Leprous band! 

KALANDRA is a fantastic Norwegian band, is the Magic Sound of music with exotic songs, consists Katrine Stenbekk on vocals, Jogeir Daae Mæland on guitar, Florian Bernhard Döderlein Winter on guitar, and Oskar Johnsen Rydh handles drums. The band plays a haunting, ethereal style of alternative pop. While alt pop can mean many different things, Kalandra leans towards the alternative label more, I believe. 
Their music has airy, wonderful vocals and definitely offers pop sensibilities. However, some of their songs have a bit more edge to them with plenty of guitars, climactic structures, and honest grit, not to mention run times that are outside the pop realm.KALANDRA releases are 2 Albums ”The Line ” in 2020 and ” Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse Lands Soundtrack” in 2022, also 3 Singles and EPs!

It’s been about 2 years, since we first heard KALANDRA, on stage and their amazing song ” Brave new world ” inspired by Aldous Huxley’s novel and Arnulf’s Overland poem… ” Du ma ikke sove”.

It was the moment when I shouted… ”This band… is all money!”
”That’s how we say it in Greece, for something amazing and really this song is a musical gem”… I explained to my concert-attending friend Mots, bass player of the Austrian band Zsa Zsa Gabors from St. Pölten!



November days and it was the time, to have a very interesting chat with Katrine and Jogeir from KALANDRA Norwegian band!

I believe that KALANDRA band … it will be for sure in the future, one of the gold pages in music! 

Athenscalling.gr: Welcome Katrine and Jogeir… your band is all the money! That’s how we call it in Greece about something amazing, something great and please I believe that! Welcome in Athenscalling.gr webzine of culture!

Katrine and Jogeir ( KALANDRA ) : Thanks for having us!

Athenscalling.gr: It was about 2 years ago when I first heard you’re band and the song ΄΄Brave new world΄΄. It was a great time for me, I like the song and if you want tell us the story of the song.

Katrine ( KALANDRA ) : Well, now I have to reminisce way back to 2016 when we were jamming it out in our rehearsal space in Oslo. It was one of those rare magical moments where we made the arrangement, and the melody and most of the lyrics within two hours. We all just really felt like we found something we all liked at that moment. Nothing’s better than that feeling and experiencing it together.

We spent quite a bit of time becoming happy with the lyrics though. We were inspired in part by the book with the same name by Aldous Huxley as well as a Norwegian poem by Arnulf Øverland “Du Må Ikke Sove”. I needed some help from Jogeir and Florian to finish the lyrics in the end. I think we went to my place and we had some red wine while I sat at the kitchen table scratching my head while the guys paced back and forth throwing sentences and ideas at me. I do believe we finished it together that evening. 

Jogeir ( KALANDRA): The lyrics were definitely inspired by the political events at the time, and it still seems very much relevant today.

Athenscalling.gr: Kalandra is the name of your band… Kalandra also, is a Traditional Village in Greek prefecture of Halkidiki. Who was the godfather of the name… has something to do with Greece?

Jogeir ( KALANDRA ) : Well, it is possibly an indirect source of inspiration, as the name can actually be traced back to Greek origins. However, our direct influence for the name stems from the Calandra Lark (or the common European Lark). There was something about the imagery of the migrating songbird that resonated with us at the time, when we found ourselves studying music in England, singing our native songs.
However, the Calandra part of the name ultimately derives from kalandros, the Ancient Greek name for the bird, so like so much else of western culture it can all be traced back to your part of the world.

Katrine ( KALANDRA ) : A few people have asked us through the years. Maybe it’s about time I made an informational Tik Tok video about it. 

Athenscalling.gr: About Greece and your band will come to Athens the next year on 02.03.2023 at GAGARIN LIVE MUSIC SPACE 205, for a dream triple-bill of modern hard sound with Monuments and head liners the Great Norwegians Leprous! It was a big surprise for me, how did this come about it?

Katrine ( KALANDRA ) : Yeah it’s about time huh?! Well after the Pandemic things started to open up again and we met an international booking agent who’s also working with Leprous, so that’s really how that came about. I’m sure he put in a good word for us amongst the Leprous folks. We were asked if we wanted to join and we said yes to that intense roller coaster of a tour. 

Jogeir ( KALANDRA ): For sure, It’s going to be an exciting lineup and we’re probably going to emphasise more our prog elements on stage, and we’re terribly excited to come and play in Greece for the first time! 

Athenscalling.gr: Let’s talk now about your music. Tell us please in what music genre is the KALANDRA music and how can characterize it?

Jogeir ( KALANDRA ) : At the risk of sounding very pretentious, I have to say that we haven’t really aimed to fit within one genre of music, nor create a new one, so we find it a bit hard to describe ourselves within those terms. Most of the time we end up stating a mix within what genres we are inspired by, but ultimately that changes. However, it’s probably safe to say we are an alternative nordic folk/rock band occasionally flirting with prog and pop. Or something like that… I’m sure someone will define that better for us in the future. 

Athenscalling.gr: And about the lyrics of the songs, how is making?

Katrine ( KALANDRA ) : I would say it’s very different from time to time. Sometimes I write by myself on the piano, and I’ll record a demo of it and show it to the boys and they’ll continue working on it in the software. Or sometimes we jam together in the rehearsal room like we did with Brave New World and I’ll just come up with lyrics right there. Or recently I’ve found myself writing poems without melody or arrangement and then I add it later. That’s quite rare as music and lyrics tend to go hand in hand for me, but I discovered a poem recently in a folder that I had written and forgotten all about, and I really think it’s going to be something powerful if we arrange it right…

Athenscalling.gr: Jogeir … Do you have any influences about it?

Jogeir ( KALANDRA ) : Yes, me and Florian both. I’m personally very much influenced by David Gilmour and Jonny Greenwood, and of course Jimi Hendrix. However I was also influenced by many metal bands in my youth, so I’lI have to mention Peter Lindgren and Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth in this mix. Florian isn’t here, but he would probably add the guitarists in Lamb of God and Mastodon.
Athenscalling.gr: Katrine with the exotic amazing voice, you are the vocals of the band and I will ask you about your influences…

Katrine ( KALANDRA ) : Well if you don’t know already you need to listen to Eivør. Other than that I get very inspired by cinematic music and soundtracks. I honestly listen to everything, as long as it’s cleverly arranged and well written. Which is obviously subjective, but yeah. I also have a lot of the same influences as the guys.

I grew up with Pink Floyd at home through my parents. But as the 90’s girl I am, I grew up with Spice Girls, as well as listening to Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne. I copied anything I heard. Later I received classical training of my voice in High School which really strengthened my vocal chords a lot. And then I’d go home and listen to a lot of metal music and folk/rock. My influences have changed a lot since then, but Eivør has stayed with me.
Athenscalling.gr: Living in the past do you remember the best time in your life Jogeir? 

Jogeir ( KALANDRA ) : I try not to live too much in the past as I find that lingering on what has happened, both positively and negatively, won’t do much good for the present. I think the best part of our lives is what we can actually influence, and that is here and now. But for sure, there has been many highlights and this summer’s tour with Wardruna and the release of our debut album was certainly some of them. 

Athenscalling.gr: The same question for you my lady… living in the past! Do you remember the best time in your life?

Katrine ( KALANDRA ) : The best time in my life so far… hm. I would say I really like my life right now, despite everything that’s going on in the world, I feel really happy with the people around me. The relationships I keep, and the music we make together. BUT, you asked me about my past. The best thing that happened to me was probably deciding to study music abroad in Liverpool, UK. That’s truly the moment where I felt like I was finally and fully choosing my own path and really fulfilling my purpose and daring to visualise my future despite failures that could be thrown my way. That hasn’t changed. And I guess that’s why it’s still the best thing from my past, because the vision still hasn’t changed, but it all started there at University. The fire was lit. 

Athenscalling.gr: Living the crazy years… with the economic crisis, the war in Ukraine, the immigration, pandemic of COVID-19, tell us please if is it really possible to change the world and if … in what way?

Katrine ( KALANDRA ) : The world is changing constantly, sometimes good, sometimes bad, constantly. I can’t tell you if it’s possible or not. We’re merely a product of our time and I’m writing about my perception of it. The only thing I do is make sure I fill my life with meaningful things, like trustworthy people, music, creative outlets. It fills me with purpose and it makes me feel like there’s a reason to get up in the morning. We’re all just here, you know. Nothing makes sense, yet everything matters… And I recommend taking responsibility for your own mental health, preferably on the government’s bill if needed. 

Jogeir ( KALANDRA ) : We live in interesting times. That is for sure. We are in a way bombarded with all the latest dread in the world at a rate that no generation before us ever has, so there is a lot of despair going on. Yet paradoxically, if you look at so many factors of our way of life, there couldn’t be a better time period to live in, in all of the world’s history. 

The fact that people start to doubt it is possible to change the world, that they lose purpose, that in itself is what is the most scary to me. Sometimes I get the feeling that we as a society are moving towards a really dark place just based on that hopelessness. Like we have to crash and destroy what we got, so that we can get something to fight for. If enough people lose hope and purpose we really move into a dangerous place both for us as individuals and for societies at large. And that is something worth fighting against actively searching out where you can make the best use of your time.

Of course it’s possible to change the world, we do it every day. For better or worse. Life is a constant struggle with changing what is, into what we want it to be. The only thing we can do is to try to change it for the better with the means we have at hand. We have to be the change that we can be. Not everyone is meant to stand at the barricades, but that doesn’t mean that whatever you are doing for the betterment of others isn’t worthwhile doing. Sometimes the best you can do for others is helping yourself first. Find purpose in changing what you can change.

Athenscalling.gr: What is it that makes your heart bleed in the world?

Katrine ( KALANDRA ) : Injustice. Climate.

Jogeir ( KALANDRA ) : The protests in Iran and the war in Ukraine have been tugging most at my heartstrings as of late. Also, knowing that we are causing a mass extinction of biodiversity on earth worse than the meteor that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs is something I find hard to accept.

Athenscalling.gr: A! … And I had forgotten, sorry about that! I want ask you about your albums, ”The Line”… is your first album in the year 2020 and after 2 years release a new album ”Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse Lands Soundtrack”… I think with a different sound, tell us about the 2 albums.

Katrine and Jogeir ( KALANDRA ) : Yes the second album is quite different because it was written as a gaming soundtrack. It was a nice project for us to get out of our own heads for a bit and focus on creating an atmosphere for a scene in a game, rather than always having to retreat inwards and create music for yourself. Both ways of making music are nice, but everyone needs change, and I would say it makes us enjoy the ride more. Now we’re ready to create for ourselves again for that future third album. 

We’re still very proud of our debut album The Line and all the work we put into it. We haven’t gotten sick of it yet, I think… 

Athenscalling.gr: … Any plans for the future?

Katrine and Jogeir ( KALANDRA ) : Well we’re in the process of writing more music as we speak. We aim to play at some wondrous festivals next summer, but first we’re very excited about joining the tour in February/March with Leprous. Please come see us! We might have a new song for you too. 

Athenscalling.gr: O.k. thank you Katrine and Jogeir, Jogeir and Katrine about the very interesting chat and the last one question is… What is Your message all around the world.

Katrine ( KALANDRA ) : Forgive yourself. Life gets better that way, because you always get a new start after, he he. 

Jogeir ( KALANDRA ) : Don’t lose hope and your sense of purpose. I hope to see some of you in Greece this winter!

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