Merethe Heggset – High Priest of Saturn

Interview by Matteo Bussotti

Psychedelic rock, stoner rock and metal in a well-crafted mixture? This is what High Priest of Saturn are! We interviewed the singer, Merethe, to hear something abound this new band’s history, their plan for the future (watch out, a new album is coming!) and more stuff. Ladies and gentlemen, here I introduce you Merethe Heggset from High Priest of Saturn! Enjoy!
 
Hi Merethe! Welcome to Femme Metal, it’s a pleasure to have you here! My first question is about the band: how did the whole project start?

I wrote a few songs that I wanted to try out with a band (I had never played with a band before), Robert and Andreas helped me out and the songs evolved. We decided to record a two song demo, which people seemed to like a lot, so we continued writing and the band progressed and changed further into what it is today. Robert moved to Oslo and is now in a great band called Spectral Haze.

What can you tell us about the band’s name? I guess it’s related to the whole “60s psychedelic” world and imaginary, and…it’s very fascinating, let me say that!

We wanted something related to Saturn, as the mythology and symbolism of it appeal to us and fit our music well. Andreas came up with the final name, and we thought it was perfect.

What inspired you the most while composing the songs? Does any of the songs have a particular “backstory”?

When I wrote the first couple of songs I listened a lot to Acid King and Om, as well as 60s psychedelia. The lyrics are greatly inspired by Pink Floyd. Music is always the main inspiration for me, but I sometimes get ideas from books, art and film as well. I read some Egyptian mythology at the time I wrote the album. Often I don’t really have a clear idea of where my inspiration comes from, it’s just a mix of several things.

How usually is the creative process behind your songs? Since you, or your drummer, do more than one thing at once (like drums and guitar), I’m curious about how the songs come out; is there anyone who usually takes a more leading role, or is it a complete collaboration among you?

The multi-instrument approach is just done on the album. When we rehearse and play live, I do the bass and vocals, Andreas does the drums, Martin plays guitar and live we have an extra keyboard player. We often rehearse without the keyboards. Until now, I have written most of the songs, that is riffs, structures and vocal lines. Andreas and Martin add amazing guitar solos, rhytms and drum fills and our session keyboard player just does what he wants to (it always sound great).

Merethe, you have a very peculiar voice, let me say this. You also sing in a very peculiar way! Every musician has his own style…did you always approached music in this particular way, or did you have a different style before arriving at this one?

I don’t really think too much about it, I just sing in the way I find most comfortable and natural. I might experiment more with the vocals in the future, perhaps try another singing style on the next album if it fits the music.

Talking about music development, what’s your story? When did you begin to sing?

I have been singing on and off for my entire life. When I was young I took some singing lessons and sang in choirs and stuff. After growing up it didn’t really interest me too much until I suddenly got the urge to start this band. Listening to the songs I had composed I knew I needed to do the vocals myself to get the right feel. I have always liked playing instruments, such as guitar, piano and lately bass guitar which I have come to really love.

What can you tell us about the other two “High Priests”’s story? You can also tell us some very embarrassing stuff about them and never let them read this interview.

Most importantly, they are great musicians with unique styles of playing. Both of them have played in several bands before HpoS, and they both currently play in Resonaut (check it out!).

Do you already have plans for your next release as High Priest of Saturn, or any other project on your own?

There will definitely be a second album, and we have started writing the songs and planning it.

You have a pretty busy live activity, are there any upcoming gigs and tours we should be aware of?

Well, I don’t feel it’s that busy, we only play a gig every now and then. This is mostly because of work and other commitments, but if someone would like to help us out with booking gigs/a tour in Europe we’re very open to it! Next on our schedule is the Pstereo festival in our hometown, and the amazing Høstsabbat festival in Oslo in September.

 

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