Interview by Miriam C.
Fresh of their new worldwide deal with the gigantic label Nuclear Blast, Norwegian psychedelic blues rock band Pristine have ahead of them a bright (and I might add, busy) future: about this, they’ve already confirmed a nice German tour in July but let’s take a step back and retrace, by the words of the singer Heidi Solheim, Pristine‘s story (and their consequent third album “Reboot”) and her long musical career made of, aside the band, one solo album and an interesting album called “Dinosaus”, do you wanna know what is about? Simply, just continue reading this interview!
Hi Heidi, welcome to Femme Metal Webzine, how are you?
I’m very good thanks for asking! Hope you’re well too.
Although you’ve released your third album “Reboot”, it’s the first time that Femme Metal Webzine has the chance to interview you. Do you mind to shed some light on the history of the band?
No problem. I started Pristine about 10 years ago. We actually started out as a pop band! But then my 70’s rock soul took over my body and between 2010 and 2011 we changed paths.
I’ve read recently that Pristine has inked a worldwide deal with Nuclear Blast. How and when was your first approach with the label and how did you get signed with them?
Everything started thanks to our recent release “Reboot” (January 2016) and although it was Pristine‘s third album it was the first to be released outside of Norway. The album caught the attention from both the public and the music industry in general, including Nuclear Blast. We went on tour for a month in February/March and they came to one of the concerts and they wanted to talk. Since then I take a few trips down to visit them for get to know them better. They are an absolutely super gang of passionate and good people!
You commented about the deal “This is such a big step for Pristine! Nuclear Blast is not only a large company with great muscle power in the music business, but it is run by passionate and warm hearted people who choose their signings wisely”. How the things will change for Pristine?
I think this is going to change Pristine‘s path completely. We will continue to write music the best we can do and have some concerts and tours of course, but with Nuclear Blast at our side I really believe that we can reach out to people and places we, by ourselves, couldn’t have!
As mentioned before, “Reboot” is the third album by Pristine. What you can tell us about its genesis?
Our debut album “Detoxing” is quite different than “Reboot”. I think the previous records has more of a blues-y feeling and we’ve gradually moved more towards rock, more unconsciously than consciously I guess. You never know where your heart will take you when you sit down to write an album. That’s the magic in music.
I read that “Reboot” was recorded practically 100% live with almost no overdubs. What led you to opt for this choice? What the pro and cons offers such type of recording?
Pristine is first and foremost a live band. We are at our best on stage and it felt right to have the same approach in the studio. The pros is you’re gathered and working as a team in the “magical sphere” that often happens when a band perform together. It’s a special kind of energy, focus and feeling, almost like falling in love. Your stomach flips and your voluntarily being dragged to an intense feeling of presence. The only con as I see it is that if one of you fuck up during a take, everyone has to start all over from the top (because we’ve never used the infamous click either).
If you could draw a parallel between “No Regret” and “Reboot”, how do you think your approach changed since then? In what, in particular, do you feel the band has improved?
In retrospect I see “No Regret” as the link between our debut “Detoxing” and our last album “Reboot”. It has that blues sound as well as a slight rock feeling.
To promote “Reboot”, you have shot two videos for the singles “(I’m Gonna Give You) All My Love” and “Bootie Call”. Could you tell us a bit about the filming? Do you have any funny story to share with us?
Actually I filmed and edited both videos myself. The production costs can be quite expensive on music videos, so I’ve decided to self-produced them. The first video “All Of My Love” was filmed, with my iPhone, on the beautiful coastline of northern Norway and “Bootie Call” was filmed at my boyfriend’s workplace.
Simultaneously with Pristine, you have an active solo career on which you have already recorded 2 albums called “Found” and “Dinosaus”. Musically and conceptually, what differs from Pristine?
“Found” is a true pop album, with a twist. “Dinosaus” is a children music record, with lyrics in Norwegian. It keeps me motivated and creative writing music for so many different genres. If I only had one band I think I would grow tired after a little while. To be diverse and, especially with my children music project, so unceremonious is an important and inspiring thing for me to have as an artist.
Would you like to spend a couple of words about your debut album “Found”?
“Found” is my first album as a solo artist. Although Pristine is fully driven by me with hired musicians and crew, it’s easier to “hide” behind a band name then my birth name. See my own name on a record scared the shit out of me the first time but I believe it’s healthy to do things outside of your comfort zone sometimes. I’m very glad I released “Found” and I, even, listen to the album now and then. I like all the songs and my favorite is “My Bad”.
Although “Dinosaus” is officially your second solo album, it has to be considered your first child album and as I’ve discovered, it’s based on TV children’ show that you have produced. I’m getting quite curious, shall you can dig into and offer us more details on how this project born?
I was a step mom in my previous relationship and I got to watch quite a big amount of children’s shows on TV. I also listened to a lot of music for kids and I got very inspired to write something with more depth than many of the “plastic productions” I heard. I wanted to make some good rock song for kids as well as the more pensive songs. So I decided I would give it a try and I haven’t regretted it since. The best decision I ever made. It was so much fun writing “Dinosaus” (Dino sauce, if you translate it directly) and we had a blast in the studio as well (this album is actually recorded live as well, with the same Pristine‘s approach :))
You’ve toured Blues Pills and White Miles in Europe. Which are the memories that you cherish most?
We went on a three week tour in February and March and we had an amazing time on the road! We got a great response from the audience and as an unknown band we really felt that connection with the people. I think we made a lot of new friends on the tour and Blues Pills are an amazing band with some very kind people witch we grew to love! We really miss spending time with them but hopefully, now that we are label mates (they too are signed with the record label Nuclear Blast), we will see them often!
What are your next band plans (I mean for your solo career and Pristine)?
I’m currently working on both the next Pristine album, and when I’ll have time, I’ll write some music for the second album for children. I am also preparing the next tours with Pristine: we’ll visit Germany in July and November and the children show’ are going on a 6 week tour this autumn. So it’s a lot of work managing it all but very rewarding in the end.
I’ve also read that you have taken part in 2013 in The Voice of Norway. How did that go and what have you learnt from that experience?
(laughs) I was waiting for that question. The Voice was a wonderful experience for me! The reason I chose to participate was that the producers of The Voice literally stood on my doorstep asking me to come on the show. Eventually I said yes and haven’t regretted that since. I had any plan of improving my own carrier or I had no ambition to win the whole thing. I just wanted to some have fun, get to know people and learn something about TV productions. It’s amazing how many people it take to work behind this big “apparatus”. It fascinates me a lot all those people who’ve specialized in so many different and exiting fields!
So, Heidi, it’s time for your parting words – I really thank you for your time – please greet freely our readers and your fans. Thanks again!
Thank you so much for interviewing me! I hope you enjoy our music and I really hope to see you out there on the road! Be kind and generous with each other. Love and music is all we need 🙂
Photo by Marius Fiskum