Leper Messiah Interview 18/08/21
MM: Can you tell us about your Band and who’s your biggest influences
Hey, Metal Gods Meltdown! Thanks for inviting us for a chat, guys.
We are Leper Messiah, from Norway, and we begun our life as a Ziggy Stardust tribute act, back in 2012-2013, touring a glam show in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the entire Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars thing. Good times! Since then, we’ve transitioned into an original music act playing somewhere in the range of glam rock to hard rock. This year we released our debut album – FELL CRATURES – a 10-track record about hardship, bad people, and good people making bad choices. Good fun!
There’s five of us in the group, Vidar (me) on vocals, Per & Per on main guitar and drums respectively (or is it the other way around?), Øyvind on rhythm guitar, and Iggy on base. We operate out of Bergen, arguably the Metal capital of Norway, and has our sights set on conquering the world… you know, as one does.
Our influences vary wildly, but Bowie, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, & Iggy Pop are probably my greatest idols, while Kiss, Foo Fighters, Guns ‘n Roses, Jimi Hendrix, and Rolling Stones are all well-represented in the bandmates’ record collections, along with tons of other acts, of course.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from
People we meet and life on the road is a constant source of inspiration. Telling stories (in various media) is a passion of mine, and stuff that I read or write sometimes spark ideas or directions for my contributions to our band’s music. But generally, life and the muses shape our work.
MM: What would you say is your Bands favourite song?
For me personally, it is probably “Dance with the Devil (Alcohol)”, as it’s rather personal to me, about my own struggles with the devil brew, you know? For the band as a whole, it might be “Blood is Black”, a hard rock tune about Jack the Ripper (some have compared it to Black Sabbath), which is probably our most-requested song to play live.
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2021
Yeah, the plague has been a downer, for sure, but we’re gearing up for a small, local tour this fall, and plan to hit the UK and Poland next year. But we’ll have to see what the plague doctors have to say about 2022. In any case, touring SHOULD be ramping up pretty soon.
MM: What can we expect from Leper Messiah live
A glamy, hard rock, and hardworking act giving it their all on stage. Performing isn’t just about playing the songs; you must deliver that special something that makes people feel and think and ruminate over what you present them. We’re not particularly into stage trappings and such, but rather delivers shows from the heart to the heart, if that makes sense?
MM: What do you like best and worst abt touring
It’s a cliché, I know, but it’s got to be meeting people and connecting with them through the music. Seeing that shy girl in the 4th row letting loose and releasing her wild abandon, or that big bloke in the front just lost in tears, completely enraptured with what’s going on up here… it is some very magical stuff, that. Touching peoples’ souls, you could say. And then you get to hang out with awesome folk after the gig, which is always sweet and sometimes rather intense. People are great!
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies
Oh, here’s the line-up:
L7 kicking it all off.
Then it’s us, hosting the thing, before we introduce the main act, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
After a long set by Nick & Co., it’s time for the special guest show, and out walks, or rather skips, Iggy Pop and his mates to punch you right in the gut.
That’d be my idea of the perfect tour.
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why
This is a band you’ve probably never heard of, but I saw the farewell tour of the Norwegian goth rock/alt-metal act Seigmen back in 1999 (sometimes compared to Tool), and that show just blew my mind! Very powerful stuff and they definitely quit while on top. They’ve done some short comebacks over the years, always brilliant, and they’d be another awesome band to tour with.
I also saw a Springsteen show back in 2008, and MAN were they TIGHT! Very impressive show and act, with the guys and galls having 100% command of the stage and control of the crowd. Awesome!
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with Leper Messiah
Building the RockFest thing from scratch and seeing it growing and growing every year, allowing us to invite great acts to come play with us, including some newcomer “baby acts” a couple of times that just tore the stage apart (figuratively). We’ve had so many good times with RockFest, met so many fantastic peoploids, and touched (again, figuratively) so many folks with our art. I can’t wait to experience the 2021 one we’re hosting in September!
MM: Which are your Two favourite Albums of all time
STATIONTOSTATION by David Bowie and Raw Power by Iggy and the Stooges.
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
Yes, I remember it well… I was doing some sort of vocal course thingy, which ended with a showcase concert where each student performer a few songs on stage. I was awfully nervous, but it went well enough. I doubt that anyone was moved to tears by seeing my performance that night, but it was good practice. The first gig Leper Messiah did as a band was actually pretty cool; a lot of stuff went wrong, with the cable being pulled out of an instrument at one point and I remember almost falling over in my big, glamy platform boots, but the gig was raw and fun and fabulous!
MM: Growing up, which Bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall.
Let me see… I had a Twisted Sister period at one point, and was also into Kiss & AC/DC, but my big musical awakening came with Gn’R and Appetite for Destruction.
MM - Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person
Robert Leroy Johnson.
MM - What's the most important thing to the band right now?
To get back into the swing of things after the 2019-2021 Age of Pestilence, to play some gigs and support our debut album, just spreading the music and love… and hopefully not the plague). *laughs*
MM: If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why?
We tend to add some covers to our shows, to break things up a little and show some love for the giants that came before us, so we do a fair bit of those. Lately, I’ve had a fascination for trad. gospel and it would be fun to do a rock rendition of “Old-Time Religion”, with some extra verses to build it all up into a dark, brooding pagan thing, or just a punk-rock version, or something. That’d be a lot of fun!
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to Leper Messiah
‘Cause you always need some new music in your life and we give it our all with substantial stories set to great, varied rock. With Leper Messiah, you won’t get songs that all sound exactly the same, but rather a diverse mix of rock genres and styles to fit the subject matter and message of individual tracks. Music with substance over consumer product hit-parades every time.
MM: Four words to describe Leper Messiah
Fun. Fervent. Hardworking. Honest.
Final Words for your fans and our readers
Thanks for having us on, Dave & Seb. And Fuck Cancer, indeed!
Peoploids can reach us on Facebook (don’t be shy – we rarely nibble), at: https://www.facebook.com/TheLeperMessiahBand
Our debut album – FELL CREATURES – is available on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7znRKVKPwbSzcACvatUJWV
Stay awesome and rock on!
-Vidar & Leper Messiah