Interview, Music

‘Hur fort ska man gå?’, a masterpiece by Hey Gloria

Photo: Juliane Schütz

And this August is really becoming a month of Hey Gloria – last Friday the band released the new brilliant single ‘Hur Fort’, today the debut album ‘Hur fort ska man gå?’ out on streaming services and next week Hey Gloria will play at Pstereo 2023 and on the same day 18.08 the album will be released as vinyl LP, in edition that is a masterpiece in itself – LTD 180G Red & Silver mixed vinyl (500 copies only), signed by the band. With a bonus 7″ single and more than artistic album cover design with artwork by Øystein Tømmerås.

The band, in its spirit, has been often compared to The Velvet Underground. But with its creative energy, its very own experimental sound, true rawness of underground and sincere and strong lyrics, Hey Gloria itself is a band to be compared to which is a great compliment and honor

Read the interview with Kristin Wensel Ellingsen and Linnea Jansson of Hey Gloria talking about recording of the album, their personal music favourites, Pstereo 2023 and more live concerts coming this fall

Why did you decide to release your debut album now?

Kristin Wensel Ellingsen: It is always special with a premiere and the arrival of autumn, to enjoy the brilliance of all that has ripened and radiate creativity to the world.

Because of the delay in vinyl productions CGR also chose to hold back the digital release of the album until the vinyl was ready. And now we are absolutely thrilled to be back on stage and performing the album live for our fans and to new audiences.

There are 9 songs on the album. Some of these were previously released as singles – ‘En Kåt Sekund’ and ‘Syndarna’ in 2019, ‘Mina Tjejer’ in 2020 and ‘Hur Fort’ last week. What could you tell me about the other ones?

Kristin Wensel Ellingsen: Some of the songs for the album the band composed while on the road in between gigs in Sweden and Norway back in 2017-2018. Others were spontaneously written and recorded on the fly under our studio session in Tromsø.

Käften Full Av Sten is a title I came up with after a day on the beach with my (then) two year old son. He put a huge amount of small rocks in his mouth and there was no way to stop him, he was like a little rock ́n roll rebel. It just had to be a song! I recorded the guitars and beats on a 4-track cassette machine, Linnea put lyrics and vocals to it and the rest of the band overdubbed their parts. This was done after the main sessions in Tromsø and I just love the way it turned out with the crazy guitar solo played by Nicolas.

Linnea Jansson: ‘Skuggor och Figurer’ –  Me, Kristin and Håkon wrote it in Kysten Studio. I really love to sing that tune – because it’s so fragile. And we were so focused and present while recording it. It’s slow and calm and it’s nice to stay in that atmosphere and not to overdo it.

Rock n råll hjärta – That is a pure love song. To a person I really liked at that time and also just to the genre rock n roll itself. I love the guitars and the drums in it. For me it is a bit naive, sounds simple and rocky.

Det luktar pengar – For me it’s like the soundtrack from where I’m from – the forests of Värmland. The neverending roads and searching after a path. Whenever we drove by the town Grums my father said – ”Det luktar pengar” while passing by a big factory. I recorded it in my studio and then Nicolas, Jonathan and Håkon recorded beautifully on their instruments.

Dina Ögon – It’s a song about a bad love. And to hold on to something you know ain’t going to work and last.

Question to Linnea Jansson: You say “‘Hur fort ska man gå?’ är ett album om vägen till gemenskapens rus, begär och om sågen i hjärtat.” Could you comment on this a bit?

Linnea Jansson: Some of the songs are autobiographies or songs that depict society and the way I/we live. To long for love and never get satisfied in a way, keep on searching and finding different ways to interact with life that gives me energy. Sågen i hjärtat is how it physically can feel being heartbroken and too desperate to want someone you can’t have, and it’s a metaphor about taking the shortcut into a person. Trying to hit the center to a person to really make the person understand what you want. Without facades only naked truth.

‘En Kåt Sekund’ and ‘Mina Tjejer’ were released via Fysisk Format. But the latest single ‘Hur Fort’ and the debut album – via CGR. What is the reason for this?

The contract with Fysisk Format ended and we are really happy to work with Torgeir. He is fantastic and we have good communication with him. It’s nice to have the label in Trondheim because that is the place we root from.

‘Hur fort ska man gå?’ was recorded at Kysten Studio in Tromsø with Kristin Wensel Ellingsen as sound engineer and producer. Why did you choose this studio? And could you tell me a bit about the album recording?

Kristin Wensel Ellingsen: I live in Tromsø and work at Kysten Studio as a sound engineer, so the choice of studio came very easy. Hey Gloria is the kind of band that gets our creative energy from being spontaneous. When writing a song it’s often improvised and to obtain that certain energy from that particular moment we sometimes really do need to work fast and to be in the present, otherwise the magic is gone.

It was important to me that this record was emotionally vibrant and to remain and stay true to our sonic signature. You know how much time you have to work on a record, and if the stars align and you’re on a roll, then that’s fantastic. I set up the situation where the atmosphere was there for the performances to represent themselves, and I was recording us all playing live together.

With me as engineer and producer, I think it gave us creative control and the freedom and opportunity to literally do whatever we wanted in our sessions. Nicolas Leirtrø joined the band after these sessions, so he contributed afterwards with amazing guitar overdubs on several songs (Mina Tjejer, Käften full av sten, Det luktar pengar, Dina ögon).

You are often compared to The Velvet Underground. What do you think about it? And who are your sources of inspiration and personal favourites?

Kristin Wensel Ellingsen: How can anyone not be influenced by VU, they were pioneers in almost everything. And Moe Tucker, she is truly an epic drummer. 

I have a soft spot for alternative rock that emerged from the independent music underground in the 70’s and 80’s New wave, psychedelic avant-garde, folk music and just about any artist or band in any genre that has a true expression of themself. Favorites right now are Mazzy Star, Mari Boine,The Replacements, Arthur Russell, Joni Mitchell, Big Thief.

Linnea Jansson: Some Scandinavian bands that I really love to listen to are Mattias Alkberg, Pascal, De Underjordiske, Black Moon Circle. I feel their sound is an inspiration for me in Hey Gloria.

Sinéad O’Connor is the person I listen to nowadays. But overall great singers with fire and attitude are my favorite. Mercedes Sosa, Marie Fredriksson, Gwen Stefani and Lauryn Hill. Listening and imitating them was the way I learned how to sing.

Do you already have any ideas for new songs that could become the basis for the next album?

Yes, we have lots of sketches and demos and will continue to write new songs in between gigs.

You are playing at Pstereo 2023. What are your thoughts on this?

Linnea Jansson: We are very excited and looking forward to it a lot! I’ve never been there just as a volunteer once building up the stages with the stage crew – which was superfun. So it will be fun to take part in the festival this time.

It will also be concerts 19.08 at Enskede Bryggeri, Stockholm, 01.09 at Vaterland, Oslo and 02.09 at Skeppet, Göteborg. Are you planning more dates?

Yes, we will also play during fall at Bastard in Tromsø and then Trondheim at Moskus. And of course we would like to play even more!!

Hey Gloria
Linnea Jansson: Vocals/synth
Kristin Wensel Ellingsen: Lap steel/guitar/beats
Håkon Kvam: Drums
Jonathan Fimland Kleven: Bass
Nicolas Leirtrø: Baritone guitar

‘Hur fort ska man gå?’
Recorded and produced by Kristin Wensel Ellingsen at Kysten Studio, Tromsø
Mix: Pål Brekkås, Brygga Studio
Mix track 2, 7 & 8: Magnus Kofoed
Mix ‘Att känna nåt igen’: Eirik Øien
Mastering: Magnus Kofoed

Listen to the album on your preferred streaming service:

Vinyl pre-order:

Artwork: Øystein Tømmerås ‘T-banen’ oil on canvas, Galleri Haaken 2007. Art direction: Håvard Gjelseth