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Interview by Kris Griffiths

Named after the mythical forest in Tolkien’s ‘Lothlorien’, this three-piece comprises an Italian, an Icelander and an Englishman. After entering the studio with producer Mike Hedges (U2/Manics) and manager Stevo (Soft Cell), their recently released debut album UNDER THE WAVES has created quite a ripple in the musical press: ‘Intelligent, angular alt-rock’ (Making Music), ‘Lullabies of delicate delight’ ([London’s] Evening Standard) and ‘Beguilingly beautiful’ (NME), who go on to name Lorien as a new band you must hear in 2002. With the first two singles SHIVERING SUN and GHOSTLOST accruing further acclaim, the band have since been added to the Q Magazine tour alongside Alfie and Ed Harcourt. PHASE9 caught up with them for a brief ten minute exchange before the opening night at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London.

Ok, which of you is the ‘good-looking’ one that my press notes keep mentioning?

EINAR: That’ll be me. It’s absolute crap, all of it.

Which radio stations have been playing your singles in the UK?

CARLO: Mainly XFM and [BBC] Radio One.

Do you have any particular favourite tracks off the album?

CARLO: For me it’s ALL TIME. I like all of them but ALL TIME is right up there.

EINAR: Its hard to say. The songs have been with us for such a long time so it’s hard to pick out anything that you like above any others. If I had to pick one it would probably be OCTOPUS.

Certain music journalists have likened your album to parts of Radiohead’s back catalogue. Do you agree with this and do you like the band?

(General agreement to both questions)

Do you think your soft style of music could get any heavier in the future?

EINAR: That’s a difficult one really. At the moment we don’t know which direction we are going to follow musically. We’re just going to see how things progress naturally.

What do you reckon you’d all be doing had you not met up with each other and formed Lorien?

EINAR: Probably working in a pub or something. No, we would all be doing the same thing, just making music in some shape or form.

CARLO: I went to the London College of Music so that’s what I would have been doing. Whether it would be working in a studio capacity, engineering, producing or writing… anything involved in music.

EINAR: The main reason I came to London is because there are so many opportunities for musicians over here compared to a country like Iceland.

Do you plan to tour around Europe at all?

EINAR: We’ve got Germany coming up at the end of May, but after that there are so many ‘ifs’ as to what we’re going to do next.

What’s been your best gig so far in this tour?

CARLO: Last night in Cardiff, Wales. There was just a good sound and a good feeling. Then we went back to the hotel and had a nice early night in preparation for tonight.

EINAR: At the moment it’s nice to be playing venues like tonight’s and last night’s because we spent most of last summer playing the ‘toilet’ venues.

Are you looking forward to tonight?

CARLO: Yeah, this place has a great sound. We’re massive Empire fans.

EiINAR: Yeah, I think we’ll be feeling a bit more relaxed after the soundcheck.

Ok, we’ll leave it at that then.

PHASE9 would like to thank Lorien for taking the time to talk to us.