mAncient Exclusive Interview
When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
It was in 2018. After a long career in various areas: social work (since I was 17), marketing/sales and computers, I decided to follow my passion. Music has been the foundation of all the work I have done with disadvantaged youth. It has been a way to connect, to heal, and to soothe. So, that was where I needed to go.
Who are your musical inspirations and why?
I have many sources of inspirations and few idols. Among the latter are Prince, because he was such a creative force in everything he did; David Bowie, because he was a unique and gifted artist (he turned even his death into a performance) and the artist collective Bliss. And, finally, Bobby McFerrin. The best vocalist I have seen in concert, up there with Pavarotti.
Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
I became a healer at the age of three, stopping blood. I love singing, and am blessed with 105.000 followers on the StarMaker app. I walk barefoot in the winter - it's a monks thing.
What song of yours best describes you and why?
It must be my latest release on Spotify: Unity. Because that is what I wish for the world.
What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?
Singing in front of 120 fourth graders during my bachelor study in Child Welfare was awesome. But, I guess the concert I had on the StarMaker app - 1400 people at peak - was most fun. I couldn't sing at the hotel, so I was walking around a gas station, belting out worship and various covers. Can you say "please don't let me lose my connection now"? Being a part of the Jesus Christ Superstar-artists in Norway was also a gig I treasure - the audience were ecstatic.
If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
So many places I would love to perform my electronica music. One venue that is high on my list is Burning Man. And ... the gatherings of MindValley!
What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?
My best achievement? My three kids: Anna, Isak & Aleksander. What I would like to achieve? My dream is to heal the world, one tune, one person at a time. To heal the divide between rich and poor, male and female, black and white ...
Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
Sorry. A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell. Neither does a monk - which I haven't been always.
What do you like best about being a musician and why?
Music is life. Music is passion. Music is sharing what is most beautiful, transforming emotions dark and light into joy. Music is bliss. Being able to share my love of music is the best part of being a musician. Dealing with A&R-s, "agents" who are out to fleece you, "managers" who don't know what they are doing - that is the worst.
If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?
Well, since I am a healer, a minister, an artist and an entrepreneur, I do have some things to choose between.
What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?
There has been so many. The Clash - when London Calling started up - was totally amazing. Depeche Mode ... I had to wring my T-shirt afterwards, I was dancing so hard. But the moment that comes to mind firstmost was Peter Gabriel in a solo concert. He came down the stairs, one spot on him, carrying a big-a** drum, beating out a simple, booming 4-beat. Face painted white. His whole band followed him, and all the light except the one spot was out... Magic. I believe his first song after the opening act was Shock the Monkey.
But also, Swedish House Mafia's concert in Oslo - their "farewell-tour2. When "Don't you worry, child" started up ... wow.
What would your ideal festival line up be and why?
That is a difficult question! There are so many great artist I would love to hear. Toyah Wilcox, Deadmau5, U2, Hillsong Worship, Bethel, Mei-Ian, BST, Kari Jobe, Billie Eilish, ... the list goes on.
What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
"There is no 'try'".
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
Bureaucrats annoy me beyond measure. All those who put the survival of the system they serve before the individuals they are supposed to serve. Creating, singing, being with my dog Trollheads Nessi, healing, training martial arts (I am designing my own form, and my best sparring partner is my dog - she is a Malinois K9, a rescue) makes me happy. And good conversations!
What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
Good movies on Netflix & Disney+ (Starwars!), training my dog, reading up on psychology, philosophy and self-help, helping to promote other artists ...
Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?
Yes and no. When SoMe becomes more important than the music, when you get so obsessed with "I must increase my reach!", they are not good. When they are for used for connecting with fans - fire!
How important do you think you look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
Honestly? I don't care. I am what I am - a musician monk healer pilgrim that does not have sex, and that walks his own path.
Can you tell us about any tattoos you have and the significance of them to you?
I have a tattoo in the back of my head. Found a tribal image in the best tattoo shop in Lillestrøm (Odins Merke) and went for it. After it was done, I remembered that I ought to check out what it meant. Wouldn't want to walk around with "White Power", a satanic symbol or likewise. Did a lot of searching, but I could not find it anywhere. I call it "Poison Pen" - I can be a bit ... abrasive when I meet hecklers and spammers.
If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why?
I would let all bureaucrats and politicians live the life of poor artists, the unemployed, the disabled, the voiceless young and the old. But not for a day. For a month. Then, they could have their jobs back, and change would come like magick. Why? Because we have let greed become our prime motivator, because our society is sick, and it is time for change.
What would your ideal day consist of?
I am living it. I get up when I want (usually, after 4 1/2 hours of sleep) then I walk my dog, do some marketing on my main platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Insta & Face), sing on Smule & StarMaker (mAncient both apps), perhaps I write a tune, do some healing ...
What has been your experience during the Covid 19 situations. Can you tell us how this has affected you personally, how it has affected you professionally and maybe a story from this time or a message for people out there?
I am an empath. So, I feel the tension, the fear and the pain of this strange situation. Though I don't worry about getting Covid-19 myself - I have a healthy immune system, and haven't been sick for three years or so - I don't want it because I don't want to infect others. Professionally, it has made a huge impact. I was supposed to travel with The Extreme Tour (Idaho, late August), but because of the situation it didn't pan out.
I don't really have a "story" but I have a suggestion: please consider what is most dangerous to you and your society: a virus with low mortality in the below-70-population, or the fear and pain of social isolation? And then - reach out to someone who is afraid.
If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
Thank you, love you all!
How would you answer the question ..... Who is mAncient and what are the differences between you as a music artist and you away from music?
mAncient is a 54 years Norwegian viking monk who creates electronica on his iPhones & iPads. Away from music, he is nothing.
What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
I'd rather tell you what the first song I remember hearing was ... "My Sweet Lord" with "Here Comes the Sun" on the other side. Why? Because telling you that the first LP I bought was by "Baccara" ("Sorry I'm a Lady") is embarrassing. I still can't stomach their music.
What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
"I never promised you a rose garden" - but you will live an interesting life. Just stay away from nose-candy, big blunts & synthetics, and live to tell the tale.
I would also say "Be prepared for frustration". Just a simple thing like DRM. I am testing out Cross DJ for DJ-ing, as an alternative to Djay Pro, and not being able to play my own songs from Spotify & Apple Music ... wow.
If you could collaborate with any other band/singer or musician who would you choose and why?
I would love to sing with Bono. And Coldplay. And Chainsmokers. Because I love their music. And - to sing the songs of Hillsong, Bethel and so many of the other. Mei-Ian has become a recent favourite, too. She is lit!
When it comes to electronica: Robert Miles is one of the true greats. Among many others. Andy Rozz is someone I like for his positive vibe.
If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?
Ah. That is a sweet questions. I could've taken the safe path and said "Imagine", but I would rather say "The Blessing" (Kari Jobe/Cody Carnes).
And ... "Concrete Angel" by Martina McBride. If people ask me why I have spent 22 years in social work with children, this song is a better answer than any words I can say.
What things make you uncomfortable?
Lust. I am a celibate monk, and quite sensitive.
If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
A story that would land it in the "Urban Fantasy"-shelf.
What has the rest of the year got in store for you?
Music. Healing. My dog. Maybe I will stay a monk. Maybe not. Hopefully, a lot of travelling.
I am @mancient_com on Instagram and Twitter.