Metal Wani’s Editor In Chief Owais ‘Vitek’ Nabi recently had a chat with Lasse Hoile as he discusses his journey from last 2 decades. He discusses working with Steven Wilson, Opeth, Dream Theater, Blackfield and much more. He throws light on live visuals, CD Covers, Artwork and much more.
Here are a few excerpts:
Lasse: Well, me and Steven Wilson for instance, when we work together, we get together and we talk about his ideas and meaning behind it. We discuss the lyrics and theme for an album and I take it from there, build from there and do my own kind of thing. I end up making 5000 pictures (laughs) and Steven chooses them and selects those which are closer to his vision. It’s a nice collaborative effort. We build upon each others ideas. I mean we have always had the same kind of thing for movies, music and stuff. We don’t do it to make it weird, don’t want to make a fucked up thing. It’s natural process. Steve’s music is very beautiful, big so we want to make a darker stuff quiet different from general approach.
On Insurgentes, I was blown away particularly for its bizarre beauty, complexity, and uniqueness. The book containing 120 pages of Lasse’s photography and visual stimuli to capture the mood, feel and atmosphere of the entire work throughout the album’s run-time. Whose idea was that?
Lasse: I always wanted to do a book (laughs). I always wanted to do a road movie with Steven. So we had been talking about for long time and since this was his first real solo album, he wanted to do something special. So we got to make a book/film on it. These visuals are more like a road trip. It was a bit different then what we have done earlier.
Your work contains a lot of darkness, fear, melancholy. All of these emotions and expressions are vivid in the use of colors, contrasts, and final visuals. Still, you maintain sort of a classical feeling. Can you tell us more about the way you combine these two?
Lasse: I don’t know (laughs). It depends on how one looks at it. I am happy that you noticed that, I am really inspired by old renaissance painting. I don’t really follow anything contemporary. I don’t think you can ask an artist what they follow these days because they don’t have time. We have observed lot of stuff which we have seen before and then there is stuff on which we don’t know where to look at. I find my inspiration from old masters paintings which I find incredibly beautiful. I like colors which creates a world, an atmosphere. I always wanted to paint but never could. I will do in future (laughs). The inspiration is within rather than the surroundings here in Denmark. I have been lucky that I have been traveling even though its work related. You meet lot of people and it inspires a lot.
I feel you and Steven Wilson have one thing in common and that is the way you guys think out of the box. Steven’s music complements your artistic skills. Have you both ever argued over certain aspects which one of you didn’t like or didn’t agree to? And how do you usually get through these?
Lasse: Steven always gets his way, not I (laughs). It’s nice to be able to mutually understand each other. There is a mutual artistic bond between us. If I don’t like something then Steve accepts it and doesn’t look into it and when he doesn’t like something he clearly tells me: “Lasse, I don’t think its good enough”. So we get together and take it to a different level. We keep pushing ourselves and it’s important.
With Blackfield, Opeth & Dream Theater you took the complete creative control of their live DVD. The way you came up with layering and vividness of winding photographs inside of photographs. Also with Opeth, how different was it compared to how you do with Steven since it’s not a progressive oriented music?
Lasse: Steven Wilson is a very hands-on guy. He knows what he wants, he’s got some song visual ideas and I do them and expand them based on his idea. Working with Opeth, Dream Theater is like “do whatever you wanna do” kind of thing (laughs) which is basically hard. Sometimes you want a little guy with you, who can make it easy for you (laughs) but working alone is hard and it’s challenging. They are not concerned about it in a way Steve is, since he prefers everything to be precise. It’s floaty, a bit more psychedelic. With Steven, it’s more cinematic because we love films. Regarding the comparison, I think you should ask them (laughs). I can only see it from a fan perspective. They are pretty similar, they have a good nag of coming up with catchy bloody riffs, tunes and great lyrics. Mikael Akerfeldt is not really into the visuals, Opeth is not concerned about visuals. But Steven is always from the start is always about visual. He has a good visual sense. With Mikael, it’s all about album covers, covers from the 70’s are amazing and that’s what he wants. Dream Theater is not concerned about the live visuals as well. I think a lot more bands should do that.
Listen To the Entire Audio Interview Above