Introducing – I SEE RIVERS
After seeing Norwegian trio I SEE RIVERS play at Bold Street Coffee, their beautiful melodies and harmonies left us with no choice but to hunt them down for an interview. We sat down with Eline, Gøril and Lill, all three LIPA students here in Liverpool, and asked them everything you would want to know about the new band in your life.
So I was looking for some information on you guys and I couldn’t find a lot, when did you guys start?
Lill: Two years ago, almost exactly actually.
How did you guys get together?
Lill: We met through uni. We were friends before we became a band. We became friends pretty early on after we moved here, and then formed a band around March, two years ago.
Eline: These two actually had a duo, and I had seen them perform a couple of times and I thought they were pretty cool so we just started hanging out more and they asked me if I wanted to join.
So who does what in the band?
Lill: Well we all sing, the band is very harmony based. Gøril plays the acoustic guitar,the electric guitar and some percussions.
Gøril: And the ukelele bass! We’ve just bought it and we’re very proud of it.
Lill: Eline plays the synth, the keyboard and does some really cool percussion stuff too. And the glockenspiel. I play the acoustic guitar and do some weird stuff with the electric guitar and I play the floor tom.
And when you write songs, who does what then?
Eline: We almost write everything together, as a group. It just always kind of happens that way.
Your band name is very interesting, where does it come from?
Lill: It’s not a very interesting story really. It’s very random. We really struggled to find a name and the Gøril kind of had a brainwave thing. First it was icy, as in ice on the river.
That’s what I thought when I first heard the name…
Lill: It’s only been recently that people have been saying, “Oh that’s clever.”
Eline: People will say that’s such a good play on words and we will be like; “Yup, we totally did that on purpose.”
Gøril: That’s kind of how it happened to, I said “icy” and Lill said “rivers” and it was only when we were writing it down it became something different.
When you guys write songs together, what is the writing process like?
Lill: Well usually someone has an idea, maybe a chorus or a melody and then we just kind of get on board with the idea and go further together. But Gøril and I have started jamming, and her and Eline and that’s kind of something new we’re trying.
Where do you get your inspiration for your songs from?
Gøril: Our lives. Usually it’s just from our lives, sometimes it’s from things like films or TV series.
Lill: And I think nature is like a main theme, we probably have something about nature in every song but I think that’s more of a coincidence than anything really.
Gøril: And because we’re from Norway and usually surrounded by nature.
So what kind of artist inspire you? Music wise or lyric wise?
Lill: Sufjan Stevens.
Eline: He’s so good! And Fleet Foxes!
Lill: They have really really good harmonies. I think most of our musical influences are from outside of Norway. Because the music scene there is very small and tight knit. There is some really interesting stuff happening there too of course, especially when you go outside of the mainstream there’s a lot of interesting experimental music. All of scandinavia really.
And performance wise?
Eline: I think Feist is really cool.
Lill: Yeah, she is really good. She is so chill all of the time. She is such a good instrumentalist and such a good vocalist and then she is so chill and sexy in a non sexy way. I also really like it when you can tell that the band have a really good connection. We saw Nathaniel Rateliff and because there was such a good connection with the band it made the performance really fun and good.
Eline: And he was very relaxed and chill too.
Lill: Yeah, very! They lost power at one point and and he just kind of joked about it and kept going.
Gøril: I think we just really like chilled people. People that look chill and confident on stage but they’re having fun as well and they’re communicating well with the people in the band and they’re still engaging.
Eline: Yeah, that’s so important! It’s so sad to be at a concert and just not feel like you’re a part of what’s going on on stage.
Lill: I think that’s something that’s really good about Clean Cut Kid because they’re just so good and so fun to watch!
So what performance that you’ve seen is your favorite?
Eline: Hmmm. You ask difficult questions!
Gøril: We went to see The Staves when they were in Liverpool and that was really good!! They’re so pitch perfect.
Eline: Yeah, because their vocals and their harmonies are so complicated and it’s so difficult to get that right, if we tried it would be so hard but they didn’t sing anything out of tune!
I have another difficult question for you, lyric wise. Do you have a favourite lyric, that you have written or from somebody else?
Lill: I’m going to have to think that through for a bit.
Eline: Wow there are so many…
Gøril: I would like to say Bon Iver but I wouldn’t know how to choose a song.
Eline: Okay this is maybe not the “best” lyric but I really appreciate a Norwegian artist’s lyrics. Her name is Susanne Sundfør and I just like everything. The whole album is just so good.
Gøril: Eventhough I don’t know what she means with all of her lyrics I just make up my own story.
Eline: Yes and that’s why she is so good!
Gøril: I like when it’s not too personal from the artist’s perspective and you can just make up your own story…
Lill: I feel so guilty because I have so many to choose from and if I don’t pick one I feel bad but then I also want to pick the other. Okay. It’s a bit romantic, but it’s from Björk’s latest album and she starts the song by singing; “We are each other’s hemisphere” and I think that’s very poetic and beautiful, it just paints a picture in my head when I hear it.
So when you write, do you prefer to write in Norwegian or English?
Eline: We haven’t tried Norwegian.
Gøril: We speak in such different dialects, so we would love to try but if we did harmonies it would sound weird. So if we sang the same word at the same time it would just sound like three different words. So we have been thinking about it, but it’s just so hard because we can’t sing words together.
What has been your favourite gig that you’ve played so far?
Eline: It’s a festival in northern Norway and it’s on an island, so you have to take the boat for three hours to get there. It’s a small island but there are so many people there for the festival. It was just such a nice experience and you just have the nicest view in the world when you’re on stage.
Lill: And the food that they serve there is all Norwegian food!
Gøril: And they do a concert there that’s in a cave.
Eline: People come from all over the world for that festival, it’s just so nice.
So was that your dream gig or are there any other places you would want to play in your life?
Gøril: All of the nature festivals.
Lill: Yeah, just concerts and festivals like that, that would be perfect. It’s really nice to play outside, with the view and the nature and everything.
Eline: We found a really cool spot in Nottingham, at a castle. It’s not big and it’s not a venue but that would be cool.
Lill: I would actually really like to play a really cool festival in Oslo, it’s called Picnic in the Park. It would just be cool to play a festival in my home town.
Gøril: And be outside at the same time!
Are there any other countries you would like to visit?
Eline: Japan! I would really want to go there and tour. And I want to go to France.
Lill: I really want to go to Lille, just because the city has the same name as me. I just think that would be cool.
Speaking of touring are there any artists you would want to tour with?
All: Sufjan Stevens!!!
Eline: (laughing) Sufjan if you’re reading this..
Gøril: If you’re there, please…
Lill: But yeah that would be the dream tour!
Eline: In Japan!
Gøril: Just an Asia tour with Sufjan Stevens, that would be the dream!
So who would you want to collaborate with?
All: (laughing) SUFJAN!
Lill: Actually, Justin Vernon, from Bon Iver, he produced this album in the States and that collaboration worked out really well. Because he is a little bit far out there but also still a little bit in the middle, music wise, so it would be cool to have someone like that to work with.
Eline: (Laughing) Like Sufjan Stevens! Or Patrick Watson. Or Björk.
Gøril: She can produce our album if she wants to.
Eline: Or marry me me!
You mentioned an album, are there any releases in the near future?
Lill: We kind of had a revelation a few weeks back. Because we have been thinking that we don’t want to release anything soon. Just because we really want to spend a lot of time on it, maybe go somewhere and just work on it, because we just don’t have the time now.
Eline: We’ve just been doing some demos, and it would be nice to start recording this summer and see where we end up. But we have no plans, we’re not trying to rush to come out with a new single.
Do you have any touring plans ?
Lill: This is actually really exciting, because we’ve been asked to do a support tour in March and April with Newton Faulkner.
Gøril: It’s super duper exciting!
Eline: We get to go all over the UK, it’s going to be amazing!
Gøril: So we’re going to tour with him from the end of March to the 23rd of April! And it’s starting in the Albert Hall in Manchester, so it’s quite big venues.
Eline: It’s really really exciting. A little bit too exciting..
As a last question, what is the dream for you as a band, what do you dream of achieving?
Gøril: I think just being able to live off making music, to work with nice and great people, being able to record and tour and earn enough money from doing that.
Lill: And being able to do that together!