pUnK rOcK SON FROM NORWAY

Trygve Mathiesen

SEX PISTOLS - Exiled to Oslo 1977 (Book)             Trygve Mathiesen in 1979       Trygve Mathiesen today             Sex Pistols - Exiled to Trondheim (Book)

 

Um zu diesem Interview den perfekten Einstieg zubekommen, sollte man sich evtl. vorab die Besprechungen zu diesen Buechern unter dem zweiten Review-Update von 2011 durchlesen.
Es war mir klar, dass ein Interview mit Trygve Mathiesen folgen musste. Denn solch eine Arbeit kann man einfach nicht genug wuerdigen.

 


What gave you the idea for writing a book only about one show?
Both my co-reseacher, Harry Nordskog, and I had allready read David Nolan's great book, ‘I Swear I Was There', about the two Sex Pistols gigs in Manchester '76. I knew that even if it sounded ambitious to write a whole book about just one show, it could also be a perfect frame for a substantial discussion about the whole estetique programme and the mentality behind punk and the Pistols. Besides, the two gigs they did in Norway in '77 was legendary enough to gain interest as they both have become institutionalized the last 30+ years.

How did you get in touch with all those people, who were at the shows?
We spread word about our project through papers, radio stations and facebook. Through facebook we were able to pin down a great amount of people by letting people tag faces they knew on pictures of the audience as we dug into it and found more and more photos.

How long did it take you to write (and research) for the books?
The Oslo book took almost a year, but the Trondheim book was done in four months.

What was the most difficult aspect of writing the books?
The most difficult aspect was that the gigs took place so long ago. The memories of the audience members seemed at first very distant, and coloured by the growing of myths connected to the gigs in all those years in between. I think we have to keep that in mind as we read the stories. But on the other side, a lot of these stories are rough, unsencored and does not necessary back up the myths either, and that is what makes both books credible and very autentic.

    Sex Pistols Press


What is it that you find so vibrant, interesting and compelling about the SEX PISTOLS?
The fact that the band is so visually, orally and audiowise present in their time, makes it easy to find significents and characteristics, which makes it more understanding and naturally that this confrontation had to take place at a given time in the history of popular culture. The band, with Johnny Rotten up front, is clearly showing his contempt to a lot of things, not only towards progressive rock, but also towards a society who's reproducing it's own culture of invisibillity by the way the British class system stands firm.

Do you know what the rest of the SEX PISTOLS think today about the books?
I've not been given any specific reactions from the band's members, myself, but others have told me Mr Rotten doesn't like people trying to profit on the band's name. But to me, these books are just as much documented history of the development of youth and popular culture in Norway, with the Pistols as catalysts.

What boths books make as so special ones, is the fact, that you get the opinions from a lot of unkown people, who were actually there. And of course all those great unpublished pictures.
So are any critics out? Do you read them? If so, have you been pleased with the responses to your books?

Of course I read them! The critics – from UK, US and Germany have been overwhelming, almost all the reviews have been from great to superb. Sid Vicious old flatmate, from the time right after the Scandinavian tour in '77, was exhilarated to read the Trondheim book. Yeah, the responses have of course made us happy, because it's also nice to be spreading stories of two gigs in Norway and it's local concequenses to the whole world.

How far do you have control over your books?
The publisher is a one-man company, and we are in dialogue on regular basis.

Now, that the books are published, do you know how many have sold? Is a second press in the pipeline?
I got no figures, and I would say that the books are selling as they get more and more great reviews.

   Pizza Pistols

 

Who are your favourite music writers? What is/are your music favourite book(s)? And why?
There are several, I love Simon Reynolds book about Postpunk 1978.84, Rip It Up and Start Again. I find his discussions and analyses very attractive. As goes for Roger Sabin too, who edited the book, Punk rock, so what?. Most important to me is probably Lyotards, The Postmodern Explained to Children, where he pins down the illusions of the '68-generation, to show that there is nothing behind Hegel's curtain! I think both people like Lyotard together with McLaren and Rotten is crucial in understanding that punk was totally different to the baby boom-generation's utopian dreams and lifestyle.

Are you also a record collector? If so, could you remember to make a real good bargain for a very rare SEX PISTOLS record, you were looking for years?
Even though I got a lot of vinyl, I never concider myself a record collector. But Harry's a big collector, especially of Pistols records. You got to ask him what records he's been dealing with.

Would you give me a shot, what´s going in today´s Norway punk scene? And bands or clubs you prefer or not prefer?
There's quite few different scenes in Oslo. The hardcore scene connected to Cafe Blitz and Hausmania is very nostalgic, and relate most of their activities back to the UK scene in the first half of the 80s. There is a vivid glam-punk scene down at Elm Street with a lot of good bands, there's a going indie scene ambulating between a few other venues, and besides that there are different scenes for all sub-genres. And of course we do get a lot of artists coming in from other countries. So I guess you can still hear the aftermath of punk and post-punk there.

Which record could I find in your CD-player or at your turn-table?
As I'm writing a book about the Norwegian Postpunk era these days, so I guess you will find a lot of records from 1980-85 on my turntable. I got to dive into the sound, feelings and mentality of the bands and scenes that I'm writing about. Bands like Holy Toy, White Lord Jesus, Babij Jar and Autentisk Film, to name a few. These represent the gloomy and monumental postpunk period of pre-1984 apocalyptic visions.

                    John + Sid


First record you ever bought yourselves? What did you grow up listening to?
My father bought me 'Plesant Valley Sunday' by the Monkees when I was six or seven. I grew up in a post-Beatles period in the 70s, with glam and prog rock, and had just reached 15 when punk and the Pistols came to Norway. That was a relief, and for the first time I felt connected to popular music in a direct and emotionally identified way.

What question would you like to be asked in interviews, but you are never asked? And what is your answer?
I tend to answer all the questions that I'm never asked in my books, and more!

In general, what do you see wrong with music today?
Well, that's a big question, I suppose one could write a whole book about that subject. But there's still produced a lot of great music, so why bother with all the shit?

Anything you would like to add?
2+2 is still 4, even after punk.

Thanks very very much, Trygve!!!

Interview: Ralf Real Shock (May 2011)

If you want more informations about the books, than go to this sites:
Humor & Lønnsomhet
The Book BANNED IN THE UK – Sex Pistols exiled to Oslo 1977