For those who visit the site on a regular basis, Dandylion no longer needs an introduction. For those of you who have yet to discover her wonderfully diverse music, Dandylion is the alias of Marianne Sveen, who is one quarter of Norwegian folk pop quartet, Katzenjammer. As the release date of the final part of her three piece project, Images Under Construction, draws near (16th October for all you eager music lovers), Marianne has taken some time out to answer a couple of questions regarding her music, and which also allow us to get to know her on a more personal level.
Hello Marianne, for those who do not know you, how would you sum yourself up in a couple of sentences?
I’m an educated nurse since 2006, but I have been a musician since I was born. Things that matter to me are generosity, kindness, understanding and respect.
Parts 1 and 2 of your Images Under Construction project are both very different, could you give us a brief description as to how you went about writing the music?
Images under construction is a result of all sides of my musicality that haven’t been nourished over the last years. It has always been very important to me to never decide what’s right or wrong in advance when it comes to art, or in life in general. So in combination with discovering that my voice is a massive tool, that ugly can be beautiful, and that there are no rules in how to write, arrange, record, produce or release music, Images Under Construction is the definition of freedom to me.
From your posts on various social media platforms, it seems that Part 3 will also be in a whole different direction, without giving too much away, could you give us a little insight into what we can expect?
A Roland Juno – 106, meets strings, meets drums, meets computers, meets el.guitar, meets me.
Do you think that the varying sounds of each part reflect your mood when they were written or were each of the styles premeditated?
The arying sounds reflect my musicality, without compromises.
From what I've read, you seem to record your music from home. Do you have total freedom as to the direction and production of your music and if so how does this feel?
I’m aiming at working as a producer full time when I grow up. This is something I have been aiming at for many years, and producing myself is a challenging, but great start. The feeling of making all the calls – exclusively – is something I cherish very deeply, and feel confident doing. In my opinion, there are too many artists that don’t involve themselves enough in their own music and go along with things that conflicts with the gutfeeling. That’s an unnegotinable condition for me.
How would you compare the way you work on the Dandylion project to the way you work with Katzenjammer?
This is a project where I can pour out my heart and soul. As 25 % of a band, it somewhat feels unnatural to include 3 other people in private emotions on stage. There’s also a democracy that leads to a lot of compromises, which is good, but sometimes also a bit frustrating. On the other hand, in Katzenjammer, we are four to take the rainy days. In Dandylion, if someone doesn’t like what I do, it’s my ass on the line.
Images Under Construction is a brilliant demonstration of your talents, is this a one off project or do you see yourself making more music under the Dandylion alias in the future?
I will probably do projects as both Dandylion and Marianne Sveen. What I like with the concept of Dandylion is the openness and the opertunities that lie in the name. I think people tend to get more established expectations to a persons name as an artist. And to me, Dandylion is more than a solo career. It’s a whole universe of opertunities.
What are your fondest memories of making this project?
The work in progress-process. The feeling of accomplishing something that timewise and physically shouldn’t have been possible. The power of what music means to me. It’s overwhelming.
Looking back over the project what is your favourite song?
"The Monster" and "Help Me Forbid"
Katzenjammer's live shows are like a giant circus party, how would you describe your shows as Dandylion?
I include the audience as much as I can, but without the main focus on entertainment. I was told after the last release by people that the show was more personal, but still not private.
Supporting Katzenjammer would be a good way of getting your music heard by larger crowds, is this something you have considered or even done, or would it be too energy consuming?
I’m trying to separate the two as much as possible, considering it’s two very different projects. I’m proud of what I have accomplished in Katzenjammer, but it’s important that people get to experience Dandylion for what it is. It would also probably mess up the idea of trying to maintain the equalness in the band, which is very important to us.
Right, I'm hoping to get some inside information from you here. Sol recently released an outstanding cover of SBTRKT's "Hold On", can we expect anymore side projects from the Katzenjammer girls?
Probably, but I haven’t heard anything about it yet.
A question I can't help but wonder when a member of a band has a side project is what would happen if the side project became bigger than the artist's actual band? What would happen if this happened to you?
Funny you ask. It sort of did already. Katzenjammer was my sideproject when I joined them, and Dandylion my actual band. It would be silly of me not to ride with it when it took off. It has been amazing. But it was very hard to put my main project, that I had worked with my whole life, on ice. Taking it back into the light again isn’t really just for fun, it’s pure necessity.
What advice would you give to a young artist hoping to break into today's music business?
If you have a gut feeling, go with it.
Finally, as is custom at the Real Music.net, what are your top 5 favourite albums of all time?
Scratch My Back – Peter Gabriel
Magical Mystery Tour – The Beatles
In Rainbows – Radiohead
Kid A – Radiohead
Led Zeppelin III – Led Zeppelin
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I would like to thank the lovely Marianne Sveen for taking the time to answer these questions. You can find her music on iTunes, on Spotify or if you are lucky enough to attend a Katzenjammer gig, you just may be able to buy it from her in person.
F. Declercq 25/07/12