Roy Einar Dreng & Friends​

Interview for :Pan

Pan Winyl: Why did you make this record?

Roy-Einar Dreng: I made this record because I wanted to make a statement.

Pan Winyl: What is the statement?

Roy-Einar Dreng: AWARENESS contains songs about my concern for the earth and how she is treated. About abuse of the wildlife, environment and the greed of the human being Take your time and listen to the lyrics. It might be you get some inspiration to do something for the environment and human beings.

Pan Winyl: Who did you make it for?

Roy-Einar Dreng: I made it for the people living in this world.
For people smart enough to care made it for myself as well. This album is my contribution to help out against all the bad things happening in this world and do it the best way I can, through my music.

Pan Winyl: What will the listener get out of it? So what good things came to him/her during/after listening to the album?

Roy-Einar Dreng: That is up to the listener, actually. I hope they take their time listening to the lyrics and then make up their mind. Hopefully, they will take notice of what I have to say.

Pan Winyl: Why is it worth listening to?

Roy-Einar Dreng: I tell the truth. I don’t hide things. We need to see things how they are and start to act. This is love songs. It’s not typical love songs, man to woman, but love songs for the earth, the environment, and human beings. Protest songs too. And if you don’t understand what I’m singing, listen to the way I sing, and it is excellent melodies. It might be worth listening to the tunes and the musicians. There is real acoustic music on this album and a variety of styles, actually.
  The melodies on this album are a swampy, ragged mix, and you can” taste” the blues, the Latino, the dead man’s waltz. Even the small village church is present in the music.

Pan Winyl: The process of creation, did you do it yourself or did you collaborate with someone, how was the work going, and how long did it take? How much money did it cost you?

Roy-Einar Dreng: All the lyrics and melodies are mine. I arrived at the studio with 12 -14 songs that I wrote and carefully picked ( from about 50 songs)for this album. The melodies I make during or after writing the lyrics. At the rehearsal, I sit down with the musicians and play my songs, and they add their parts out of tempo and feeling. It is all about feelings and rhythm, and I don’t interrupt or interfere with the musicians’ creativity. We play through the songs several times until we get the right groove. This transforming process is exciting, and the musicians add their spirit, emotion, and creativity to every song.

The recording sessions for this album were live. Shorty explained. We had microphones set up, and every song was played 3 -4 times, and we just picked the best version from every musician.
 The producer did no cutting or overdubs on this record. There was no autotuning.
I wanted it to be a raw live sound of real instruments played by real musicians.
That is not a common way of recording these days. We added only the organ and piano straight into the mixing board.

I’m not sure how long time we used this recording because of the covid situation, and we had to be on and of for an extended period. I was fortunate with the studio Vestfold Lydstudio and the amazing Oddvar Myklebust, so he was ready whenever the possibility of recording and mixing was possible. The whole period was from May until October/November. About the costs, I can’t comment.

Pan Winyl: What are the threads you talk about?

Roy-Einar Dreng: Human rights, environment, and how we treat our mother earth. The corrupt political systems all over the world. One of the threads is also that I don’t like indifference. That is dangerous.

Pan Winyl: Is it storytelling or maybe your own stories, experiences, emotions, feelings?

Roy-Einar Dreng: There is a combination of everything, but the truth is the basic.
Things I write about are actually happening. I have to put them into songs and give them character.
You know, like you do in a movie or a theater play. A book of crime or around the fire telling stories.

Pan Winyl: What is the most important about this album?

Roy-Einar Dreng: To make people aware of what is happening in this world.
I could have written love stories, but why? To please the common man? Not this time.
I needed to do this album. It’s dark, and we live in the darkest hour.  For those who are still sleeping, wake up.

Pan Winyl: Which numbers do you consider the most successful and the weakest, why?

Roy-Einar Dreng: If you mean the songs on the record, I would say it changes every time I listen or play them. They have all different characters. I won’t favorise any particular song.
They are picked special for this album. The listener can favor but not me. They are my children.

Pan Winyl: What kind of # would you assign to LP?

Roy-Einar Dreng: For the album? No idea. I know nothing about hashtags.

Pan Winyl: Is there a motto, a quote from someone you consider an authority, not necessarily a musical one, that would reflect what you wanted to say with this album?

Roy-Einar Dreng: Bob Dylan:” It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.”

Pan Winyl: How does this album compare to the previous ones? How is it different, how is it similar? In other words, what will surprise your listener and what will be familiar to them?

Roy-Einar Dreng: The album Middle of the night is more polished and contains a diverse range of songs. It has love songs, spiritual songs, and protest songs. Even dark murder ballads.
Middle of the night contains multitudes of songs.

Awareness contains protest songs only except the song Anywhere. There are no typical love songs on this album, and it is more of a live recording—a rougher edge to it.
 It is also like Middle of the night, an acoustic album, but we added an organ, piano, and drums.

Pan Winyl: Who do you want to reach with this album? Who is the ideal potential listener / potential listener?

Roy-Einar Dreng: I want to get to people that have an open mind.
People who want to make a difference.  It is an album one should listen to. The same way you read a book. The same way you would listen to Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Neil Young, Joan Baez, or Pattie Smith.
It is not an album you use as a backdrop.

Pan Winyl: Do you think it’s an album for women? Is it for the guys? Is it to everyone?

Roy-Einar Dreng: I don’t categorize my audience, but this album is For everyone who has ears and a brain. Who likes good music played by great musicians. who don’t accept indifference

Pan Winyl: What would you like journalists to ask you about this album?

Roy-Einar Dreng: Anything they want to know, actually. If they listened to the record first, it would be the best.

Pan Winyl: What would you prefer to avoid talking to journalists about this album?

Roy-Einar Dreng: My private life( laughter). As long as the journalist is prepared, I can’t think of anything not worth talking about around this album.

Pan Winyl: Thank you, Roy.

Roy-Einar Dreng: Thank you.

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