Silje Wergeland (The Gathering) interviewed

Silje interviewed as part of our most excellent Women in Metal issue [dB #94].
How will Disclosure differ from The West Pole?
Silje Wergeland: it’s fresher, braver, more confident and honest, deeper, newer.

Now that the lineup’s had a few years to synch what’s it’s like working together?
Silje Wergeland: It’s great and inspiring! We know each other better, we know what and where we can go, where to push each others limits to go further and be braver.

You released “Heroes for Ghosts” (click HERE) as a single a long while ago. Was it released to keep interest up? Usually, singles are album-lead material, but this time you pushed it out way early. Sort of unorthodox.
Silje Wergeland: Yes, you are right. We decided to not do it for any other reason than release it because we wanted to! The song is way too long for a ‘normal’ single, but that didn’t matter. We never released it to try to get it on radio or on TV. We know their limits of about 3 minutes to get airplay, and knew we’ll never get there anyways. It was only marketed through our Facebook, Twitter and webpage, so very low key. The Gathering has its own label [Psychonaut], but we are not very business focused. It is still all about the music and art. We were just so happy with it and wanted to share it with the world.

More interestingly, you released an 11-minute track as a free download. Seems like you have a more open viewpoint on your creative work. Most bands might release a 4-minute track and then charge for the long song, know what I mean?
Silje Wergeland: Well, as mentioned above it was never released for the money. But of course it was a teaser for the up-coming album, as we knew this song would represent the direction of the album so people could ‘prepare’ for what to expect.

I hear real strings, I think, on “Heroes for Ghosts”. Will real instruments play a larger role on the new Gathering album?
Silje Wergeland: We used strings and trumpet this time, as well. We also had strings on The West Pole, but this isn’t something new in The Gathering camp. The organic sound is very important for the band, and ‘real’ instruments add [the] layers we like in our music.

The Gathering had a reunion of sorts for the Always… album. Did the re-replaying the old material influence or sway some of the songwriting for the new album? That’s the curious fanboy asking.
Silje Wergeland: Well, playing with ‘others’ is always inspiring in many ways. The fact that this lineup has a harder doomy approach, [but] I don’t see much doom on the album though. Most of the songs were already in the loop when they started playing together again.

What if anything particular inspires The Gathering at this point? You’re on your 10th album now, so I’m wondering if it’s more comfort that keeps the engine running or is the creative vision still strong?
Silje Wergeland: I can assure you that the creative vision is still the strongest part. We work really hard to reinvent ourselves all the time and not repeat ‘the old days’. I think you can see it quite clearly on most of our older work that we are not a band that uses the same recipe on every new release. We always pay attention to ‘what’s new’ in the musical soundscape and try to make something we haven’t done before. I think that inspires us the most.

** The Gathering’s new album, Disclosure, hits stores and digital outlets on September 12th through E1/Psychonaut. Or you can pre-order HERE directly from The Gathering. They’ve got all kinds of neat combo packs with t-shirts and vinyl.

** Visit and like The Gathering on Facebook.