Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Lethe

Photo courtesy of Lethe Facebook page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Norwegian/Swiss band Lethe recently dropped the video for their new song “Delta,” the second part of two-track project “Gamma,” which further showcases their abilities to push the boundaries for experimental rock/metal/electronic sounds.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with members Tor-Helge Skei and Anna Murphy about their new music and more.

Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name? 

Tor-Helge Skei – I was fascinated by the river lethe in Greek mythology that you had to drink from to forget your earthly life, before you could pass into the afterworld. Especially, the first album was very personal, lyric/theme-wise and we thought the name fit well with the concept. Afterwards, things changed a little, but it’s still quite internal and personal, so it still fits, I think?

Music Bugle – What inspired your single “Delta”?

Tor-Helge Skei – The initial spark of an idea, was that Anna thought it would be cool to begin the b-side of the “Gamma” single similar to how the a-side ended. Same chords, same samples, etc., but then we were overwhelmed with inspiration and ideas, so it evolved and evolved into what became the version on the single.

Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from? 

Tor-Helge Skei – We come from different places. I live in Norway and Anna in Switzerland, both pretty rich and “good” countries, I guess… but “proud”… hmm, not sure. There’s not much to be proud of here, actually. Close contact with nature? Hmm… I don’t know.

Anna Murphy – I’m not proud of things I haven’t achieved myself somehow. Like nationality, it’s just random. Why feel pride? I’m happy to live here. I love the nature and feel lucky that I have a mountain right next to me, but that’s as far as it goes.

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your type of music? 

Tor-Helge Skei – The most exciting part is that we like it, perhaps? Don’t know.

Anna Murphy – What I enjoy most about our project is the complete freedom that comes with it. No expectations, no limits – just being creative and doing whatever feels right at the right moment.

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Tor-Helge Skei – For me, personally, probably less than you think. I’m quite reclusive and solitary anyway, so it doesn’t change much. Also, my health is pretty fucked up anyway, so I don’t really care. There’s not much worries or fear or anything, but it has been extremely inspirational and motivational.

Anna Murphy – My band Cellar Darling has been affected quite a bit. Almost 80 shows got cancelled and as you can imagine, it’s still not clear whether we’ll be able to tour this year. My job in the studio will be affected in the long run, as it will be difficult for “gigless” bands to afford recording in the studio. It’s all a huge clusterfuck, but there’s nothing we can do about it now. We’ll just have to pull ourselves together and learn something from all this. My social life hasn’t really suffered. I don’t enjoy being surrounded by lots of people anyways and the few really good friends that I have will hopefully still be there once this is over. I have no issues with solitude.

Tor-Helge Skei – Oh yeah, Manes was supposed to play a few gigs in 2020 too. Some festival gigs were postponed a year, but who knows what will happen.

Music Bugle – How would you define the year 2020 overall? 

Tor-Helge Skei – Anti-social, inspirational, motivational, but awkward.

Anna Murphy – Something shitty that we kind of deserved…? 

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise? 

Tor-Helge Skei – Right now, it’s a lot of old-school black metal. Before that, it was autechre. I listen to everything, all over the place, no specific genres or bands, but usually, I prefer silence instead of music.

Anna Murphy – Me too. My taste is all over the place. At the moment, I’m not really listening to a lot because I’m mixing a lot at the studio. Need to rest the ears in between, as I’m not 20 anymore!

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do? 

Tor-Helge Skei – I don’t need external motivation or inspiration, really. My problem is being able to stop, but luckily, I don’t have to do that very often. (Laughs)

Anna Murphy – Red wine motivates me quite a lot, but that’s a beverage and not a quote…

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you feel the need to escape?

Tor-Helge Skei – Inside my own head, wandering around inside “sinnets irrganger”…

Anna Murphy – Mountains.

Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about you?

Tor-Helge Skei – Hmm… I don’t know. Maybe that I don’t listen to much music.

Anna Murphy – Apart from red wine, I’m now also getting into white wine! 

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