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Q&A with Vegar Nesset (Following Bob)

Interview Conducted on July 19th, 2010, Trondheim, Norway

by Sadaf Fayyaz

Vegar NessetVegar is a member and acoustic guitarist at Following Bob. The band also has some other musicians, for certain occasions like Jan E. Holberg as bassist, Leif-Magnus Lilleaas and Anders Sinnes on guitars, Simon Poole as programmer/producer, and programming/producing, Ingvild Hasund on backing vocals. The band derives their influences from A-ha, Savoy, Magne f, Ryan Adams, Joan Armatrading, Tori Amos, Ane Brun, Jeff Buckley, The Byrds, Barclay James Harvest, Solomon Burke, Blue Oyster Cult, Big country and some others too.

I got a chance to talk with Vegar. He shared a lot on his music. He is also the founder of the band and a singer-songwriter too. He has taken part in a number of musical projects including; The musical "Tonight" performed at London's West End, Touring in Scotland, Germany and Norway with bands like Shadows and Lights, B.F.B etc, The stage version of the musical "The War of The Worlds" in Liverpool, Performance on German television with B.F.B, Live radio performances on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) with original songs. He has also written songs for other Norwegian and international artists. And also contributed to the compilation ACOUSTIKA (vol. 9) with the song "Nothing seems right" which was released in the USA on the 26th of February-08.Following Bob have taken part in the compilation-cd Norwegian Wood Music for China (vol. 2) with the song "(It's not) me nor you" released in China in December-07.

One can find their music at: http://www.myspace.com/followingbob.

Tell something about your education, music training

Vegar: I've got a Bachelor of Art from The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts ( Liverpool, UK), where I studied music and voice. Apart from that I've played guitar and written songs since the age of 10.

Tell about your inspiration.

Vegar: Most of my inspiration comes from watching people in their everyday life. Trying to put myself in their place and understand how they think. But also, it comes through listening to the work of other artists.

Vegar NessetGive a brief intro of the band members.

Vegar: My band Following Bob consists of mainly me. On recordings and at big concerts, I hire musicians to get a bigger sound.

How and when did you get interested in music?

Vegar: To be honest I guess it started when my big brother brought home the album "Giv 'em enough rope" by The Clash. Lying on the floor in front of his record player listening to these amazing English lads, I decided, that's what I want to do with my life. Although my music can't be described as Punk music, they've been of great importance to me throughout my musical career.

What was the first instrument you learnt playing and at what age?

Vegar: My first instrument was the acoustic guitar, which I started playing at the age of 10. I learned my first chords from my aunt, who was the only one in the family who owned a guitar and knew how to play it.

Your favorite bands and musicians:

Vegar: Since I'm from Norway, I've always been following the career of A-ha. But I've also learned a lot about songwriting listening to artists such as Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Nik Kershaw, Xtc and of course, The Beatles.

Share a few lines on your album. What are your expectations from fans?

Vegar: On my last EP I focused on making a big production sound. But my new album will consist of songs with a pure acoustic sound. And I guess that the listeners who follow me will be pleased to hear that I'm still focusing on good melodies and meaningful lyrics.

What is your music genre?

Vegar: I tend to write whatever comes into my mind, so I'm not stuck in any particular style of music. Although most of my songs might be put into the big genre well of pop and acoustic.

Vegar NessetHave you ever played cover songs?

Vegar: When I started at the age of 10, I used to listen to other artists and cover their songs just to learn how to play the guitar. In the early days that was my only source of inspiration. But I've also toured with different bands playing cover songs. Now a day I'm kind of concentrating on my own music.

Is there any message to your fans?

Thank you for having faith in me, and for letting my music into your lives. To each and every one of you who's a part of my musical universe; YOU bring me inspiration.

What is your source of learning?

Vegar: At the time, my sources of learning are listening to other artists, but also some voice lessons with a teacher.

How do you define music?

Vegar: Music is the mirror of the soul.

Image Courtesy: A. Nervik