Jan Kenneth

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Interviews

After almost two years of pause, I decided to enter again the realm of IN THE WOODS... band even if dissolved some time ago. I have now, as a dear special guest its vocal, Jan Kenneth Transit, a very peculiar and appreciated character due to his unique voice. Quite as I expected and as it actually seemed obvious and natural, mista tranzitjan followed his inner quest by traveling all over the world in the meanwhile. At the end of this Winter Jan Kenneth dedicated himself to explore South Europe. Let us find out where he might be right now...

Hello Transitmutha...you ceaseless passenger, what is your life, where are you traveling any more and, finally, where are you just now? This month we've been talking three times and each contact we had revealed you were in three different places, last time we got in touch I guess you were someplace in Denmark...

"Hey-ho ! Right now I'm at an Internet-cafe in my home-town of Christiansand answering your naughty little questionaire. I'm presently flat broke after mine and Terje's (NAERVAER) journey through Central-Europe last month, and have no prosperous plans for extensive travelling until after Summer."

When I last interviewed you (2000), I remember you were in South America while Amazons and Machu Pichu simply are just a few exotic places I can recall relating to your eternal quest... I have just seen, when watching TV, some frames from the Brazilian Carnival...do you feel nostalgic...are you still connected to that place such as experiencing exquisite memories? You were telling me about a certain beautiful girl you found there...

"Ahhh, shit! Did I tell you about that girl?! Heh heh.... must have been the thin air of the Andes-mountains that made my mouth run wild.... Anyway, she was a precious little creature to say the least. Yeah, I often think of that Latin-American year as good memories, and I'd certainly like to get back in the near future. If I manage to get some jobs here and there throughout Summer, I definitely wanna go to Mexico, as that was the only place I didn't get to go on my last journey. Brasil, on the other hand, is a country I could move to tomorrow if options were close at hand..."

I would be lighthearted if you agree for a synthesis of your last two years, in other words, disclose and confess what you have been doing since you have come from the American continent.

"Different things you do when you hang around your home-place, I guess... I had a job for a year, combining carpentry and being some sort of social-worker for heavy-duty drug addicts. That was quite an interesting experience, so to speak, but there was a lot of pressure involved due to different circumstances, so I decided to quit and attend university instead-sort of taking a year off from rising at six every morning, heh heh... the last eight months I've been studying history there + done a couple of exams. Besides such activities, we (me and a couple of friends of mine, Tommy and Stein) have again kicked off our little trio, SO?!, I've been writing a few songs on my own which I haven't recorded yet and I've started playing the drums extensively in a band called HUGE BROWN. We do quite a lot of parties and stuff too off course, but that's a different story, I guess."

And if we came to 29th of December 2001 ITW farewell live performance...tell me what was it like? How did you feel? I've heard beer was incredibly expensive...In your opinion, what did the ones who weren't there lose?

"Actually, it was the 29th of December the year before, and to be honest, I can't remember too much of it these days. I remember I was happy it was the last gig of the band, as the project started getting on my nerves. IN THE WOODS... have always been a personal band and sometimes things got a little bit out of hand. Expensive beer? Well, that's Norway for ya! It was nothing exeptional for this gig, it's just the way things are, I'm afraid... you see, here in Norway, we have a christian government that believes that rising the taxes on alcohol makes people drink less-need I say more? Well, I guess the one's who didn't show up missed out on the best gig we've ever done as a band (all the guys involved really had good night both technically and mentally). Besides this, they missed out on emptying their wallets, heh heh... even though everything costed so much, we lost lots of money on that gig, but that didn't matter to much I guess, as it became a tradition after a while, losing money on the band."

Is there any shade of truth that ITW split because of Botteri brothers' lack of interest in such style? Deep inside yourself, do you feel regrets for this band exists no more?

"Not at all. When I left for Latin-America back in the summer of '99, I already told the other guys that I was uncertain wether I wanted to continue singing in the band when I came back. I was at the time so tired of all the work it involved, and being in the band made me stop listening to music in general untill just a couple of months ago. I guess I burned myself out completely. When I started travelling, I didn't bring any music at all, so I ended up listening to pan-flutes and all that sort of stuff you get over there. Anyway, on my return that next summer, mista x-botteri told me he wanted to stop doing the band as well, and I was so releieved, it's hard to explain. That's the story basically. When both of us wanted to call it a day, it was pointless for the other guys to continue. But we decided to go down in a decent way, which I certainly think we did..."

ITW... Rest In Peace. The king is dead, long may live the king! What did 2002 bring new for us? Weeping Forest. Where from came the idea of creating a label? How do you stand in the boss position, are you comfortable?

"Heh heh... Of course I enjoy being the pater familias! Doesn't everyone?! For me it's a natural thing, as I've always handeled that sort of stuff ever since we kicked off the band back in '92. The idea of starting a label was x-botteri's, if I remember it correctly. We talked about the fact that it was pretty cool most of us wanted to continue on our own after IN THE WOODS... split up, and it became rather obvious that starting a label was the next step. Throughout the years, we had so many people being curious about the three dots at the end of the band-name, and I always replied that it was something that never really ended, but would rather take new forms as we went along. As it would be far to dull to call the label IN THE WOODS..., we decided to use that moniker as a domain-name on the web-something which we've now done at www.inthewoods.de . After throwing off the weeping forest-flag that we wanted to use as a carrier for further releases from the woods-camp, we changed it into KARMAKOSMETIX instead. All our future-releases will be carried through that label now."

"Raining Gold" is your first accomplishment and I assume X Botteri is proud of this album. The line-up is remarkable in deed. What can you tell me about this material?

"RAINING GOLD is a project mista botteri worked upon long before IN THE WOODS... split up, and this was material he didn't think would fit in the band, which means it's rather "old" material as a whole. He was very happy for it when the recordings were completed, but he doesn't seem too satisfied now that he's started recording the follow-up. The album was pressed in small numbers and as soon as it's sold out, we'll withdraw it from further sales. Some of the material might pop up later, but we've decided to leave it be for now. You will anyway find one of the tracks as mp3 on the web-site, and that song will remain there untill autumn, when the next album of his is due to be released. For more info on RAINING GOLD, it's better to check out the web-site. Right here and now, it's hard for me to explain the music. It's a world of it's own..."

Christer was telling me he intended already to start over a second STILLE OPPROR album even if right after "Project213" did not enjoy great success. Do you have any other details to come up with?

"Yeah! Christer is currently recording the next STILLE OPPROR-album. So far, I've heard a couple of outputs, and it's definately gonna be a killer album-far from the stuff he accomplished on the debut. If he was a boy on the first album (he's "only" 23 years at present), he certainly became a man on the second."

Regarding CHRISTOPHER SUN I know nothing but a timid association with "Dreamer". Can you enlighten us about this band? Please, let us know more concerning this band.

"CHRISTOPHER SUN is the former IN THE WOODS...' bassist c:m botteri's child. With quite a little help from his twin-brother, mista x (being chris), he's currently recording for the "Dreamer"-album. I haven't heard to much of the music yet, but I believe it's as significant as he is as a person."

Last week you were at Oddvar a:m's home. Should I understand you rehearsed for this alternative project new compositions? "Psychodelics" is already available in MP3 version but I find its sound rather techno to my taste. What is your point of view, which terms would you describe it?

"Hard to say, really. The thing that I've personally focused on while starting up the label, is that it will be an institution with more focus on quality music than on any specific genre. We make such differnt kinds of music, that anything elso would be out of the question. Thus I have no urge to label oddvar's music. Like you mentioned, the songs can be found on mp3's via the web-site. Anyone with an access to the web can check out and label on their own."

TRANSIT AFTER MIDNIGHT or maybe Brasil is another musical project you desire to give life in a short while. Well, I must confess my data basis is quite limited as far as this experiment is concerned, will you offer me a few details, in fact as many as you feel like?

"Transit a:m is basically mine and Oddvar's little baby together, but as we're pretty occupied with our own projects these days, we've decided to put it on ice for a while. To be honest, I'm not quite certain what we'll sound like, but I guess we'll produce a little cross-over between the two of us."

Do you have in mind for the future particular targets or purposes regarding Weeping Forest? What kind of bands would fit your expectations in order to sign with your label? Do others also, except ITW' former members, have access to your label?

"We've decided that we'll limit the label to IN THE WOODS... related projects-at least a year from now on. If we get things going the next twelve months, we'll see what we can/wanna do about it. Our first official release will be a sampler CD which will contain one song from each of the artists involved. Most of the projects are IN THE WOODS... related while others are close friends of ours from Christiansand. I hope to have all material collected by the end of the month (march), and if I can make that happen, we hope to go for a release in April/May."

Does SO exist any more?! Tommy told me it was to be released a new demo, but I have no other information, what's up?

"We're currently recording an album and five songs are accomplished thusfar. If we manage to get our asses moving, we'll have it released this Autumn."

As far as NAERVAER is concerned what can you tell me, any news?

"NAERVAER is put on ice for a while. Terje studies in Denmark, and I believe he'll stay there the next three years, or so. One thing we might do, though, is to record a few songs this summer and have them released via Karmakosmetix together with the demo-tracks we released back in '95."

GREEN CARNATION produced quite an earthquake and shocked everybody with the second album and Tchort invoked you as well as Synne and Anders to participate. What kind of impression did this album make on you and what should be the nature of your contribution and collaboration with Tchort?

"I haven't listened to much to the album, due to my lack of interest in music, mentioned earlier in these pages. I know Terje via the Botteri-brothers-they used to play alot together in the early, pre IN THE WOODS...years and also on the first G.C.-album. He asked me if I could pop by the studio one afternoon and help him out with some vocals at the beginning of his song. I came, I sang and I left, that's about my relation to GREEN CARNATION."

Can you make, for yourself and me as well, a list of the bands you were engaged in? Should we prepare ourselves for expecting more surprises?

"Hmmmm.... see if I can remember all of them, heh heh.... well, the first band we ever did was called EMPIRE (that was me, Stein and a couple of other friends and we were only seven or eight years of age). After that ceased to exist due to pretty dull rehearsals and little equipment, I stopped doing music for a while 'till I joined a band called INNHALATOR (where also Terje from NAERVAER was involved for a while, besides a short appearance by Oddvar a:m). After this, there's been alot of bands, maybe to many..... here we go; IN THE WOODS..., NAERVAER, PAN, SO?!, HEMPELTEMPLE, CIRCUS GILMOUR, GREEN CARNATION, OPUS FORGOTTEN and a few others I cannot recall at the moment. Oh, forgot HUGE BROWN, a really cool project I'm really proud to be involved with!"

If Stavanger imposed, itself, in time, as Gothic bands' headquarters, is there any resemblance for Kristiansand to become the State house for Avantgarde/Progressive Metal? Point out, please, some other bright promising bands which belong to this town.

"There's a lot of really cool acts down here, and if you look at it from a Norwegian point of view, you can say that Christiansand have always come out with a lot of weird muzak through the years. Currently there are bands such as SCARIOT, GREEN CARNATION, TRAIL OF TEARS, SOLEFALD, CIRCLES END, TONKA, GUARDIANS OF TIME etc, all in the Metal-genre and most of them have signed with foreign labels. Besides Metal, we've got really interesting acts such as BLACK BONE CHAPEL, NUD, ANGELS MOTEL, HUGE BROWN, JAMES BAND, RING, MERRY NOVEMBER, TERRYOON and a whole lot more I can't recall the names of right now. Might be that Christiansand will point itself out as what you mentioned, but right now the "scene" here is not that tied together by bonds. We shall see what the future brings, though..."

How does your job, carpenter, conciliate with the one of musician ...not to mention of the tourist one? Don't you think it must be the proper time for you to grow a family and raise children? I do have a child, Terje Vik does also and so do many-many friends...Aren't you getting any older as well?

"Heh heh.... sometimes it crosses my mind, but usually I don't think to much about it. At the moment, I don't even have a girlfriend and besides that, my life is far to unstructured these days to comprehend family-affairs. I got a family in my mother and sister and right now that certainly enough for me."

What is to be said about Synne Diana? Did she give up music activity? Since you know her pretty well, can you tell me, does she intend or take in consideration the idea of setting up her own musical project?

"She's been talking about it for a while, but she's not certain what she wanna do musically. I believe she'll get into some activity on her own in a while, but right now she doesn't work on anything in particular."

Have you heard of Tiziana/Misanthropy in the meanwhile? What about Russ Smith? He quite enjoyed our last interview.

"Haven't talked to Tiziana for a while, which is quite natural as she doesn't release our stuff anymore. She still sells a little of our back-catalogue from our years at Misanthropy, but besides sales-statements and that sort of stuff, we don't talk to much. Me and Russ exchange mails now and then, but not as much as we used to vis snail-mail a few years back. I have limited access to the web, and thus it's not a communication-channel I visit to frequently."

Your site made a great impression since you have so many fan visitors...I can conclude, from your Guestbook, ITW... still is a favorite band for many people. Did you even look upon the possibility of gathering once again under the same designation (lettering)? I do appreciate the success would be guaranteed, no doubts about, moreover, I believe you would also reach financial tides with a new album. Do you agree with me?

"That might just be, but I couldn't in my wildest fantasies imagine that we once again came together to play as IN THE WOODS... I know some of the other guys would have enjoyed that, but personally, the band is dead and buried forever. The financial side of things doesn't bother me that much as long as my hearts not in it."

Which are your goals to be achieved this year as far as music is regarded? Do you have peculiar personal desires you expect to fulfill in 2002? What other different countries do you plan to visit?

"This Autumn, I'd like a trip to Mexico, like I mentioned, but apart from that, there's no extensive plans thus far. On the other hand, I hope to start the recordings of my "solo" album. This, however, depends on my housing-situation. We've got a greedy landlord at the moment that's to found of money, and we might have to move both our stuff and the studio before Summer (landlord wanna cash in bigtime on summer-tourists). If we don't have to move, I hope to get some recordings started this July."

And since we came to such issue, as a pathfinder, let us know what do you usually pack each time you decide to cruise and which are the things you never forget or go without? About how much money$/EUR do we speak when taking a trip?

"Heh heh...... I guess I pack basic stuff for a regular short-trip (say 3-4 months), like guitar, sleepingbag, a towel, a couple of pants-you know, the regular stuff needed. I also usually carry a dictaphone and some writing-material in order to be able to write music etc. on the road. And the cash? I guess I would need something like 2500-3000 euro for such a trip like that into Mexico, but of course it depends where you go and all that. Asia, for example, would be a lot cheaper. I guess you can imagine that it takes alot of work to accomplish such a task."

What kind of music do you listen and prefer anymore? What new hobbies did you lately discover? Football perhaps ...or fishing?

"Like mentioned, I've been having a hard time for the past years listening to music. However, there are a few records that I've really enjoyed in between, like "Solitary Man" by Johnny Cash, "Love and Theft" by Bob DYLAN, "White blood cells" by the White Stripes, selected MOTORHEAD albums, Tiger Lillies from London and a few more. I haven't discovered a lot of new hobbies recently, but I was doing a little bit of fishing last Summer, and I still enjoy reading a good book once in a while. Music takes most of my time as a whole, still, and I guess I won't be starting any other activities before I get to finish off the album later this year. The label will occupy more and more of my time I believe, so the only "thing" I have to think of now is to keep my body in shape one way or the other."

It is better for us to meet again sooner than unreasonably spin out. This interview shall make its appearance in the same time I officially throw out my webzine I mean the inaugural edition. Do you navigate on internet? What are your preferences to read or to look for when having access to a computer and thus on internet?

"Honestly, I don't surf that much. I mean, if there's something I'd like to know a little more about, I do a little, but usually I don't do it because I'm bored or anything like that. I don't have a computer back home, and that's probably why I haven't gotten into it seriously. Anyway , I wish you all the best with that web-zine launch of yours, we'll make a link to it from our webmasters domain at www.inthewoods.de , so let me know when you're ready!"

Once again I have no word to thank you enough for your kindness, Jan. My hope is for us to hear of each other in the same terms next year as well. Until then I can only wish for you to preach up, by far many more amazing juicy voyages and, of course, dozens of albums released under new banner. Before turning back to the magic of voyage, send webzine Kogaionon's readers a greeting word...

"Thanx and greetings to you too, mista , I really admire your work! A few are as dedicated as yourself, as it's supracool to see your work carries fruits of different kinds. I hope all is well down there in your precious Carpathians, and that the gypsies still get something to put in their bellies! And greetings to all your readers as well, of course! Support and his Kogaionon and support ye families... you've only got one and it's precious! Stay cool, rise above."

March, 2002.