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Bente Smaavik (Norway) - E-mail interview


April 2017




*She sings beautifully*

If you remember disc stores in Nishi-Shinjuku, Tokyo
imported and sold CDs of Scandinavian melodic HR and
AOR very expensive like JPY4000.00- and if you bought
those CDs, you know her. There were bands from Norway
called BLONDE ON BLONDE and PERFECT CRIME.
Bente Smaavik has been known among fans of melodic
HR and AOR from Scandinavia in Japan since then.
There was few info. on her for a while, these days she
works her own materials, sings for various projects, also
works with her husband Victor Borge (AMMUNITION) who
married her in 2014 as well, she works hard and enjoys
her music a lot.
This time S-ROCK proudly presents an E-mail Interview
with her.




Photo by Kjell Roger Solstad

S-ROCK: You released the compilation album
called 1979-2011 in 2012. This album
shows your history of music, how did
you get to release this?.

Bente: My good dear friend and journalist Mr.
Johan Svendsen came with the
suggestion (many times) that I should
release a kind of "best of album" So I
did in 2012. Johan died the same year.
I am so thankful that I got to release
the CD when he was still alive.

S-ROCK: The booklet for the CD is written in
Norwegian, would you tell us a bit about
each track?

Bente:
01. Walk With Me

Written by Jimmy Iversen, the guitar
player for BLONDE ON BLONDE and
PERFECT CRIME. This is one of the
songs from his solo album. A beautiful
ballad with strong lyrics.

02. Vision Of Lust

This is one of the songs from the album
Jan Holberg Project "SENSE OF TIME"
feat. Joe Lynn Turner. I was touring with
Jan Holberg Project in 2011 and 2013
s a singer and also doing backing vocals.
"Vision Of Lust" is one of the tracks at
the album, and I was so lucky to sing
together with Joe Lynn Turner.

03. Hard To Say Goodbye

In 2005 I was involved in a project called
A TRIBUTE TO STAGE DOLLS -
"WINGS OF STEEL". STAGE DOLLS is
one of Norway's biggest AOR bands. I
was so lucky to be asked to do my
version of one of their songs. I chose
"Hard To Say Goodbye". The song was
listed on national radio.

04. Vinterfolket

I sang with a band called HAMMERS
HAREM for a while. We wrote the official
song "Winter People" for the Norwegian
championship in skiing and performed it
live for king Harald in Granasen stadion.

05. I Natt

"Tonight" Another song from HAMMERS
HAREM from the CD "EPROLOG"
released 2006.

06. Leaves In The Wind

Finally my own CD (three songs - EP) -
released in 2004. "Leaves In TheWind"
was played on national radio and was at
the list NORSKTOPPEN for 5 weeks. I
love this song, and I play it live with my
band.

07. Hot Stuff

After 10 years we did something
together again, Chris and I (BLONDE ON
BLONDE). We had a band going for
some months and played some gigs.
"Hot Stuff" is a cover version of Donna
Summer's hit.

08. Oern-Sangen

My friend Per Erling Tilset Larsen who
was a football coach for one of Norway's
best female team OERN, asked me if I
wanted to sing their song. Sure! So this
song has been played a lot on stadions.


09. Stripped To The Bone

This track is taken from PERFECT
CRIME. Great groovy song and
especially, it's fantastic to do live. Bernie Marsden ex-WHITESNAKE was our
producer. I love this album! Recorded in
CHAPEL studio, England 1990.


10. Am I Right

PERFECT CRIME - The second version
of "Am I Right". We did another version
of this song with BLONDE ON BLONDE
earlier. "Am I Right" is a wonderful ballad
that we of course still play live.

11. Love Me Or Leave Me

BLONDE ON BLONDE 1989 - A fantastic
song to do live. PERFECT CRIME did a
another version of this song as well. I
think BLONDE ON BLONDE's version is
the best. Jimmy Iversen and Steinar
Eikum - the guitar player and the bass
player has written nearly all of BLONDE
ON BLONDE and PERFECT CRIME's
tracks.

12. Sail Away

BLONDE ON BLONDE - first single
released in 1988. We recorded this
single in Stockholm - MONTEZUMA
studio. This was the beginning of
something big.

13. Normal Life

I was a guest vocalist at this track.
Taken from the album "BREAKING OUT"
with the band ROAD. The guitarist
(Jimmy Iversen) and the drummer (Willy
Bendiksen) should later play together
with me in BLONDE ON BLONDE and
PERFECT CRIME.

14. God Tur Til Paris

FOUR JETS was a band that was very
well known in Norway in the seventies
and eighties. They had several hits. And
after a talent competition in 1982 - that
I won - I was asked to sing with them.
"God Tur Til Paris" is about a trial here
in Norway and got a lot of attention.


15. Per Kleppe Og Skattesnytera'n

1979 - My first band, my first time in
studio. This tape was find in a locker
that our guitarist had some years ago.
I am so happy that Terje Nilsen helped
me to digitalize the tape before the
music disappeared from the tape. The
sound is horrible, but it means the world
to me. I was 14 years old - singing in
SUBWAY SUCK studio (Dag
Ingebrigtsen's band at that time).

16. Benny Bankboks

Per Kleppe Og Skattesnytera'n - "Benny
Bankboks" a self made song about a
Norwegian robber.

S-ROCK:
Your fans in Japan and other countries
outside Norway will be interested in this
CD when they read this interview, how
can they buy it?

Bente: I had distribution through TYLDEN & Co.,
but now it can only be purchased
directly from me. You can also find/buy it
digitally on Spotify ITunes and more.

(S-ROCK:when you want an
autographed CD, you may get in touch
with Bente from her FB or official website)


Photo by Kjell Roger Solstad

S-ROCK: You sing much better now than ever,
what is the most important thing when
you sing and how do you keep your
voice like that?

Bente: Thank you very much! I don't do very
much to keep my voice fit, My husband
Victor Borge and I have a studio at home
where we practice a lot (ENGLAGARD
studio). I have never smoked and I think
I have a normal healthy life.

S-ROCK: You've released a single every year
since 2013, is there any plan to release
a full album?

Bente: There is certain that there will an album! I
don't know when, but it'll come. Before
that: More single releases, so stay tuned!

S-ROCK: The album BLONDE ON BLONDE of
PERFECT CRIME was re-released from
a German label YESTERROCK,and
LABYRINTH OF LOVE from a German
label NL DISTRIBUTION. Were those
officially released?

Bente: I don't know about re-release for
PERFECT CRIME. The only thing I know
that EMI took a contact with me in 2012
and told me that PERFECT CRIME now
finally should be released on all digital
media. Well.. I have still not found PC on
Spotify or Itunes. - So YESTERROCK is
unknown for me.
In 2007 LABYRINTH OF LOVE was
re-released on a label from Germany
called NL DISTRIBUTION. I had a call
from our bass player Steinar Eikum who
had an inquiry from this company. - So
that's we know about.

S-ROCK: Around 1990 import CD shops in Japan
started importing CDs of melodic HR and
AOR from Scandinavia and sold them
very expensive like JPY4000.00- for a
CD because there was few way to buy
CDs of Scandinavian bands and artists. I
remember PERFECT CRIME - BLONDE
ON BLONDE was around JPY4000.00-
as well.

Bente: That's great

S-ROCK: And your recent work on music, besides
your solo work, you sing for TNT,
TROENDER-FESTIVAL,SOULSISTER
etc., any updates and any new projects
and bands?

Bente: At the moment I sing together with
SOULSISTER, but no longer with TNT. TROENDER-FESTIVALEN at Gran
Canaria was a great experience together
with Diesel Dahl, Terje Tysland, CASINO
STEEL, Dag Ingebrigtsen with several
others in March.
Still a little secret, but Chris and I
(BLONDE ON BLONDE) are going to
start a band again and release a single
and do some gigs - maybe from late
autumn. The name of this project gonna
be "Chris Candy and Bente Smaavik -
former BLONDE ON BLONDE - Back
to the roots"

S-ROCK: Are you coming back to Japan when TNT
do TELL NO TALES 30th anniversary
tour here?

(S-ROCK: This question was sent to her
before hearing she's no longer working
for TNT)

Bente: Unfortunately not. I am no longer doing
backing vocals for TNT.

S-ROCK: Would you give a message to your fans
in Japan?

Bente: I am so thankful for all your support in
Japan. I hope I will be back one day. Big
hugs to all of you! <3




(Discography)

*Singles of solo work*
Join The Band (2016)
Come To me (2015)
Still Strong (2015)
Snart e det jul (2014)
Samklang (2014)
Meant To Be (2014)
Sweet Summer Feeling (2013)
Mature (2003)

*Album of solo work*
1979-2011 (2012, Smaavik Records)

*BLONDE OF BLONDE/PERFECT CRIME albums*

BLONDE ON BLONDE (1990, EMI Norsk As)
LABYRINTH OF LOVE (1989, Blazing Records)

*BLONDE ON BLONDE/PERFECT CRIME singles*

Hot Stuff (1997, Norske Gram)
Am I Right/One of These Days (1991, EMI Norsk As)
Love Me or Leave Me (1990, EMI Norsk As)
Sail Away/Miss You (1988, CNR Records)

*FOUR JETS album*

TIL ALLE (1985)

*FOUR JETS singles*

Til Alle/God Tur Til Paris (1985)
Jeg Liker Det/Papirklipp (1984)

*HAMMERS HAREM album*

EPROLOG (2007, Nokken Records)

and more.....




Official Website
http://www.bentesmaavik.com/

FACEBOOK
https://www.facebook.com/bente.smaavik



Bente Smaavik autographed message




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