December 2, 2009

Norwegian black metal band KEEP OF KALESSIN is one of the artists who are competing to represent Norway in next year's Eurovision Song Contest.

On Tuesday (December 1),KEEP OF KALESSIN guitarist and songwriter Obsidian C (real name: Arnt Grønbech) told the Norwegian TV show "Lydverket" that he's looking forward to performing the song "The Dragon Tower" alongside Norwegian pop artists and mainstream songwriters.

"I read an interview with Per Sundnes (host of the Norwegian Eurovision finals) where he said they wanted darker and harder songs for the Norwegian Eurovision finals," he said. "At the same time, we had made a song with a catchy chorus, so I just sent it to them."

On being called sellout:

Obsidian: "I think we are gonna get some reactions from the black metal scene, and lose some credibility. Some people, at least, will call us sellouts, but people saying those things are usually people who have an underground band themselves but make a living from selling hot dogs at a gas station. I think it's less of a sellout to play in the Eurovision than to sell hot dogs."

Finnish rock band LORDI won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 with the song "Hard Rock Hallelujah". Obsidian C doesn't believe KEEP OF KALESSIN will achieve the same type of sucess in the competition, but he's looking forward to getting more mainstream attention for the band.

"The song might be a little too extreme for us to win, but hard rock has performed well in the Eurovision earlier, so we'll just have to wait and see," he said. "The song will at least give us a little more attention with a broad audience back here in Norway."

Leif Åge Reme, executive producer of the Norwegian Eurovision Song Contest finals, says that the TV show did not ask KEEP OF KALESSIN to take part in the competiton for publicity. "Eurovision is a songwriting contest that reflects the type of songs that are being written around the country, even if that means it is not pop. We are seeking a broad selection of songwriters, and not the publicity."

A photo of Obsidian C talking to Asbjørn Slettemark on the set of the Norwegian show "Lydverket" can be viewed below (photo credit: Rashid Akrim)

(Thanks: Asbjørn Slettemark / "Lydverket")

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