Pale Forest Biography
Last updated: 09/22/2011 12:00:00 PM
Tommy Jørgensen and Lars Magnus Jenssen were fed up with their repetitive and psychologically eroding jobs. In -96, wearing pale suits of drunkenness and enjoying severe work-induced depressions they teamed up to lay the foundation for a bandproject. They needed therapy, and an outlet of aggression. To balance the two it quickly became apparent that they needed a female vocalist.
With the foundation lain, the hunt for proper band-members commenced. Jarle Hagen, with a recent history of musical madness (Uncle Meat and Ant Man Bee) would probably not be a natural choice under normal circumstances, but nevertheless they gave him the spot as the 2.nd guitarist. The three remaining pieces of the puzzle came into place in the form of Mary Jane and future Sonic Debris member Jan Petter Ringvold on keyboards, Dewy Field drummer Bernhard and Dewy Field bass player, Gunleik's, sister Kristin Fjellseth. With the lineup complete, the time had come to start composing.
Something special was definitely brewing right from the start. The songs came pouring out, the name changed from Pangaea to Pale Forest and their first gig was just a month or two away. A recording of this first ever PF gig in Raufoss, Norway is told to be out there somewhere. Sometime into -97 it became clear that PF needed another keyboard player. JPR just didn't have the time anymore. A local jazz-keyboardist (Anders Byfuglien) joined in for a month or two, but the next regular PF member was to be 16 year old Eyvind Brox, a student at a local music college. This has been the permanent line-up ever since.
With the line-up in place the preparations for their first studio recording could begin. It was conducted at the MLP Studio in the summer of -97. This demo was sent to several record companies in the early autumn. Voices Of Wonder president Ketil Sveen was curious about the band as a result of this demo. Around Christmas he attended a PF gig in Gjøvik, and a record deal was made the following January. The first two releases are based mostly on a brushed up version of the demo, with several additional recordings made throughout -98.
Following the release of their debut album they did several concerts around east Norway (including John Dee, Oslo), and slowly built up a reputation as a live band. They continued the songwriting, and soon started preparing for the next album. A darker, more mature PF started to emerge. -99 were spent playing concerts and recording their next release. This was also done at the MLP Studio.
At the time of the domestic release of "Of Machines And Men" in february 2000, PF made their debut on TV playing at the "Metropol Live" show on Metropol, a Norwegian TV channel. They also achieved some TV-exposure with their video of "Tristesse". This year, they also went abroad, when they played Europe's largest convention for the music industry, "Pop.Komm" in Cologne, Germany in august. They appeared with the Norwegian artist Kari Bremnes under the headline "Female Voices of Norway" at the ABS club. The crowd went nuts.
Growing increasingly impatient after more than a year out of a recording-studio, they made a simple demo of what was to become "Exit Mould" around Christmas. It soon became clear that they needed lots of studio time to do this material justice. With Voices Of Wonder unable to finance the album properly, PF turned their attention to a French label called Listenable Records. They were thrilled about the prospects of working with PF, a band they had been following for quite some time.
In the midst of all this, a mail came from Dutch rock legends The Gathering about the possibility of touring with PF. One thing led to another, and alredy in February PF joined The Gathering on the first leg of their European tour as their official support act. Due to economy PF could only play John Dee in Oslo, Norway, Small Vega in Copenhagen, Denmark, Forum in Bielefeld and Tower in Bremen, Germany.
They were back in Norway for about a month or so where upon returning to Denmark for the recording of "Exit Mould", under brilliant guidance by technician and producer Jacob Hansen at Aabenraa Studiet in April 01. "Exit Mould" is their most powerful production to date, fully expressing the complex mood and feel of the compositions.
Early in 2002 a deal was struck that gave Pale Forest their first US-distribution, trough The End Records.
In April, they did a very unusual tour. Two weeks of playing colleges around the Norwegian countryside is something they've never done before (or any other band in rock history, for that matter ...). See the news-index for details. They would jump at a similar assignment in the future, it was refreshing!
Throughout 2002 new material was written and pre-produced, and the band became increasingly eager to put out something, with a European tour coming up with "The Gathering" March 2003.
Founding member Tommy Jørgensen decided in January 2003 that he wanted to pursue other interests, and leave the band before the up-coming The Gathering support-gig. The band wish him well!
January 2003, they entered East Lake Studios and recorded an EP. This was the last recording with the original line-up. A weird feeling, but life goes on ...
With a new EP (Anonymous Caesar), a totally re-vamped website, and a new guitar player (Kristian Pålshaugen from PolyJester) they face Europe again.