interview with Gentle Groove

Have any of you played in other bands? Yes, we have all played in many bands during the years. Graceland, Loophole, Jack In The Box, Gang Bang, Mad Hatter, as well as current bands that co-exist with Gentle Groove, like The Wheel and RETROMONSTER (a new band releasing an album in May where three of the members are invoved).
What are your names? / Who plays what? Jan Erik Salvesen (Vocals) Simon Sigurdson (Guitar) John Kristian Alterkjær (keys) Erik Lillehagen (drums) Igor Fazlioulline (bass)
Have you had other previous members? Yes, we've had several bass and keyboardsplayers throught the years. Sid from Tindrum, Lasse from Circus Maximus and Ingar from Eva & The Heartmaker amongst others.
Where are you from? Most members live in or around Oslo, Norway.
What year did the band form? Gentle Groove started in 1994 (with mostly other members), but became a Led Zeppelin tribute band around 97/98.
What's your style of genre? Classic rock with a wide varietly of influences from blues, folk etc.
What inspires you? Playing live, writing songs, listening to great music!
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? No, we've had experience with booking agencies before, but now mostly book our own gigs.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? No, the music we release in other bands are on our own labels. If you are selfemployed and officially registered it's quite easy to set up your own label.
What are your songs about? Since we only play Led Zeppelin songs in this band, you'd have to ask them. But some of them are inspired by the books of Tolkien.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? In the side-project RETROMONSTER it's guitar player Simon Sigurdson, otherwise Robert Plant/Jimmy Page wrote most of Zeppelins songs.
Do you compose in a certain inviroment? No, wherever an instrument is nearby and some peace and quiet..
Have you done any covers live? In this band we ONLY do covers live.. hehe, so better ask if we ever do originals live, The answer to that is we only did so in the beginning. Now we do that in other bands and keep Gentle Groove as a Zeppelin tribute act.
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? Typically we have 100-150 people at our gigs, but during the years we have played to everything between only a handful to over 5000 people.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? Most of our audiences are between 30 and 60 years old. People that either grew up with Zeppelin or have heard of them from parents record collections and such.
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? Some songs like Kashmir, Rock And Roll, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Whole Lotta Love and Black Dog are always included. But we have a lot of songs we ocationally play, like The Song Remains The Same, Achilles Last Stand, We're Gonna Groove and others.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? We always play in Bergen (Madam Felle) and Oslo (Herr Nilsen) at least once a year.
What was your first gig like? We don't remember too much, but very early we used to play Elm Street in Oslo (a legendary rock scene now closed) and also Smuget in Oslo which is also long gone.
What was your latest gig? That was Madam Felle in Bergen in december 2019
Where have you played live this year? No
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We started selling t-shirt on our tenth anniversary in Bergen.
Where can people buy your merchandise? At gigs, or you can contact us on Facebook.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? I don't think you should feel guilty if you only listen to music on Spotify, but you are missing out if something qualitywise. Also you will support a band greatly by buying physical products like a record, CD or a t-shirt.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Cheaper recordings, a lot more music is released than ever, harder to spot the really good bands/artists. Also no one makes money on album sales alone, so the ones that play more live have an edge there in surviving in todays market. A lot more is reliant on social media too, so those who have the time and master that has an edge there, regardless of the quality of the music itself.
What do you think of my work? Not too familiar with that, unfortunately.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? It's always important to get your name and music out to people.
Do you have any role models or idols? There are a lot of bands/artists that inspire us, Zeppelin is just one (but perhaps the most important throughout the band).
Why do you think that they exist? Talent and coincidence!
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Yes, but there are many good bands active today.
What have been your biggest obstacles? Getting a foothold in the biggest cities in Norway, we should have been able to build a bigger audience in cities like Trondheim and Stavanger.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Never give up, be critical to yourself, use your disadvantages to your advantage.
Do you have any new material? Search for RETROMONSTER on Spotify in May 2020.
What are your web sites? Facebook.com/gentlegrooveband Facebook.com/retromonstertheband
Do you have something to add? We are sorry our gig at Koster, Sweden this summer was cancelled as we had a fantastic time there in 2019. But we hope to be gigging in Norway from september and to play Koster again in 2021.