Throw a brick. - An interview with Bjarte Olsen from 1994.

The Rawness and the Energy are still alive in the fauna of norwegian music, much thanks to the non-commercial company Snack Ohm Tapes. A whole decade have they been throwing bricks at the maninstream culture.

Snack Ohm Tapes are motored by the Bergen-native, Bjarte Andrè, now reciding on Karmøy.  He has presently released a collection-mc "Arbeid Frigjør Eder" (arbeit mach frei in norwegian) containing a range of norwegian punk-bands.

"Under Dusken" had a little chat with this punk-enthusiast.

     How did S,O,T. come into being?

- In 1983 they held a festival in Bergen with Liliedugg, TAV and a lot of local bands performing. The problem for me and my friends was that you had to be 20 to get in. We could get in if we presented ourselves as a "cassette-company." S.O.T. is also very much a result of a DIY-mentality.

    How is it to distribute punk in 1994?

-Punk has always been hated and abused. The bands have a message that should reach more people than just their mates.    The purpose of S.O.T. is to give this sort of music a wider impact.

What would you say about using cassette as the chosen medium?

-It`s a lot more difficult to sell MCs today than it was ten years ago. The main problem with the MC is that it produces to much background noice of itself.  On the positive side they are cheap to make, compared to LPs and CDs.

The front cover of MC released in 1994, named "Arbeid frigjør eder!", and Work will make you free!. Depicting famous Norwegian politicians marching out of Auschwitz, underr the main slogan "jobs for all!"

On the latest release you have depicted a.o. G.H. Brundtland, K. Kullmann Five  and C. I. Hagen on the cover, marching out of Auschwitz under the "Arbeit Mach Frei"-banner, dont you find such comparisons a bit too much?

-No. The nazis spoke it plainly: "You are not supposed to die before you, in disregard of yourself, have toiled yourself to death for everyone else in society." Our social-democrats think exactly the same thing, but hasn`t got the balls to say it out loud.  In both cases the enslaviement of the people is the result. "Arbeit Mach Frei" is a purely anarchistic and anti-collectivistic product. It kicks the government and the entire system straight in the nuts. 

Say something about your releases.

-There`s no copyright on the products, so people may copy to their hearts content. There aren`t any dates printed on the records because I think music should be timeless.

What do you demand of the bands?

-The recording may very well be Live, but then the  sound must be good. Rehearsal-tapes are not accepted.  The lyrics will be printed and released together with the music, because the individual bands are responsible for their words.

The interview in Norwegian can be read as PDF-file , by clicking on the pic

How do you see S.O.T. in the future?

-The goal it at least ten releases. Soon there will be a collection on MC coming out, with the pretty name "plow the state" (or fuck the state if you like), and thereafter a collection-LP in cooperation with X-Cluded Music.

The interview could be read in the student newspaper in Trondheim city; "Under Dusken, nr 10 - 1994. The interview was done by Ole Gunnar Zahl Jensenius over the phone  in 1994.

The    future release LP  I was talking in the end of the interview were later on done by Snack Ohm Tapes and the Punk bands, and was called "Rattus Norvegicus" in 1995.

This is translated into English by my good friend; Jahn Timbrevig.

The frontkover of the CD-R release from 2001.

The text on the frontcover: "Only through the eternal wear and tear of life; Where the state is one's guardian, you will be freed by the majestic hand of death."

The frontcover of the tape release from 1994.