He wrote songs about relatives, became close himself – VG

He wrote songs about relatives, became close himself - VG
LIVING LIFE: Former Katzingamr Marianne Sven postponed her solo debut by several years when her daughter became seriously ill.

Marianne Sven’s writing process takes a new turn when her daughter, Via, becomes seriously ill.


For several years after Katzengamer’s discharge in 2015, she wrote songs about her relatives, inspired by her job as a nurse in a psychiatric institution. However, the daughter’s illness halted her solo debut, but after repeated delays, “Next Of Kin” finally comes from the former member of the popular Norwegian band Katzenjammer.

But it cost time and tears.

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– Specifically, I’ve been doing this since 2015. There were many songs growing up at that time with Katzenjammer, but they weren’t appropriate. Marianne Sven says that was the biggest reason why I wanted to get out.

She felt that the music she had on the inside was very different from the one she was playing outside with Katzengamer. At the same time, I looked for a new job. She had to earn money to finish the record. The solution was night shifts in the psychiatric ward.

– I had a bad experience with psychiatry from nursing practice, so I didn’t think I would thrive. But I loved it, I was so moved to work so closely with people who have such powerful stories to tell, she says.

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Meeting with these made me think about the definition and the different aspects of being close to someone. I got rid of everything I wrote up until then and started over!

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Reflections eventually become stories and words. In particular, her thoughts revolved around the kind of relationship that many have with their close relatives.

They should be the safest place in the world, but for many it is not. For some, being close to them is the worst thing that ever happened to you. In a way, I think maybe we should redefine what it means to be a close relative, get involved more and dare we talk about hurtful things too, you think.

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With a family and a circle of relatives who were always there for her, Marianne Sven discovered that the opposite was more prevalent than she could have imagined.

It’s so frustrating to sit up and hear stories as you think about what would have happened if you had the opportunity to step in earlier. They also deserve to be heard.

She describes the album “Next of Kin” as “a landscape with mountain peaks where everyone (songs) stand for themselves”. In fact, he should have been out much earlier, but then daughter Fia was diagnosed with leukemia.

– It was already over when Fia fell ill, but then we stopped everything else. It was important to me, says Sveen, that this record not be about me, and that you don’t feel like a retired pop singer with self-centered lyrics.

One song still creeps in. “Airly Merrily” is about the daughter, “me and me” as she puts it. Where she was not a spectator on the outside as in the rest of the record, because suddenly she, her partner, and her son are also relatives.

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I tried to go to the places in my heart I wrote from then until then to try to move forward with the recording project, but there he was suddenly busy. Big and difficult things stood in the way. The song had to be taken out of her, and it was very hard not to. And I saw it fit in well with the other songs, she says.

The Band: Marianne Sven became public property across Europe with Katzenjammer nearly ten years ago. They are photographed here in 2011. From left are Turid Jorgensen, Marianne Sveen, Sol Heilo, and Anne Marit Bergheim.

Via was only two and a half years old when she fell ill three years ago. Harsh chemotherapy didn’t spoil her mood, though she did suffer from common side effects like severe nausea, sores, and hair loss.

Fia was declared healthy in April, but she suffered a setback this summer. Of course you are very afraid, it has been a few weeks of shock and utter despair. Marianne says Sven looking forward, perhaps toward her partner and father, Via Marcus.

For some, crises lead to a divergence in close relationships, but we have only tied the bonds together more closely. We should have gotten married on a Sunday a week ago, I proposed to him two weeks before Via got sick. We put that time off, put off again – we gotta do it right, she must be a bridesmaid!

The thought sparks a smile again at Marianne Sven.

– Via is just a ray of sunshine. She’s the one joking that she no longer has long blonde hair. She looks like Uncle Magnus now. It means a lot to think that Via is not afraid of not getting old, not afraid of death. We are the ones who are afraid of him.

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Ashura Okorie

Ashura Okorie

"Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert."

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