CELTIC-PUNK Q AND A: ATLE FROM GREENLAND WHALEFISHERS

As we celebrate the ninth birthday of our first post our special feature continues. Based on the feature that use to appear in the football magazines of my youth it’s just a short series of questions about stuff’n’nonsense as me auld Nan would have said.

Today we welcome Atle to our select club. Guitarist from Norwegian Celtic-Punk band Greenland Whalefishers. The word legendary gets thrown around a lot but these guys are the real deal. Older than both the Murphys and the Mollys they took what the Pogues legacy and gave it a proper good shake.

Name / Nickname : Atle-Hjørn Øien

Age (Estimate allowed!) : 43 years

Birthplace / Nationality / Ancestry : Norwegian

Occupation : Currently Station Manager for a car rental company at Bergen Airport for the 10th year.

First job : factory, working on assembling windows

A job you would have loved to do : Actually starting a new job this autumn as leader of a community center, and really looking forward to that.

What / Who makes you laugh : Jimmy Carr and Jack Dee

Favourite movie star : Robert De Niro

Favourite film / TV show : The Godfather movies and 8 out of 10 cats does Countdown .

Favourite band/s : The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, David Bowie, Kiss, The Gaslight Anthem, Madness, Rancid.

Favourite Celtic-Punk band : The Pogues

Up and coming Celtic-Punk band to watch : Ogras from Norway. Released their second album in 2020 called No Love in the City. Great band!

First and last record you bought : I believe the first was KISS the Ace Frehley solo album and the last was a reissue of The Gaslight Anthems´ 59 Sound.

How many instruments can you play : drums, guitar, bass, and a touch of the piano.

How many bands have you been in : Hard to remember all projects, especially those way back in the early years. These are the 6 I can remember at the time being: Storebrors Danseband (swing and dancehall entertainment music), Car Crash (Rock and Punk), pSyndromatik (goth electronic punk-pop), The Foggy Few ( celtic pop-rock), Plasterwork ( 70s sound inspired by the E-street band) and Greenland Whalefishers .

Favourite venue played : It has to be ” Chemie Fabrik ” in Dresden Germany. A former factory, concrete buliding with terrible accoustics, but the crowd was insane and the venue was littearly steaming! The humidity was so high that the walls were wet with condense. Also a crazy guy were running around blowing flames with a torch. Also a big blast when we play an outdoor gig in Las Vegas on St. Patrick’s Day. And always great playing in London hooking up with the London Celtic Punks-team!

Most embarrassing moment : When we went to the USA and our gear was delayed being left behind in Frankfurt, so we had to go and buy the bare necessities. I bought a cheap badly litt tuner. So when I tuned the bass I accidentally tuned it one half note too high. So when we hit the stage in Hollywood, I went out high and flying sounding like total shit the first song through.

Favourite song you’ve been involved in: That´s hard to say as there are so many and they all have been a favourite at the time they were made.

Favourite song and why : Impossible to say as I guess that changes every week I think. At the moment I’m heavily into Madness and also The Specials which I saw live in Bergen a few weeks ago. Really love the 2tone bands from UK in the late 70s.

Favourite album and why : Two albums that I revisit on a regular basis are Revolver by The Beatles and the self titled first album by Rage Against The Machine. Revolver has a kind of pop-rock feel to it that never bores me. Rage Against The Machine is a very unproduced album, just plain and loud in your face, both albums never goes out of style and are very interesting in their own way.

Biggest influence on career : Brian Jones

Your five dream dinner guests : David Bowie, Shane MacGowan, Ace Frehley, Brian Jones and Patti Smith

Anything to plug : Support your local live venue!

A documentary about the iconic irish punk album Loboville by Greenland Whalefishers. 2001’s album Loboville opened the world for Greenland Whalefishers. By 2021 the band has toured 13 countries on 3 continents, released 10 studio albums, one live album, an uncountable amount of split releases with other bands, a documentary movie, a live in concert movie, an Ireland tour movie, a live corona-concert movie and several music videos. http://www.greenlandwhalefishers.com

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