Gothminister surprising candidate in Norway’s Eurovision Song Contest

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Gothminister @ MGP 2024

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(By our Norwegian correspondent Jan Ronald Stange / Gothminister press release) The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) season is upon us again, and there’s no denial that most songs participating aren’t in the scope of Side-Line readers. But fortunately there are exceptions – one of them being Gothminister from Norway, competing in Melodi Grand Prix, the Norwegian semi-finals, this Saturday!

Gothminister is Bjørn Alexander Brem’s heart child and alter ego. During the day, the Oslo man works as a lawyer, but at night Gothminister rises from the dark. Bjørn Alexander brings out his creative side through impressive costumes and music. Gothminister recently played to over 30,000 people in Germany, and has toured in more than 40 countries over the years. Last year they released the album ‘Pandemonium’, which won the Dark Album of the Year award, ahead of Rammstein and Placebo among others. Gothminister has numerous chart positions in Germany, and won a total of 19 international film awards for two of the music videos last year.

The song ‘We Come Alive’ was a collaboration with producer Jesper Borgen (Alan Walker, Coldplay), and is about the value of play, about believing in yourself and standing together against all injustice. With him on stage in MGP, he has, among others, chorister Hege Rødfjell, who has extensive experience from bands, orchestras, TV and film.

Between rehearsals and preparations for tonight’s semifinal we managed to slip in some questions:

SL: What made you participate again, 11 years after last time?

Bjørn Alexander Brem: In 2013 I met a famous producer called Jesper Borgen (Alan Walker, Coldplay). He told me he always wanted to produce a Gothminister track. 10 years after I called him and he was still interested.

‘We Come Alive’ is the result of the discussions between metal man Gothminister and pop man Jesper Borgen. In the end I think we landed a perfect hybrid between pop and industrial gothmetal, and suddenly the song was picked as 1 of 18 among about 2.000 songs to compete in Melodi Grand Prix, which is the national selections in Norway for Eurovision.

SL: There’s been mixed reactions; fans and music commentators don’t agree – what’s your take on that?

BAB: Yes, the song got mixed reviews – in the MGP podcast it got 5/6, but in Nettavisen 1/6 and they wrote that «the song is best when it is over.» This shows the typical commercial attitude to the Dark scene, and towards something that is different. Gothminister has always and is still representing the different ones.

PS! A hilarious note on the Nettavisen reviews of the songs: they added a voting form for their subscribers at the end of the article, ending up with Gothminister as the overwhelming victor with over 50% of the votes for the six contestants, leaving the next best with 17%!

Gothminister @ MPG 2024

SL: If you go to the finals or to Malmö, what can we expect?

BAB: I can’t say, but you know Gothminister is always «over the top», so it will be crazy, that’s for sure!

SL: What are you looking most forward to during this contest?

BAB: To show the Dark side, to show that it’s possible to be different and still good. And all the people out there who has felt rejected, mocked, struggling in life etc, like myself – I am performing for them first and foremost.

‘We Come Alive’ is about being different and thus being a bit outside. Gothminister has always been a champion for this group and for justice to be done. I myself was bullied by my former best friend at school and felt what it was like.

But being different also gives you unimaginable superpowers. Among other things, it makes you better able to understand others around you, and to respect them. Never be afraid to be different. Believe in yourself and never let go of your dreams, one day they will come to life. You must respect others and always strive to make others comfortable in your company.
If everyone stands together we are more alive, instead of being dead inside!

Check out the various versions of ‘We Come Alive’ right below.

Do also check out the official video here!

And don’t forget to vote tonight if you’re Norwegian, you can register at https://delta.nrk.no/mgp/.

author avatar
jrstange
Sometimes - when I'm not cooking, biking, listening to music or attending concerts, I write stuff for side-line.com. Mostly about Norwegian bands, but it's been some Russian, Swedish, English, American, Danish, German and others too... ;)

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