gnom Skambankt Zahl/Uncle Deadly Janove Ottesen
In September of 2004, the Jackal released a solo record called "Francis' Lonely Nights", which was released in Europe early in 2005. More information could be found on Janove's website at that time. Among other things, there was a "biography" or rather an explanation on how the record came about. Here is the translation (as always, I don't take any responsibility for errors... =;-)):

Oil barrels and gas masks are nice enough, but once in a while it's okay to put them away in the cupboard for a while and rather take a stroll and smell the summer air. Something like this went through the head of Janove Ottesen, singer in one of the country's really popular bands, the renown Kaizers Orchestra. Suddenly, just like that, he comes up with a solo record, and a very good one. Kaizers-fans will recognize the quality, but apart from that, there's a lot of fresh ground to explore. The guy sings in English, and has his roots in the singer/songwriter-tradition.
Janove tells that he is not that thoroughly familiar with the singer/songwriter-genre, but actually that's not how it seems on Francis' Lonely Nights. That's high vintage songwriting art, with proud feeling, and nordic fall warmth.

- This is simply music that comes to me very easily. I haven't pushed anything, all is based on acoustic guitar. In any case, that's the tradition I come from. I've always sat there on the sofa, all the time until Kaizers came and destroyed everything, Janove smiles, and continues: Some probably expect a super creative and innovative Ottesen, now that I do everything all alone, but that's not what I wanted to do. On the contrary, I wanted to do something simple and logical, at least for my own head.

He tells that this was something he necessarily needed to do.

- It's demanding to make the energetic Kaizers-songs, that really drains the strength. Now I was supposed to make 15 new songs that should be as special and peculiar? I quite simply needed a break. And just to say that: This is NOT b-material.

Anyway, Janove is not all alone. With him on his record he has a row of skillful musicians, like Micke Lohse from Atomic Swing and The Kooks on the hammond organ, Øystein Skjælaaen from The Real Ones and MAO on the bass, and Børge Fjordheim from Wunderkammer, Cloroform and Morten Abel on the drums.

- Everything went enormously fast, we had some sessions, some telephone calls and then we were in the studio. These are capable people, so it got to sound almost "too" perfect. That's why we went to Yngve Sætre's Duper studio with the admonition: Don't make it too perfect. That he has clearly fulfilled. After twelve days, everything was done, only the cover remained. This must be the shortest production EMI has payed for, but it it NOT the worst. It's not hi-fi, but dark and good. I use a jumbo acoustic guitar, with really BIG sound. Everything builds around that. Janove tries not to have a too rigid and too pretentious relationship to himself and his musical work.

- I have a vision, a plan. There are many who base themselves on doing things in the studio, but often they go astray. From the musical point of view, it's important to live for the moment, I feel.
Just because one of my projects went fine, that doesn't mean I restrict myself to that one only. He also wants that we lower the expectations a little.

- I build up characters and such, but apart from that I think very different than in Kaizers. Good lyrics? No, I don't read books, I'm no scholar. I see myself as songwriter and musician, not as lyrics author. There's nothing pompous about what I'm doing, I try to keep it straight and direct. Just now this is a way of thinking he could as well emphasize again.

- I will go out on a tour through Norway in fall, with the same band. But I could imagine as well to travel around small places with the guitar. I'm not even sure whether I get so much for free from the very start, even if I am Janove from Kaizers. But on the other hand, even if I should happen to sell a hundred thousand copies of that record, this wouldn't thwart the one Kaizers-plan, you can be sure about that. We'll now see about that, but no matter what happens it is beyond doubt that Janove Ottesen and his new music will please considerably more than only himself.

Francis' Lonely Nights

  1. Her Face
  2. Black And White Movie
  3. Juliet
  4. Forget About Me
  5. Go Tell Her
  6. This City Kills
  7. Neighbour Boy
  8. Down To The Vertigans
  9. Tickets
  10. Francis' Lonely Nights
  11. Garbage Man
  12. Wonderful Show

09/04 Norway
02/05 Germany

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Janove Ottesen