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"I didn’t spend my teenage years masturbating – I spent them rehearsing!" Meet Statement’s multi instrumentalist but primarily lead guitarist Niels Alex Larsen

Dansk version

He wasn’t "much more than three or four years old" before he occupied the floor, and banging the rails of his model train set on upside down containers and pillows – mimicking Søren Berlev’s (drummer with legendary Danish rockers Gasolin’) rhythm patterns from old records.

His daddy was initially quite impressed. At least until the day the talented kid discovered cymbals. And consequently used his old dad’s vinyl LPs for the purpose.

Many years later the talented kid fondly remembers those days with a hearty chuckle. His name is Niels Alex Larsen – now 35 years old.

Today the ambitious drummer of yesteryear is the lead guitarist and prime motivator behind the band Statement and their recent debut album "Monsters". Actually, Niels plays both all guitars and the drums on said album.

Statement hit the ground running out of the starting gate with fists held high and a potent mixture of metal and classic hard rock on an album that really caught yours truly with my guard down. I really did not see THIS coming.

"I can understand that, ’cause really Statement started as a project rather than a band. It only became a band after the recording of the album. Before that there WAS no band," says Niels and explains how Statement came to be.

"I was the drummer in Pilgrimz (defunct hardcore band, ed.) and when that fell apart due to too much slacking and lack of funds I was actually rather sad. I was happy in that fucking band. . ."

Enter: Niels’ first musical love. Classic hard rock in the vein of Scorpions, Guns N’Roses and "Black album" era Metallica.

"Man, I loved those. Along with Europe, Tesla and Damn Yankees and I was getting really tired of metal being about over the top technique, sterile recordings and groove and then more groove. Where were the guitar solos?" he laughs.

"After the Pilgrimz split up, I looked up my old buddy Jannick (Brochdorf, singer in Statement. Ed.) and told him "now you write some lyrics, I’ll write some music and then we’ll start a fucking ROCK band!"

And so they did.

But back to Niels’ background.

His musical career took off on a rather sad note. When as a teenager he lost his father in 1995.

"The day he died I had a ticket for a Pretty Maids show in the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen the same evening. So there I was. In the Tivoli, listening to Pretty Maids and shedding tears for my dad," Niels remembers.

His father left his offspring some money and finally Niels could invest in the drums and the electric guitar, he otherwise had never been able to afford.

"And then I practiced," Niels says and then laughs:

"My teenage years weren’t spent masturbating. They were spent practicing."

A mere two years later Niels joined an international project band meant to represent Denmark in the Philippines and later he joined a reggae band who "kind of missed a drummer".

"I got the chance to learn playing reggae and we actually ended up as support for The Cardigans in Sweden, but I fell out with the singer and left the band. After that I met the boys in Pilgrimz and returned to metal."
Pilgrimz released one album, "Boar Riders" in 2008. In the same year they played Roskilde Festival, Spot Festival and the annual "Headbanger’s Ball" tour in Denmark.

"As I see it, we were really on to something back then. We had an international record contract and there was a lot of hype around the band – probably more than we merited really," Niels says.

"When later we plays amongst others Wald and Sweden Rock I figured we’d really got going but at that point the others had more or less had enough. We did record a second album anyway but it has never been released in a physical format and at the same time we ran into problems with both management and record company. That was the final straw for the others and we split up."

Then what?

"Then what? Well, I had this dream about forming a real rough and ready rock band, you know!"

Well, Niels (and we) got exactly that. The name – as mentioned a couple of times – is Statement and you can see ‘em live at Nordic Noise Festival at Copenhagen’s Pumpehuset venue on May 24th. Also, Statement support Niels’ old heroes Tesla at same city’s Amager Bio venue on June 6th.

Be there and get a rock and roll experience like that sort of thing was originally meant to be!


Dagens Sang



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