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White Willow: "We're restless, adventurous and willing to push boundaries"

Norwegian art rockers White Willow are back with album number seven, their first in six years. Frontman Jacob Holm-Lupo discusses new sounds, art and prog’s “golden era”

“Back when we started, the only music that had any exposure in Norway was either grunge or Euro-dance, so it was a terrible climate for prog!” laughs White Willow guitarist and founder Jacob Holm-Lupo. “It wasn’t that people didn’t like prog, it was just that they didn’t know what it was.”

As we bask in the warmth of a prog scene in rude health, it’s easy to forget how barren and unwelcoming the landscape was for progressive rock music a quarter of a century ago. Although still something of a cult concern, White Willow are now well established as one of the foremost Scandinavian prog bands of the modern era, with a sturdy catalogue of bewitching albums that could hardly be a better representation of what happens when great ideas, old and new, collide. But prior to the band’s signing with US label Laser’s Edge back in the early 90s, Holm-Lupo wasn’t convinced that playing prog was going to be fruitful.

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