Spotlight on … John Ivar Larsen (Cloth).

*When did you really get involved into music in general and into metal specific? Who was responsable for your interest in (metal) music?

For me it started in my early teens, composing music on trackers on Amiga/PC. After discovering the more extreme expressions metal music had to offer, I started recording/playing on my own. I’m not sure who was responsible for my interest in music in general, but a few friends in high school introduced me to metal. So I blame them for all of this!

*Which artists or bands did influence you the most?

When it comes to our material, it’s not possible to go around Dødheimsgard and Alcest. Both vastly different, but with a vibe that really resonates in me. Lately I’ve discovered the Norwegian band Astrosaur. Incredibly skilled musicians playing some sort of prog/post-rock.

*Which instrument do you play and how and when did you learn to play? Did you had lessons in school or private lessons? If so, was that because your parents expected that from you? Or did you learn to play the instruments by yourself? Do yo still follow some lessons?

I primarily play the guitars. I started in my teens, and I’m self taught. With all the problems that brings. I’m not raised in a particularly musical family, so music was never a big part of the daily life. So no expectations there. More of an odd-ball choice, really. I occasionally watch some videos online in regards to playing technique, but not as much as I should in order to up my playing game.

*Do you follow other or are you intrested in other styles of music beside metal? If so, what is the music you prefer to listen to?

I like to think of myself as a person with a broader musical taste than what people expect. More often than not I’m drawn to the rawer/melancholic side of music, genres put aside. I think the heaviest show I’ve ever been to was Woven Hand with only drums, bass and banjola. So emotion is key here, not just cranking your amp to 11…

*Is music a full time job for you now or do you have a job beside music? If so, what kind of job are you doing? If you would be really succesful with music, would you quit your other job?

I work in IT, so bands and music is a thing I do on the side. I do some mixing work for clients on my spare time in my studio, Motstrøm Studio ( If it came to be economically feasable to make fulltime income from music, I think I would give it a go. At least for having tried.

*If you could start a band with other musicians on other instruments, which artist would you pick for wich instrument and why? (Something Like an “All Stars Band”.) Would you still go for a black metal band? Or would you do something completely different?

Now that’s a hard one… I guess I’m drawn to mixing genres and expressions, so I think I would go with Neige (Alcest) and Samantha Escarbe (Virgin Black) on guitars, Justin Chancellor (Tool) on bass and Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) on drums. On vocals, perhaps Sophia Urista or Agnete Kjølsrud (Animal Alpha/Djerv). That would be interesting for sure!

*If you had been banned to an uninhabited island and you may pick 5 albums to listen to, wich albums would you choose and why?

Virgin Black: ‘Elegant … And Dying’. Simply a stunning display of tristesse.

Tool: ’10 000 Days’. I love this record so much. The groove, intricacy and vocal arrangements are to die for.

Rush: ‘2112’. It’s hard to pick just one Rush album, but I guess this is the one. Epic, playful and a craftmanship out of this world.

Woven Hand: ‘Woven Hand’. The melancholy, energy and organic sound from this record still blows me away.

Alcest: ‘Les voyages de l’âme’. Its dreamy atmosphere, crushing energy and fantastic melodic lines really gets to me.

*Every new album of a band or an artist is the best one, that’s what they always say. So here is a chance to promote the album. Why should a music lover buy your album? What are the standout tracks for you on this new album and why?

Well, it is our best one! ? If I have to pick one track from ‘Axis Mundi’, it would be ‘Ouroboros’. I love the carnival mood combined with dreamy post-rock and blazing black metal riffing.

See “CD-Review” for a review (written in Dutch) for the new Cloth ep ‘Axis Mundi’ (Nordic Mission) –

*We hope you will promote this album through live concerts (when of course everyting is getting back to “normal” after the Covid 19 disaster). If so, would you prefer small clubs or big festivals? And is there a chance we can see Cloth in Belgium?

Personally I would prefer small clubs mainly because of the intimacy with the crowd. I think our music is best suited in that scenario. I would love to play in Belgium again. I visited your country briefly a couple of years ago with another band (DALIT), and would love to be back!