The Obelisk Questionnaire: Ståle “The Captain” Rodvelt of Kal-El

Ståle "The Captain" Rodvelt of Kal-El

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Ståle “The Captain” Rodvelt of Kal-El

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

Creating music start with riffs I enjoy and putting them together with the guys to become songs, and as it start to shape, I’m already having the theme for the lyrics in mind. When it’s good and ready to be presented to the world, I’m of course hoping people will enjoy the art. The phrase, “I make music for myself” is true to an extent – of course you hope people will like it and get something out of it. Anything else is utter bullshit, if you picked up an instrument with getting on stage in mind, of course you want attention. Only thing you can hope for, is the fact that its good enough, and that people catch on and like it. That was the idea when I picked up a tennis racket, and played Elvis songs in front of the mirror. You give it a good go as you’ve seen the real stars do on TV and picturing yourself in front of a crowd going wild, and if you say otherwise, you lie :P

Then the mirror gigs became friends playing together, and as the skills grew, we started making attempts on originals. So, after several years (literally several with capital S) with different bands and different musical styles, I ended up putting together KAL-EL to try out some riffs I had. Riffs that got rejected as campfire-Danzig riffs (no lie :D) by the bands I played in. As faith would have it, the drummer of KAL-EL, Bjudas, had the same damn experience with his riffs getting rejected in his band. But he gave me a few, reluctantly I might add, and I was blown away by his writing skills. I guess seeing my reaction encouraged him to get busy, and now he farts out cool riffs faster then people can digest the one he just came up with. We are now proud to say with the help of the other guys in KAL-EL, together with their riffs and their influences, these riffs have given us a Spellemanns nomination, so I guess they wasn’t too shitty after all. :D

Describe your first musical memory.

That must be my mother tuning in to Radio Luxembourg, listening to whatever was the hot shit of the week in the 70s or playing her Elvis’ 7” s – She was (and still is) a huge Elvis fan, so that has kind of rubbed off on me. Elvis is still the King to me, but of course I drifted along to harder stuff as the ’80s came along and I got into my teens. Getting the WASP debut album in my teenage hands changed everything.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

That would have to be when I was lucky enough to see Metallica at the Fillmore in San Francisco in April 2003. I had two tickets to the Wednesday show, and with a pregnant wife, we set off to the USA for the first time to witness Robert Trujillo’s first live performance with the band. Together with 300(!) other fans. They played all the hits from the first 3 records, and it was pretty surreal. They performed so close to the crowd that we could touch them, and they fist bumped everyone there, had people up on stage, and really had a good time. Never had an experience like that since.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Every kid is born pure, without knowledge of hate or religious mumbo jumbo in their heads, so it should be doable to get along. Why isn’t it so? I really don’t have a good answer to that, but the state of the world now a days truly tests my belief in happiness, every day. Why can’t humans just get the fuck along? If it was a time for aliens to reveal themselves, now is as good as any. Perhaps we could find some common ground then. :P

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

If you learn your craft to play or sing that tone you couldn’t last time, then you have a good progression which leads to, I guess happiness and a sense of accomplishment. And if what you do is getting better, more refined, and the response to it is thumbs up, you’re on the right track.

How do you define success?
To wake up every day, alive and able to feed my wonderful kids and family.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

I think I’ll keep that to myself.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

A cool festival to give people in my hometown a taste of the music, and all the great bands I’ve met on the road. I had one starting back in 2019, Darkspace Stoner Fest, but as the pandemic came along, and its been pretty busy with KAL-EL lately, and I haven’t found the time to look into it for real. It’s been that one time, but I really want to create something to be held once a year.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

To provoke and make people think. Some art is eye or ear candy and sooths the brain, and some art is plain ugly or totally out of whack and make the brain go; what?? But all forms of art have the right to exist, and all art has both haters and lovers. Either way, it gets me engaged, so I guess the artist got the reaction he/she wanted.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to.

I do write some novels (mostly for myself) from time to time to give me inspiration to write lyrics for KAL-EL. Looking forward to the day I get the guts to put it together to something readable and show people. I guess it would have been sci fi stories for kids about this badass bounty hunter girl named Mica. My lack of writing skills is overshadowed by coming up with never ending stories about this girl’s adventures, and I’m always spinning on some new story. I just suck at getting it down in a readable shape.

Kal-El, Dark Majesty (2021)

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