Nils K. Rue

Published on March 2nd, 2012

Even though Nils could play the drums at the age of ten, and actually were drummer in a school band for ten years, it was clear that his greatest talent was his voice.

In 1971, Nils Kvåle Rue was brought into this world. Born into the area of Beatles and rockabilly bands, he wanted to start a band at a young age looking up to his two elder brothers: “They had leather jackets and girls – no need to mention any more?” Nils’ first album was Play It Loud, which he got at the age of four. Play It Loud is the second album by the British rock group Slade, released in 1970. Growing up, Kate Bush was a huge inspiration for Nils. “I thought she was so hot. She was the ultimate woman.”

Nils grew up in a small village called Flatdal, in the heart of Telemark. Flatdal is of about 400, not a very ambitious place. As a fourteen-year-old, he wanted to form a band after discovering hard and epic music. But, unfortunately, none of his village friends had developed musically skills. In the early 80s, the Danish metal band Mercyful Fate and Dio shocked Nils’ musical world. 18 years old, he moved away form his home, as a result of the inspiration it gave him: “Ever since, music has been my way of expression and source to carry on.”

In his early stage as a musician, Nils was both a guitarist and vocalist in several bands. In 1993, Nils had sung in Toxic, and Bremsespor, before he formed Sunset Strip along with Thorstein Aaby and Stian Kristoffersen.

Paul Overman and Iver Bakke formed Bremsespor, when their old band Vigalante was put down. Vigilante’s bassist Torodd Rimstad went on session, and he had an important role in the band, when it came to songwriting, gigs, merchandise, and trying to keep the band sober before going on stage. Shortly after the ending of Vigalante, Nils joind Bremsespor, a cover band playing stuff like Judas Priest and Saxon at local mc-clubs. But Bremsespor did not exist for a long time. In 1993 Sunset Strip released the album “Stripping Time” before it changed into Silverspoon in 94/95. Silverspoon did gigs now and then, and Nils K. Rue, Thorstein Aaby, Stian Kristoffersen and bassist Øyving Vang also covered KISS-songs together. “The style of the music was inspired by 80s LA-rock and metal.” Together they played in Silverspoon for almost seven years, never being especially professional, before the release of “Sink Or Swim”, which took place in April 1999. The last year Silverspoon played together the band had in mind to change the musical style and go in a more heavy and progressive direction.  The change can already be heard on the first song on the album – that later became “Entrance: Stargate” from Celestial Entrance. “The album was self-financed and was intended to be a sort of “professional demo”, as we were being tired of being put down by all the metal labels all the time and wanted to get some attention.” It certainly did. In the summer of 2000 Silverspoon became Pagan’s Mind, joined by Jørn Viggo Lofstad, Ronny Tegner and Steinar Krokmo, who replaced Øyvind Vang. Besides Pagan’s Mind (which will always be his main priority), Nils have played in bands such as Eidolon, Shadowspell and X-World/5. He also did a guest performance on the Aeon Zen album A Mind’s Portrait. Nils did two songs on the album: “Into the Infinite” and “Time Divine” which both received great criticism. Prog Archives wrote that “Time Divine” is without a doubt the greatest vocal performance on this album.” A Mind’s Portrait also included vocalists such as Andi Kravljaca, Andreas Novak and Elyes Bouchoucha.

Nils is a graphic designer and has made all of Pagan’s Mind’s covers, exept Heavenly Ecstasy made by Felipe Machado Franco, based on Nils’ ideas. Nils is the main lyricist in Pagan’s Mind and he finds inspiration all around him, especially from everything that’s out of this world. “I’m very interested in the mysteries of time and universe, paranormal phenomenon and the great riddle of existence.“ Thus, a lot of his writing is inspired by number of great thinkers, philosophers, scientists, writers, and film directors, such as Erich von Däniken’s book Chariots of The Gods. In 2011, Pagan’s Mind released Heavenly Ecstasy, where the lyrics are on a more personal platform. On a musical note, Nils likes everything that kicks ass, basically from Mozart to Dimmu Borgir, where “Images & Words” by Dream Theater and “Them” by King Diamond are two of his favorites.

In 2005 on March 11, Kristiansund Opera arranged the world’s first metal-opera, in form of the classical play Faust by Goethe. Nils played Mephisto, the cruel devil. “I was doing theater and vocals at the same, and that was pretty exciting. And if I get a chance to do that again I would most definitely do it.”  Tk.no wrote following on which role made the strongest impression: “Clearly Mephisto. He is active on stage and play it to the fullest.”

Nils has also played a role in a music video for a band called Above Symmetry. In the music video for “Traces Inside” he plays a priest. The video was released in 2012. Watch it here.

For being the vocalist of Pagan’s Mind, he has been praised for his work. Nils is sponsored by Røde Microphones. In Heavy Metal About’s own words: “Let’s just point out that Nils K. Rue is one of the very best metal vocalists around today.”

“Pagan’s Mind is my heart and soul and something I will also regard as my most important musical endeavor, since it also consists of my nearest friends.”