1. Could you tell us please what are you currently up to? (recording, gigs, plans)
- For the time being I’m writing music for others and promoting the new ON THE RISE album – “DREAM ZONE”.
2. Could you take us through the songs on the ‘Dream Zone’ album (e.g. ideas behind the songs, songwriting process etc)?
1) ALIVE – This started with a theme from an old song I had from my collection/library. It’s got bits and pieces from something I wrote in the past. It was a joyful moment to see how old stuff can rise up and become new and be used in a total new setting. Even better than it was. That’s what I love about making music. There’s no limits or recipe for how to make it. And it’s never the same everyday. Quite colourful and inspirational process to follow. It was fun when I wrote and recorded this song. Catchy chorus with a highlight in the middle that was enjoyable to play on guitar.
2) DREAM ZONE – A straight on theme is going through the tune with lots of background vocals on a sing along chorus. Groovy guitar riffs ! This song were built step by step over a few days. I was going back and forth by adding parts that was needed to make it complete and putting it together the way I wanted it to be. There are times in life we all need to catch up with our dreams to keep a certain instinct of survival intact. Grabbing a hold on hoping the best.
3) GET OUT OF HERE – I like the rhythm and the goove on this song. Glad I was adding some B3 underneath the arrangements. It gives the 70s kinda atmosphere. It’s more heavy than a few other tunes on the album. As the lyrics says some need their freedom, to live and let go. To leave the past behind and enjoy life.
4) FLY AWAY – I like to co-operate with collegues and friends in the music business and this song was giving me the opportunity to write together with Tor Talle again. We’ve been working together before on a song called “HIGH ABOVE THE SKY” performed by our mutual friend and collegue Rob Moratti (SAGA). FLY AWAY has a nice story in the lyrics about the search for happiness and a joyful life.
5) IN THE LINE OF FIRE – I served as a professianal soldier in the UN-Force (UNIFIL) a few years ago. Working for peace. I was in the war zone in the South of Lebanon. It made me reflect upon the terror we have in our world today. The lyrics are written as a reminder, observer and the knowledge of my own experience in the past as a soldier and towards the fact of todays reality of life ! It’s a groovy tune with lots of guitars and a catchy chorus. I enjoyed the creative process on this one !
6) NO TIME TO LOOSE – This song is a little different from the others. It was pretty nice to see how Erik Engebretsen turned around a few parts. Even to the better by adding some ideas on drums. He did a tremedously and great job through the whole album. Certain times in life it’s healthy to just stop and look around. Reflect upon life itself ! Grab a hold on whatever that is needed to keep going on. Catch the glimpse of magic ! Give ourselves the kick in the butt to realize what’s needed to be positive, smile and keep going on in life !
7) TOMORROW NEVER DIES – A very positive song. Melody lines came up very easily. The groove were set very quickly. I wanted to bring some positive vibes to the lyrics and the sound of vocals were the main contribution for making it sound correct. Whatever that comes up and blocking your way, just move on. Give it a new try. Smile to the world and the world smiles back at you. Well most of the time !
8) LIFELINE – A real AOR classic. It’s a good example of great collaboration between myself and Christian Wolff. I knew this song would be special in its own way and a pleasure to work on. It’s got it all. Catchy chorus, great hooks and it’s a little different from the others as well. As the lyrics says together we’re strong. The band that keeps us united. Walking hand in hand through what life has to offer !
9) HOWLING AT THE MOON – It’s an old song that I brought back to life and pushed it above the surface. I wrote this in a local recording studio. A man who’s still standing tall. Been through tough times but makes it either way through life ! Coming back stronger than ever !
10) WHY WAIT ANOTHER DAY – Good to have a few collaborations on an album. To make it even more colourful. This is one of those songs that I felt would bring an interesting feeling to it. A little different in style and the way it’s written.
11) EDELLYN – I wanted to bring a silent moment of peace in between all the rock tunes with this one. To keep it with less is more kinda arrangement. Down to basic. Once in a lifetime people are lucky to meet and explore the love in their lives. I guess this one says it all with no specific introduction or explanation !
12) LOST YOUR TRACK – This is one of the songs that I found quite interesting for the new album. Another great collaboration between me and Christian Wollff. I felt it would fit in between the rest of the album. I did a few changes on vocals and Eirik Grønner (Engineer) came up with the lyrics.
13) FIND A WAY – One day I was listening to my cousin playing on piano. I never hesitate by letting a good idea or a song be wasted without giving it a chance to develop. I sat down by adding some guitars, arranged some instrumental parts and I gave it a few uplifting melody lines on vocals until I felt it had what was needed to include it on the new ON THE RISE album – “DREAM ZONE”.
3. How did you hook up with Eric Ragno who appears on the new album? How did you choose the other musicians who appear on the album?
- I met both Eric Ragno and Erik Engebretsen through the net. Christian Wolff wrote me one day and all of a sudden a great team was born.
4. Were you pleased at the reaction to the debut album and why did it take so long for a follow-up album to appear?
- I was quite pleased and enjoyed the positive reaction to the debut album of course, but it’s even more amazing and fantastic to enjoy the respond on the second ON THE RISE album – “DREAM ZONE”. It has improved and matched the debut album already. It’s better in so many ways. The songwriting is more mature and complete in the way it’s written. I never expected any of this. I’m so focused on the writing and I’m enjoying the process of making music. So it’s really great when everybody else likes it too of course. Time’s moving fast for sure. I’ve been back and forth writing for others and helping out with other projects. Time consuming, but joyful and fun to do. It’s important to have the inspiration and catch the positive energy during the writing of an new album.
5. What have been the most memorable live shows for you and why?
- That would be those times I’ve been playing and performing for children with cancer from the local hospital in my hometown Bergen. Lots of National artists were giving their contribution with such wonderful enthusiasm and positive spirit of mind. Nothing gives me more than helping out, to support and be there for someone who need it in life.
6. Are there any plans to take On The Rise onto the road and maybe play a festival like Firefest or Sweden Rocks?
- It would’ve been a pleasure to play on any of these festivals like Sweden Rock and Firefest of course. Time will show while the process goes further on regarding the promotion and the marketing of the new album.
7. How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?
- I was joining a local talent contest when I was 17 years old. My advice is for everybody to enjoy music best way possible. Don’t waste your time by focusing on being a celebrity. Always be good to yourself and others. Share your talent with those who are happy on your behalf. Not the ones who are envying you or who’s got problems by accepting your success. If you make it by following this healthy and great path in life, then you’ll be the most harmonious and happy musician who’ll be walking on this earth !
8. Have you seen an upswing in the interest in hard rock and melodic rock over the past couple of years? Has the internet helped get your music out there or in some ways e.g. illegal downloads has it made matters worse?
- The interest and the need of the genre AOR/melodic rock music is recognizable and still out there. Internet is definitely helping to spread the music for sure. I’m not very happy about downloads, but as some people say it’s a good way to promote the music as well. Even though the simple truth is that the music business is losing a lot of money because of the illegal download. As I usally say what goes around comes around!
9. Who are your musical influences and why?
- There are so many great acts to mention here. I grew up with bands and artists like Deep Purple, Kiss, Whitesnake, Journey, Mr.Mister, Bryan Adams, Def Leppard, Van Halen…great guitar players like Steve Vai, Brian May, Steve Lukather and so on… these bands and musicians are the main foundation of what great songs and playing is all about !
10. Message for your fans…
- Thanks to you all for the amazing respond and fantastic support of the new ON THE RISE album – “DREAM ZONE”. It’s appreciated. Keep buying music everybody. CDs got the best quality. KEEP ROCK ALIVE !!
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WARM RAIN Here Comes The Rain Again (Rain Recordings)
DARWIN Cosmic Rays (indie)
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MARQUIS DRIVE Shine On (indie)
YOUR LIFE & MINE Remind To Remember (indie)
EMERALD SUN What becomes Of You (indie)
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12:00-13:00 WHITESNAKE Flesh & Blood (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BUFORD POPE The Waiting Game (Unchained Records)
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