1. What are you currently up to?
We are in the middle of releasing our new album “Youngblood”, so right now it is ahit loads of interviews, and promotion work to be done. We are also doing gigs back home in Norway. Late February we are off to do showcase in London, and then we are off to Germany to tour there with Long Distance Calling. Then it is summertime, which means festival time, where we are playing Rock Hard, Hellfest, Sweden Rock, Masters of Rock etc. In between all of this we will make time to write new songs..no rest for the wicked you know!
2. Could you take us through the excellent new album ‘Youngblood’? (e.g. ideas behind the songs etc)
Redemption Blues: A song that grew out of one of Ice Dale`s ideas, a song about drinking! And one of the first songs we wrote for this album.
Straight into your grave: This one is absolutely my favorite to play live. It has tons of energy, and a good Rainbow-ish groove. Lots of people has said that the bass line in the break sounds very Motorhead, and I must agree, even though that was never our intention.
Youngblood : Probably one of our most melodic, and best arranged songs ever. Thomas does some amazing guitar work on this one. The guitar riff in the beginning is highly inspired by his favorite guitar players : Ronnie Le Tekrø, from the Norwegian band TNT.
It is a song about having to work hard to get to where you want to be.
There goes a lady : The sexy song I always wanted us to write, a groovy song about the pain of being in an unhealthy relationship, where you should, but will not leave. I used the story bof the sirens to illustrate it. I love singing about the sea.
Show and tell : Believe it or not, but this song is about how facebook saves all information that you provide them with, and uses it to get a picture of who you are, where you go, and what kind of people you associate with. Pretty fucking scary when you think about it. Information is the new oil, and Facebook owns most of it. Mark Zuckerberg..not such a charming guy as we thought.
Cards with the devil : We had a lot of fun doing the jungle intro, and our producer Magnet recorded the birds in the woods around his studio. Thomas came up with the idea for this one, and I think it has a Van Halen coolness to it.
Pretty Little Sunshine: The odd one out, and a very different song for us, but we love playing it, and I love the fact that I managed to put a Steve Earle reference in there :”Just because you are paranoid does not mean that they`re not after you ”
A song for the weird people out there who make this a more interesting world to be in.
The open sea : The darkest song on the album, and the one we struggled most to get right, I am not sure if it is 100% finished, but time will show.
This ends here : I do not get how Ice Dale and Thomas manages to play this one..a tricky fucker. But it was born as the bastard son of a pirate lady, and the lyric idea was given to me by a friend. “Crossing Rubicon”, to reach a point of no return.
The king is dead : The song that probably is closest to our old material, in many ways I associate it with “So long, Euphoria” from our second album “Le Fol”, though this one is faster and more groovy. . The riff has a cool Steve Wonder vibe to it, and everybody loves Steve. Right?
3. On this album there are keyboards/organ and these greatly add to the overall sound. When writing the songs do the keyboard parts form part of the initial song or are they added after to embellish a song?
We did write some of them with a keyboard present, but mostly it is stuff we add towards the end. I guess the one song that were written with keyboard very much in mind is “The open sea”, but apart from that it is a spice we add later on.We have always had keyboard as an important part of our sound, but it has never been a huge part of the writing proses. In that sense, we are very much a guitar band.
4. You have made a video for ‘Redemption Blues’. How important is it now to have a video to help promote a new album, in particular on YouTube? Do you find being on YouTube brings in new fans for the band?
To be honest, I don`t know. I guess if you get a video that is a huge success, then it is a big help. But in general we feel it is just a third dimension to a song, and if it is cleverly done, it can make a good song better. We have never been big on videos even though we like the concept. You need to have good people, and give them enough time and creative freedom in order to get a good result. These days record labels don`t seem to see it as priority.
5. You have won awards in Norway. How big is the rock and metal scene there? What was it like to receive awards in your homeland?
It was amazing. To receive an award is an acknowledgment for what you do. It was the same thing when we got the Metal Hammer award in Germany. To us it is a big deal. The rock and metal scene in Norway is in a very good shape these days. So many good bands, both known, and unknown : El Caco, Enslaved, Kveletak, Purified in Blood, Ribozyme, Taake, Blood command etc etc etc.
It is also a very healthy scene. Bands are supporting each other, and doing cross over projects together. The city of Bergen, where we come from, has a couple of good rock clubs, where bands get together to play, or just hang out. And I feel this gives the music an extra dimension, and are a huge part of the reason that we make so much good music here.
6. What have been the live highlights for you and why?
We supported some big bands, like AC/DC. Does not get much bigger than that. But also some of the small club gigs we have done, have been equally exciting for us. You can really get down into the crowd on these gigs, and that gives a totally different, but just as rewarding energy.
Releasing 4 albums that we are damn proud of has also been good for us. They are after all the most physical result of what we do.
7. The band’s sound keeps progressing with each album. Is this a conscious decision by the band to keep the music fresh or are the band keen to avoid being stuck in one particular sound by the fans and press?
It is not a very conscious decision, but we are aware that we need to evolve as a band, in order to remain interesting to the audience, and most important, to our selves. But we have always written music that comes naturally to us, and never tried to write something because we felt that we had to. I think that is one of the reasons that we make music that people find relevant. The moment you start to adjust your material to the market, the quality in your songs will suffer as a result.
8. Do most of the band’s sales still come from CD’s or are more fans now buying your music via downloads?
I don`t know, but I sincerely hope they still buys vinyls and CD’s, mainly because I am old fashioned on this subject, but also because I think this is more healthy for the industry.
9. Any good rock ‘n’ roll tales to tell…
We have thrown TVs out of hotel rooms, shit our pants on stage, spent all our merch money on booze..only to loose the rest of the merch, and so on..but what happens on the road, stays on the road !
10. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from music?
I work as a tattoo artist, make pictures, drawings and paintings, I hang out with my family and friends, and I love to watch movies and read books, drink good beer and wine, and make food..
Anything else to add and a message for your fans…
Check out our new album “Youngblood”, and be on the look out for us in a town near you!
Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 20 July 2015
SYMPHONY X – Without You (Nuclear Blast)
BEYOND THE BREAK The Way It Was (indie)
NINE MILES SOUTH Leave Me Be (indie)
WILL JOHNS Last Page (Will Johns Music)
GUS G Burn (Century Media)
JARED JAMES NICHOLS Haywire (Listenable Records)
ROADHOUSE Them Changes (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 20 July 2015
10:00-12:00 CHAOS MAGIC Chaos Magic (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 BITERS Electric World (Earache)
14:00-16:00 HIP HATCHET Hold You Like A Harness (indie)