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Audrey Horne

Zin in een ongecompliceerde classic rock plaat vol spetterend melodieus gitaarwerk en pakkende refreinen? Dan kan je in januari terecht bij ‘Blackout’ van Audrey Horne, een band waarin nochtans enkele muzikanten uit de Noorse extremere metal zitten. Maar dat merk je niet bij Audrey Horne en deze opvolger van Pure Heavy’ is dan ook puur entertainment om naar te luisteren. We hadden een gesprek met zanger Torkjell ‘Toschie’ Rød die niet als de meest spraakzame gesprekspartner de geschiedenis zal ingaan, maar ons wel vriendelijk en relaxed te woord stond.

Door: Vera | Archiveer onder hardrock / aor

Two albums – ‘Youngblood’ (2013) and ‘Pure Heavy’ (2014) – came pretty fast after each other and then there was a longer break, before ‘Blackout’ will come out early 2018. How come?
Yes, that’s right. It was a combination of things, like Thomas (Tofthagen – Vera), the guitar player, became a father and Arve (Ice Dale) has been busy with Enslaved. People had to do other stuff as well.

Was there a specific moment you decided to start working on a new album?
We decided at a certain moment that it was about time indeed. That must have been about a year ago, then it got seriously, but basically we have been writing on this album since ‘Pure Heavy’ was finished. It was not that we only wrote stuff during the last year, it has been going on for at least the last three years.

I think you are a band that always composes and then, when it is time for a new album, you start to collect and finalize things…
Yes, it is pretty much like that.

Do you write all the lyrics?
Yes I do and for some of them, the other guys give me input, but mostly I write them all myself.

What are the lyrics about?
Lot of stuff comes to you when you write, most of it is about the general state of the world, but there are some other things too, about what we experience together as a band. There is internal stuff we write about in an external way, not literally, but sometimes it is hidden. Basically it is all about life.

Is there a song, dear to your heart, you want to tell more about?
I think the song ‘This Is War’ is pretty much about the connection between us, as the band, and our audience. The communication between the band and the audience has always been very important. When we wrote ‘This Is War’, we wanted it to be about us and our audience. I think it is a really nice thing, because we, as a band, are totally depending on our audience to be able to do what we do. Hopefully the audience will feel the warmth and see that we deliver a show that meets up to their standards. Not that there is a war between us and the audience, but if there should be a war, it should be us and the audience against the enemy. We took the longest track as a single, because we thought it is typical for our live shows. It is a song where we think to combine all the strong features of Audrey Horne.

You are from Norway and obvious you sound like a European band, but I always have the feeling that there is also a kind of American vibe in your music, don’t you think so?
Yes, I do and I agree and that’s because we grew up with the American pop and rock songs.

Did you work with an extern producer, like Joe Barresi in the beginning?
Yes we did. We worked with a guy called Kato Adland. We worked close with him and for us he was a perfect match this time. Basically he is a pop producer most of the time. But he grew up with Iron Maiden and stuff like that. It was a natural choice for us. We wanted to sound like hard rock, but also have that melodic feel. It was important for us to have a producer who made that hard.

Did it mean that you had to relocate to a new studio where you’ve never been before?
Yes, we did this in a different studio than where we did our last album ‘Pure Heavy’. As a band it is a challenge, because you have to rethink about how you are going to do things.

Yes, I think it is refreshing for a band to change from time to time, because everybody has his own way of working and the band as well…
Most definitely.

Did you actually play live some shows or tour after ‘Pure Heavy’, because with all the busy schedules with playing in different bands, that’s not so evident?
We did a tour with Danko Jones in April last year and then we have done a couple of gigs in Norway lately, which was good, because we are focusing a lot on Europe in general. We haven’t actually played that much in Norway. We have done some gigs in the US and recorded one album over there, but our success isn’t that big over there yet.

band image

Can we see the song ‘Audrevolution’ as a kind of revolution of new ways of listening to music?
No, the whole meaning of that song goes more in the other direction, towards the old way of playing and recording music. It is about going back to the roots.

Are you the main inspirer of this kind of music or is it all the guys, having a soft spot for smoother rock, because they are playing in more extreme metal bands?
When it comes to listening to that kind of music; it is mainly me and the bass player, Espen Lien, but it is basically everyone. We listen to a lot of different stuff.

How did you personally get in touch with music, rock and metal in your youth?
I grew up with a father who played in a band (bass in a blues rock band) and he actually still does. I was in the middle of instruments and amplifiers since I was a kid. He always played a lot of cool albums, so I grew up with music all the time. So I did not have a choice actually (laughs).

Is there a specific reason why you called the album ‘Blackout’?
When I made the artwork – well, I did not make it, but I decided how it was going to look – we looked at the lyrics and titles to find an album title. When we came to the song ‘Blackout’, it seemed to fit the artwork very much.

Did you see any live gigs recently?
Yes, I have seen Europe not so long ago. I like their new stuff. I saw In Flames, these are the most recent ones.

Do you live in Bergen?
I live in town in Bergen indeed. It is a very beautiful city and a lot of music and really good bands. Not only in rock and metal, but everything, going from hiphop to jazz to blues to pop.

Norway is mainly famous for black metal and that is widely accepted there. Ihsahn is even a teacher, black metal is supported by the government. But what is the reaction on the music of Audrey Horne?
It has been really good. There is a lot of heavy metal, but also other kinds of music. There are many people that respect what we do, but we haven’t played enough here, because we were so focused on Europe. Our plan is to play more gigs in Norway in the future.

What about the concrete plans for touring?
In January we have a tour in Europe, but mainly in Germany, the Netherlands and France. Later in Spring we will hopefully do another European tour where we will play in different countries.

Is there something you want to share with us about the making of the video for ‘This Is War’?
Well, actually that video was made by Ice Dale, our guitar player. Normally the record company let you make a lyric video for the first song, but firstly it is not that interesting and secondly, it is a very long song with instrumental parts. What are we going to do a lyric video, when there are no lyrics for three minutes (chuckles)? Then we decided to focus on what we do best and make a live video instead of the record company making a lyric video. We had a lot of stuff we filmed ourselves.

It is a very well-done video. Now we cannot ignore the next question: you have a new album out and now ‘Twin Peaks’ (with the character of Audrey Horne) is back on our TV screens after twenty-five years. Done on purpose or coincidence?
It is coincidence, believe me. I would not know how to describe it. I don’t follow it, sometimes it is a bit too long-winded and hazy for me.

For me too. Are there new tattoos on your body, because you are full of tattoos?
I had a Paul Stanley tattoo not so long ago on my tie, that’s the most recent one. I think I was twenty when I got my first one, so I don’t regret anything. These were all conscious decisions.

In January, Audrey Horne will play two gigs in Holland, one in Arnhem and one in Eindhoven.

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