Q&A with Malossi

Malossi’s ‘Blanke Barter’ is out 13.august. Last week we had a chat with the band – just days before the album release. Read on!
  1. Blanke Barter will be released this Friday! What would you like to tell our audience about your new release? 

Well, this is our first full album in Norwegian. By writing in our mother tongue we slightly shifted our mindset and direction, and ended up adding more weight and bleak honesty to the music. The songs are 10 small stories that portray experiences and characters from our own lives. 

Although we inhabit a genre that typically focuses on “the riff”, we have been focusing on the songs as a whole without sacrificing those sweet sweet riffs. The album looks awesome, and sounds even better. It’s got ten solid bangers, all with great melodies, groove, and torrents of heavy riffs.  

2. Can you please elaborate a bit on the process of making the album and why you chose to record it at The Boogie Bunker? 

The Boogie Bunker is Malossi’s own project studio. We actually started by recording drums as a sort of pre-production, while we were sorting out which studio to choose for the “real” sessions. The drum recording turned out great though, and we began to consider using them for the final product. We sent the raw tracks to Chicago-based producer Matt Dougherty (Megadeth, Disturbed, Alien Ant Farm etc.) for a second opinion, and on his advice decided to stick with the original drum recording and do the rest of the tracking ourselves as well. Covid struck shortly after, but we were then able to keep the process going, as we sat isolated in our own little den.  

We had the idea of including musical friends from outside of Malossi as well on this album, and as soon as the C19-situation allowed it we started inviting musicians to “The Bunker” to lay down parts for different songs.

The final mixes were done by Daniel Bergstrand in Sweden. We have been a fan of his work with bands like Meshuggah and In Flames since the late nineties. For our album he worked with Meshuggah guitarist Fredrik Thordendal, and together they lifted the production to a whole new level, without compromising on our sound.  

3. Can you expand on how the artwork for the album came together?

We used Thomas Moe Ellefsrud aka Hypnotist Design for the album- and singles artwork. We discovered him on Instagram, just slid in his DMs and hired him on the basis of what we had seen on his profile. I guess that concept wise we only knew we wanted a big face with a mustache on the cover, and that we wanted to have a strong and bright color for the sleeve. Thomas immediately catched the vibe of what we were looking for, and the artwork was conceived and finished as we watched him work real-time in video meetings. It was a really cool process, and the result was perfect! 

4. What’s in store for Malossi the coming year? Any tours planned? 

We’re aiming to play as much live as possible following the album release. We’ve had no opportunity to set up a continuous tour, given the uncertainty regarding the live situation these days. We have booked a number of “one shot” gigs though, are stocked up on merch, vinyls and cassettes, and are aching to play. So let’s keep our fingers crossed for a return to something that resembles a normal live music scene within 2021. 

Ah, and also we are recording a new music video after the summer! Not gonna spoil too much of it now, but we can say it will be quite different from the “Kløpp Dreieventiln” video. 

5. Anything else you wish to share? 

We’ve gotten help from a lot of people this time around. For instance, from our friends contributing musically: Richard Gjems on blues harmonica, Bjørn Einar Hanstveit on percussion, Rune Flobakk on keys, Kristian Plassgård on slide guitar and a sparkling solo, Egil Stemkens on double bass and finally Børre Mølstad on free jazz tuba. Also, the video for “Kløpp Dreieventiln” would never have happened without the moped gang Slakteradn and the multi-skilled Anders Håheim directing, editing, and doing nearly all the heavy lifting. That video ended up awesome, and we owe them everything for that. Same thing with the lyric video for “Drømmer På Boks” by Finn Aagaard. 

Q&A with Razorbats!

While the world and in this case the music industry has been plagued by the Covid-19, Razorbats have not been resting on their laurels: new album Mainline Rock ‘N’ Roll is out and hopefully a tour will come to fruition later this year.
Last week we had a chat with the band – just days before the album release. Read on!

Who are Razorbats, and what is the story behind your band name?

Razorbats are five road worn rockers from Oslo, Norway. Most of us tour or have toured the world with other bands for a long time, in addition to being in Razorbats. The band has been around for a few years now and we have released two full length albums. I have heard that a razor bat is the weapon of choice of some obscure cartoon villain. Not really sure, but it sounds badass!

Your album is titled Mainline Rock ’N’ Roll and consists of 10 tracks. In short, give a presentation of each track: how it came about, lyrics etc.

We always have an overall theme for our albums, like bands used to in the 70s. Makes it more fun to write songs for the album and ties the whole album together in a great way. The theme this time is rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. The good, the bad and the moronic! The title indicates that this is the hardcore stuff, for and by people who are in too deep to stop. Most of the songs are written by Wevling.

The album opener ‘Rock ’N’ Roll Kills’ is both a mission statement for the album and also a warning. Most of us have heard growing up that you’ll end up in hell if you sin, and that sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll is a one-way ticket to hell. We basically say that it’s still worth it! We sum it up nicely in the chorus: «Cruising like an easy rider. Feel the breeze softly on my skin. All around the road gets wider. The straight and narrow is somewhere I’ve never been».

‘Working for the Weekend’ is the story of a guy who has a dead end job, hates his boss and lives for the weekend, so he can have some fun with his friends and feel alive! All of us have been there at various times in our lives, so we think it is a bit strange that some people we have played it to think that we are exaggerating or trying to be funny. But again, maybe it’s more common that rockers have boring jobs? We borrowed the title from Loverboy, but when they talk about love as an escape, we say drugs, partying and casual sex is a more realistic escape for most of us.

Next track on the album is ‘Rebel Soul’. This is a song Paul wrote for his old band Hollywood Vampires (not the one with Johnny Depp), and fitted perfectly on the album. It tells the story of a rock chick and a band she knows that’s in town. She hangs out with them, drinks their beers and has her way with the singer. All in all a good night out!

‘Little Ms. Crazy’ is the first of two breakup songs on the album. The other one being Venice. The song tells the classic story of a normie who falls in love with a free-spirited rock-chick. Of course, he doesn’t really understand her, and starts to think that there is something wrong with her. Maybe she’s having an affair with another guy or maybe she’s just crazy? He gets increasingly paranoid and acts like a total ass. Until she can’t take it anymore and dumps him. He naturally takes that as the final proof that she’s nuts. Venice is the sad story of falling out of love with someone, who on paper is fantastic and not really understanding why.

‘Big Time’ is about hopes and dreams, trying to make the most of your life. The line «Fortuna is leading me on, with a fervent determination to get it on»! Just go for it!!

‘The City’ and ‘Cocaine Karma’ is cautionary tales of excessive partying. The latter is just a fun little rocker with a disco beat about the perils of doing too much coke before having sex. ‘The City’ is a bit darker. You wake up hung over as hell and start to remember all the dumb shit you did last night. Knowing you can’t escape the consequences and feeling pretty paranoid about it. Ever been there? I think so!

The last song on the album is title ‘Nightcrawlers’. The opener, ‘Rock ’N’ Roll Kills’, functions like a warning. ‘Nightcrawlers’ is an invitation! If you have listened to all our stories and still want the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle, we’ll be more than happy to have you on our team! It can get pretty dark and fucked up at times, but we also have a lot of fun! It’s a wild, wild ride to the dark side!

Who has produced, mixed and mastered your album?

We actually produced the album ourselves. We know what we want the band to sound like, and a couple of us have gotten a lot of experience engineering over the years. So, we felt it was the right time to step up as producers as well. We recorded in three different studios, due to Covid-19, so it was a bit difficult to organize. At times we were recording drums in one studio, bass and guitars in another and vocals in a third studio. It turned out fantastic and we’re very proud of the results! Lars Erik Westby at H10 Productions mixed the album, and the mastering was done by Thomas Eberger at Stockholm Mastering.

Tell us about the cover art?

We were throwing around some ideas after a rehearsal one day and started talking about how it would be cool if we could give the listener a bit of an 80s movie vibe when they’re looking at the album front cover. You know, like one of those campy werewolf or slasher flicks. At the same time, we also wanted the listener to understand right away by just looking at the cover that this is THE ultimate rock ‘n’ roll album. One of the guys remembered that we had a great picture of Paul laying around, where he got his back to the camera with his leather jacket on, doing this cool pose. This picture (as well as the other band pictures) was taken by a photographer named Magnus Aune. With the image and the 80s vibe as a starting point, Martin (our bass player – who’s also a graphic designer) started to work on the album cover and created this awesome design. It really represents us and our music in a perfect way. You got the moon, the title and logo and of course Paul, overlooking Oslo city at night – with his magic hands, ready to raise hell and party hard.

What’s in store for Razorbats the coming year? Any tours planned?

The new album will be out April 9 and we can’t wait for the fans to hear it. It is undoubtedly our best work so far, and it will be so much fun to play live. We are rehearsing for the tour now, but who knows when it will be possible to tour again due to Covid-19. We have a European tour planned, but we’re not sure when it will happen. Follow us on social media or check razorbats.com for more updates.

Can you tell us about your influences, bands you like?

We have 50 years of rock ’n’ roll history and it’s all in there in one way or another. Most prominent in our sound is classic rock, powerpop and punk. Some of the older bands we all can agree on are Cheap Trick, KISS, The Sweet, AC/DC, Motörhead, The New York Dolls, Ramones, Hanoi Rocks, Blink 182, Mötley Crüe and The Hellacopters. We also like a lot newer bands like Heavy Tiger, The Biters, The Struts and Casablanca.

Check out Mainline Rock ‘N’ Roll on Spotify, now! In need for more cool music? Listen to Razorbats’ mixtape below.

Band photo by Magnus Aune

Cover art by Martin Korsgaard Hervig

Q&A with Me And You Va-Va-Voom

New album is set to drop from the Høyanger trio! In the wake of White Awaits (out in April) a new single will be out this Friday. It’s time to check out what’s going on in the MAYVVV camp.

Who are Me And You Va-Va-Voom, and what is the story behind your band name?

MAYVVV is a hard rock band from the west coast of Norway, Høyanger. We started playing together in the early cold winter of 2017. We released our debut album last year and this is the next chapter in MAYVVV’s life. On the first album our sound was a unique blend of 80s and 90s American and Norwegian hardcore with a good dose of the 90s alternative rock. Well, I guess we’re still in the same soundscape, but the direction is more uphill this time. As always, MAYVVV is delicious load crashing energy music!

Your album is titled White Awaits and consists of 8 tracks. In short, give a presentation of each track: how it came about, lyrics etc.

Well, every track is built on the same recipe; riffs, lyrics about pros and cons of deep rooted culture and attitude. The whole vibe on White Awaits is colored by two snow-poor winters we’ve been witnessing.

OnCue studio and Bjarte Johansen has mastered your album. What is the story behind it?

Bjarte has produced, mixed and mastered the album. As some of you may have noticed he plays in MAYVVV. Bjarte is second to none. OnCue studio is a studio Bjarte is running with a couple of dudes.

‘Ski Arena’ cover art

Tell us about the cover art? Who is Daniel Longfellow?

Daniel Longfellow is a great artist that we luckily can call a friend of ours. He lives in our hometown Høyanger but was born in Washington DC. He got his art education in California. He’s a talented and skillful artist. You should all go and check out his work. One of his last project was called Fjord Monster. Which is a cool project. Dan is the man!

What’s in store for Me And You Va-Va-Voom the coming year? Any tours planned?

MAYVVV will be playing shows and promoting the album. We will play at the local Easter rock show, and we will have a release show in Høyanger in April. We will then play a double show, one for the youth and one for the old rockers of Høyanger. Then we’re booking festivals and gigs. We are always writing riffs and lyrics – MAYVVV take no days off!

Can you tell us about your influences, bands you like?

MAYVVV draws a line in 1980. We can’t stand Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and those kind of bands. We are into the eighties metal like Metallica, Slayer, Twisted Sister, and hardcore bands like Bad Brains, Fugazi and Beastie Boys, plus alternative rock like Pixies, Jane’s Addiction, PJ Harvey and NIN. That plus everything in between sums up MAYVVV!

Alright! That’s all for now! Don’t forget to check out Me And You Va-Va-Voom on your preferred streaming outlet. And check out their mixtape below.

Cover art: Daniel Longfellow
Band photo: MAYVVV

Q&A with Ohmwork

We have conducted an interview with drummer and bassist from Ohmwork, Børge Bendiksen and Helge Nyrud. Ohmwork are on the verge of releasing their fourth album HorrorWorks on Rob Mules Records. A concept album that’ll be out Friday the 13th of September. Listen up!

Who are Ohmwork, and what is the story behind your band name?

Helge: I actually stole the name from GZR (a Geezer Butler album). It was short and it appealed to me at once. We had a long list of names and we landed eventually on Ohmwork (hope Geezer doesn’t read this…).

Børge: Ohmwork is a power trio. We have played together for seven years, and soon we will have four albums to our name. 

You will release a single titled ‘Sleep Killing’ 16 August, tell us about it.

Børge: ‘Sleep Killing’ is the first and only single from our upcoming album.

Helge: It’s a song that Anders crafted from some old riffs we had from way back, if I remember correctly.

The album HorrorWorks will follow a month later (out 13 September). What can we expect?

Helge: Well, hopefully a band that’s evolving. We try to be better and keep things fresh. If you listen back to back to Storm Season and HorrorWorks, you will hear something has happened. We are not the same band in 2019 that we were in 2014.

Børge: The new album is a bit heaver than Alyssa Drone, I think. It’s been two years of great progression. Anders and Helge have come up with great riffs, and Anders has done an awesome job on the lyrics. The recording went smoothly and I think we have made a good album.

Anders L. Rasmussen in studio

Yngvar Mehus has co-produced, mixed and mastered your album, what is the story behind it?

Helge Nyrud in studio

Helge: Yngvar has been with us since ShadowTech (2015). He’s got to know us, and he knows how we want to sound. So, we got an understanding between us in a way. He comes up with alternative ways to do things, like: “Are you sure you wanna play it like that? How about just keep it simpler, straight forward like this?” So, that’s how he kinda got a producer role. He is heavily involved in the album. Not just the guy who is tracking us.

Børge Bendiksen in studio

Børge: This is the fourth time we work with Yngvar (ShadowTech, Mother City EP, Alyssa Drone and HorrorWorks). We really enjoy working with him in the studio. He understands how this style of music should sound like, and how we want Ohmwork to sound like. A great guy to work with!

Tell us about the cover art?

Helge: Made by Vegard Laupstad, the same guy behind the artwork of ShadowTech, which was great! He has done an incredible work on HorrorWorks too!

What’s in store for Ohmwork the next couple of months?

Børge: We will release a single this month. Around this time we will prepare and rehears a setlist for gigs in September-October. Among them a concert at Kulturhuset in Tromso 28 September. 

Helge: Gonna be some gigs of course. Northern Norway, Trondheim and Oslo.

Talking about sound and style, tell us about your influences, bands you like?

Børge: I have been a fan of hard rock since I heard Thin Lizzy on tape when I was six years old. So, I like any hard rock/metal band from Thin Lizzy to Pantera. Drummers that have influenced me are Scott Travis, Brian Downey and Mikkey Dee. 

Helge: 70’s and early 80′ always seem to suit us. But we try to make it sound “these days”. 

Live photo by Hans Petter Skog & studio photos by Yngvar Mehus

Listen to Ohmwork’s mixtape below – a diverse and powerful stack of great rockers!


Q&A with Sublime Eyes

From the rainy Stavanger southwest of Norway, the melodic thrash/death metal band Sublime Eyes has constantly moved towards larger scenes and a larger audience. They have shared a poster with some of metal’s bigger actors – and no matter where Sublime Eyes play the audience are left with sore necks and a vitamin injection one has barely seen. 

Rob Mules Records had a sit down with the guys in Sublime Eyes. They were calm, they talked. No headbanging.

Who are Sublime Eyes, and what’s the story behind your band name?

Sublime Eyes are a groovy and melodic death/thrash metal band from the rainy shores of Stavanger. The band was formed back in 2007 by guitarist Tom Arild and former drummer Remy as a pure melodic death metal act, but over the years the band’s sound has grown, and developed into the thrashing and shredding beast it is today.

The name “Sublime Eyes” are the eyes that sees everything, omniscient, all knowing.

Judge, jury, and executioner.

We are Sublime Eyes.

Your album is titled Corrocean and consists of eight tracks. In short, give a presentation of each track: how it came about, lyrics etc.

‘We Must Unite’ is the opener and fastest track on the album. In your face and to the point! It is about neglecting that what we do and how we act against mother earth. That she might just wipe us out one day.

‘Med Tiden Gror’ is our black metal song, or the closest we come to one on the album, and as you probably guessed by the title…it’s in Norwegian! The song describes when someone is lost and the only person that can help him is himself.

‘Dark Waves’ is the longest and last track on Corrocean. Epic melodic death metal. Shreddy guitars. Blastbeats. It’s all there. Epic is the keyword here. Dark waves  is about people with depression and dark thoughts, but still tries to hide it behind a smile.

‘Follow The Brave’ is our anthem and sing along song. Melodic, groovy and thrashy with an epic chorus.  It’s about being a strong person and learn from past mistakes. Leave the ones that bring you down and focus on what lays ahead.

‘King Of Suffering’ is a slower paced, crushing and BIG sounding song. It is about breaking out of an religion after being brainwashed your whole life.

‘Left In The Dark’. Thrashing, melodic and brutal! It’s a beauty! The song is about people that can’t stay away from drugs and gets left out by family and friends.

‘Ocean Cries’ is the slowest and most HEAVY track on Corrocean. Dark , ominous and heavy! Did we mention it is heavy? It’s about animal cruelty and how we let the ocean suffer for our own benefits.

‘Beneath the Black’ is probably the grooviest track on the album, and is about the hardship of being a failed pirate.

Lasse Lammert/LSD Studio has mixed and mastered your album. What is the story behind it?

Lasse Lammert is a world-renowned producer & engineer at LSD studios. A real wizard within the trade. He has worked with bands like Warrel Dane, Alestorm, Gloryhammer amongst others. He mixed & mastered our previous release “Sermons & Blindfolds”. He’s just a very chill and cool dude that knows what he is doing, and what he did on Corrocean is just amazing! A true metal wizard!

‘We Must Unite’. First single released 21 June.


Tell us about the cover art? Who is Costin Chioreanu?

Costin is a great artist from Romania who has worked with bands like At the gates, Einherjer, Leprous and Ghost just to mention a few. We saw some of his earlier work and just loved his style. Great guy and super easy to work with! The album art is inspired by the album title Corrocean and the music it self. The album title Corrocean is a play on words made up from Corrosion and Ocean. Some of the themes on the album is about the decline of the earth and mankind. How man keep polluting and destroying the planet. So the earth/sea is kind of “rusting”.

What’s in store for Sublime Eyes the coming year? Any tours planned?

The plan is to release Corrocean upon the world, tour and play as much as possible. Show everybody our new kickass music. We had a tour with Blood Red Throne and our label mates Deception earlier this year. We got some shows lined up at the moment, and the plan is to have a release gig here in Stavanger for the album, but we can’t give away too much details just yet. Just hang in there!

Can you tell us about your influences, bands you like?

Sublime Eyes started out as a pure melodic death metal outfit in the style of At The Gates, old In Flames and Dimension Zero. We still like those bands, but over the years as our tastes in music grew and the line-up changed, so did our music. For the better we think. We have a lot of music in common, and music we don’t have in common at all, but that’s a positive thing we think. The band is still developing because of it. Check out our playlist on Spotify, and you will get a better impression of the music we are into,


Band photo: Rebecca Eva Perry

Visit Sublime Eyes at Facebook. Below you can listen to their brutal and trashy mixtape!

Q&A with Stonebreakers

Stonebreakers are ready to launch “Boogie Swing” on Rob Mules Records 15 Feb. In that regard we had a nice little chat with the foursome from Tromso.

Who are Stonebreakers, and what is the story behind your band name?

Stonebreakers consist of four regular guys from the high north who love straight forward rock’n roll. There’s nothing fancy-pancy about us and we like to keep things simple.  The name «Stonebreakers» reflects the hard working attitude we put into our music.

Your single is called «Boogie Swing», tell us about it.

«Boogie Swing» is a catchy little number based on a groovy guitar lick backed up by a steady rhythm section. It has a feelgood atmosphere which makes you wanna move and groove.

As for the lyrics, we’ll leave that for the listener to interpret. The same goes for the song title. It is what it is.

Ellery Daines has produced and mastered your single, what is the story behind it?

Ellery came from New Zealand to Tromso last year and has been hanging around Kysten studio learning how to become a producer.

A few months back he announced online that he was looking for local acts to practice his production skills on, so we volunteered.

We spent two days in the studio and he did a great job with the technical stuff, planning the sessions in advance and the production of the three tracks we laid down. They sound really, really good. Ellery is a great guy to work with and he has definitely helped us to refine our sound.

Tell us about the cover art?

Our cover art consist of minimalist design and photos from our gigs, which we hope will provide a visual shorthand to identify us, as we release more singles leading up to the first album. The photo for the cover of «Boogie Swing» is taken by Øyvind Aronsen.

What’s in store for Stonebreakers the coming year?

First of all it’s the digital release of «Boogie Swing» which we hope will get a good reception out there and bring us some new fans.

Second, and maybe most importantly, we’ll hit the studio again mid February to complete work on our debut album set for release in September. We’ve got seven or eight songs ready so far and maybe we’ll throw in a brand new one as well.

Third, we’d like to do more gigs. We’ve got a slot at RMR’s annual rock show in February and will play Prelaten and Bastard Bar in march. That’ll be great fun. We hope we can benefit from our deal with RMR and get the chance to bring our rock’n’roll manship outside Troms. So if there are anyone in charge of booking bands to suitable venues, or bands looking for a support act reading this, we’re ready. We’d also very much like to play Bukta. That would be awesome since it’s our local rock festival and we all relate to it in one way or another.

Finally we’re constantly working on new material to develop our sound and style.

Talking about sound and style, tell us about your influences, bands you like? What are Stonebreakers “built upon”?

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of old school rock’n roll and hard rock. It should be fairly easy to see and hear the influences from especially early AC/DC. We’re trying to bring back the badass, old school rock‘n roll sound and feel you find on albums like «High ‘N’ Dry» by Def Leppard or «Back in Black» by AC/DC. The rawness in attitude and sound from that era is what we’re looking for, and trying to recreate.

Having said that, our sound and style is also shaped by our individual taste in music which ranges from extreme metal via grunge and stoner to straight boogie-rock. Naming all the bands we listen to would take forever, but if there’s distorted guitar to be found we’re likely to be on board.

Photo by Øyvind Aronsen

Listen to their mixtape below. Several catchy rock numbers to get your feet moving.

Q&A with Me And You Va-Va-Voom

Newly signed on Rob Mules Records we took the opportunity to have a chat with Odd Erik Dingøyr from Me And You Va-Va-Voom. Read on to discover more of this Høyanger-outfit.

Who are Me And You Va-Va-Voom, and what is the story behind your band name?

MAYVVV is a hard rock band from the west coast of Norway, Høyanger. We started playing together in the early cold winter of 2017. We often describe our sound as a unique blend of 80’s and 90’s American and Norwegian hardcore, with a good dose of the 90’s alternative rock. MAYVVV is delicious-load-crashing-energy-music. 

Your album is titled The Perfect Slot and consists of eight tracks. What can you tell us about the music and lyrics?

Well, every track is built on the same recipe; riffs, lyrics about pros and cons of deep rooted culture and attitude.

Bergen Lydstudio’s Dag Erik Nygaard has mastered your album. What is the story behind it?

We got in touch whit Dag Erik and connected. Bergen Lydstudio is a highly professional studio, and have a great reputation.

Tell us about the cover art of album and single? Who is Daniel Longfellow?

Daniel Longfellow is a great artist that we luckily can call a friend of ours. He lives in our hometown Høyanger, but was born in Washington DC and got his art education in California. He’s a talented and skilled artist – you should all go and check out his work. One of his latest project was called Fjord Monster. Which is a cool project.

What’s in store for Me And You Va-Va-Voom the coming year? Any tours planned?

MAYVVV will be playing shows and promoting the album. We will play at the local Christmas rock show and have a release show in Høyanger in January. We will then play a double show, one for the youth and one for the old rockers of Høyanger. Then we’re booking festivals and other shows. We are always writing riffs and lyrics, MAYVVV takes no days off!

Can you tell us about your influences, bands you like?

MAYVVV draws a line to 1980. We can’t stand Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and those kind of bands. We are into the eighties metal; Metallica, Slayer and Twisted Sister, hardcore bands like Bad Brains, Fugazi, Beastie Boys and alternative rock such as The Pixies,  Jane’s Addiction, PJ Harvey and NIN. That, plus everything in between sums MAYVVV up!

That’s all for now. Check out their coming single “No Days Off” (14 Dec) and album The Perfect Slot (11 Jan), and don’t forget to dig into their mixtape below! Fits your Christmas party like a glove!

Cover art by Daniel Longfellow

Follow them at this address: Me_and_you_va_va_voom

Q&A with Tonic Breed

Rob Mules Records recently got to talk to the thrash metal quartet Tonic Breed from Sarpsborg/Norway. Read on to discover the story behind their band name, who their musical influences are, and pretty much all you need to know about their upcoming EP Install Memory (out Sept 14).

Who is Tonic Breed, and what is the story behind your band name?

Tonic Breed is a band forged together inside the deepest of fabrics in the industry town of Sarpsborg, Norway. Since 2006 the band has been playing heavy metal on various places, and released two full length albums. The name came together alongside the establishment of the band and have sticked ever since.

Your album is titled Install Memory and consists of seven tracks. In short, give a presentation of each track: how it came about, lyrics etc.

‘Crypto Knight’ is the first song on the EP. It´s the shortest track by the band ever made (reaching 3:17). It’s a straight forward thrash-metal track that is basically built around one riff that varies throughout the song. The lyrics are built upon the cryptocurrency-hype that was on its (so far) peak earlier this year, and how bad it may end for people that have invested a little too much in it. The music video for the song, which will be released some time after the release of the EP itself, is built around a story from an actual happening in the cryptocurrency-history.

‘Install Memory’ is a track not too far from Crypto Knight in the genre, but here Ole is showing off some really fast footwork as well. It’s also a bit more complex in the structure, and the track is shorter than previous Tonic Breed songs. The theme of the lyrics are a bit more futuristic on how mankind is becoming more machine and machine is becoming more human.

‘Don’t Panic!’ is a more lay-back-song that points more to the heavy metal genre. It has a more melodic feel to it. A quite untraditional Tonic Breed song is safe to say. In the head of Starman, the lyrics are traveling through space.

‘Overkill’ has been played live several times by Tonic Breed and we’ve wanted to make a cover track for quite some time. It’s our tribute to all the aces in Motörhead and the song does not really need further introduction. A strong anthem in the heavy music world.

‘Mummy Dust’ is originally a song by Ghost – a band we all have had close eyes on the last couple of years. Watching them live several times inspired us to make a cover of one of their songs. We picked out a song from the album Meliora and made it a bit more Tonic Breed.

We also included two live songs from two separate live shows, as the first ever live songs to be included on a Tonic Breed release.

Toproom Studio has mastered your album. What is the story behind it?

We chose Toproom Studio to do the engineering and mastering on this release based on great experience from our previous full length album «Outsold». We knew Børge Finstad would pull off a great result – and he sure did! We also need to mention Stian Olsen for editing drums and vocals. The entire process was done in May-July, 2018.

Tell us about the cover art? Who is Jan Yrlund?

Jan Yrlund is an illustrator we’ve had in mind for a long time. He turned around really quick to make the artwork be done in time. We are really satisfied with the result. The artwork is mainly based on the song “Install Memory”. There are also hints of the other two Tonic Breed songs from the EP on the illustration.

What’s in store for Tonic Breed the coming year? Any tours planned? New album in the horizon?

We have some upcoming shows in Norway and Sweden this year, and we are constantly in booking-mode in order to make ourselves busy in 2019. We will continue to write new material in order make a full album in the time to come.

Can you tell us about your influences, bands you like?

When it comes to influences we can’t pick just a few bands. 50 years of heavy metal cannot be summed up on a few sentences. However, to mention the Bay Era Thrash Metal as one of the most influential music on our behalf is safe to say. On the other hand you can hear a lot of parts in our music that have many other inspirational sources.

Photo by Oscar Birk

Listen to Tonic Breed on Spotify

For more news on Tonic Breed check out their official website and Facebook page.

And last but not least – find out who are on Tonic Breed’s mixtape!

Q&A with Veislakt

Veislakt is soon coming out with their anticipated third album, ‘Sandnes Undergrunn Circus & Kabaret’. It will be released September 7. We’ve been touch with René Undem; vocalist, rhythm guitarist, song writer and commander in chief. Here’s what he had to tell us.

Who is Veislakt, and what is the story behind your band name?

Veislakt is a quartet from the Stavanger area in Rogaland, Norway. Playing a hybrid of punk, hard rock and hardcore, singing in Norwegian. Consisting of me on vocals/guitars, Mads Arild Hamre on guitar/vocals, Stian Askeland on bass and Tommy Utsola on drums. It startet out as one-man-band by myself at the very end of 2012, releasing an EP in 2014, before it altered into a five-piece band just after that release. Afterwards we put a debut album out in 2015 titled ‘Litium & Went Smågodt’, and a second album in 2016 titled ‘Fumar Mata’. Right afterwards Fredrik, one of the guitarist quit to pursue other musical ideas, and I took over the guitar duties while still doing vocals. A drummer who played with us at an early stage came up with the name Veislakt while we were discussing the idea of taking English song titles and directly translate them into Norwegian. Even though ‘Roadkill’ wasn’t a song title, we translated it into Norwegian. Viola! Veislakt was born and we stuck with it.

Your album is titled ‘Sandnes Undergrunn Circus & Kabaret’ and consists of eleven tracks. In short, give a presentation of each track: how it came about, lyrics etc.

This is a concept album, and every song tells a story of what is happening when a circus is coming to town.
1. ‘Sandnes Undergrunn Circus & Kabaret’: This is mainly a song about welcoming the audience to the circus during the opening parade.
2. ‘Alle Mann Alle’: This song is about working the audience before it all starts.
3. ‘Franz, Frank & Han Andre’: This song is about three sea lions’ performance where two of them do a soccer penalty shoot out, while the last one is the referee.
4. ‘Klovnene’: This song is about three Russian clowns, brothers and alcoholics doing some very realistic slapstick humor with iron rods. There will be blood in the sand.
5. ‘Øynene’: This song is about how kids and their families witness the acrobatics high up in the air.
6. ‘Blod I Manesjen’: This song is about the lion Nelson, getting tired of his lion tamer, and kills him during the show. And at this moment the audience thinks it’s all an act.
7. ‘Lyse Dagen’: This song is about the aftermath after the murder of the lion tamer, and how the circus director feels that the show is about to go under.
8. ‘Skammen’: This song we take you backstage of the circus and show how violently the elephants gets treated.
9. ‘To Alkoholiserte Russere’: In this song we move back into the circus again where there are three jugglers showing off, while a strong bearded woman is doing the act with them. She even lifts a cow. Two of the Russian clowns are in love with her and starts fighting over her, while they are really intoxicated in the backstage area.
10. ‘Tro & Håp’: In this song we tell the story of how everything is starting to go to the hell. We got a knife thrower who hits his living target, and people are starting to get uncomfortable.
11. ‘Inferno’: In the last song the fight between the two Russian clowns have escalated and they trip over a bottle of Vodka that goes into the aggregate and a fire bursts out. There’s panic all over the place. People run over each other, the animals get loose, and of course the tent burns to the ground.

Arvid Tjelta has mixed and mastered your album. What is the story behind it?

He’s been a old close friend of the band, and he knows his stuff. Easy dialogue, and a lot of skills in that man.

Tell us about the cover art? Who is Michael Myklebust. Stian Askeland is behind the layout, how did that come about?

The cover art is designed by Michael Myklebust at GoodThings Design. We just told him what the album was going to be about – then he just made it. The layout is done by our very own bass player, Stian.

What’s in store for Veislakt the coming year? Any tours planned? New album in the horizon?

We’re booking some gigs at the very moment. Gonna be some touring all over Norway this autumn. We’re pretty psyched about presenting our new album to our audience while we are on the road.

Can you tell us about your influences, bands you like?

Most of the bands we love knows how to build a song up that includes some progressive stuff in it, but mainly let it be more about the songs than showing off their techniques and stuff like that. Mainly it is all about creating a good show for the audience.

Photo by Sivert Wergeland

Check out the latest news on Veislakt by visiting their Facebook page

Listen to the mixtape of Veislakt!

Q&A with Spitfire

The Norwegian four-piece Spitfire released ‘Burning Your Shadows’ back in May on Rob Mules Records. Now, just hours since they returned to Norwegian soil, after a successful headliner-gig at the German festival Motorrock, they sit down with us to have a chat on what’s in store for Spitfire in the nearby future. For those of you who have lived under a rock the past months, Spitfire is going to release a new track called ‘Spitfire’ Friday 24 August.

Who is Spitfire, and what is the story behind your band name?

Spitfire are four guys with a common passion for music. We’ve been through lots of ups and downs together, but maybe that’s a story for later. We think that the definition of Spitfire, which is an outspoken person, or a person with a fierce temper, really suits the band. 

Spitfire will release a second track ‘FireEater’ on Rob Mules Records this Friday. Back in May ‘Burning You Shadows’ came out. In short, can you tell us how those tracks came about from start to finish?

Where ‘Burning Your Shadows’ is a snappy little rocker with a get-to-the-point arrangement, ‘FireEater’ is more of an epic song. On this one we did not want to leave out any of the original ideas for the track. We always jam some riffs, and experiment with the vocals. When we hit the studio everything was pretty much settled.

You recorded at Conclave/Earshot Studios in Bergen. What is the story behind it?

We wanted a little more metal/dirty sound, and the guys in Bergen really know their shit. We knew the studio from their work with Shag and Audrey Horne, so we wanted to try them out. And we are really happy with how it sounded!

What’s in store for Spitfire the coming year? Any tours planned? Maybe a new album will see the light of day?

We’ve just returned from a festival in Germany, and we are doing a show at a new local venue this fall. We are mainly focusing on writing new material, but we’ve already booked shows and festivals for next year. 2019 will be exiting.

Can you tell us about your influences, bands you like?

Obviously all the classic hard rock and metal bands, Sabbath, Motörhead, NWOBHM, thrash, southern rock … then some odd bands – check out the mixtape we made for you!

And to the last question. We are dying to know: How was it touring with the legendary Doro Pesch?

Awesome, just awesome! Doro, the band and the entire crew is super-nice, and everything is very professional. They have been doing this forever, and still do 200+ concerts every year. Some of the guys in the crew have been touring for 40 years with some of the biggest acts. The stories they could tell was hilarious! Doro is known everywhere in Europe, and it was packed in every venue. And the crowd loved us too, so it was just amazing!

Visit Spitfire on Facebook, and check out ‘Burning Your Shadows’ on Spotify.

Band photo by Thor Lillestøl

And have a look at this cool cat! Listen to Spitfire’s mixtape – 15 of their favorite tracks!