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