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