Q&A with Razorbats

It’s time to look back and shed some light on Razorbats’ excellent album ‘II’ (released Feb 16, 2018). It was hailed both by the press and fans in Norway and abroad. It was fun, exciting and educational for Rob Mules Records to be involved in such an overwhelming project. Read on.

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

Razorbats are five road dogs who play 70’s inspired rock ’n roll with a bit of punk rock thrown into the mix! We have all played in a bunch of bands before and the band has also gone through a lot of lineup changes over the years. Last year we went through some major changes when singer Paulie Vercouteren, bassist Chris Haugerud and rhythm guitarist Asle Tangen joined the band. We also have Knut S. Wettre on drums and Kjetil F. Wevling on lead guitar. Stig, who used to play bass in the band, came up with the name Razorbats. I believe it’s taken from a Spiderman comic book and a razor bat is actually the preferred weapons of a villain called The Green Goblin. For the longest time we had no idea what the name meant, but it sounds cool!

Your album is titled ‘II’. In short, give us a presentation of each track: how it came about, lyrics etc.

Yes it is! Classic title, right? Van Halen II, Led Zeppelin II etc. Gotta love it! Ok, here we go!

«The Waiting» was one of the last songs written for the album. We wanted a cool opener that sort of represents the whole album. It’s basically a call to arms for rock ’n rollers everywhere! The waiting is over, so here we go! New album, let’s rock!

«Take It Out On The Road» is just about the longing to get out on the road and play shows. This is what lot of us feel when we’ve been in the studio for too long. Love the studio, but on the road is where it all comes alive and playing a great live show is one of the best feelings in the world!

«Social Rejects» is more of an introspective song about growing up as an outsider. A lot of people feel like they don’t belong, especially when they’re in high school. So the song is us saying «you’re not alone». There are more of us, then of them!

«Dead Boy City» is a strange one. Things get a bit darker on that one and lyrically it’s more like a nightmare vision than a story. It doesn’t end well.

«Bad Teacher» is just a fun classic 70’s rocker about not being what your girlfriend wants you to be. Boys just wanna have fun and remain untamed!!!

«Nowhere» is the first anti-hipster anthem of the album. A well derved poke at daft hillbillies who move to the big city to play hipsters with other hillbillies.

«Sister Siberia» is a love song to a cold woman who won’t allow anyone to really get to know her. Or maybe she has gotten hurt so many times that she can’t afford to let anyone in anymore. A great song that really has take on a life on it’s own live. I have seen grown men with tears in their eyes totally lost on the song. Amazing!

«Going underground». Have you ever been really, really drunk and acted like a complete asshole? Waking up the next day and feel like shit, tons of regrets and angry people you have pissed off? That is what the song is about! Set to a disco-beat, of course!! Haha!

«Send In The Clowns» is the second anti-hipster anthem of the album. Uptempo, in your face and with a really catchy dance music inspired bridge.

«Talk All Night» is the ballade of the album. It’s about falling out of love with your girlfriend and being scared to leave her. Feeling trapped in an unhappy situation and thinking back on a time where you were so in love and stayed up all night just talking for hours. So sad when that happens. Our producer suggested making it a duet as we were recording backup vocals with a singer called Anette Gil and it turned out beautifully!

Tell us about the cover art? Who is Eugenia?

It took a while to find out what kind of direction we wanted for the cover art. We wanted something 70’s inspired to go with the music and back then Hipgnosis were the coolest art designers in the world. They were inspired by surrealism and pop-art and we wanted something in that spirit. We found this greek woman working out of the US that makes some fantastic stuff. She is called Eugenia Loli and the cover is actually a collage called «Cultural Bias». She let us use it.

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

We are actually gonna have a talk about it this week. We have some gigs planned this fall in Norway and we’re gonna play abroad a bit. But I think we wanna start a new album quickly. The lineup is very new, but the band has never been better and we’re firing on all cylinders at the moment, so we hope we can capture lightning in a bottle!

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

Oh Yeah! Classic 70’s rock ’n roll, 80’s glam and punk. Most of us never listened that much to the popular music of the day when we grew up. Most us were kids in the 90’s but where not that into grunge or rave-music or nu-metal or any of that stuff. It was KISS, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Humble Pie, The Sweet, Led Zeppelin and stuff like that. A bit later came Hanoi Rocks, New York Dolls, Sex Pistols and some of the melodic hardcore bands that started in the 80’s. Like NOFX, Bad Religion, SNFU and all that. We have never made a conscious decision to mix those influences in our music. It just comes out that way when we write and play. There are a few bands we can release to now that seem to have the same influences. Like The Biters, Heavy Tiger and Wyldlife. Great bands!

Thanks to Razorbats for taking the time to talk to us. Let’s move on and dig into their chosen mix-tape! Something tells us that this playlist could be perfect when drinking beers in long summer nights …

Check out Razorbats on Facebook

Photo by Yngvar Sørensen

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