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

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Listen to the mixtape of Veislakt!

Veislakt – new album this September!

‘Sandnes Undergrunn Circus & Kabaret’

Release date: 7 Sept 2018

Track listing:

  1. Sandnes Undergrunn Circus & Kabaret
  2. Alle Mann Alle
  3. Franz, Frank & Han Andre
  4. Klovnene
  5. Øynene
  6. Blod I Manesjen
  7. Lyse Dagen
  8. Skammen
  9. To Alkoholiserte Russere
  10. Tro & Håp
  11. Inferno

Cover art by Good Things Design