2010 was a very busy year for Skambankt - first they went into the studio, and then they played lots of festival gigs before the album "Søvnløs" was released in September and Skambankt went out on tour. During the next years, they will take a break from touring.
Up in Northern Norway, on the ferry between the two concerts in Harstad and Bodø, I had the opportunity to do an interview with the band on December 4th, 2010 - so that we fans have SOMETHING to pass the time with while the band takes a break. So enjoy!
2010 har vært et travelt år for Skambankt - først dro de i studio, så ble det masse festivaljobber, før albumet «Søvnløs» kom ut i september og Skambankt dro ut på turné. De neste årene skal de ta live-pause.
Oppe i Nord-Norge, på ferga mellom konsertene i Harstad og Bodø, fikk jeg anledningen å spørre om ditt og datt - vi fansen må jo ha NOE å forlyste oss med når bandet tar pause!
«Det er vel den best besøkte turneen vi har hatt»
Turneen er nesten slutt nå. Hvordan var det? Noen «highlights»?
Terje: Vi snakket faktisk om det i natt. Det har vært en turné preget av litt mye styr, fordi vår turnéleder og sjåfør måtte trekke seg før vi dro på turné denne gangen. Så vi har ikke hatt noe fast crew på denne turneen, bortsett fra lydmannen. Derfor måtte vi finne nye folk hver helg, for det er jo ingen som plutselig har to måneder fri. Det har vært litt mye styr og organisering, synes vi. Det ble litt mer jobb hver dag fordi du må forklare ting på nytt, til nye folk, hele veien. Vi har hatt masse gode folk med oss!
Tollak: Men man må lære dem en ny jobb.
Terje: Fordelen er at når folk er innkjørte, så blir det rutine på ting. Men bortsett fra det så har det vært en utrolig fin turné. Det er vel den best besøkte turneen vi har hatt.
Tollak: Det tror jeg og, ja.
Lønner det seg egentlig å dra opp hit til Nord-Norge?
Terje: Nei, dette er veldedighet!
Børge: Det har vært mye mere folk denne gangen enn før. I Harstad har det aldri vært så mye folk som i går. Så det virker!
Terje: Det virker, ja. Det er å bygge stein på stein, som vi alltid har gjort.
På denne turneen spilte dere jo ganske lite fra det nyeste albumet, bare sånn tre, fire sanger.
Tollak: Fire, tror jeg. Det er jo i grunnen nok det? Vi trenger ikke insistere på å bare spille nye sanger. Kjekt å spille litt fra alt.
Terje: Denne gangen har vi jo tatt fram sanger som vi har ikke spilt før, gamle sanger som er nye. Fritt fall har vi jo nesten aldri spilt, bortsett fra en gang helt i begynnelsen, og Bak låste dører har vi aldri spilt live.
Jeg undret litt på det i går. Tror jeg hørte Fritt fall live i Danmark en gang.
Terje: Ja, kanskje du har rett. Men det er veldig lenge siden. Vi har tatt fram "nye" gamle sanger. Og så tenker vi at det med nytt materiale, det er... vi har jo fire plater nå. Og vi vet jo at folk har lyst å høre mange av de sangene de kjenner best. Og det begynner å bli noen sanger etter hvert! Så vi prøver å lage en kombinasjon der: Ikke presse på for mye, men spille noe nytt...
Dere har ikke planlagt å spille litt lengre da, for å få inn flere sanger?
Terje: Jeg synes ikke vi skal spille så mye lengre enn en time og et kvarter/tjue. Det er lenge nok med vår type musikk. Synes vi.
Børge: Jeg tenker det er en grense der, før det begynner å bli slitsomt for folk å høre på.
Terje: Vi må jo også innse at alle som går på konsert heller ikke er hardcore. Det skal ikke bli for mye heller.
«Folk burde konsentrere seg på konsert istedenfor å stå der og filme»
Hva tenker dere om opptak av konserter, som bootleg, eller folk som filmer hele konserten?
Tollak: Jeg synes jo det ligger fryktelig mye dårlig der ute. Ofte er det sinnssykt dårlig lyd på disse opptakene.
Terje: Jeg skjønner ikke helt poenget. Folk burde heller konsentrere seg om konserten istedenfor å stå der og filme.
Tollak: Det tenker jeg veldig ofte på, at jeg ser folk som bruker tid på telefonen sin, for å ta bilder eller for å filme eller noe sånn, og at de er mer opptatt av det enn av å være på konsert. Det synes jeg virker litt rart.
Terje: Jeg skjønner jo folk som vil ha et minne og tar et bilde og sånt, men det er jo noen som står og filmer hele konserten. Og så tvittrer de. Noen tvittrer!
Børge: Ja, for hver sang tydeligvis...
Terje: Kanskje folk heller burde være tilstede på konserten. Enjoy the moment! Men det er egentlig ikke et voldsomt problem.
Tollak: Folk må gjerne gjøre det.
Børge: Vi har jo ingen måte å gjøre noe med det uansett. Alle gjør det.
Har dere tenkt å ta opp et offisielt live-album eller en live-DVD?
Terje: Kanskje. Vi har ikke konkrete planer om det.
Tollak: Vi snakket om det en gang, og så snakket vi aldri mer om det.
Terje: Vi snakker om veldig mye... noe av det skjer, andre ting blir med snakket. Det vi snakket om var - og det kan vi kanskje gjøre neste gang - å ta opp hver konsert. Det er ikke noe problem for lydmannen å gjøre det. Og så plukke ut fra det, kanskje på slutten av en turné. Og få gode versjoner av alle sangene, eller en god konsert, hvis det blei en. Kanskje neste gang...
Og det er ikke klart når neste gang er?
Terje: Nei. Men vi er ikke ferdig! Vi har lyst å lage mer musikk.
Hva er planene for de neste årene, skal dere skrive nye sanger?
Terje: Vi kommer til å bruke lang tid på det neste albumet. Og naturligvis, Kaizers spiller. Det har jo vært viktig for oss å variere litt. Ikke gro fast i ett eneste spor.
«Vi kommer aldri til å bli softere enn dette»
Noen spørsmål om deres nyeste album nå. Har produksjonen av «Søvnløs» vært forskjellig fra de andre?
Tollak: Ja, vi prøvde et annet studio. Gjorde det litt annerledes.
Hans-Egil: Mer old-school retning å gjøre ting på. Mer analogt, mindre pålegg, mer live, i motsetning til tidligere. Vi måtte prøve det og. Vi hadde anledningen å gjøre det i det studioet. Det er veldig analogt og veldig kjent for å gjøre den typen innspillinger.
Og var det flere folk som var involvert denne gangen?
Tollak: Denne gangen hadde vi med en ekstern tekniker. Den forrige gangen gjorde vi jo alt selv. Men det var jo andre musikere innenfor også.
Søvnløs har flere «softere» sanger. Så det gamle spørsmålet: Har dere blitt kommersielle nå, sånn at dere blir spilt på radio?
Tollak: Vi har jo blitt spilt på radio før...
Terje: Vi har ikke gått inn for å bli kommersielle, det har blitt sånn. Men vi kommer nok aldri til å bli softere enn dette! Vi føler heller at det er vårt softe ytterpunkt. Nå har vi gått langt nok soft. Jeg tror heller vi kommer til å ta litt andre veien neste gangen... Men vi hadde lyst å lage en ballade, og det var de sangene som kom denne gangen.
Hvordan vil dere at folk skal se dere, i hvilken retning? Melodiøse, fine sanger, eller tøff punk-rock?
Tollak: Det beste er hvis de kan like begge deler. Det er jo det optimale hvis de synes at begge deler er bra. At de setter pris på variasjonen.
Det var jo bare punk-rock i begynnelsen.
Terje: Men du får jo litt avstand til ting. Og det vi holdt på med på det første albumet var jo ganske greie ting liksom. Følingen der var jo mer konseptuell. Bandet har kommet litt nærmere og nærmere oss, på en måte. Blitt en større del av hverdagen og livet vårt.
Tollak: Helt i begynnelsen var det på en måte ikke så representabelt.
Terje: Jo, det er representabelt for det som det var, for lenge siden.
Har dere noen grenser for sanger, at dere sier «ok, denne sangen er fin, men det er ikke en Skambankt-sang»? Jeg hadde følelsen for flere sanger at de ville funke som Kaizers-sanger også.
Terje: Å? Det har jeg ikke tenkt på.
Det var på «Trygge rammer» først at jeg tenkte det kunne være en Kaizers-sang.
Terje: Ja. Da er jo Janove med og bidrar på piano.
Tollak: Det er sikkert det du har hørt!
Terje: Det er en litt mer groove-basert rockelåt. Den har vel hatt litt av de samme inspirasjonskildene. Kan hende det var det?
Denne gangen var det «Berlin», den minner meg litt om «D-Dagen». Kanskje det er bare rytmen i begynnelsen.
Terje: Ja, det er mulig.
Men det er ikke sånn at dere har grenser for sanger som kan være en Skambankt-sang?
Terje: Jo, vi forkaster jo sanger også, det er ikke alle som kommer med. Men vi opplever det ikke som et problem at det likner for mye. Men det er du jo i din fulle rett til å synes!
Jeg synes jo ikke at den ikke passer som Skambankt-sang! Det var bare den første tanken, spesielt da jeg hørte «Trygge rammer».
Terje: Det er ikke rart at det var favorittsangen til Janove på den plata! Den som likner mest... Så du har nok rett.
«Noen måtte synge i dette bandet. Det ble meg.»
I anmeldelser står det ofte om deg: «Han er jo ikke vokalist». Gjør det vondt?
Terje: Nei. Jeg er ikke vokalist. Det var aldri meningen at jeg skulle bli vokalist. Men jeg har blitt vokalist.
Tollak: Mot din vilje.
Terje: Noen måtte synge i dette bandet. Det ble meg. Hans-Egil synger jo mye finere enn meg!
Hans-Egil: Men det går jo langt tilbake det, at du synger. Da vi startet bandet, da var det jo ikke syngingen som var viktig. Det var ikke basert på melodier eller vokal, det var ikke det som var i fokus. Jeg spilte trommer da, og noen av de andre måtte jo synge, og det ble Terje. Og da vi skulle fortsette så var det rent naturlig. Og helt ærlig, jeg synes du synger bedre og bedre!
Tollak: Ja, det synes jeg og.
Terje: Jo, takk! ... Det er jo ikke ofte det blir nevnt. Det er jo noen, av og til, men de fleste lar det passere.
Hans-Egil: Det var en del som skrev i anmeldelser at «Ja, han er kanskje ikke en stor vokalist, men det er del av uttrykket.» Og det er den riktige tilnærmingen.
Terje: Syng med den stemmen du har.
For fem år siden sa dere at Skambankt er «just for fun». Har det forandret seg nå?
Tollak: Ja, det har blitt litt mer enn det.
Hans-Egil: Det er fortsatt gøy!
Terje: Det har jo blitt mer å gjøre. Vi har måttet tilpasse oss det, og vi er jo komfortabel med det. Det var aldri en stor plan, den veien har blitt til mens vi har gått. Og det har jo gått bedre og bedre for oss. Det jobber vi ikke imot. Vi omfavner det heller.
«Når du jobber med små budsjett, da tar ting tid»
Litt om planene fremover: Det har akkurat kommet ut en video til «Jesus av vår tid». Er det en offisiell video?
Terje: Ja. Jeg vil kalle det en «halv-offisiell» video. Den er offisiell fordi vi har bidratt til den. Men det er en no-budget video.
Men dere må jo ha planlagt det da dere var i studio.
Terje: Ja, Kai var med og filmet i studio sånn generelt, og så sa han en dag: «Jeg har lyst å lage en video. Skal vi ikke bare lage en video?» Og så sa vi at vi kan godt gjøre det. Og så blei det aldri noe av det, før siste dagen i studio.
Tollak: Så måtte vi gjøre det, for å få det gjort.
Terje: Det opptaket der er fra før vi begynner å spille inn den dagen, så det er tidlig om morgenen. Klokka ni eller noe. Ni om morgenen kom han og rev oss opp fra sengene, og så måtte vi spille inn video. «Dokke lovte!»
Og hva med den «Født på ny»-videoen dere lagde?
Terje: Ja, den kommer! Når du jobber med små budsjett, så tar ting tid. Vi har ikke sett noen ting ennå, men vi har vært i kontakt. De holder på å jobbe og de har ganske store planer. Det kommer!
Jeg fikk jo bare med meg de bildene dere postet på Facebook.
Terje: Det var bare «performance-delen» som vi deltok på i videoen. Men det vil bli lagt opp til mye forskjellig som vi ikke er med på, mye story.
Tollak: Vi er også ganske nysgjerrige på hvordan det blir.
Terje: Ja, det blir spennende. Regissøren har store planer.
Og så kom denne vinyl-boksen. Hvorfor nå?
Terje: Det var vel tanke om at... Tror Tuba hadde lyst å gi den ut før jul.
Tollak: I og med den nye plata og at vi er på turné, så er det litt aktuelt. Det er mer aktuelt nå enn om et år. Så det er nok litt av det og.
Terje: Vi synes det er virkelig fett at Tuba vil lage en sånn boks. Så hvis de har lyst å gi den ut nå... vi er jo ferdige på Tuba. De kunne sikkert fint gitt den ut neste år og, så hadde man fått mer tid på coveret.
Hvis vinyl-boksene blir utsolgt, blir de gamle sangene lagt ut for nedlasting? For folk som ikke vil ha boksen?
Tollak: Det har vi ikke tenkt på. Jeg tror kanskje ikke det.
Terje: Nei, det har vi ikke tatt stilling til. Nei, det blir veldig eksklusivt med den boksen.
Børge: Det er sikkert noen som kommer til å legge de ut uansett.
Er det flere planer om å bruke denne iPhone-Appen dere har laget?
Terje: Nei. Jeg synes jo at du hadde et poeng...
Tollak: Vi synes det ble litt ekskluderende. Så vi valgte å ikke bruke den så mye og heller bruke Facebook istedenfor. For det er mange som ikke har iPhone, og man skal ikke bli belønnet for å kjøpe Apple.
Jeg syntes det var et fint stunt å være først ute...
Terje: Ja. Det var først og fremst et PR-stunt, det der. Vi fikk en del oppmerksomhet på det, siden vi var først ute med det, i Norge i hvert fall, offisielt. Men vi merker jo at det er mye mer aktivitet på Facebook.
Tollak: Vi får et bedre forum der.
«Vi kommer til å ta en live-pause»
Og så skal dere ta pause nå?
Terje: Vi kommer til å ta en live-pause, ja.
Ingen festivaler heller?
Terje: Nei, det kommer ikke til å bli noen festivaler.
Dere skrev jo noe om Danmark-konsertene neste år?
Tollak: Nei, det kommer ikke til å skje.
Terje: Men vi tar det igjen en annen gang, eventuelt.
Det er synd, det!
Terje: Ja, men det er sunt og, ikke bare synd. Vi kan jo ikke spille heile veien. Nå føler jo vi selv at det har gått i ett i to år. Vi hadde pause et halvt år mens vi lagde album, men vi har jo spilt veldig mye i Norge de siste årene. Så for at folk ikke skal gå lei - for at vi ikke skal gå lei - så er det bra å ta en live-pause nå.
Det er jo alltid folk som spør etter konserter.
Tollak: Det vil de sikkert etter hvert.
Terje: Vi kommer til å få mange tilbud. Men vi kommer jo sikkert til å prøve å holde på dem, ha dem til gode. Og de (peker på de andre) skal starte band nå.
Tollak: Ja, vi skal jo ha et lite prosjekt nå.
Terje: Som heter «Bodyfruitz». Der er han (peker på Børge) frontfigur.
Da må jeg lage ny fanside da?
Terje: Det er fare for det! Den første låten er allerede laget. Hva heter den?
Tollak: Jeg husker ikke...
Terje: Den ble spilt inn backstage i Grim... nei... jo, Grimstad.
Børge: «Here comes the Bodyfruitz», var det den?
Terje: So watch out!
Det blir spennende...
Terje: Spennende er vel ordet...
OK, så da er vi VELDIG spent. Tusen takk for svarene - og tusen takk for et fantastisk år med elleville konserter og masse bråk!
"This is probably the most popular tour we've ever done"
The tour is almost over. How did it go? Any highlights?
Terje: Actually, we just talked about this last night. In a way, this tour was marked by the fact that our tour manager and driver had to cancel just before we started out, which caused some trouble. So we didn't have a permanent crew on this tour, except for the sound engineer. Therefore we had to find new people every weekend, as there is nobody that is suddenly available for two months in a row. That caused some trouble and took quite a bit of organizing, actually. It's a little more work every day, because you have to explain things again, to new people, all the time. We did have many good people on tour with us!
Tollak: But you have to teach them a new job.
Terje: The advantage with people that are well attuned is that everything becomes a routine. But apart from that, it has been an incredibly nice tour. This is probably the most popular tour we've ever done.
Tollak: Yes, I also think so.
Does it actually pay off to come up here to Northern Norway?
Terje: No, this is charity!
Børge: There were much more people in attendance this time than before. In Harstad, it has never been as crowded as yesterday. So it works!
Terje: Yes, it works. It's about building it up step by step, as we have always done.
On this tour, you played rather few songs from the newest album, only about three or four.
Tollak: Four, I think. But that's enough, isn't it? We don't need to insist on playing only new songs. It's nice to play a little of everything.
Terje: This time we dug up some songs that we haven't played before, thus old songs that are new. For example Fritt fall, which we almost never played, except for one time long ago. And we never played Bak låste dører live before.
I wondered about that yesterday. I think I heard Fritt fall live in Denmark once.
Terje: Yes, you might be right. But that was very long ago. We played some "new" old songs. And in addition, with the new material... we have four albums by now. And we know that people want to hear many of the songs they know best. And well, there are quite a few songs by now! So we try to do a combination: Don't push too much, but play something new...
But you aren't planning to play a little longer then, to have time for more songs?
Terje: I don't think we should play much longer than an hour and fifteen/twenty minutes. This is long enough for our type of music. That's what we think.
Børge: I think there's a limit there, before it starts to get tiresome for people to listen to.
Terje: I mean, we have to acknowledge that not all of those who come to our concerts are hardcore. It shouldn't be too much either.
"People should concentrate on the concert instead of standing there filming"
What do you think about recordings of concerts, like bootlegs, or people who film the whole concert?
Tollak: I think there are terribly bad recordings out there. The sound is often incredibly bad on these recordings.
Terje: I don't really get it. People should rather concentrate on the concert instead of standing there filming.
Tollak: I very often think about that when I see people who are spending time on their phones, to take pictures or to film or something like that, and are more occupied with this than with experiencing the concert. I think this seems a bit strange.
Terje: I understand everybody who wants to have a souvenir and takes a picture, but some are filming the whole concert. And then they tweet. Some tweet!
Børge: Yes, obviously for every song...
Terje: Maybe people should rather concentrate on the concert. Enjoy the moment! But actually, it's not really a big problem.
Tollak: People are welcome to do so.
Børge: There's nothing we could do about it anyway. Everybody does it.
Do you have any plans about recording an official live album or a live DVD?
Terje: Maybe. We don't have any concrete plans about it.
Tollak: We talked about it once, and then we never talked about it again.
Terje: We're talking about a lot... some of this happens, other things are forgotten. What we talked about was - and maybe we can do that next time - to record every concert. This is easy to do for the sound engineer. And then we could pick from that, maybe at the end of a tour. And get good versions of all songs or maybe one good concert, if there was one. Maybe next time...
And it's not clear yet when the next time will be?
Terje: No. But we're not finished! We want to make more music.
What are your plans for the next years? Will you write new songs?
Terje: We'll spend much time on the next album. And of course, Kaizers will play. It has always been important for us to vary a bit. To not adhere to just one single track.
"We'll never be softer than this"
Some questions about your current album now. Has the production of "Søvnløs" been different from the previous albums?
Tollak: Yes, we tried another studio and did everything a bit differently.
Hans-Egil: A more old-school way of doing things. More analog, less effects, more live, in contrast to how we did it before. We had to try this once. We had the opportunity to do it in this studio. It's very analog and very famous for doing this kind of recordings.
And were there more people involved this time?
Tollak: This time we had an external technician. Last time, we did everything on our own. But we also invited some other musicians.
Søvnløs has several "softer" songs. So I have to ask the old question: Have you turned commercial now, in order to be played on the radio?
Tollak: Well, we have been played on the radio before...
Terje: There was no plan to turn commercial, that's just how it turned out. But we will probably never be softer than this! Actually, we rather feel that this is our soft extreme. Now we have gone far enough soft. I suppose we're going to take a somehow different direction next time... But we wanted to make a ballad, and those were the songs that came out this time.
How do you want people to see you, in what way? Melodic, nice songs, or tough punk rock?
Tollak: The best is if they can appreciate both. It's ideal if they think that both parts are good. That they appreciate the variety.
In the beginning, it was just punk rock.
Terje: But you get some distance to things. And what we were doing on the first album was absolutely okay. The feeling there was more conceptual. Since then, the band got closer and closer to us in a way. It has become a larger part of us and our daily life.
Tollak: In the very beginning it was, in a way, not really representative.
Terje: Yes it was, but representative for what it was then, long ago.
Do you have any limits for songs, so that you say "ok, this song is nice, but it's not a Skambankt song"? For some songs, I had the feeling that they would also work as Kaizers songs.
Terje: Really? I never thought about that.
The first song where I thought it could be a Kaizers song was "Trygge rammer".
Terje: OK. Janove helped with this one and played the piano.
Tollak: That's probably what you've heard!
Terje: It's basically a groove-based rock song, and probably inspired by some of the same sources. Maybe that was the reason?
This time it was "Berlin", it reminds me a bit of "D-Dagen." Maybe it's just the rhythm in the beginning.
Terje: Yes, that is possible.
So you don't have limits regarding songs that can be Skambankt songs?
Terje: Well yes, we reject songs as well. We don't release all songs. But we don't see it as a problem too much that the songs resemble others. But it's your full right to think so!
Well, I don't think they don't work as Skambankt songs! It was just my first thought, especially when I heard "Trygge rammer".
Terje: It's no wonder that this one was Janove's favorite song on that record! The one that is most similar... So you're probably right.
"Someone had to sing in this band. It turned out to be me."
The reviews often say about you: "Well, he's not a singer." Does that hurt?
Terje: No. I'm not a singer. It was never the intention that I should be the lead singer. But I ended up as lead singer.
Tollak: Against your will.
Terje: Someone had to sing in this band. It turned out to be me. Even though Hans-Egil sings much better than I!
Hans-Egil: But you've been singing for quite a while now. When we started the band, the singing wasn't important. The music was not based on melodies or vocals, that was not in the focus. I played the drums back then, and one of the others had to sing, and it turned out to be Terje. And when we continued the band, that's just how it was. And quite frankly, I think you're singing better and better!
Tollak: Yes, I agree.
Terje: Well, thank you! ... And it doesn't happen that often that it is mentioned. Once in a while it is, but most reviewers let it go by.
Hans-Egil: There were some reviewers who wrote that "Well, maybe he is not a great singer, but this is part of the expression." And this is the right approach.
Terje: Sing with the voice that you have.
Five years ago you said that Skambankt is "just for fun". Has this changed by now?
Tollak: Yes, it's become a little more than that.
Hans-Egil: It's still fun!
Terje: There is more work by now. We had to adapt to that, and we're comfortable with it. There was never a big plan, our path was set while we were going. And it's gone better and better for us. We don't work against that. We rather embrace it.
"If you work on a small budget, things take time"
Some questions about your future plans: You have just released a video for "Jesus av vår tid". Is this an official video?
Terje: Yes. I'd call it a "semi-official" video. It is official because we have contributed. But it's a no-budget video.
But you must have planned it while you were in the studio.
Terje: Yeah, Kai joined us and generally filmed in the studio, and one day he said: "I feel like shooting a video. Shouldn't we just make a video?" And we said, sure, let's do it. And then nothing ever came out of it, before the last day in the studio.
Tollak: Then we had to do it, to get it done.
Terje: The video is from before we started recording that day, so it's early in the morning. Nine o'clock or something. Nine in the morning he came and threw us out of bed, and then we had to shoot the video. "You promised!"
And what about the "Født på ny" video that you made?
Terje: Yep, it's in the works! If you work on a small budget, things take time. We haven't seen anything yet, but we have been in contact. They keep on working, and they have pretty big plans. It'll come!
I only saw the photos you posted on Facebook.
Terje: That was just the "performance part" that we did for the video. A lot more stuff will be added, where we don't participate, a lot of story.
Tollak: We're also quite curious about how it will turn out.
Terje: Yes, that will be exciting. The director has big plans.
And then there's the vinyl box. Why now?
Terje: I guess the thought was... I think Tuba wanted to release it before Christmas.
Tollak: In addition, there's the new album and we are on tour, so it's kind of relevant now. More now than a year from now. So that's probably part of the reason.
Terje: We think it's really cool that Tuba wants to do such a box. So if they want to release it now... we're done on Tuba. Probably they could have released it next year just as well, then there would have been more time for the cover.
If the vinyl boxes are sold out, will you make the old songs available for download? For people who don't want to buy the box?
Tollak: We never thought about that. I guess not.
Terje: No, we haven't discussed that. No, it will be very exclusively with the box.
Børge: Some will make the songs available anyway, for sure.
Are there any more plans to use this iPhone app that you have?
Terje: No. Actually, I think you had a point...
Tollak: We think this excluded people. So we chose to not use it so much, and to rather use Facebook instead. Because there are a lot of people who don't have an iPhone, and we don't want to reward people for buying Apple.
I thought it was a nice stunt to be the first that was out with such an app...
Terje: Yes. The whole thing was mainly a publicity stunt. We got some attention because of it, since we were the first to release such an app, at least in Norway, officially. But we notice that there is much more activity on Facebook.
Tollak: We get a better forum there.
"We're going to take a break from touring"
And now you will take a break?
Terje: We're going to take a break from touring, yes.
No festivals either?
Terje: No, we won't play any festivals.
You wrote something about Denmark gigs next year?
Tollak: No, it's not going to happen.
Terje: But we'll do that another time, maybe.
That's a pity!
Terje: Yes, but it is healthy as well, not only a pity. We can't play all the time. Now we ourselves feel that we have been constantly doing this for two years. We had a six-month break while we did the album, but we've played a lot in Norway in recent years. So to make sure that people don't get bored - that we don't get bored - it's good to take a break from playing live now.
There's always people asking for gigs.
Tollak: Of course there will be.
Terje: We're going to get a lot of offers. But we will for sure try to keep them for the future, keep all options. And they (points to the others) will start a band now.
Tollak: Yes, we'll do a little project now.
Terje: It's called "Bodyfruitz". He (points to Børge) will be the front man there.
So I'll have to do another fansite?
Terje: I fear so! The first song is already done. What is it called?
Tollak: I don't remember...
Terje: It was recorded backstage in Grim... no... yes, Grimstad.
Børge: Was it "Here comes the Bodyfruitz"?
Terje: So watch out!
That sounds exciting...
Terje: Exciting is the right word, I guess...
OK, so then we are VERY excited. Thanks for all the answers - and thanks so much for a fantastic year with crazy concerts and ringing ears!
Interview 2006A new album coming out soon - that raises a lot of questions of course!
konzertjunkie.de got to talk to Don Fist at Zeche Bochum, Nov. 22, 2006. Skambankt's bass player took the time to answer all the questions and reveal what we all wanted to know about the new album "Eliksir", the upcoming tour and what else we can expect from Skambankt in the near future. Thanks a lot for the interview!
About the album...
konzertjunkie.de: Do you have some information about the new album?
Don Fist: It's gonna be out the 29th of January, both in Norway and Denmark. Maybe it will also be out in Sweden, but that will be later then, and we don't know yet. The title will be Eliksir. We had the vote on that at the concert in Stavanger, and we had discussed it beforehand too. I was feeling strongly about Eliksir as well, we just needed the confirmation.
konzertjunkie.de: Is the album completely done by now?
Don Fist: Yeah, everything is done, we just need to finish off the cover properly. We're gonna do some minor adjustments and then send it for pressing. It's eleven songs, plus an intro.
konzertjunkie.de: Did you have any guests on the album?
Don Fist: Yes! Do you know Christer Knutsen? He's on the piano and organ, and we have a choir this time. "The Angry Sailors" is their name, and that's also Christer and a few others: our sound engineer Petter, Geir Zahl, Gunnar from The Goo Men, Thomas Innstø and Jens Christian Andreassen. Of course the guy that played the intro, he's a guest as well. I don't think there's anyone else, but that's quite a few.
About the style...
konzertjunkie.de: Do you have some more information about the new songs?
Don Fist: The album is more personal, and more about self-experienced things. And it's quite different, it's not as raw as the first album. It's about people we met and people we've been thinking about, situations that meant something for us or just things that engage us, like there is one song that is about - do you know American Idol? It's sort of a caraokee contest, where the best singer wins and gets an album. So, in Norway there is a show called Idol, and one of the songs is about that.
konzertjunkie.de: So it's less "revolutionary" lyrics, but more real this time?
Don Fist: Yes, it's more realistic. I mean, we meant what we said the last time, but this is just different. So it's a step further for us, because we can't sing the same lyrics over and over again. We had to do something new, and this is what we wanted to do. It was easier for us too, it was better for us to write the lyrics this time.
konzertjunkie.de: You said the lyrics are different this time, how about the style?
Don Fist: There is a lot more variation this time. It's still rock, hard rock, but not everything. So the album is wider - the expression is wider.
About the songs...
konzertjunkie.de: Can you tell something about the songs?
Don Fist: I think you know Nok et offer, from the EP, that's one song. It's a new version. We thought it was so good so we wanted to use it, because not so many bought the EP.
And then there's Dynasti, we played that one in Stavanger, and Stormkast, that's actually a song about living your life on television, what you know and what you get. All the information you have about reality you get through the television, you don't experience life yourself, and the song is about that.
Then Tyster, and Ordets Gud, which means "God of the words", that's about when you argue with someone. Maybe a few hours later you think about, oh, damn, I should have said that and I should have said that. So it's about the feeling you get about next time - "I'm gonna say this and this and this" - but of course there won't be a next time, but you think about it.
And then it's Eliksir, you've heard that one in Stavanger as well, and Siste stikk, a fast and short song.
Fritt fall, a dark song about losing yourself in a way.
Then Idyllillusjonen, that's the one about Idol, and the last one is Bak låste dører.
And there is another one, it's the first song we recorded for the album, it's called Angst. We already played it on the last tour.
konzertjunkie.de: You talked about a song called "Malin" one time?
Don Fist: Yeah, but that's not gonna be on. The song was too soft. It was a kind of harassing with a girl called Malin. Or, we called the girl Malin, we didn't know her name. It's a girl we met. And we didn't like her, and we made a song about it. Maybe we will released it at some point in time, but we don't know yet, it's too early to say.
konzertjunkie.de: You said there is an intro for the album. Is this the stuff with the "klokkespill"? What is this about?
Don Fist: Yes, it is. The cityhall in Oslo has many clocks, so we used those to play a theme from one of the songs. It worked out alright, I think it's very good. We had several hours to do it - the player had to learn to play it first, because we couldn't play it. And it turned out the way we wanted it, really great. It's a good intro for the album.
konzertjunkie.de: Will you be able to play all songs live as well?
Don Fist: We don't know! Because we haven't tried. We only tried the songs we played in Stavanger, so we don't know yet. We have to rehearse and play them together. We have only played them in the studio, so I can't tell. I think most of them can be played live, maybe one or two cannot. But that's a matter of arranging it for live playing and we can do things differently. I think we can play them. At least for the release party, I think we can play everything. And then we have to see.
About the look...
konzertjunkie.de: How's the cover gonna look like?
Don Fist: It's a new logo! We wanted something new, we can't look the same all the time. But we're gonna use the old logo as well, we're still gonna have the t-shirts - the old one is a good logo. This one is different, it's kind of the same idea with a new twist to it. So you can still see it's Skambankt, but we wanted to do something new - a new logo for the new album. And this is also gonna be the cover of the new album.
konzertjunkie.de: So again, there will be graphics in the cover instead of photos?
Don Fist: Right, there's drawings on the cover, of all of us. It's the same style, just updated.
About the single...
konzertjunkie.de: Tyster will be the first single?
Don Fist: Yeah. It's not out as a single, but the radio has it, and the Norwegian radio will play it from today or tomorrow, I think. The guy that's in charge of the music really liked it, so he's gonna play that song, and I hope they will play the video of the song as well.
konzertjunkie.de: Do you have a video?
Don Fist: We're gonna do a video when we get home, in December. That's gonna be a really cool video. We have a script for it already: We're gonna fight in it, against one of the best boxers in Norway.
konzertjunkie.de: Why did you choose Tyster as first single?
Don Fist: We didn't choose that, the radio did. I'm not surprised though, because it's the most "radio song". But of course we would like Dynasti to be the first song. I believe that's the best song.
About making a new album...
konzertjunkie.de: How do you come up with new songs?
Don Fist: It's Ted that has the idea for a new song, and then he plays it for me and I tell him what I think. And if I think it's a good song, we make the lyrics for it together and then - like this time, we did it differently, because we went to a cheap studio in Stavanger and played the songs there and recorded it. And then we could work with the songs while we were making them - recording it and then say "ok, this doesn't work". And when we get home we can re-record with the computer, so we can edit songs. We can remove a chorus or make it twice as long and see what works best. So we did that on a few songs and made them the way we wanted it, and then we went to a real studio and played it as it should be.
konzertjunkie.de: Do you record "live" then?
Don Fist: Sometimes we do that. Well, we do it on all songs, we play drum and bass and usually Ted's guitar first, and then you put on more guitars and the vocals afterwards. But we play together at first to get the right feel to the song - we can't play drums alone. That would be kinda hard.
konzertjunkie.de: Working on the album probably takes a lot of time - how can you arrange that with your jobs and other bands, like Kaizers?
Don Fist: We take time. For me, this is the most important thing I do, so I use my vacation or ask my employer "can I go?" - And he says yes, because he likes rock music too, so that's good. It can be a problem of course, but you make time.
konzertjunkie.de: So it doesn't slow you down?
Don Fist: That hasn't been a problem, because we always find the time. And we plan ahead most of the time, so we plan that say, in May, we're gonna do this and this and that and we're gonna work through that, and then you have time to plan it. If you can't do it, you know it some time in advance, and then you can make it work somehow.
About the lyrics...
konzertjunkie.de: Did you have some kind of plan for the album?
Don Fist: No, we didn't have a plan. We just make songs. And if a song is good enough, we put it on the album. And the lyrics just came as they were. We didn't think of a theme this time as much. We tried to make good lyrics, and hopefully there's some good lyrics, but we don't know.
konzertjunkie.de: You made them, you should know!
Don Fist: Yeah, but I can't judge my own lyrics. I think it's good, because it means something for me - but for other people, I don't know. I can't tell.
konzertjunkie.de: So you first have the music and put the lyrics on top?
Don Fist: Yeah. You have the music and the melody and then you start making lyrics for it. I've never tried doing it the other way. I think that would be impossible to first have the lyric and then start to make a song out of that. I think people do that, but it would be very strange for me. Because the music is the important thing for us, and you gotta have lyrics, so then we make lyrics. But basically it's the music, so we make the music first.
konzertjunkie.de: But you're also gonna stick to lyrics in Norwegian?
Don Fist: Yes. I'd rather write good lyrics in Norwegian than try to write good lyrics in English. And I don't know - I think my English is quite good, but it still ain't good enough to write good lyrics. And I think there's so many bands writing in English, and people don't care about the lyrics then, because it's English, and it sounds English. And - whatever you like, that's good for them, and it's an easy way out. But it's better to try to do something you know how to do and try to do it good.
konzertjunkie.de: And it's something special.
Don Fist: Yeah. Or well, it shouldn't be special, because we sing in the language we know, as all other bands do. I mean, the English bands sing in English, because they are born in England and speak English. We're born in Norway, so it's natural to sing in Norwegian. As I think many German bands also sing in German. So it feels a bit weird to sing in English - although everybody else does it.
And we have no ambitions about getting big in England. We're never gonna do that, we're not gonna try, so why sing in English? We're not making it for English people.
About the expectations...
konzertjunkie.de: So what's your general attitude towards the album? Last time you said it's all just for fun, is it more serious now?
Don Fist: Yeah. We're really proud of this album. Because it is the best we've ever done! So I have some expectations for the sales, but nothing concrete, I can't say "I expect to sell this and this", but I think we're gonna be a better live band and draw bigger crowds and we're gonna play in bigger places now, so that's a step up. I think the album will sell more, but still, there's no big master plan like "in 2008 we're gonna be there", it's not like that. So we're just gonna play and see how far it's gonna go. But this album, we worked really hard on it, we used a lot of time on it, so the process was more serious this time. It's not about wanting to be successful, of course we want that, but it's more like wanting it to be good.
konzertjunkie.de: And wanting people to see it.
Don Fist: People will see it. But the main thing is to make something a good product, that's our focus, and the promotion and all that, that's up to someone else to do that, that's the record company's job. I guess we'll see how far they are gonna push it.
konzertjunkie.de: Do you plan any release/promo activities? You said something about a release concert?
Don Fist: Well, it's a bit early, because we don't know much yet. We know that we're gonna do a release concert, of course we will, everybody does that, so we're gonna do it too. Promo as well, but we don't know yet, the record company works with it. Also we're gonna start booking a tour, so that's gonna be fun.
konzertjunkie.de: Will you stick to the MySpace site now?
Don Fist: No, we're gonna make a new site. The old one was very difficult to maintain. And we also need new graphics and stuff. I'm hoping to get it done until January. And it has to be done before the album of course.
konzertjunkie.de: And the MySpace site will remain. Do you have any expectations about MySpace, do you think it helps you?
Don Fist: I have no idea. I don't think so. Maybe. It's a good place to post dates and people can listen to the songs, but I'm not sure what function it has. Now it has a function as a homepage for us, because we don't use the other one. I don't think we'll be famous through MySpace. I think you have to work really hard for that, be on MySpace all the time and send a lot of spam mail to others, and I'm not gonna do that.
konzertjunkie.de: You were on several soundtracks for films, like Uro and Tommys Inferno, this is also some kind of promotion. Do you have any influence on that?
Don Fist: They asked us to do it, and we said yes. I haven't seen Tommys Inferno yet, so I don't know what that is, but we went to see Uro, and I was quite shocked. We didn't expect our music to be party music. When there's a party going on, they listen to Skambankt. We laughed at that - it was funny. And it's promotion for us, so it's just a good thing. They decided to ask us, they called the record company and asked if it was okay to use two songs in this movie and we said yes, it's okay. And it's also good for us.
About the tour...
konzertjunkie.de: Do you have some plans for the tour already?
Don Fist: Yeah, we have a few dates, but it's not official yet. We're gonna go on tour in February and March. We don't know yet how long and how much. We're gonna start some time in February and go on through March I guess. How many shows depends on how many want us, I would say about 20. And it's gonna be Denmark and Norway, maybe Sweden, but I think we'll need to go on tour with a local Swedish band there, because it's a very difficult market to get into. They don't like Norwegian bands - especially singing in Norwegian. So I think that's a bit threatening, the "little brother country" comes to Sweden and sings in their own language. That can be a bit frightening.
konzertjunkie.de: And then probably festivals in summer?
Don Fist: Yeah, but that is too early to say. We're gonna play a lot of festivals, but about that, I have no idea yet. To this date, there is only one festival that is confirmed, and how many else - there's gonna be a lot, but I don't know. It's way too early.
konzertjunkie.de: I guess I know the answer to that question, but anyway: Any chance you'll come to Germany again, for a festival maybe?
Don Fist: I don't think we're gonna try. Because - I wouldn't mind playing in Germany, but we'll have to start real low, with small venues and not much payment and bad hotels, you know the deal - I don't want to do that.
konzertjunkie.de: I was more thinking about festivals, 'cause there you can really get people to listen to you.
Don Fist: The festivals will need to call us then. Maybe. It would be nice to play German festivals, but we're not thinking about it. We are focussing on Denmark and Norway, and that's gonna be a lot for us. If we play in Denmark, it's not far to drive to Hamburg - but someone needs to book us and make it possible. But the German fans can come to Denmark as well.
About the merchandise...
konzertjunkie.de: Will you have new merchandise, with the new logo?
Don Fist: We're gonna make it, yes. We're gonna make a lot of new stuff, and a better selection. We're gonna keep the old shirts, and make a new shirt with the new logo, and we'll have a few other things as well. Like underwear. We want underwear too! But not pink, we're gonna do it in red.
konzertjunkie.de: But not the jacket anymore? Everybody wants that!
Don Fist: Yeah, we were talking about that, and we're gonna do the jacket again - but with the new logo. So the people that have the old one, that's kind of exclusive. It's a memory from the first tour, and people who didn't go there can't have the jacket. So for the people who have it, I think it's a good thing.
And - maybe shoes. Actually, we're talking about shoes.
konzertjunkie.de: Shoes? Because everybody is making them themselves at the moment, or why?
Don Fist: Yeah, right. So we thought it's a good idea, and we're actually talking to Converse now about getting a deal with them to make Skambankt shoes. But we don't know yet if they are interested. Or well, they ARE interested, but we haven't come to a conclusion yet. For them it should be good advertising, because we are a rock band, and they are into that. I think they should like it, and it would be good for them. And it's good for us. It just takes a lot of space on tour, we gotta find a way to pack them.