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2009/01/20 NRK: Hardt Regn on Skambankt
|- It takes balls to lift the veil, Ted Winters says.
In Skambankt it is Terje Winterstø Røthing, which is his real name, who writes the lyrics and the music. And it's the lyrics that worries the guitar player of Kaizers Orchestra the most, also with the new album "Hardt Regn".
- The lyrics are the most difficult part. A nice line, especially as we write in Norwegian, can easily sound stupid. It's more personal on the new record. It started slowly on the last record, but now we dare some more, he says about songs with titles like "Vår Bør", "O Dessverre", "Slukk meg (For Eg Brenner)" and "Malin", which has been up on the radio the last months, and he adds:
- I think people have gotten used to our dialect as well. It sounds good to sing in.
SeriouslyMusically, Skambankt have also come further, even though the step isn't as big from the second to the third - as it was from the self-titled 2004 debut album with strong punk roots to number two, "Eliksir", that came out two years ago.
- On the first record, we blew out what we had started with ten years earlier, and held on to our aggressions from the time when we were 16-17. This was difficult for some to deal with; they didn't know whether they should take it for serious or not. Since then we have maybe lost some revolutionaries on the way, but now we are taken seriously, Terje Winterstø Røthing says.
He characterizes the new album - which will be out on Monday - as more elaborate. The four Skambankt guys found their form, became more certain in their way to work, and they are going for the more melodic.
- I can't do anything else but say that I think we have developed in a positive way, the Skambankt boss smiles: - I'm sure we could go on with the four-chords-rock. But we don't want to do the same record all over again.
Good startHe and bass player Don Fist, real name Tollak Friestad, took a trip to Oslo to talk about Skambankt's upcoming third release. Outside there is no heavy and clearing rain, but instead snow coming down. Inside Elm Stree, classic rock echos in the walls, and the two guys dressed in black nod satisfied and reveal that they started listening to old bluesrock again lately.
- Our band car has been filled up with ZZ Top, Tollak Friestad says.
- We re-discovered ZZ Top, it is groovy, Ted Winters adds.
"Hardt Regn" has already received a strong 9 out of 10 in the NRK program "Norsk på norsk", where the reviewer states that "with this record, Skambankt establish themselves in the top league of Norwegian rock". Scream Magazine, on the other end of the scale, gives 5 out of 6, something they are also fully satisfied with. But the two representatives from Skambankt claim that the band seldomly really talks about what way they want to take when a new release is in the making.
- The sound is probably the only thing we discuss, Tollak Friestad says.
Full controlThis time, Skambankt went into the studio and wanted to have full control. Tollak was the one behind the levers and steered the sound, he had bed and bass in the control room and almost only got out to eat, while Terje is listed as producer. The band also took part in the mixing, together with their old helper Mike Hartung.
- We went out to Bekkstudio in Jæren, and recorded in there and in a church that was 150 m away. The church was a good room to record drums, talk about enough space there! We put more weight on the drums this time, the Skambankt boss says.
The band took along a whole truck-load of "big instruments" to Jæren, borrowed from a brass band. This is why they for example can come up with timbals on one of the songs.
- When we used such instruments, we started playing around. But we used them sparingly. When we decided, we felt more free to try out things, we didn't need to convince others, the two tell about the recording process. But still it isn't easy, according to Terje Winterstø Røting:
- At the same time it is hard not to have someone from outside to discuss with.
Get a jobSkambankt will start their "Hardt Regn" tour through Norway Feb. 6 at Hulen in Bergen, and the band expect to do about 50 concerts in 2009. There will also be a concert at Sentrum Scene during By:Larm. But first the tour goes to Denmark - Skambankt will warm up there for their old heroes D-A-D, formerly known as Disneyland After Dark, at five concerts - the first one January 30.
- Everything that works out fine is a bonus. We don't take anything for granted. We deliver a package as good as we can, beyond this, we can't steer it, Terje Winterstø Røthing says.
The four band members make a living mostly with music, with some odd jobs inbetween, but the boss himself laughs a bit when he tells about his grandmother's view of his choice of job. She had visitors who looked at the pictures she had up on the fridge - one was a wedding picture of Terje and his wife, the other was a picture of his brother's baby.
- They asked if there was a baby on the way for us as well, and 94-year-old grandma answered: "He needs to get a job first".