Thanks for taking the time to conduct this interview with PlanetMosh.com. For the uninitiated, can you delve deep and bring forth the history of Audrey Horne, from 2005’s Confessions and Alcohol to 2013’s stellar new release, Youngblood.
Audrey Horne was formed in 2003 in Bergen, Norway by Kjetil (drums), Thomas (guitar) and Tom Cato ( former bass player). Herbrand (keys), Ice Dale (guitar) and me joined them pretty soon. We started recording our first album pretty soon, and halfway through it, and after 4 or 5 gigs we were offered a record deal with Tuba recordings. We released the EP “Confessions and Alcohol”, and the album “No Hay Banda” in 2005. Tom Cato and Herbrand then left the band, and were replaced by session players for the live gigs, and we recorded two more albums: “Le Fol” and “Audrey Horne as a 4 piece. After “Audrey Horne” Espen Lien stepped in, (actually he plays bass on that album), as a permanent bass player, and has contributed a lot in the song writing on our new album “Youngblood”
Over the last 8 years, your sound has changed considerably. Was it a conscious decision to move into the realms of classic rock on Youngblood?
No, not consciously, but we have changed as a band over these years, and also as persons. And I think to keep things interesting for both ourselves and our audience, we have to evolve, and the reason that we have done so in this direction, is just a result of our own taste in music, and that we have pushed our live energy into our recorded music. It is simply way more fun to write and play this kind of music.
When I recently reviewed the album I felt the spirit of Thin Lizzy, Kiss, and Whitesnake coming from the speakers. Yet there was something different. The lyrical content is much darker than the Rock forefathers. Is this something that you try to portray?
Yeah, we were very much aware of the classic hard rock influences in our songs, and so we were very determent not to have a retro production, or lyrics. We wanted to use this musical legacy, and put it into a new concept. If we had not, it would very easily have become just another nostalgia trip. Besides, I would not be comfortable writing lyrics in the vein of David Coverdale. It fits them truly well, but like I said..not us.
Did I hear a Love/Hate reference in the “Redemption Blues”?
Yes you did. It was just a line I used in the sketches for the writing of the melody line, and it came unconsciously. I thought it was a cool thing to use, so I borrowed it. Hopefully they will see it as a tribute, cause it most certainly is.
You took the leap and changed producer on Youngblood. Opting for fellow Norwegian, Magnet. Was this a gamble or a calculated risk that paid off?
A bit of both. He is a very famous performing artist in Norway, but not very known as a producer. We chose to work with him cause we loved the sound of his own work, (which he often produces himself), and because we wanted to get as much of our live energy into the album, so we figured that by using someone who was familiar with the live setting, we could easier get this. It was in many ways a risk, but we felt pretty sure this would pay off. After all, we have been doing this for quite some years, and know how we want to sound ourselves.
Could you select some songs off Youngblood that are personal favourites and give our readers a little insight into their sound and story?
“Redemption Blues”, a highly energetic song about drinking. We all have a love/hate relationship to this, (he he!!), and though it is a fun thing to do, you gotta know when the party stops. I think this song has a lot of interesting playing in it, and really shows how good the guys I play with are, but not in a shoe gazing and introverted way.
“There goes a lady”, the idea for the song was Espen`s, and I love the sexy groove of this song. It is probably the kind of song I have always wanted to write. The lyrics are about how an unhealthy relationship is not always easy to break out of, even though one would think it was. I used the picture of the sirens, who lured seamen into a watery grave, to illustrate this.
“Straight Into Your Grave”, One of the first songs we wrote for this album, and in my opinion, a perfect live song.
Considering that Enslaved are also immersed in the Riitiir touring cycle, will Audrey Horne find time to take Youngblood to the masses in 2013?
We will do so, we are doing a tour in march with Long Distance Calling, and an own headliner tour later, (around late April), and then we are doing a bunch of festivals this summer. I will take a couple of weeks off in July though, to get married !
Scandanavia has always been a hotbed for musical diversity, especially within extreme metal genre. But over the last decade or so, a strong retro influenced scene has awakened, with bands like Audrey Horne, Witchcraft, Graveyard and Troubled Horse contributing to a growing family tree. What is it about this region that offers such creativity?
I guess we are equally influenced by the European sound, and the American one, but at the same time we have a strong own culture up here, and so it adds something to an already well established music culture. We have always gone out and stolen your stuff, brought it home and turned it into our own, ever since the days of the vikings. Why do you think we have so many good looking women up here ? The vikings stole all the good ones from all over Europe, so we have a mixture of all your best genes. That`s how we roll up north!
Yeah, thank you, and everyone : check out our new album “Youngblood”, it just might be your new favorite album.
Peace out !
To read my 8/10 review of Youngblood click here