Norse has always had to deal with a lot of changes. It just seems to be something that happens to this band regardless. Recently, the biggest change was losing our singer/guitarist Treelo. The time came for him to move on and pursue a totally different career path. That takes a fair bit of backbone to turn your life around like this, and I applaud his strength of will to go ahead with it!
It was a shame to see him go, but I was resolved not to do the weak, easy thing and throw my hands up in the air and walk away from it. What doesn't kill you...
The new line up now consists of a new full time member who is handling lyrics and vocals, and a session guitarist, both of whom will be announced with the release of our new EP titled 'PEST'
2.How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and also how does it differ from your previous releases?
The difference between the latest album, All is Mist and Fog vs. Hellstorm is pretty big. With Hellstorm we were still learning. We thought we were able to play what we wrote, but personally for me, it fell short of the mark. It just wasn't up to my expectations. Not due to anyone's fault, but we threw so many ideas at that album. Black metal, some melodic Viking stuff, tried to play some dissonant DM etc. Sure there's some standout moments on Hellstorm, but overall I wasn't 100% happy with it personally.
With All is Mist and Fog, Norse had concentrated from a 4 piece into a duo of like-minded musicians. Treelo and I had the same ideas and concepts, and we worked really hard to make sure we nailed it.
We didn't want a glossy production, we wanted raw, real instruments with no edits or manipulations. We wanted to make an album that balanced on the brink of noise/chaos, but with every listen, you could discern something new. The last thing we wanted was to be easily categorized or put on the shelf along side similar sounding bands. Judging by the reviews and feedback, we created exactly what we set out to achieve.
It isn't an easy album to listen to, and it took a lot of fans by surprise. We sure lost a few along the way, but for once we released something I was proud to put my name to.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new release explores and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
Treelo and I both decided with lyrics, we should try and write separately and then combine. What was suprising, was that a very large amount of our ideals matched up and we were able to work them all together to make sense. We have had our lyrics described as 'misanthropic-escape-ism'. However, I believe when lyrics are presented in this semi-abstract form they are open to interpretation.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Norse, and also how would you describe your views on Nordic Mythology?
This question does come up a lot and unfortunately the answer is: there is no hidden meaning to our name. We just wanted an easy 1 word name that stuck in your head. If there I was pushed, I would say Norse is acknowledging our ancestors who traveled from the top of the globe all the way to the ends of the earth. If that isn't a trek worth paying homage to, I don't know what is.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band ha splayed so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Out of the mess of memories I have, I think playing alongside Dark Funeral (which was also our album launch for All is Mist and Fog) was a great show. Absu was good and I love playing with Portal. Amazing band.
Interestingly enough, playing small regional shows is always fun. People in rural Australia rarely get to see bands, and the response you get is overwhelming from them. Having 100 kids lining up at the merch desk and demanding everything be signed, photos taken etc makes it worthwhile driving out to the middle of nowhere to perform.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We are currently finishing vocals to our new EP titled - 'PEST'. Our new singer is blowing me away with his performance on this release, so im very keen to get back onto the stage to promote.
There will definitely be tours to support PEST, but right now I'm concentrating on mixes, lyric editing and tracking vocals...
7.Currently you are unsigned are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We have received interest from labels but Im really not that interested in handing over my creative control. There isn't a lot record companies can do that I can't if I really get involved. Promotional and distro companies are popping up everywhere nowadays, and the internet gives me all the tools I need to get my band out onto the world market.
People still seem to have the idea that a record company will make you huge. Its totally not true. They lose 80% of business to the internet.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
The feedback for All is Mist and Fog has been FAR better than I imagined... I was certain people would be unsure, or not understand what we are doing. However it has been a real surprise to see such positive reviews and respect for the album.
...planning To put a stop to that with the next release.
9.Are there any other musical projects going on these days?
I'm always busy with other projects. I do a lot of session work in the downtime between shows and albums, and I just finished up with Australian band The Amenta this year. I wish I could play guitar better, but there's not enough hours in the day to practice both instruments unfortunately.
Shayne our guitarist has a lot of his own projects. Murderworld and Human Forgery to name a few. He is one of those musicians who is always busy as well. Writing or recording inbetween shows.
10.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
I am keen to continue pushing the boundaries. Be it with composition, production or otherwise. My roots are firmly grounded in extreme metal in general, so there will never be an acoustic album or organ solos. The biggest drive for me is to create new and exciting atmospheres. Something to make me sit up and listen again. Chasing an impossible goal of recapturing the excitement I had for Mayhem and emperor albums from my teens.
11.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
No bands influence. I don't want to sound like other bands. There are similarities to be found by every listener for sure. I never go into the studio thinking: ''I want to rip off ' De mysteriis dom sathanas'..! ''
as far as music I am listening to these days: Tycho, Burial, Access to Araska, Boards of Canada, Flashbulb, Lorn, Obfusc.
12.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Nature. Getting away from everyone. I love my job working in pine forests, as I'm by myself every day.
13.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thankful for the great questions!
You can check out Norse here: