Blood Tsunami are a crushing death/thrash band that have just released a new album on Soul Seller Records and here is a great interview with band member Peter so sit back and read the damn thing as it is a fantastic interview.
How did you guys all find each other and take me through how the band was formed and about the early days of the band.
Alright, here we go! Back in 2003, when my band, Hellride, fell apart, I immediately began to write songs for my next band. This new "band" didn't have any members and it didn't have a name. It was just me, but I worked on the new material day and night during that winter. At that time, I went through a divorce and I was unemployed, so I actually, more or less, lived in the rehearsal space. I played guitar during the day, went out to get drunk in the evening and, when the bars closed, I went back in to the rehearsal space. There, in a drunken haze, I continued to create music until I fell asleep on the couch in the corner. That was all I did during the winter of 2003-04. It was a very dark and negative period of my life, but I was determined to get out of the ditch, start up a new band and get back in the ring.
The first song I had ready was "Killing Spree". In January 2004 I found a drummer named Jørgen. He's a very cool dude. Maybe more of a rock 'n roll drummer, but he did his best. Unfortunately, it wasn't good enough. A friend of mine named Frode came in on bass and Dor joined on the second guitar. We recorded the first demo in 2004. It's very amateurish. It's was a shame because I had a very different vision for that demo. As I continued to write more songs only Dor proved to be up for the task. Frode and Jørgen had to go. Bosse came in on bass. At the same time, I played in a punk band called Bomberos with Einar from Infernö on drums and Sven Erik from Mayhem and Skitliv on vocals. Einar dropped out and Faust came in. After a while I asked him if he would like to join Blood Tsunami. He checked out the first demo and, even tho' it stinks, he heard some potential in the music. Luckily he agreed to join. We soon began to rehearse my new stuff and in 2005 we released our second demo. Bosse dropped out in 2009 and after a while Carl joined us on bass. This line up is close to friction-free. We get along with each other very well. We're a band of friends.
The 1st few months in did you fool around with any cover tunes or did you go right away with original tunes?
We went straight into my pre-written material. I have never been a cover-kinda guy. I have a burning need to create music, so playing covers never did much for me. Of course we have done some in the past and we still do some covers live, but that's just when we have spare time and nothing better to do. I could never function well in a tribute band. I must write my own music. I remember when I got my first guitar at the age of 11.... Immediately I began to write songs, or at least memorize and arrange riffs I made myself. I tried to figure out what Tony Iommi, Ace Frehley, Glenn Tipton, Dave Murray and later Jeff Hanneman, Mille Petrozza and James Hetfield was playing, but it usually, or always, ended up with me going into something I came up with myself.
How did you come up with the band name and logo? Does it mean anything?
The first logo on the first demo was actually a pastiche of the Converse All Star, Chuck Taylor emblem. You, know, the one with the star. The second logo was very simple. Something in the same style as the Misfits logo. I just draw it with a permanent marker on a piece of paper. It was used on the second demo. In 2007, when it was time to make the first album, I designed a new logo. Well, I actually just designed the B and D in "Blood" and a friend of mine added the rest of the letters in some gothic font. We used that logo on the two first albums. In 2013 I designed a new logo. I was tired of the old one. In my opinion it looked too nice and ... a bit boring. The new logo was more punk. More spikey and grainy. That suits us fine. The idea for the name, Blood Tsunami, is actually inspired by another band from Oslo, Turbonegro. Musically we don't have much in common with Turbonegro, but we know them and Faust and Happy Tom played together in Scum, the short lived side-project they had together with Samoth from Emperor and Casey Chaos. Nowadays I don't pay much attention to what Turbonegro are doing, but they made a huge impact on me in the early 90's. Turbonegro and Anal Babes was the first two Norwegian bands I really got into in the early 90's. Before that I only listened to British, American and German bands. I first heard their "Ground Zero" single and the "Turboloid" EP in 90. That was kinda cool, but when I saw them live at the release party for the "Vaya Con Satan" EP in 91. Damn! I was blown away. They had developed into a lethal monster. Hard, loud, fast and dangerous! This was long before the costumes and all the gimmicks. They just looked like bums and nerds, but they played music that you could easily use to cut concrete with. They were also the most fucked up band I'd ever seen. I loved them! They would of course only get bigger and bigger as the 90's passed by, but I like to remember them as they were during those early years. Anyhow, back to your question; many years later, in the Turbonegro song "Drenched in Blood" there's a line that goes like this: "There's gonna be a tsunami of blood". I kinda liked the idea of a giant wave of blood that comes crushing towards you. Beside our band name and the connection through Scum we have one more link to Turbonegro and that is our version of "Boys From Nowhere" which can be found on the tribute album "Omega Motherfuckers". Speaking of covers, that I just declared "doesn't give me much", well... our latest album "Grave Condition" also includes a cover, so I guess I should just keep my mouth shut.
How long was the band around before you released your 2004 demo? How was it going into the studio for the 1st time? How do you feel it turned out?
The band had just been around for a few months. If I remember correctly, the first line up was complete at the beginning of 2004 and we recorded the demo some time during the spring, so yeah, it happened rather fast. I was excited to go into the studio with a new band. I had already done many albums and singles with my previous band, Hellride, so it was not the first time, but it is always something special when you bring a whole new band into a studio. I soon became rather disappointed with the whole session. We had booked time in a studio of a friend of the drummer. This dude was also a nice guy, but as an engineerer? Nope, sorry mate. At best he was an amateur. Sound-wise he couldn't give me anything of what I asked for. The drums sounded terrible. Production-wise it was a catastrophe. I was very bummed out and went on a drinking spree. I did the vocals after a 24-hour bender. I didn't give a shit. In my opinion the session was already doomed to fail and I was already looking for a new studio. Anyhow, we decided to spread the demo and to our surprise we got some positive responses. We managed to get some decent support jobs and even Faust would later join the band based on what he heard on that crappy demo. Not bad, after all.
The following year you released a 2nd demo. Was this done for the purpose of sending it out to any record labels? How was the response this 2nd demo and do you feel it was an improvement over demo # 1? How did you get Faust, the original drummer in Emperor do come join the band before the recording of demo # 2?
Yes, Faust gave the band a much needed "musical facelift". The old songs like "Killing Spree" sounded incredible much better with him behind the kit. I had a bunch of new songs ready and we recorded the second demo in a much better studio. We recorded songs like "Evil Unleashed", "Infernal Final Carnage" and "Suicide Anthem". The songs were better and the performance and production was at a much higher level compared to the first demo. Bosse, the new bass player at the time, was first asked to do some backing vocals. It turned out that he had a massive growl. We began using his growling in a lot of songs. I would later regret that decision because it gave us a serious touch of death metal, but done is done. On the mentioned "Suicide Anthem" he even added some clean vocals. They sounded awesome, but again... wrong for Blood Tsunami. We distributed this demo rather well and got some offers from labels. The ball was rollin'...
It must have worked because in 2007 Nocturnal Arts Productions signed the band up and released a full length by you guys called Thrash Metal. Why did you call it thrash metal? Who came up with the awesome cover?
Yes, it worked. We soon signed a deal with Nocturnal Art Productions. But they were already an officially sub label of Candlelight at that point, so basically we had a deal with Candlelight. I wanted to have a kind of cover art that could give me some of the same vibe that I got as a kid when I first saw album covers like "Pleasure to Kill" by Kreator or "Satan's Gift" by Deathrow. I started to track down artists to achieve this. I tried to find Lawere, but he was nowhere to be found at that moment. Dan Seagrave turned us down. He didn't like my ideas. Understandable, as he is not an artist who paints warriors and conan-esque battle scenes. I was even in touch with Derek Riggs, but it turned out that he was too expensive for us. One day I found a guy named Alex Horley Orandelli. He had just the right Frazetta-touch I was looking for. Alex took the job, and together we developed the idea for the cover. When I first got his sketch I was blown away. It was the perfect match! Regarding the title of the album, ...well, it wasn't meant to be taken too seriously, but of course people did just that. We deeply regret the title of our debut album. We were really short sighted when we named it "Thrash Metal". That stupid title started off a perpetual argument. "Are Blood Tsunami thrash or are they not?" Some people still bitch about this. In my opinion we were thrash then and we still are. Yes, we had Death Metal and NWOBHM influences on the first two albums. Later we have included more Punk and Rock, but that doesn't matter, in my opinion the outcome was, and still is Thrash Metal. People have become too obsessed with labels and tags. There's no room for variation within the genres anymore. Too many rules. Too much nagging about details. The recipe is narrowed down to almost nothing. Weird when you consider that the original recipe contained a whole lot of different ingredients. Of course it's necessary with borders between thrash, death and black and so on, but, especially in a genre like thrash, it's possible to experience with a lot of influences before anyone can point fingers and shout "untrue". This is a genre that contains bands like Holy Terror, Tankard, Slayer and Nuclear Assault. Very different bands. HUGE difference! If Blood Tsunami had surfaced in the late 80's we would have been labelled as thrash metal. NOTHING else. Some people should just stay calm and don't blow their whistle as soon as they notice that we have added some other influences than just a few thrash riffs from a few selected bands, released on a few selected labels during a few months in the 80's. But then again, we asked for trouble with that damned title. Sorry 'bout that.
What are your thoughts on this release these days? How was the response to it back then? Did you get to do any type of touring or play many live shows to support the release back then?
I don't listen much to our releases, but recently I have been checking out some leads on some of the songs. We're planning to play a few of the old ones live. I don't like the production on that album. And for some weird reason we play some of the songs much too slow. I can't understand why. We used to play them much faster live. And I am not happy with my voice... I'm screaming. I like my voice better when it's my normal shouting/singing voice. Don't know why I did that screaming thing... It sounds forced. Well, there's one more thing that bugs me: some of the riffs are too happy! Fuck that! I was not happy back then. That's for sure. Where the hell did some of the riffs come from and how could we let them pass? Well, I made 'em, so I'm to blame, but I just can't understand what I was thinking. It irritates me. The songs I like the best on that album is "Infernal Final Carnage", "Killing Spree" and the instrumental, "Godbeater". When a band enter a studio they always wanna do their best. That's a given. But, like with everything in life, you become better at it the more you do it. Anyway, an album is a product of its time. Your material, your technical skills, your work ethics, attitude and focus at that particular time will forever be caught in the final product. What we considered to be cool ten years ago doesn't necessarily hit us the same way today. What we deliberately try to improve, or at least now have a vague vision of, is what kind of sound and production we want. Back in the early days we trusted the engineers too much. The first albums would never have sounded the way they do if we had recorded them today. We have a better understanding of what we want now. We are our own producers, so basically it's all up to us. Well, the engineer will of course come with input, but the final decisions is always ours. Personally I've never been on a mission to create yet another subgenre of metal. I guess that's pretty obvious when you listen to Blood Tsunami. My philosophy is to play what comes to me naturally. Some artists are innovative and experimental, well, good for them, but that's not my goal. The only thing I wanna achieve is to create good music. Music that I like myself. I don't feel like I have to follow any strict rules in order to make our music. I have a broad musical taste and thrash is a genre with a wide range of possibilities. That's the beauty of it. It's the bastard child of heavy metal, punk and rock 'n roll.
You then followed up with an Ep from the same label called Castle of Skulls. What are your thoughts on this release these days? Was it easy by this point coming up with songs to record and go into the studio with?
We were productive and ambitious. My creativity blossomed and I wrote songs very fast. We recorded the next album the next year. This EP you mention was actually just a teaser for the forthcoming album "Grand Feast For Vultures". The track "Castle of Skulls" was lifted off that album. We added some songs from the 2005 demo and released the EP. This was only a digital EP, so I don't consider to be an important release for us.
Overall how was it working with Nocturnal Art Productions?
It was great. Exciting times for sure. Samoth is a great guy, and it was his label, but Nocturnal Art Productions would eventually be totally swallowed by Candlelight. Suddenly we had to deal with the British guys instead. Not a problem, but, as long as it lasted, it was indeed very cool to have a fellow Norwegian and a personal friend to take care of business.
In 2009 you moved onto a bigger label, Candlelight, who released a full length by you called Grand Feast for Vultures. Were you at all nervous or feeling any sort of pressure to go deliver the goods since you were on one of the biggest indie labels?
No, no pressure. Just excitement and high hopes. The debut had given us a lot of attention and we had already recorded a strong second album ready, just waiting to be released. During this time Candlelight bought Nocturnal Art Productions and our contract was a part of the deal.
What are your thoughts on this release and do you feel you were starting to find the Blood Tsunami sound so to speak? To someone who has never heard the band what would you say you sound like?
Today, we have a crossover thing going on. Thrashmetaldeathpunkrock! Or whatever... Back then I guess I would have described us as a thrash metal band with influences from NWOBHM and Death Metal. "Grand Feast for Vultures" contains some of the best and most intricate pieces of music I have ever written. Many say that we peaked with this album and the reviews from around the globe was very good. The production was better, still a bit too modern for the old school crowd, and of course we still got a lot of criticism for not being a real thrash metal band, but all in all it's a good thrash metal album. If I may say so? The major difference compared to the debut is perhaps in the lyrical content. I was already very tired of singing about fictional death and war. I wanted some more substance. I was battling with alcohol abuse and depression. I tried to quit drinking, but failed again and again. I hated myself and my own situation. My personal life was a mess. Drinking was my escape. Of course it only made things worse. It was a vicious circle. A downward spiral. I wrote a few lyrics about this. The depression, regret, feeling of hopelessness and despair comes to life in songs like "Personal Exorcism", "Laid to Waste" and "One Step Closer to the Grave". The instrumental "Horsehad Nebula" is the one I am the most proud of. It's a long track where I express a lot of emotions without having to say a word. The guitars do all the talking.
Who came up with the killer cover and did Candlelight give you any money to record the record and what was it like working with them? Did you get to do any touring at all and did you get to play many live shows?
Once again Alex Horley did the artwork and him and me collaborated on a concept that suited the title of the album. Alex is an amazing artist. Plastic head already did the world-wide distribution and promotion for N.A.P, and they also did that for Candlelight, so for us it was more or less the same deal. But we got some more money to spend. And we did. We went for the same studio as we had used on the debut, but Faust and I went over to London and Turan Audio to master it. Candlelight was great to work with, but in my opinion "Grand Feast for Vultures" never got the attention it deserved. They did a better job promoting the debut album. Then we had what we like to call the "emperor-effect". The new band with Faust on drums was something to brag about. On the second album we were already yesterday's news and we got very little promotion and attention. Here in Norway nobody gave a shit about Blood Tsunami. Very few people even knew that we had a new album out. Nobody in the metal community cared about what we were doing. We had been written off as "too polished" by the thrashers in Oslo and that attitude spread like wild fire. A few months after the release of the debut album, nobody wanted to touch us. Candlelight also turned down our request for some financial support that we desperately needed to get on some rather big tours. At least big for a band in our league. We could have done tours with both Onslaught and Absu, if I remember correct, but it never happened. Too bad, because it would have been a golden opportunity both for Candlelight and us to promote our new album. For us there was no money in those tours and we didn't have any money ourselves, so we just had to see the tours go on without us. Unfortunately, we never did much touring in general. We never got offered fees that could keep us on the road. We've been on short tours, but usually we can only do one offs and weekends.
What is a live show from Blood Tsunami like? Are there a bunch of live videos of the band on sites like You Tube and stuff?
Some clips exist, of course. Filmed by people in the audience. Rather poor sound quality, but that's how it is. We are a good live band, I guess. A lot of energy and attitude. I really like to play live, but, to be honest, I prefer the studio. I love to create music and wish I could spend every day in a studio. That's what gives me the most pleasure. I don't really feel a need to perform music on a stage, but I have a burning need to create music. When I'm done recording a song I'm kinda done with it. Then I wanna move on and create something new, but playing concerts is a part of the game. We gotta get out there on a stage and play the same songs over and over. Don't get me wrong, I like to play concerts, but it's a lot of hard work and a lot of stress. For me, it used to be a good excuse to "party" and get drunk, but I don't drink anymore, so now I'm not a part of the party. When I was younger I gladly jumped in a crappy van and went on long tours. Only to come back broke and totally wrecked, both physically and mentally. I could never do that now. We function like ordinary dads and husbands most of the time. For Faust and me, the ones with kids, it is necessary to squeeze concerts, studio sessions etc into an already tight schedule. We gotta do as much as possible when we have some spare time. We can't be very spontaneous. Everything must be well planned. In order for a band to survive the members must sacrifice something. We have been doing this for so many years, but now we sacrifice less than we used to. The dream I once had of being able to play music for a living has faded over the years. Now I live a quiet life. I like to stay with my family. At home or out in the nature. I am happiest when I'm in the woods or down by the sea... or in the studio. Your priorities changes with age. You become less egocentric. I must keep my day job and have a steady income to make ends meet. I need to put food on the table. Nevertheless, I will never stop making music. I don't understand people who suddenly say, "I don't play music anymore". I can't do that. I must create music in order to be happy.
The band didn’t record anything from Candlelight release in 2009 till 2012 and that was a new demo from the band as well as a new bass player Carl Janfalk. What did the band do for 3 years in between release?
Yes, a few months after the release of the second album I had lost all my enthusiasm and faith. I hope I don't sound too bitter right now, but this is actually true. No one was particularly interested in Blood Tsunami around that time. I was disappointed and fed up of all the hard work and little reward, so I decided to do something else for a while. Ok, I am a bit bitter... haha. I started up Mongo Ninja. It was my way of blowing off steam. Mongo Ninja had a lead singer named Kristopher Schau. He's an old friend of mine and a great guy. He is also a well-known person in Norway. Over here he is famous for being stupid on TV and radio and he is also known because he has played in a billion bands. The Cumshots are perhaps the most known band he has been in. Now he's doing good with his new band The Dogs. Anyway, back to the story; with a famous face in the band, everything went very smooth for Mongo Ninja. Indie Recordings signed us, and every festival and venue in the whole country wanted us on their bill. I wrote music like never before and didn't give a shit if it was metal, punk or boogie rock. I wrote lyrics that were stupid, clever, funny and provocative.... well, maybe mostly stupid? Everything was allowed. Everything went into the blend. True crime, fiction, personal issues, and a lot of utter nonsense. It was good times and it felt great to get rid of the-battle-of-the-thrash-metal-tag that Blood Tsunami had created with the stupid title of our debut album. Mongo Ninja released three albums during one year and toured relentlessly in Norway for three years straight. For the first time I even made some money on playing music. Faust and Dor also joined Mongo Ninja, so we were still playing together. It was fun, and that was the whole purpose of the band, but after a few intense years of beer drinkin' and hellraisin' we decided to call it a day. We had a desire to start up the old "mothership" again. I still had the mongo-ninja attitude of "zero fucks given" when I started writing the next Blood Tsunami album. This resulted in a more punk oriented version of Blood Tsunami. When I think of it, Blood Tsunami "before" and "after" Mongo Ninja could easily have been two completely different bands. That goes for the production, the music, the vocals, the lyrics and the artwork. Yes, it's a drastic change, but in my opinion, a good change.
In March of 2013 we finally got a new full length of the band on Indie Recordings that was called For faen. How did you come up with this title and how did you end up on Indie Recordings?
"For Faen" can be translated into two things. "For the Devil" or "For fucks sake". One day when we were discussing titles, I suggested the possibility to release it as a self-titled album. I said, "Why don't we just call the album "Blood Tsunami" for Fuck's Sake! It kinda stuck. Candlelight wasn't interested in keeping Blood Tsunami, so they let us go. Indie, who had signed Mongo Ninja, wanted to release "For Faen", but only if we got financial support from the government, which we luckily did. Yes, Norwegian bands can indeed get financial support from the government. But not everyone. Only if you are lucky. Everyone can apply, of course, but only a few get it. You can apply every year. Blood Tsunami got support that time and that was actually how we paid for the whole recording and production of "For Faen". But we can't depend on those money. If they come it's a great bonus, but we must have a label who also wants to take some risks and who are willing to put something into the band. The case with Indie is that they wanna wait until we are granted support from the government before they want to release anything new by Blood Tsunami. They do not want to gamble with their own money. That's sad, but also understandable. I don't blame 'em for thinking that way. We are definitely not a sure bet and they have a lot of other artists who generate much more money than us. It's just business, but for us, who are artists, it can be rather frustrating to deal with the business side of music. Well, anyhow, "For Faen" came out and then... I crashed.
The band didn’t release anything from 2013 till 2018. What was the reason for this? Did the band break up at any time or were you just taking a break again?
Yes, oddly enough, after the release of "For Faen" and a bunch of positive feedback and good reviews, we suddenly went off the radar again. And once again, I'm the one to blame. You see, just a few months after the release of "For Faen" I decided to sober up. I was totally fed up with my situation. I was sick and tired of being myself. I didn't see the world outside my own little bubble of trouble. In June 2013 I stopped drinking and I haven't tasted a drop of alcohol since. Best decision I ever made! The whole first year I isolated myself. I didn't hang out with friends, I didn't rehearse, I didn't go to concerts and I sure as hell didn't play any concerts myself. I just hung out with my kids, my dog and my guitar. I spent a lot of time out in the woods. Oh, I made some weird music during that year. You wouldn't believe... After a year or so I began to hang out with friends and go to concerts again. It was strange at first, you know, not to drink, but after a few times I didn't think much about it. The band was still on hiatus, but in 2015 we got an offer from Martyrdoom in New York. They wanted us to come over and play a gig at St.Vitus in Brooklyn, NY! That was the kick we needed.
In 2018 you just released an awesome new full length on Soulseller Records. How did you end up hooking up with them? How long did it take to get the songs to come together?
That's right. This album is a bit weird as it contains both new and old tracks. We were a bit worried that it would sound a bit too schizophrenic, but I think it worked out fine. The new ones are the first four songs. If you buy the album on vinyl, side A are new shit and side B are old shit. The older tracks do of course have some differences in production as they were recorded elsewhere and on different equipment, but all in all I think they do well next to the new stuff. It's a good solid package. Originally we wanted to do a 7" with 4 new songs. You know, just to get started again. We came back from a long break and was actually working on a new full length, but it turned out that our label, Indie Recordings, didn't want to spend any money on a new Blood Tsunami album. They wanna wait for that famous financial support from the government. I also guess they were disappointed that the band had been on hiatus for so long. And that's totally understandable, but we're still officially signed to Indie. Anyhow, we decided to record a few songs with our own money. You know, just to get the ball rolling again. Since Indie wanted to wait we agreed with them that we could do a small release on some other label. And so we did. I have known Jorn from Soulseller since the late 90's, when my band back then, Hellride, was out raising hell. I contacted him and he liked the idea. We soon went from 7" to 12". Then, since we were already operating in the right size of vinyl, the idea of adding even more songs came to mind. We couldn't afford to record more new songs, so we started digging thru' some old leftovers. I really don't know why we had scrapped them in the first place, because in my opinion, they are good songs.
"Steel Meets Steel" was recorded one night back in 2008. Originally it was intended to be included on a tribute album celebrating the mighty UK thrashers Onslaught. For reasons unknown to me, that tribute album never came out. Well, I guess it goes without saying, but Onslaught have the original version. It can be found on their debut album "Power from hell" from 1985. Our version is old enough to have captured me in my "screaming days". "For Faen i Hælvete" and "The Cruel Leading the Fool" was recorded some time during 2011. "In The Dungeon of the Rats" too. This song was also included on the album "For Faen", but the version on "Grave Condition" is older. I was a bit unsure about including it now, because to me that song belongs on "For Faen", but Faust dig this older version and he really wanted it released. "The Acid King" had a bit longer birth and it's the only one we had to do some work on. The music was recorded in 2012, but I never did the vocals. When we heard the instrumental version again we said; "Hm, why didn't we use this? This sounds great!" So, we finally finished the song when I added the vocals in 2017. We did a new mix and it was a wrap. I wrote the new songs in 2014-15. The riffs came first, but it took some time before I arranged them into actual songs. We played some of them live during 2015-16, but we didn't record 'em before the summer of 2017. Actually both Carl and Dor was on vacation at that time so Faust and I recorded the songs ourselves. We just wanted to do something and we had some spare time right then. We recorded 'em with engineerer Hugo Alvarstein during a few days.
Who pens all the music and the lyrics? What are some of the subject matters you write about?
So far I have made every Blood Tsunami song, both music and lyrics, so my fingerprints are pretty much all over the final products. Anyway Faust, Dor and Carl comes with input and they color the music with their ideas and unique style of playing. They are very important for the Blood Tsunami-sound. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm a dictator. The other guys are more than welcome to write stuff, and they know that, but so far they haven't. I constantly have various riffs buzzing around in my head and I do spend some time arranging them. Usually I do this at home or when I'm alone in the rehearsal space. When I'm satisfied with a song I play it for Faust. I try to explain what kind of drums I hear in my head. He sometimes hear something different and we try out various ideas and drum patterns. When we're both content we invite Dor and Carl. Dor gets some leads parts he can play around with. On "Grave Condition" I play all lead guitar on the four new ones. Dor play all leads on the older songs. On the two first albums we did like 50/50 of the leads each, but on "For Faen" I gave all the leads to Dor. I wanted him to develop some sort of ownership-feeling to the music. He's a brilliant guitar player and, when we're on stage, I usually have more than enough to do with all the riffing and singing, but I do enjoy to lay down a solo or two in the studio. My approach to writing lyrics has indeed changed over the years. On the first album it was all fictional, cartoon-like tales of war and death. That became boring rather quickly. On the second album I explored more personal stuff. After that album I had sort of drained myself and I began writing about true crime. Serial killers, genocide, war crimes, torture methods, you know, real stuff, and therefor incredible much more scary than anything fictional can ever be. Don't know why, but the dark side of humanity fascinates me. I despise the actions and persons I sing about, but I still find it interesting. And it suits the music. Anyhow, on "Grave Condition" I have taken yet another approach. I explore some topics that I have never touched upon before.
"Poison Tongue" deals with someone who I spent many years of my life with. Someone who always manipulated, lied and tried to bring me down. The song describes this person and the confusion I experienced while I was in that relationship. It's bloody exhausting trying to understand, cooperate and negotiate with someone who doesn't relate to reality. I guess the message here is to stand up for yourself. Do not tolerate bad treatment and don't let other people step on you.
The title to "Allegory of The Cave" is taken from Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher. His Allegory of the Cave describes human perception. We usually blindly accept what we're being told by authorities. In Plato's allegory he tells about some prisoners who are being held locked up in chains, facing a wall inside a cave. All they see is this wall. They've been there all their lives and they are being told that the cave is the whole world. They accept this, because, well, why shouldn't they? They don't know about anything else. If they only could turn their heads around they would've seen the exit and the world outside. Later in the story one of the prisoners manage to escape. When he returns to free the remaining prisoners he tells stories about the magnificent world he has discovered outside the cave. The remaining prisoners refuse to believe him. They simply can't believe his crazy stories so they tell him to shut up. They don't want to hear about it. They don't want to know. They will rather stay where they are. My lyrics put this scenario into modern times where we are being kept like slaves by the system. The song is basically a description of how our society works and that we all should wake up, start thinking, start asking questions, break the invisible chains and start to live for ourselves instead of being slaves to a system that only a minor elite benefits from.
"The Collapse" deals with a topic that truly is a minefield. The lyrics are about 9/11 and the fact that I am extremely skeptical towards the official story of what happened that day. Of course I know that this will make most people look at me like I'm a complete moron, but I don't care. The problem with those people are usually that they haven't done their research. They just accept the official story because that's the easiest thing to do. They are trapped in "the cave" and they prefer to stay there. In the song I don't point any finger in any direction. I don't put the blame on anyone. I can't because I don't know who did it, why they did it or how they did it. All I say is that NIST and the 9/11 Commission has got to be full of shit when they claim that the collapse of Building 7 was caused by fire. I could write a whole book about everything I find "fishy" about that day, but I guess a little song about the collapses is a good start. And no, I am not wearing a tin foil hat. I'm not an idiot who swallow all kinds of ridiculous conspiracy theories, but in this case the most unbelievable theory is the official theory. Those buildings fell straight down at a close to free-fall speed. The upper sections hit the ground just as fast as they would have done if there was absolutely no resistance between them and the ground. Problem is that there was a whole lot of resistance. Or at least it should have been. Tons upon tons of intact concrete, steel and iron would of course have slowed down the fall. You can't argue with that. I can't accept it when they try to sell us a story where they ignore the laws of physics. I don't buy it. I believe Isaac Newton's Third Law is still very much valid! I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm a conspiracy realist. Well, I just don't like being lied to and in this case I'm 100% sure that we all have been lied to.
"Gargoyle" is a bit more philosophical. More poetic and deeper. I imagined myself being a gargoyle on top of a tower. In a meditative state of mind. Seemingly lifeless, but still observing and contemplating. I'm looking down on the city. Years passing by, years turning into decades and decades turning into centuries. I behold the downfall and inevitable decline of man. It says that our time is up, but "our time" is just a second in infinity. "Blink your eyes and you're gone". In the final verse the gargoyle breaks free, climb down and walk the earth. His time has come.
The lyrics to "The Cruel Leading The Fool" are written by Faust and me. It deals with Christianity. Could be about all religions really, but Christianity is what we've grown up with here in Norway. People are brainwashed into believe in the most ridiculous bullshit. The indoctrination starts early. I remember when I was a kid. All I ever heard about was Jesus and God. To me it never made any sense. I never fell for it. I grew up to be an atheist. I don't worship any man-made gods. I have faith in myself and I praise science, the universe, the sun and planet earth. I consider it to be a crime when adults force religion upon kids. Of course I agree that the school shall teach kids about religion and explain the origin and essence of all the world's religions, that's very important, but never force them to believe in it. A kid's brain is like a sponge. It sucks up information and stores it. A child's mind is vulnerable and shapeable. Let it grow. Let it evolve. Let it explore. Don't poison it with crazy fairytales, useless rules and fake promises of reward and punishment. This song, together with "Allegory of The Cave" and "The Collapse" brings a message that says; think for yourself, make up your own mind and don't believe everything authorities tells you.
You have been involved in the underground for a long time now, do you feel as me there are just way too many horrible bands out there doing absolutely nothing and just taking up space so to speak making it tougher for bands such as yourselves?
Younger generations will always like and create music and art that old farts like myself don't understand. I started to feel old when bands like Slipknot came. I was too old for that shit, but I also accept the fact that it's not made to appeal to my generation. It's like KISS was for me when I was young. I loved them like crazy, still do, but older guys and my parents hated them. Still, it's a fact that music was better before. End of discussion! BUT, there are plenty of younger bands that digs deep into the past and come up with music that very well could have been written in the 70's or 80's. Long before they were even born. For me, who don't really need new groundbreaking music, this is totally great. I'm not exactly in a position where I can criticize bands for doing nothing as my band has been very lazy and produced very few albums during its 14 years of existence, but I see your point.
Do you as a band plan on doing any kind of promotion for this new release?
Soulseller will do the actual promotion. We will try to play as much live as possible and of course do as many interviews as possible. That's about all we can do.
Where do you see the underground headed in the coming years?
I think the underground will stay true to the early origins of heavy metal and its early sub genres. Be it doom, thrash, death and/or black. I think it will stay true to physical formats and still embrace the music and the image of metal like it was back in the 70's and 80's.
Please plug any merchandise you have for sale and any websites you have.
Sorry, we don't have any...., but we do have a Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/bloodtsunamiofficial/
Any last words and horns up for doing this interview.
Thank you very much for your attention and interest in Blood Tsunami. We really appreciate it.
Interview by Chris Forbes