Monday, February 28, 2011

On a quest with the white tiger prepade

By Nathan Hankinson
The White Tiger Prepade take you upon a spiritual journey through sound and light in their debut release ' Mystic Force In Gatekeepers Question Overflowing The Fountain Of.. '. Coming out of the Metal haven 'Oslo' the White Tiger Prepade take their music through a mind altering noise explosion that rids of prediction and continuity. The music orginal on its own is captured with hypnotic and psychedelic visuals through their video releases that accompany their music. The Tiger Prepade are pushing the boundaries for better and worst. I was fortunate to get in contact with the band and ask a few questions of their quests and this is what they had to say. 

1. From what I can see and from what I have heard of the white tiger prepade, it is more than just a band playing songs, how would you describe the white tiger prepade to an unknown?

Before we describe ourselves, we want the "unknown" to reveal its true nature. An "unknown" source is most likely to not make much sense of the explanation we could give in words. We ARE just two guys playing in a band playing songs or jams. Although we believe that our music and all music is able to communicate further and deeper beyond the "unknown", we know that we dont know, and throughout the unknown we dont know, that we dont know . We believe that we as humans are becoming more and more alien to ourselves. It might be that we know all the unknowns around, somewhere inside us. Aliens or not, we are living on the same planet for one reason. To make balance with the earth and ourself. Music can paint this beauty of balance.

2. The Norweigan scene seems like a tight community of artists, what would you say the benefits are of being a Norweigan based band? Are there avenues for artists to showcase them selves in Norway? What restricitions do you find?

Like ripples in the ocean, music spreads around everywhere. Soon we have shared our music with people all around the world. If you are true to music it will be true to you. Reveal its nature, the core of all movements. We feel very part of this movement. Although we are surfing in the outer realms of the community, it is the same core we are swirling about. The benefit is clearly there when the music finds a way by its self. We have never pushed music onto people. People have found us. When it is time to play, we play. It must come out of the right impulse. We think of it as the music calling us.. The wave we send out from shore grabs something in the deep ocean and pulls us back out again.

3. Do you see restrictions in your music? where would you want your music to evolve to?

We are open sources. Music is not something, but somewhat like life. And life takes the people to the next level. We expect us to change, and we do. A total of ingredients is necessary at all times but keeping stuff at the minimal we find the biggest creative rooms. The only restriction is not to be restricted to one thing, but to be open to whatever comes.


4. Your sound shifts between intense and peaceful, what were your influences in the development of your sound?

Balance between the ancients and the futuristics. Grand optimism and panic depression. Google earth and planetary meditations.
déjà vu and lucid dreaming. The inner living image and the materialized feelings. Sacred geometry and profane chaos.

5. Bands that inspire you?

We go deep and way back with metal. Everything that has some kind of punk or metal attitude is sure to be inspiring! But most of all the things that is on the flipside of us..
It is the most interesting. Piano, synth, ambient, and any form of instrumental music carry their colors out in a very direct and special way. It hits you in the core of your body and soul and spreads to you feel your boundaries. These have been making impressions the last year: Lubomyr Melnyk, James Ferraro, Charlemagne Palestine, George Garside, Enno Velthuys,
Mark Anthony Heide, Michael Sterns, Oneohtrix point never, Mort Garson.

The White Tiger Prepade have just had their debut release 'Mystic Force In Gatekeepers Question Overflowing The Fountain Of.. '. You can hear most tracks for free from their myspace check out
www.myspace.com/whitetigerprepade. It is a well worth the listen to hear another side of what Norway has to offer.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The World/Inferno Friendship Society

A cheer bursts from the crowd as silhouettes fall into place within the dark. So far, it’s a normal show. This is where normal ends. The lights snap on, the stage ablaze in white light. A motley crew has filled the stage; each dressed in their own idea of their evening’s finest. A pale, skinny man dons a suit, sipping, no, inhaling a bottle of red wine. His eyes dark and what seems to be a mischievous smirk permanently affixed to his lips. You are certain this man is the devil himself, his charisma already striking the audience as otherworldly. He kindly greets the audience, then brings forth a tom drum from nowhere, and begins to hammer a primal beat into it. Music quickly sneaks into the beat until an uproar of chorus turns the room into a chaotic circus; infectious and effective in snatching the audience’s participation is a song called “Tattoos Fade”.

This is the World/Inferno Friendship Society. Who? After all these years, I doubt the most avid fan could give you a clear answer. Somewhere lost between worlds of anarcho-punk, cabaret-punk, swing-punk, lots of punk. Yet, as far as punk goes, they’re strictly unconventional. If you can imagine big band, soul, and circus music with an attitude, I suppose this is the product.

Hailing from Brooklyn, the band has undergone many lineup changes over the last fifteen years, but throughout its span, maintained a very faithful cult following. The only constant member has been frontman Jack Terrycloth, formerly Pete Ventantonio of Sticks and Stones. The man has an infectious personality, and could probably convince the world to spin the other way if he so pleased. As the band as a whole seems to carry that effect with songs like “Let’s Steal Everything”, “Addicted To Bad Ideas”, and “I Wouldn’t Want To Live In A World Without Grudges”, one quickly understands how outspoken World/Inferno can be.

Emma Goldstein once said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want your revolution.” If Emma was still alive today, I think she’d be proud. It’s hard not to move at a World/Inferno concert. The meek, meager and shy quickly loosen up as the band and audience melt into a tumult through the night. Slow songs, fast songs, songs concerning Weimar Germany, heroes such as Paul Robeson, Peter Lorre, and the romance and magic of living in the moment.

If there’s one thing that you must know and love about this band, it’s their zeal for Halloween. To place it on a pedestal, World/Inferno went as far as naming it Hallowmas. They put on a special show every year, elaborately planned and full of surprises. Grand entertainment such as fire breathing, circus acts, burning effigies, home-made pyrotechnics, and rallies into the street as the band plays "Pumpkin Time", paying homage to the Great Pumpkin of Peanuts make the night unforgettable.

And while the band changes, it's still alive and kicking and even kicking it on tour now. They are scheduled to release their fifth LP, The Anarchy and the Ecstasy, on March 15th. That’s next month kids! Stay tuned and check it out.

Interview with Winston McCall of Parkway Drive

video

Last July, I was given the opportunity to report on the Camden, New Jersey stop of Warped Tour, but the magazine I was freelancing for ran out of space and opted out of using my article. Ironically, the same thing happened the only other time I'd been to Warped, in 2006. The hilarious interviews and photos I risked heat stroke for sat in my computer, gathering virtual dust. I imagined anthropomorphic versions of the files crying and wishing that I, their creator, share them with the world. Well, my gigabyte friends, now is the time.

I start off with my first interview of the day, Winston McCall of Parkway Drive. Winston is the sort of person you look at before a performance starts and think, "Well, he doesn't seem like he'd be in a hardcore band!" Then he goes on stage, blows your mind and eardrums, and walking off, becomes that friendly chap from Byron Bay once again. He was honestly the nicest person I've interviewed and as soon as our conversation started, my nerves went away. Unfortunately, for our interview they stuck us in the hallway where the catering line was, so the chattering you hear in the background is a mixture of other interviews and bands complaining that they're hungry. At one point you can clearly hear a girl say, "I want some turkey!"

Parkway Drive are currently touring the US (I'll be at their Philly show on the 27th!) and will tour Australia in May, starting in Brisbane for their Mix N' Mash Tour.

Photos and interview by Danielle Reicherter July 16th, 2010

P.S.- Before I started recording, I nervously (read: stupidly) told Winston that the gym I go to is on a Parkway Drive. While this is true, I regretted saying it instantly, but he was genuinely interested in that, saying that he always likes trying to find actual Parkway Drives around the world. Aww.

Monday, February 14, 2011

HorrorPops Australian Tour 2011!

With a stage show which includes Go Go Dancers and novelty lollipops, HorrorPops have been moving crowds into a rock 'n' roll frenzy for more than a decade with their unique variation on punk rock. Most often cited as a psychobilly band, HorrorPops left their native Denmark for somewhere with a better Rock 'n' Roll scene as singer/bassist Patricia Day told me. “There is a total of 3, yes three rock'n'roll venues in all of Denmark. When it comes to rock music Denmark is a third world country, there is no future there. If we could have relocated to Australia we would have, but it's actually easier to get US work permits than Australian. But Australia is to us a perfect combination of the grandness of the US and the local culture and humour from Europe and it's a great rock'n'roll country”.
It's been more than five years since Australian audience last experienced HorrorPops live in Australia, but this April they're back for a nationwide tour.
Tickets are available now from the Principal Entertainment website.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

AC4

 Words & Photographs by Angie Hurlock

When I arrived in the small Northern Swedish city of Umeå one of the first things I noticed was the various propaganda posters for the election which was happening at the time. However, amongst those posters promising a better Sweden was one that caught my eye, AC4 were playing that Saturday night and I couldn’t believe my luck. Umeå is the hometown of AC4 which consist of Dennis Lyxzén & David Sandstöm from Refused and Jens Nordén and Karl Backman from The Vectors who band together create an old school hardcore punk explosion.
In the days leading up to the gig I asked a friend of mine in Umeå about what AC4 were like live to which the response I received was, “they’re great if they’re sober”. So, on that chilly Swedish autumn night I made my way to the river where the gig was to take place on a boat and because they were all local bands, entry was only a mere $8 Australian dollars. Despite being nearly as far away from Australia as possible, to my surprise the bar at the gig was serving Coopers Pale Ale which reminded me instantly of home.
The first band to play were called Forever Young and were pretty decent but not incredibly memorable. Following them was Håll Det Ākta which had the largest fan base of the night. Although the last band of the night was made up of what I would deem as an all star punk line up, the young crowd to my astonishment seemed to be far more interested in Håll Det Ākta and most had left by the time AC4 were to play. As Dennis took the stage the small crowd took a few steps back leaving a two metre space between us in the front and the band, as soon as the began to play the reason for this shift became clear. As they kicked into an array of songs off their self titled album, Dennis began dancing and swinging his microphone in a way which has become synonymous with the performer during his time in Refused and The (International) Noise Conspiracy. The energy omitted by the AC4 is infectious and drummer Jens in nothing less than incredible. As they wrapped up their set a guy in the crowd picked up a girl, slung her over his shoulder and began running around in circles while her legs flailed in the air. It was a perfectly dangerous, high energy and hilarious act for the show to end with.
When I returned back to Australia my friend told me he was bringing AC4 over in April 2011 and I couldn’t wait. So, now I sit and wait anxiously for April 7th when AC4 are taking over The Zoo in Brisbane and recommending everyone to catch them on their first Australian tour.

For tickets to their Australian tour check out: www.newnoiseagency.com

VIOLENCE IS TIMELESS

For the past thirteen years, Swedish band Division of Laura Lee have been making great albums and touring a brand of punk rock that is uniquely their own. I spoke to drummer Håkan Johansson about the beginnings of Division of Laura Lee, Carcrash Records and the future of D.O.L.L.
By Angie Hurlock


Named after ‘70’s soul singer Laura Lee and armed with a sound influenced by Fugazi; Division of Laura Lee began in September of 1997. “Me and Jonas [Gustafsson, D.O.L.L] were in a three piece called Uncle. We had a rehearsal that day but Mattias couldn’t join in for some reason. Henrik who wanted to start a new band was in the studio, so we started jamming. Per [Stålberg D.O.L.L] joined the next day and a week later we had our first show in our friend Daniel’s apartment. Two weeks later we recorded our first seven inch”.

The “97-99” album, a compilation of early material release in 2005 has a sound that differs starkly to the later albums and truly captures their influences including, Nirvana, Fugazi and Swervedriver. “The acts, combined with the four of us and our diverse backgrounds make the foundation of our sound. To this we add flavour and colour and blend in some nice lyrics”. It was not until 2002 that D.O.L.L’s debut album ‘Black City’ was released with singles, ‘Need To Get Some” and “Black City” making their name instantly known. Following this they released “Das Not Compute” in 2004 before releasing “Violence Is Timeless” in 2008.

For the “Violence Is Timeless” album, Division of Laura Lee invited guest directors to create video clips for each of the twelve songs on the album. The idea for this grew from a desire to do something different. “We first talked about releasing a new song a week. We soon found out it had been done numerous times before. We wanted to do something bigger and better. That’s when we came up with the idea of releasing a video for every song on the new album [Violence Is Timeless]. We started asking friends if they wanted to make a video for a song of their choice on the new album and soon video’s came pouring in! We released one video every Monday leading up to the release date of the C.D. It was beautiful”.

Håkan was able to confirm the rumour that Division of Laura Lee are back in the studio and working on their fourth album. “The truth is we’re writing and recording new songs for an album. We have no deadline scheduled but we are anxious to get going.” The direction for these new songs sees Division of Laura Lee delving further into their musical skills. “We are heading towards melodic rock versus nervous post punk. We are also flirting with the rhythm patterns of acts like Nine Inch Nails, electronic beats transcribed to acoustic drums”.

After more than ten years and three albums to their name, Division of Laura Lee’s recording process and time in the studio tends to run smooth and methodically. “We make three or four songs and put them on tape. After a few of those sessions we know what direction the album is taking and we can either redirect it or go with the flow. Since we don’t like singing, we always do the vocal parts last minute”.

Håkan also runs Carcrash records which has released the likes of C.Aarmé and The (International) Noise Conspiracy, but the label began as a way for Håkan to release his own music. “The first release was in 1996 by Jonas and my band Uncle. We also did a seven inch with Per’s band at the time, Outstand. I wanted to get our music heard and I had the possibility to do it. I soon realised that there was so many great bands that got stuck in their rehearsal rooms. So I did my best to give them the possibility to release a record. Then it kind of snowballed from there. I wish I had more time to work with the label, but seeing how the market has changed and how easy it is to release music today, I made the decision a few years back that Carcrash will only work as a portal to the digital distribution channels”.
Division of Laura Lee have been on a hiatus from touring for a while now but are looking forward to getting back on the road. “One of the main reasons we became a band was because we wanted to tour. We miss it a lot. There is still a tonne of places we haven’t visited yet.” Over the years D.O.L.L have played with a diverse array of great bands including Turbonegro, however it’s The Catheters that were Håkan’s favourite to play with. “They’re [The Catheters] one of the best bands I have seen live. It was always a challenge to go on stage after them. We are still great friends after doing as many as three tours together. Sadly they are not a band anymore. But you can find two albums that were released on Sub Pop in the early 2000’s”.

For now, Division of Laura Lee are continuing to record new tracks and play shows in their native Sweden. “Between shows we’ll just keep working on the new songs and other projects such as photography, design, studio production and plain hard work”. Australia has never been fortunate enough to experience Division of Laura Lee live, but it is something that Håkan hopes to rectify. “We will get there. We have failed in the past, but we won’t give up easily”.

Alleycat Records

As you would have noticed by now, Take Aim Zine has spent some time taking a look at the Scandinavian countries and their alternative culture scenes. One thing I have noticed while putting together these articles and while I was in these countries is that there is this amazing d.i.y spirit and comradery which unites the differing scenes. One of these examples is Jonk who founded Alleycat Records in Sweden five years ago. I spoke to Jonk about how the label began and the future of the record industry.
By Angie Hurlock



For Jonk, starting a record label was a childhood dream. Growing up going to concerts is what first made him realise that he wanted to be a part of the music scene. Jonk found himself a part of the music scene after some teenage stripping antics in a club. “When I was seventeen, me and a male friend were asked to strip in front of 50-60 girls at an 18th birthday party at a club. The deal was that we could stay at the club and have free booze that night. We were young and stupid and since we couldn’t enter any pub because of the 18 year rule, we thought it was a great idea. I spoke a lot with the owner of the pub that day and he asked me if I could have my birthday party there. So I had my party there and it was a packed house and since they made a great winning off the bar he asked me if I could arrange some more party nights there”. From these beginnings, Jonk began to regularly organise parties at the venue. “I did some parties where we played the music we wanted to instead of the new disco stuff they only ever played at the pubs in Lerum, the small town I grew up in. I did it for fun and then the owner started to pay me a little and I thought that maybe I could use this money to arrange some concert with live bands. So after sharing the idea with a guy I met at some punk concerts we booked some bands and had a club night.”
It was not long after this that Jonk started Club Riot with a friend from university in the much larger city of Gothenburg. “The club went well but we had different ideas of the music that should be played, he was more into heavy metal and I was not. I wanted to have variation with rock music from the 60s to nowadays rock music”. Jonk began Club Slacker with close friend Matilda at the Henriksberg which ran for several years. “Matilda became pregnant so we quit the club and I started a new one called Showdown. Same stuff, but I didn’t want to keep the name since it wasn’t us two making it any longer”.

After five years of putting on club nights in Gothenburg, Jonk felt he needed a change and that he needed to do something more. “My parents gave me their old shitty car when they bought a new one and since I never drive I thought it would be just expensive to have that car standing, so I sold it and contacted a band called Sweet Addiction to start a record deal. I had no clue how to run a record label at all but that’s the way I’ve always been doing stuff. People over all are afraid of doing new stuff without insurances, but well, just do it. You lose money, sure thing, but you gain so much more out of it. I am still not making money out of the record label. One in five records gets me some profit, but I look at it as an expensive hobby.”

Among the names on Alleycat records is Detroit trio Koffin Kats who earlier this year embarked on a six week tour of Europe. “Oh damn, most unlucky tour ever, but a good tour though. Six weeks in Europe and they played everywhere, but fucking unlucky. After five days on tour they were hit in Romania by a trailer from behind, so they got sandwiched between the trailer in front and the trailer from behind. The van got totally smashed, they had to go to hospital but they all survived and continued the tour. The tour manager Owen flew back to the UK, picked up a new van and drove back to the Czech Republic to meet the band for the next gig. They only missed one gig on the tour and then they were at the hospital. Hardcore, I say”. Also on the label are Australia’s own, Digger and the Pussycats from Melbourne. “I love those guys! [Digger and the Pussycats]. I was contacted by their last booking agent for booking gigs for them in Scandinavia, so I booked them four gigs up here and then one before the shows the agent could not be reached. I got an email one week before from the agent that said they had to cancel Scandinavia. Some weeks later I got and email from Digger and the Pussycats where they asked me if I could help out booking some gigs in Scandinavia, I told them I already did and that they had cancelled. It turned out that they never knew about the Scandinavian plans before. So I started to book their gigs up here and me and Joel from Denimzine released their album on license up here. We knew it would be a big loss but we had some extra money spare and since we both love the music and Sam & Andy, we just had to do it”.

Despite not having any knowledge of how to run a record label in the beginning, Jonk has learnt a lot over the last five years and would suggest to those thinking about starting a label, not to plan too many releases. “I planned one release in March and one in June and so on for a year and since 99% of the bands get delayed with the recording, the design and so on, you just end up with having three releases in one month and then prostitution is the only solution to get money for all the releases. I also recommend to work kind of like a management for the band. Be sure to them a booking agency and help with merchandise and so on. If they don’t play a lot live it’s hard to sell records nowadays”.

For now Jonk plans to focus on the releases that Alleycat has upcoming and to continue with his club nights in Gothenburg. “Right now Trubbel’s new 7-inch is being pressed and albums for The Kendolls, Transwagon and Impo & The tents are all in the making. After that some tour booking, and running the clubs, after those releases I will wait for a while before I release some more since I need to have more time between the releases to be able to work professionally with it. I will book some less since it’s hard to have time for everything. I’ll focus on Showdown and Club Slacker and the record label and try to get some better distribution”. The future of Alleycat records sees it going c.d free and focusing on vinyl releases only. “It’s [vinyl] a cooler format and most records are sold at livegigs and mailorders nowadays and if you take me for example, I buy a lot of 7-inches and LP’s but rarely a c.d”.



Epidemics – Waking Up The Dead

Fronted by the charismatic Emma Swänström, Epidemics have a sound which is reminiscent of punk band Vice Squad possibly contributed to the similar vocal style of Vice Squad’s frontwoman, Beki Bondage. Released on Ny Våg Records in 2008 and produced by The (International) Noise Conspiracy’s Inge Johansson, Waking Up the Dead consists of a great punk rock sound mixed with sweet melodies (‘Never Grow Up’) tied together with lyrics of the pressures of modern day society in the eyes of a non conformist. My favourite songs on the album would have to be the first track No Good Advice, Straight Jacket and the extremely catchy, ‘Wake Up and Scream’. ‘Waking Up The Dead’ is a great punk rock album, which is definitely worth a listen.
3 ½ / 5
Angie

Introducing Sam McKenzie!



There are some very common themes in your work, what else inspires you other than girls, ghouls and guitars?
I guess I'm mainly influenced by people. Not really specific people, just people in general. I really enjoy trying to get certain personalities across in my drawings. Trying to get lively characters and expressions, with all those little quirks that people tend to have. The girls and ghouls bit falls under this. I love drawing all kinds of folk, really! But pretty girls and ugly men are the most fun. I love Music too, and my love for Rock n' Roll comes across pretty clearly. Stylish movies, TV shows, Old Movie posters (especially for the typography), Comics and such are big influences too.

How would you define your style?
Well, I’d say it's quite cartoony. In fact, I'm trying to head in a more cartoony direction. I've been incorporating many cartoon-type characters into my usual kind of work. I think it's a nice contrast. I find it hard to specifically define my style, as I'm so close to it. It's kind of hard for me to step back and take a fresh look at it. I'll leave that to other people.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
So, so many. I'm very lucky to have close friends who also draw and create excellent work. It's amazing how inspiring that can be, feeding off of each others work. People like Karl Kwasny, Dave Collinson, Philip Dearest, Ben Cee, Mel Stringer and more. I know I'm leaving some friends out, sorry about that! As for international artists, I really like Rockin' Jellybean, Jamie Hewlett, Jordi Bernet, Brandon Graham, Sheldon Vella and much, much more. It's not fair to make me choose and name names.

What are your favourite mediums to use?
I like ink on paper mostly. I draw everything by hand and then do all the colour work in photoshop. I've developed a bit of a process over time, involving a lot of sketch work. Getting a pencil and just hacking out shapes and lines, real messy. Then taking parts of that and using a lightbox to do a second pass (or more, if needed). Gradually tightening up the lines and form. Then I'll blow it up to A3 size and again using a lightbox, will ink the drawing. I prefer using thin pens, like a .01 fineliner. Then I take the finished inks in to photoshop and clean it all up and add colour. The process tends to vary a bit every time, really.

Are there any plans for a
compilation of your art?
I would love to work towards an art-book of some sort! Or do some comics. That would be amazing.
I have actually compiled some 'zines in the past. But they were kind of last-minute things, just to get my work in to peoples hands.
But I'd really love to put out a book of some sort! Hopefully in the not-too distant future.


Dungen in Philly

 
Words and photograph by Danielle Reicherter

Hallå skarp pojken! Jag lik söt svensk fisken bäst! Now you all know the traditional Scandinavian greeting which translates to “Hello cute guy! My favourite candy is Swedish Fish!” I learned that from a girl I went to middle school with and of course I remember it several years later despite this being the only time it has come in handy.  Save for Old Swedes Church, there is unfortunately little Swedish influence in Philadelphia.  I’m pretty sure all us intense Germans and Irish folk scared them off so they decided to colonize Minnesota instead (a lovely place, but I’m contractually obligated to laugh at them because of Brett Favre).  Fortunately, some of my favourite Swedes are fond of crazy ol’ Philadelphia and paid the hipster hangout Johnny Brendas a visit.

I first discovered Dungen while reading a review of their 2004 album ‘Ta Det Lugnt’ in an issue of pre-sellout Spin Magazine.  The description of their prog-groovy sound caught my interest and I jotted their name in a notebook I carried everywhere with me like Harriet the Spy.  Except, I stupidly wrote ‘Dungeon’ and not the Swedish word for ‘group of trees.’  Imagine my confusion when researching their music several weeks later, I kept coming up with an Australian metal band.  I forgot about Dungen until I was (ironically) in Australia on a road trip with none other than Angie.  ‘Panda’ came on her shuffle and I was completely mesmerized by it, asking her to play it repeatedly.  “You like Dungen? I love them. Swedish is like the language of the elves,” she laughed.  Thus, I became hooked.

“ALL THE HONEY IN THE BLOSSOM!” sing-yells the guy next to me, who oddly resembles Ron Jeremy.  You’d think a fan would know that though everyone in Dungen can speak English, they proudly sing in their native tongue (sadly a rarity these days, Americans Against Global Americanization!).  I love how not understanding the language a song is sung in makes me pay extra attention to the beauty of the words rather than their meaning.  Gustav Ejstes is probably used to misheard lyrics and continues to sing as ‘60s montages are projected behind him, casting colours on his face.  The band (rounded out by guitarist Reine Fiske, bassist Mattias Gustavsson, and drummer Johan Holmegard) seemed a bit shy at first, hiding in the shadows toward the back of the tiny stage, but open up and jam on songs like ‘Hogdalstoppen’ and ‘Barner Undrar.’  Keep in mind, when I use the word ‘jam’ here, it means an appropriate length piano or flute riff with beneficial additions to the recorded song as opposed to ‘jam’ in the horrid Dave Matthews Band fifteen minute saxophone solo for no reason sense.

There was little banter between songs other than a comment from Reine about eating cheesesteaks (the equivalent of Will Smith doing a show in Sweden and saying “Had some herring today! Mad tasty, yo!”), but it was their quiet charm that made the show extra interesting.  Here are a bunch of foreign musicians singing words you can’t understand in a dark indie bar with no props or gimmicks to a crowd in a country that usually demands neon, bling and Autotune.  Yet I’ll be darned, everyone present was just as entranced as I was by those incomprehensible lyrics and flowing music that gives the feeling of cruising around in a ‘74 Chevy Laguna.  Especially Ron Jeremy-guy.

Norway's Nö Music

When I first thought hey I might do an article on Norway and its music scene I had a very narrow mind and figured it would just be bands like Emperor, Darkthrone, Immortal, Mayhem and various other bands of the metal discipline. That was until I came across an online zine called Nö Music; a Norweigan based zine that promotes all music from across all genres from Norway. I was excited to hear all this new music that I had no idea was out there, it was a definite learning Experience. I had to get in contact with them and find out more, and fortunately I got a reply from one of the writers of the zine and they were able to give me a comprehensive introduction to the Norwegian scene in particular the Oslo scene from which Anne Lee writer of Nö Music is based.
By: Nathan Hankinson

Ann Lee's introduction to the Oslo scene came as a touring band “I used to play in a Japanese-English punk band from London, and we frequently toured in Norway. I fell in love with Norway from the first time there, and started making connections with Norwegian bands, often trying to book and promote them in the UK. I also worked as a "guitar tech" slash roadie for a Norwegian band Serena Maneesh in the UK, and after awhile, when the keyboardist left, they asked me to join the band. I toured with them for over a year and was based in Oslo. Later, I started my own management company and started promoting other Norwegian acts.”
So how does Norway manage to produce so many bands being such an isolated country? Norway is an incredibly small country- 4.5 million- and to have such a large and well-supported music scene (supported heavily by the state) is something quite unique. I see friends from the States and UK pass through more then if I myself regularly went to travel. The booking in Norway is a fierce and diverse competition, but we also get the best concerts and acts as a result. In other words: we're spoiled! Small venues in Oslo still struggle though..many of the best underground or "cool" venues have or are near closing down because it is incredibly expensive to maintain a healthy booking budget and the beer prices are through the roof, not by choice.


Five bands that you would say best describe the Norwegian scene? This is a difficult question. I could name 5 pretty popular acts...describing the state of Norwegian mainstream pop/rock. All the music from Norway on the other hand, is probably too diverse to summarize with just 5 bands. You of course have indie bands on tour now which are quite successful internationally-- Datarock, Kings of Convenience, Jaga Jazzist for example. You have to mention the Bergen-scene if you wanna talk about what's "popular" or "pop" music right now, though I personally think most of it is shit. But then there are "cult classics"-- black metal legends Darkthrone for example or Motorpsycho from Trondheim.  Turbonegro I guess you already know, who aren't really doing anything anymore these days. A-ha just played their "last" concert. My favorites are probably much more obscure, old school metal or noisy-- Next Life, White Tiger Prepade (in this issue!), Nekromantheon, Obliteration, Hellhammer, Noxagt.
I guess when most people outside of Europe think of Norway and music, several different varieties of metal comes to mind. However once I had researched I was amazed to see the diversity and talent that Norway has to offer. What would you say would be the main contribution as to why Bands from Norway struggle to get heard outside of Scandinavia, what do you see as the future of Norway and music?
When compared to other European countries, what we think in Norway as a "scene" really doesn't compare. It's tiny. Shitty acts, especially those with a schtick, like "girl power" solo female acts, get way too much cultural funding. Ingrid Olava or Ida Maria for example. On the other hand, Norway has birthed some of the greatest cult bands, who oppose "mainstream" and are of their own accord, musically and aesthetically--- that stuff of legends.

LUKINZINE.SE

Since September 2008 webzine, Lukinzine has been online connecting music lovers to the sounds of upcoming punk and hardcore acts. I spoke to creator, Ramon about running Lukinzine.
By Angie Hurlock Photographs by: Ramon Calvo

Like everyone who runs a fan zine, Ramon grew up with a passion for music and bands, but around the age of twelve a love of hardcore developed. “I discovered hardcore thanks to skating and hooking up with some older people who told me to burn my melodic punk albums and listen to some real music instead. After discovering stuff like Minor Threat, Sick of it All, Bad Brains and Black Flag it was all downhill from there”.



Prior to starting Lukinzine, Ramon wrote for various webzines and blogs before being asked to write for Fourfinger [a larger and full time online music magazine]. “I wrote for them [Fourfinger] for awhile, but then the guy who ran the magazine kept missing updates and things were really almost never going in the direction I liked. I talked to him about it and he asked if I wanted to take it all over but that he would still be in charge. I thought about it but soon realised that if this was gonna be the case I might as well just start something on my own and just focus on what I like. And so I did; Lukinzine was born”.


The main focus of Lukinzine’s content is based around hardcore bands and promoting bands that otherwise may not get much exposure. “During the 90’s when hardcore really blew up in Sweden I was in my teens and completely into it. Not just the music, but the whole concept of the D.I.Y movement and helping each other out and making things happen together. Lukinzine is a way to keep that part of me alive and at the same time letting people know more music that might not always be out there in any big way”.

Lukinzine remains a webzine despite Ramon at time considering printing the zine. “Right now Lukinzine takes way too much time already, so I don’t think a printed version is gonna be something that comes around in the near future. I love zines and I really admire the people who still put out printed ones because there is a lot of hard work behind it, and people should definitely support the printed ones before the web based ones, no doubt. Those people are the real heroes.”

The future of Lukinzine looks to involve a complete makeover of the page and a commitment to update more often. “Right now I’m always thinking, ‘I’ll write about that tomorrow’, but then I never get round to actually doing it”. Running a zine is hardwork whether it be print or online, but for Ramon it’s worth it to get the music he loves out there. “Sure it takes a lot of time and sometimes even feels like a burden, but when you get good feedback or realise that bands you were one of the first to write about now are getting noticed feels like a reward enough. Or just getting a happy mail or phone call from some random band saying they like what you wrote about their latest album or whatever. Acutally, even when you get those angry mails from people who take reviews a little too serious are pretty motivating too.
Check out Lukinzine here! www.lukinzine.se

The BOMBETTES!!

Like many great Swedish bands; The Bombettes hail from Umeå, a small city whose bands have made an immense impact on punk and hardcore. Their album, ‘Get Out of My Trailer, Sailor!’ is ten songs of pure punk rock bliss. I spoke to singer, Elin about The Bombettes and what it’s like coming from ‘Umeå Punk City’.
By Angie Hurlock


The Bombettes were looking for a singer when you joined, how did you get involved? 
A dear friend of mine told me that some friends of hers had a band and were looking for a singer. I had not played any music for 4 years but still I thought, ‘hey I can do that’. So I did. At the end of our first rehearsal we had already made a song.
How would you describe the Bombettes to someone who hasn’t heard you before?
We play danceable catchy punk rock with a hint of 60´s and a whole lot of riot.

There seems to be an incredible scene in Umeå. What is it about the Northern city which leads to such amazing bands?

Some might say it is because the northern cities are so boring, but I love it here and I am not bored at all. It has to do with many factors I think. First of all, the Hardcore scene during the mid 90´s of course but also (and maybe more importantly) it is a fact that the northern parts of Sweden are more industrial, more economically challenged, more sub cultural - Sweden’s "underdog" so to speak. That makes us wanna do things ourselves, nobody else will do it for us.
 What bands/musicians have inspired you?
I can’t speak for the other bombettes, but for me personally it is difficult to name drop. Music is the biggest love of my life - and has always been. I take inspiration from lyrics, from 60´s girl groups, from the DIY UK indie scene during the late 80´s (bands like Heavenly, the Field Mice, Talulah Gosh etcetera) from soul singers with deep voices from punk bands and from different subcultures. I live and breathe pop culture!
 How did you first get involved in the music scene?
 Well, I played the piano and the violin as a child and when I was 13 I started my first own band. A punk rock band in which I wrote all the songs and both played the drums and sang haha. Big no no today if you ask me. I moved to Umeå when I was 20. I moved here [Umeå] to study at the university but also because I knew a lot of great things about Umeå when it came to the music scene. Back home in Luleå (a small town even further up north) I was very involved in politics as a teenager and we saw what happened in Umeå during the 90´s, we were very jealous of that.

You have recently toured America, how was that and how were you received?

If anyone had asked me 15 years ago what my biggest dream was I would have answered: to tour America.  So it was sort of a dream come true. The response was great; we played different types of venues - from basements to clubs. The one thing that hit me was how amazingly big but still small the DIY punk scene really is. I am so proud to be a part of the Umeå scene. It doesn’t matter if we’re in Germany, Spain or in America there are always people who know a lot about Umeå. Quite amazing for a town with 100 000 inhabitants. The thing is, Umeå is more famous abroad than in Sweden. Swedes generally don’t give a shit about the northern parts.

Finally, is there a chance of coming to Australia?
Sure. If anyone is interested in putting up some shows just contact us and let’s make it happen! 

Listen to The Bombettes on myspace: http://www.myspace.com/thebombettes
Get Out of My Trailer, Sailor! Is out now through Ny Våg records : www.nyvag.com