Finn from RA talks about old school thrash, music for life and their debut album
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
- We are Relentless Aggression from Bergen, Norway. We play old school thrash metal and have just released our debut album called A Shadow of All Things Broken. I’m Finn, I play the guitar and the bass, and Yngve is the vocalist. On session drums we have Iver from Enslaved.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?
- Our main goal was to release an album we could be proud of, with music that we love. We also think we have lived up to our bandname, there's a lot of energy and aggression in the songs. We don't want all the songs to sound the same, so we use different tempos and song structures to keep it interesting, while still keeping enough "flow" in the songs to be listenable. The album is full of dark lyrics, we are not very optimistic when it comes to how the future will be. We hope people want to check out the album and make up their own mind about it.
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?
- The need to make music!
CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS?
- An aggressive declaration of negativity and misanthropy.
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
- So many records have opened my eyes and given me a new perspective, it’s impossible to mention just one. I grew up at a time when bands like Exodus, Slayer, Metallica, Dark Angel, Kreator and Vio-Lence released some awesome albums, so that was definitely an inspiration when it comes to thrash metal. But I listen to a lot of music, and get inspiration from tons of bands. From more mainstream metal bands to black metal and punk/hardcore.
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
- My life revolves around music. If I don’t work on my own music or practice, I’ll listen to other bands, or go to concerts. I like to travel (but that is almost always related to travelling to a concert or a festival). I live in a city surrounded by mountains, so I like to take walks there. Spring is approaching even here in Norway, so the walks will be better and longer now. I also enjoy reading, watching a good movie or tv series and having a beer or six with friends.
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
Depends a bit on the setting and which instrument I play. When I play in bands were I play the bass, I usually don’t get nervous. When I play the drums, that’s a bit more challenging, so I’m usually a bit nervous then. It doesn’t help to have a few beers either, that just makes the drumming worse. It’s just a matter of keeping focus and doing your best. Sometimes when I’m in a challenging situation, I tell myself that no matter how bad things go, at some time it’s over, he he. But one of the best feelings in the world is to be on stage when you’re totally into the music and the playing, and the band is killing it!
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
- The band originally started up in 1986 under the name Hell Awaits. (We all loved that album by Slayer). We were just kids that wanted to play thrash metal and have fun. We had limited playing skills but still a sense of writing a good thrash metal song or two. We rehearsed in an old fall out shelter close to where Yngve and I lived. In addition to me and Yngve, the band consisted of Dag on bass and Erik (later drummer for Immortal, Gorgoroth and Borknagar) on drums.
HOW DO YOU WRITE?
The most common way a new song is born, is when I sit on my couch at home, watching television. A depressing documentary or an awful "realityshow" has a tendency to get the writing process started, usually creating an aggressive song. When I start to play something I find interesting, I record it on my mobile phone or 16 track recorder. After a while I’ll listen to what I recorded, and if I still think it sounds good, I’ll keep working on it. When I have the outline for the song ready, I’ll book time in Iver’s studio and then I’ll start with recording the rhythm guitar. Iver will then add the drums and after that I’ll record the bass guitar. Iver will send the song to Yngve, and he will start working on the lyrics and vocal lines. When he’s done with that, we will book the studio again and record the vocals. We will add melody guitar, solos or other things we think that the song need, and then Iver and me will do a final mix of the song. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? - Music, books, films … hmm … maybe life in general. People that do big things without getting a big ego is something I find very fascinating.
WHAT IS NEXT?
- We’re almost done with a new song that will be released on a compilation vinyl album together with other Norwegian bands.
The song is about the chaos in the US regarding the election. We will also release it as a single just before or just after summer. More new songs are also in the process of being finished. We’re also still heavily promoting our debut album A Shadow of All Things Broken, and have recently released a video with a song from that album, End of Religion.
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