Norwegian band Audrey Horne released their sixth album, called “Blackout” via Napalm Records on 12th January. I had the opportunity to speak to lead singer Toschie via Skype the evening before the album was released. We chatted for around 30 minutes about the new album, upcoming plans for the band and more. That interview, along with 4 tracks from the new album, was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 19th January. That Show is now available on our MixCloud page - https://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/interview-with-toschie-from-audrey-horne-on-the-friday-ni-rocks-show-19th-jan-2018/

 

 

 

 

Audrey Horne are Toschie on vocals, Arve Isdal (Ice Dale) and Thomas Tofthagen on guitars, Kjetil Greve on drums and Espen Lien on bass.


Check out the band’s website for more info - http://www.audreyhornemusic.com/

 

The interview has been transcribed and posted below.

 

Playlist for the Show

TRUCKER DIABLO – Voodoo II

THE ROCKET DOLLS – None of This is Right

STONE BROKEN – Heartbeat Away

ROSCO’S RIOT – 30 Feet From Heaven

W.E.T. – Watch The Fire

AUDREY HORNE – Audrevolution

Interview with TOSCHIE Part 1 (13min)

AUDREY HORNE – This Is War

Interview with TOSCHIE Part 2 (9min)

AUDREY HORNE – Nayslayer

Interview with TOSCHIE Part 3 (9min)

AUDREY HORNE – Satellite

LEAVE’S EYES – Across The Sea

ESTATE – Winter Kingdom

RICK SPRINGFIELD – Little Demon

VOODOO CIRCLE – Running Away From Love

ANVIL – Ego

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY – Zakk Wyle Promo/Room of Nightmares/All That Once Shined

BALEFUL CREED – The Wolf

MYLES KENNEDY – Year of the Tiger

CORMAC NEESON – Whole Again

PRAYER – Silent Treatment

BEYOND THE BLACK – Night Will Fade


Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

 

NI ROCKS – Thanks for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI. Your new album “Blackout” is released through Napalm Records on 12th January. We just played the single “Audrevolution”. Tell us something about that track.

TOSCHIE – “Audrevolution”, when we wrote it, we felt it was kind of an odd one out for us. With all the classic, hard rock shit that we do, we felt that this was more like a punk rock vibe or whatever. When we wrote it, we liked it a lot, but we were a bit back and forward over whether we were going to record it or not. As we worked on it and perfected it, we realised that of course we had to have this song because it had such a great energy and it’s a catchy track. It’s not reinventing the wheel or anything, but it’s catchy and it’s fun to do. I think it’s going to be a cool live song. But we had some doubts, as we always do when we write songs. We’re always saying ‘does this sound like us’ or are we out of our territory. We try not to overthink things when writing, but I like this song. I was probably the one who was sceptical to that song for the longest time, but now I fuckin love that song.


NI ROCKS – Where was the new album recorded and who have you worked with for production, mixing etc?

TOSCHIE – It was recorded in our home town. The last three albums were done it our home town. We did our third album, the self titled album in Los Angeles with a guy called Joe Barresi and we thought that was excellent. There’s something about getting away from everything – from your friends and family – to get away and focus in a different way. But then we did “Youngblood” in our home town and after that we said for our next album we should go away and record; but we always end up recording in our hometown. This was recorded in a studio called Fort Knox which is in the docks at Bergen. It’s actually within a restricted area because it’s in the international shipping area where you get all these containers. So you had to provide ID and get permission to go in there as there are things there that haven’t gone through Customs. It was a bit of a hassle as we had to do that every day. We thought we may have been able to get a permanent thing for as long as we were recording; but no, we had to do that every day! We worked with a guy called Kato Ádland who we’ve known for many, many years. He’s a producer and brilliant musician. He’s an excellent guitar player. He does a lot of pop music – he doesn’t do hard rock at production-wise. But we’ve known him for years and knew he played every now and then in an Iron Maiden cover band and that he knows hard rock. I played with him in a cover band that we did for fun, many years ago. We had a band called Drums and Noises where we just did classic hard rock. So we knew he was capable of doing this, but when we asked him he was kinda surprised and said ‘I don’t produce hard rock albums’, but we just said it’s about time you did. I can safely say that he is one of the best producers that we’ve worked with. Not that he’s technically brilliant, but he is so efficient and he understands and comes up with all these great ideas. He is able to make us look at the arrangement from a different point of view. We re-did some of the arrangement . He actually wrote a part for us. We have a song called “This One” – the end, heavy part of that song was written by Kato. We had the song and we said it was supposed to be like this, just humping along, but he came into the studio and said I’ve written a part for that song. We listened to and thought ‘holy shit – that’s perfect, why didn’t we think of that’. So we just learnt it and recorded it. He was brilliant. He did recording and production, then he mixed it with a guy called Ivor Sandøy who we’ve worked with for the past three albums now. He was originally a drummer, but he is brilliant with the mixing and mastering; and he also mastered the album. So, everything was done here in our hometown.


NI ROCKS – When did work on the new tracks begin and is there a standard process for the band to write tracks or do they all come together differently?

TOSCHIE – We started writing...like the track “Naysayer” I think was written close to three years ago.  We’ve been writing all along, since we released “Pure Heavy”. We did some touring, then we started writing again. I think when we sat down with all of the ideas that we had, we had close to 70 ideas. That of course is not 70 brilliant ideas, so we shaved that down to 30 ideas. We picked out the 30 best songs because we’d had this idea that we shouldn’t work too much on a song, we should just come up with new ideas and record them and put them on a hard drive. We worked on the 30 best songs and ended up finishing 100% 15 songs. Then we went into the studio and recorded 13 and ended up trashing one of them. Not because it wasn’t a good song, but it didn’t come out the way we wanted it, so instead of continuing to struggle with it we said ok, let’s just leave it here, we can record it some other time. So we ended up recording 12 songs for the album. The writing can be a bit of a struggle – it’s fun, but it’s also a struggle because we don’t always agree. Then we record them and have our differences there as well. The true difference between us comes when we put together the track list because that’s when we really start to argue! That was one hell of a catfight with this one. Now everyone is happy with it; until someone says ‘why the fuck didn’t we put that song there?’  It’s an ongoing fight for each album.


NI ROCKS – A lot is made of the fact that the band’s two guitarists play for metal bands Enslaved or Sahg. The guitars on the recent album are more classic Thin Lizzy than anything metal. They must love the opportunity to diversify their performances?

TOSCHIE – I think the guitar work we have done on every album has been more and more classic hard rock guitar. I think that some of the stuff like “Naysayer” is fairly heavy metal. We do have a good mix between the two. They’re two amazing guitar players so they tend to shine whenever they can and do whatever they can to get in there. When I played the album for a friend before it was finished he said ‘there’s a lot of guitars on this album’ and I said ‘I know! That’s the way it has to be!’


NI ROCKS – The other single from the new album was a track called “This Is War”. We’ll play that track now, but before we do can you tell us something about it?

TOSCHIE – “This Is War” was one that when we wrote it we thought it was in the same vein as “Redemption Blues” and “This Ends Here” and “High and Dry” with a very obvious Iron Maiden influence. I think we’re very good at doing that – they’re very energetic songs. We wrote it and throughout the whole process felt that it was one of the strongest songs and from day one agreed. As I said, we argue a bit about the track listing, but from day one we agreed that this had to be the opening track. When we wrote it, at the guitar solo part where Thomas plays the solo, then they play this twin thing, then Arve plays his solo and it was straight into the chorus. When we were at the studio we asked the producer is this a bit too much; do we need one solo at each end of that twin part? And he was like, dude it’s not enough! So Thomas plays one, then they play one together , then Arve plays one and then you have to finish what you’ve started and come together again. So we have that last twin part which is a version of the opening riff. So that was another example of where having a good producer is so important. We’d felt that it was too long or too much. Were we over doing the guitar? And he was, no, quite the opposite, you have to put more guitars.


Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

 

NI ROCKS – The band have some European tour dates at the end of January. Do you know if there are plans for any UK shows in the near future?

TOSCHIE – I hope so, I truly hope so. When this tour was booked I thought there’s a lot of Germany here; a few places in France and nothing in the UK. Our booking agent said this is a tour just to get you out and you should do a second tour later. So hopefully we’ll do another later on, or in the Fall at least. That should take us to the UK. We’ve played there a bit over the years, but the last years have been a lot of dates in Germany and France. It’s probably just because our booking agent finds it easier to book us there; I don’t know! We’d love to play more in the UK. It’s such an important market and it’s such a fun market to play. Usually when we tour there, it’s London and maybe one other city. I’d love to do more of it – Manchester, Birmingham

NI ROCKS – Belfast?

TOSCHIE – Yeah, and of course Ireland. Ireland, we’ve played twice I think. That’s it! We should play Ireland and Scotland.


NI ROCKS – With some of the guys in the band being in other bands (Enslaved, Sahg and Deride) is it hard to get people’s schedules to work out all the time?

TOSCHIE – It is hard sometimes. For example with this tour, the reason we’re not doing a longer now is that Arve is going out with Enslaved so we had to end our tour because they already had their tour booked. When there are situations like that it’s whoever was first to the table really. If we have something booked then they can’t book something, and the other way around. This time they had already booked their tour, so we have to end ours and then get back out after that. Of course it means that he has to tour all the time, but I think he’s fine with that.


NI ROCKS – With six studio albums released, has there ever been any thought of recording a live album, or do you think the market isn’t there for live albums these days?

TOSCHIE – We always wanted to and we planned to. We always said we should record and film something for a DVD. And we were meant to do that at our home-town gig last year, but it fell through because the people we’d talked to about the filming all of a sudden cancelled and said they couldn’t do it. I don’t know really why, but something happened. We’ll definitely do it. That’s probably where we feel most at home, on stage. We grew up with vinyl albums, that’s why we make albums; because there are a lot of bands we know who say ‘you still make albums? We’re just going to release three songs’. And I’m like ‘fuck that’, I want to make an album; that’s what it’s all about. We grew up with some amazing live albums like “Live and Dangerous” (Thin Lizzy) or “Alive” by Kiss and Scorpions “World Wide Live”. And we always wanted to do that, but haven’t got around to doing it yet. It’s on the bucket list, we have to do it at some point; just to have done it!


NI ROCKS – You’re releasing the new album on vinyl of course – in a number of formats actually, including gold and transparent vinyl. Are you a fan of vinyl and do you think the vinyl market it’s going to last a while?

TOSCHIE – Whether it’s going to be around for ever, I don’t know. It’s big again now and I think that has a lot to do with people who grew up with vinyl. All of a sudden there is a market for it again, but in the early 2000’s and late 90’s you couldn’t get an album on vinyl because no one was releasing them. These days there is a market again and our generation of music listeners go out and buy vinyl. I buy shit-loads of vinyl all the time. But my kids, they couldn’t care less. It’s too much hassle, it’s expensive, you have to turn it, what the fuck! I try to explain it to them and they’re like, no I don’t get it! I think it’s always going to be fascinating to some people. Things move faster and faster and information flows so fast and people don’t get excited about new releases anymore – it’s ‘oh, they released a new album’ and then the minute that it’s out it’s ‘oh there’s another one’ and ‘oh, there’s another one’. We grew up waiting months and years on an album and when it came out you’d listen to it non-stop for months. When everything moves faster and information flows faster, nothing is touchable anymore, everything is digital. It’s in human nature to have something physical that you can touch, that is real, something that is not just data and information. So I think there is always going to be an appeal to people, but whether there’s going to be a market like there is now, I don’t know!

NI ROCKS – Everything is streamed so much before hand it doesn’t feel like a new album. When it comes out it’s been streamed so much that you’ve heard it all.

TOSCHIE – Yeah, I totally agree.


NI ROCKS – We’ll play another track from the album now. This time I’ll let you pick one and you can tell us something about it.

TOSCHIE – Well then, I’m definitely going to pick “Naysayer” because I think that is my favourite track on that album. It’s so fun to play live and I love the way that it came out. When we were finished and we mastered the album I listened to the songs I was happy with them and the production and everything, but when that song comes on it’s ‘fuck yeah, now I have to open a beer’. It’s been my favourite song for a long time. I love the energy. We re-wrote that song. We had it finished and then Thomas our guitar player said he didn’t like the verse of the song because it was too much like the verse on a song called “Holy Roller” on our previous album. But I said, it’s so good, we can’t fuck this up, don’t touch it. He said no, we have to re-write it and I said Ok we have this, so if we don’t come up with anything better we’ll go back to the way it was. Then me and Thomas were fooling around with ideas and came up with that verse and I’m so glad we did. It’s so much better now. It’s my favourite track.



 

NI ROCKS – As we mentioned earlier you’ve the European tour coming up, which takes you through to the end of January. How does the rest of 2018 look for Audrey Horne?

TOSCHIE – Yeah, after that tour we come back and Arve is doing something with Enslaved. I’m not sure what they’re doing but when he comes back we’ll do some shows in Norway and then we might do another European leg. We have festivals coming up in Norway, some that haven’t been announced yet but that are coming, then in Europe we have festivals in the Netherlands, Germany and I think Switzerland. After the summer we don’t have any plans yet. We’re definitely going to be out playing, but whether we’re on our own tour or doing a support tour I don’t know. We did a support tour last year for Danko Jones. We can tour and we have a good audience and can sell lots of tickets; but when you play support you get the opportunity to play for people who wouldn’t show up if you were on your own and get a new audience. We’ll see what happens in the Fall, we don’t have any plans yet.


NI ROCKS – Are you personally involved in any other projects at the moment other than Audrey Horne?

TOSCHIE – No, I have a band that I played in earlier called Sylvia Wane. We were heavily influenced by bands like Sugar and anything Bob Mould did basically. It’s more like a noisy pop / rock kind of thing. I play with them every now and again and I’m playing a gig with them in March. It’s not really a big thing. We play really just when we feel like getting together and book a show somewhere. Other than that I’m involved in any permanent musical projects. I work as an tattoo artist and I do a lot of drawing and painting, so I keep busy.


NI ROCKS – A couple of questions that I always like my guests on the Show. Can you remember the first album that you bought and the last one?

TOSCHIE – The first album was on cassette because my dad bought me a cassette player and the cassette. It was music and I was just amazed. The first that I bought with my own money were two albums – “Piece of Mind” by Iron Maiden and “Synchronicity” by The Police. I had saved enough money to buy two albums. Those were the first that I bought with my own money. The last one was the day before yesterday I bought an album by a Norwegian band called The Dogs, which is a really cool garage rock, punk fuelled, great band. And it’s called “The Grief..”; not “The Grief Diaries”, “The Grief Monologues” or something and it’s a really great album you should check it out. (“The Grief Manual” - https://www.facebook.com/thedogsoslo/ )


NI ROCKS – And on a similar vein – can you remember the first gig that you went to and the most recent, other than one of your own?

TOSCHIE – The first one I went to was a Norwegian band called Stage Dolls in the 80’s. They were like hair rock. They had hits in Norway and they had a hit on the Billboard in America. That was the first show I went to; my dad took me to that. My dad is a musician and still plays in a band. The first one that I went to all by myself was also a Norwegian band, A-Ha on their “Scounddrel Days” tour which was fucking brilliant at that time. The most recent that I went to was the release party for our friends band called Magic Touch, who are going with us on this European tour. They released an album last weekend and that was the last show that I went to when they played their new album.


NI ROCKS – We’ll finish by playing another track from the new album. Again, can you select a track and tell us something about it?

TOSCHIE – I’ll pick the song that came out today actually. A song called “Satellite”. We always try, as I said earlier, not to restrain ourselves or put too many rules or boundaries when we write music. We always just think - whatever comes out! So a lot of times we’ll have ideas and think that doesn’t sound like us at all. When we wrote “Satellite” we felt that we should record it a bit different from the others. We record everything live, then fix what needs fixing and add what needs to be added. With “Satellite” we felt that we needed to use a bit more of what modern studio technology has to offer. When we recorded we said to our producer we shouldn’t think hard rock when we record this song and produce it, we should think more Michael Jackson basically! It’s probably the song that is most like typical 80’s in production; it’s not 80’s production but we used a lot of elements that were typical of that time, like synthesizer bass and stuff like that. It’s a fun song and when I play it for people they say ‘jeez, what have you done here?’ On each album we always try to do something new, not to reinvent ourselves; anything from getting a new producer, getting a different perspective on things, putting in a song that isn’t a typical Audrey Horne song. On this album it is definitely that one that is the odd one out by far, but it was so much fun to do. It took a long time to write it because I think we wrote it four or five times. At one point it was a really heavy, Zeppelin-ish song and then we were ‘nah, no let’s try something else’. So we ended up with this 80’s, funky thing!

 

NI ROCKS – It’s a great track, I heard it earlier today. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Best of luck with the new album and the upcoming tour.


Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

Last Updated (Monday, 04 June 2018 18:56)